Posted by Rick Denney on April 25, 2002 at 11:33:59:
In Reply to: Re: Re: Re: 20th century symphonies/excerpts posted by Richard on April 24, 2002 at 19:04:24:
I know what you mean about the old ladies. The 2nd and the 6th share the same weakness on the old-lady front: A soft, quiet ending. For the listeners trained by long narrow-mindedness to require a flashy ending, ala Tchaikovsky (most of the time), the won't know when to wake up and start clapping with the Vaughan Williams 6th.
I recall that even RVW was concerned about this. He instructed Boult to take the 3rd symphony (which has three slow movements) up tempo somewhat. But after the premiere, he realized that audiences could listen to slow music, and he slowed it back down.
Houston is playing the 4th in early December, as it turns out, and that seems like a good time for my wife and I to visit her in-laws, heh, heh. I keep thinking that Houston ought to be about as narrow as anywhere, but I have to remind myself that this is where Phillip Glass's Akhnaten was premiered. The Vaughan Williams--even the fourth--ought to seem downright homey by comparison.
Rick "who recalls the old ladies in Austin wanting the visiting Chicago Symphony to play Beethoven's 5th instead of Mahler's 5th--yawn" Denney