Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Vespasiano

York Bowen, The "English Rachmaninoff"

2 posts in this topic

The London-born composer, York Bowen (1884-1961), can be counted as yet another forgotten Romantic composer. Although he enjoyed great success during the early years of his career, both as a pianist and composer, Bowen’s beautiful compositions, like those of many of his contemporaries, were virtually forgotten as new musical trends came to dominate the scene by the mid 20th Century. In point of fact, many of the composer's works remained unperformed and unpublished until well after his death in 1961. Although Bowen is often referred to as the "English Rachmaninoff", an honorable title to be sure given the beauty and fine craftmanship of his scores, I don't really hear the connection. Perhaps others might.

In this post, I include three of York Bowen's earlier works, the Symphony No. 1 in G Major (Op. 4) which was completed in 1902 when the composer was all of 18 and still a student; his Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra (technically, Piano Concerto No. 3) (Op. 23), completed in 1907; and a decidedly more confident, "mature" work, Symphony No. 2 in E Minor (Op. 31), which dates from 1909.

As a sample of Bowen's style, here is the Second Movement of his Symphony No. 1, a beautiful Larghetto. I point out this symphony received its very first public performance just last year in 2010.

York Bowen: Symphony No. 1 in G Major (Op. 4) -- Movement II, Larghetto

If this short piece has whetted your appetite for more of Bowen's music, here are links to each of the three works mentioned above. Enjoy!

York Bowen: Symphony No. 1 in G Major (complete)

York Bowen: Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra (Op. 23)

York Bowen: Symphony No. 2 in E Minor (Op. 31)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I forgot to comment on this earlier. Thanks, V. I had never heard of Bowen, but I like him. He has nothing on Rachmaninoff, but still worth listening to. Thanks for constantly posting good music.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0