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Richard Rodney Bennett


David Drinkell
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I read today that Richard Rodney Bennett died on Christmas Eve. By coincidence, we included his carol "Out of your sleep arise and wake" at our Midnight Mass - the first time we had sung it.

 

He was an interesting composer, adept in all manner of styles from serialism to jazz. I've always liked his carols and found the breadth of his other music fascinating. RIP

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Thank you for that.

 

I have performed quite a lot of Richard Rodney Bennett's music, including the opera 'All the King's Men' and, much more recently, in the same programme as the world premiere of Michael Finnissy's new opera 'Mankind', the song cycles 'The Aviary' and 'The Insect World'. The music was superbly crafted, beautifully written and much appreciated by performers and listeners alike. In a 'another life' I also performed the 'Reflections on a Scottish Folk Song' and the 'cello Sonata!

 

May he rest in peace.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I recall the score which he wrote for the film Murder on the Orient Express (1974). There was much which was so fresh and inventive - particularly the part where the train pulls out of the station at Constantinople. I have also had pupils learn a number of his pieces for piano; they were occasionally set for Associated Board examinations. Here again they were innovative and attractive.

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I recall the score which he wrote for the film Murder on the Orient Express (1974). There was much which was so fresh and inventive - particularly the part where the train pulls out of the station at Constantinople. I have also had pupils learn a number of his pieces for piano; they were occasionally set for Associated Board examinations. Here again they were innovative and attractive.

 

I agree, entirely, pcnd - and well remember the movement from MotOE being used in the very first GCSE Music exam that I had prepared candidates for. It was the first time I had come across. There are also some excellent sets of short songs which go down very well with junior choirs - I'm thinking of The Aviary and Insect World - they crop up, or used to crop up in the early Singing ABRSM exams. I'm correct in thinking there isn't a solitary piece of organ music? There is quite a wealth of church music (Missa Brevis) some carols etc, none of which I am aware of knowing. I wonder if any piano music would transcribe to the organ? I once came across a piece of Bartok in the C list of ABRSM piano Grade V which I have dabbled with as an organ piece from time to time. Ah! Back to RR-B - just checked Henderson and, of course, there's 'Alba' - published by Novello in 1973. It says that this is based upon a theme from Benjamin Britten and that it is the same music as the Aubade from RR-B's Orchestral Concerto. I don't know it but am going to find it!

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Mmm... have pinned down a score of Alba which I have sent for - (another self-awarded late Christmas present) - but can't find a recording on itunes of it or of the Orchestral Concerto. Have dabbled in lots of other lovely things of his on the way. Super piano duets for children, for example, but I don't think I had grasped just how prolific he was - concertos, etc.

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