Leon Sorabji was among the most remarkable of twentieth-century composers, and one of Britain's best known. It would be interesting to learn how much of his vast and scarcely fathomable œuvre has over the years been broadcast for the edification of the public.
Mr. Pliable of Norfolk, HERE cites a Mr. Derus, one of Sorabji's dedicatees, as saying: "Parts of Opus Clavicembalisticum make the very different hurdles of Boulez and Stockhausen seem very low indeed. Xenakis and Ferneyhough write nearly as many notes, and deploy them far less gratefully, but neither requires that these notes be consistently and exhaustively voiced to have any kind of sensible meaning at all."
More complex, consistent and sensible than Boulez's and (of course) Stockhausen's stuff, and more complex and "grateful" than Ferneyhough's! What does make music "grateful" anyway?
According to Mr. Hinton, in the early years of the B.B.C., well before the birth of the Third, Sorabji gave no wireless talks and only one live broadcast. Other composers did much more. Do recordings of any kind from those days exist?
As I have already noted in another place, the correct name of the composer portrayed in the photograph in your post is Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji.
I have also responded to the observations of said Mr Pliable in that other place.
I cannot say and would therefore prefer not to try to speculate upon what "grateful" might mean to anyone in this specific context.
I cannot speak about anyone else's work but, as far as I am aware, no recording exists of Sorabji's live broadcast of his Le Jardin Parfumé on BBC in 1930 (which was heard and evidently much admired by Delius)
Despite the unusually large number of subject categories on this forum,. I'm not sure if this is the right place to post what follows, as there's no specific live concert category, so if a moderator wishes to move it to a more appropriate place, please feel free to do so.
Last Saturday, 13 May, at Oxford's Jacqueline du Pré Music Building, Jonathan Powell gave what was probably the finest performance that Sorabji's monumental Opus Clavicembalisticum has ever received. It was only its 17th performance since the composer's own world première in Glasgow in 1930.
After an unsettled and rather rushed brief opening Introito, the ensuing Preludio Corale occasionally exhibited similar issues but, once Jonathan launched into the first of the four fugues in the work, he was on top form and remained there throughout. There were some devastating moments of fulminating virtuosity alongside the most sensitively shaped phrasing in the fugues whose essential bel canto qualities he brought to the fore and without which they can risk sounding rather like rigorous intellectual exercises. The reticence and pervasive stillness of the mesmerising Adagio that comes around two-thirds of the way through the work was another high point. Jonathan held the audience's rapt attention throughout its near 4½ hours, a not inconsiderable feat in itself; the audience response and glowing comments after it testify to the great success of his achievement.
The page turner was also excellent!
Jonathan had given two performances of the work in the previous 8 days and has at least four more this year, in Karlsruhe, Glasgow, Brno and Tianjin. It is fair to say that the piece has never had so much exposure.
Last Edit: May 18, 2017 11:38:03 GMT -5 by ahinton