Richard Sliwa posted on Wednesday, 22 June, 2005 - 03:01 am
This is a reply to Bill's comments in the Quiz thread on the Sky section, about JW's "avant garde" output in the 70s.
For the record (no pun intended; I just realised the possibility when re-reading that), I don't include the three Fly LPs (Changes, The Height Below and Travelling)in that output. I think I've been consistent in referring to them as "pop/jazz"; I would actually consider those recordings to be a counterpoint to his more serious interests of the time (look no further than the producers of these records: Stanley Myers, known as a composer of "light" film music, and George Martin, at the time best-known as producer of the recently-defunct Beatles).
One of the things I've always liked about JW is his astonishingly wide range of musical interests and the fact that he will alternate really serious repertoire with lighter, more approachable fare: his solo recitals have been a fairly good indication of this. When I was putting together the discography on the site, I very deliberately did it in strict chronological order to show these tendencies.
In a way, my comment was more a reference to what he was performing during the 70s rather than just his recordings (Weber, Britten, Arnold, Dodgson, etc - although Dodgson was far from cutting edge, but still belongs to a certain "type").
The following LPs have never (in full, although sometimes partially) been re-issued since original (pre-CD times) publication:
Patrick Gowers Chamber Concerto Patrick Gowers Rhapsody (Interestingly, these two originally had B sides of a selection of solo Scarlatti sonatas and Villa-Lobos preludes respectively; these were re-issued together first as LP and cassette and later on CD; the two Gowers pieces appeared together as a single LP but never on CD) Andre Previn's Guitar concerto (neither truly classical, nor truly jazz, quite awful, as I recall) - originally paired with Ponce's Concerto del Sur, which has seen a couple of CD releases Malcolm Arnold "Serenade" and Stephen Dodgson concerto originally released with the Castelnuovo-Tedesco concerto in 1977 (the last has been released a couple of times; why not the others?) Arnold (again) and Brouwer (No.1) concerti were married in 1977, and have never been issued on CD, despite the fact that JW's last-CD-but-four was entirely Brouwer and very well-received.
So that's that for the "avant garde" period, but that's not all:
JW & Raphael Puyana (Straube and Dodgson) hasn't had the glimmer of a digital release, and there are a few shorter pieces originally released on portmanteau LPs which still remain unissued.
Of non-CBS/Sony recordings, A Spanish Guitar (Westminster, now part of EMI), was re-issued on LP at least twice, but never on CD; the Sor 20 Studies LP(Westminster again) I mentioned before, again had several re-issues in the 60s and 70s, but has never been seen as a silver disc.
Of the three guitar-and-voice LPs JW released, the first (Folk Songs, with Wilfred Brown, recorded for L'Oiseau Lyre) had a limited release on Belart (one of Decca's budget labels) about five years ago for about three months; the second (Britten, Dodgson and others, with Wilfred Brown again, for CBS - now Sony) has yet to see a release; Songs of Freedom with Maria Farandouri had a limited release about 10 years ago, again for a just a few months, before being deleted.
I consider the two albums JW recorded with Cleo Laine (Best Friends and let The Music Take You) slightly separately as they were ostensiblty Cleo Laine records (released by her record label, RCA) which happened to feature JW as the only accompanist. These have had extremely limited releases on CD (the latter currently remains technically available, whilst the first can only be found in North America - which is strange, considering Best Friends included a song written by Laine to Cavatina - which like it or not, remains JW's best-known piece)
Whilst I have strayed a little from what we were talking about, there is loads of material which may or may not have artistic or marketable merit, but the missing tracks from the Fly LPs really are only a small part of the problem. The problem, as I see it, are the three separate recordings of the Aranjuez, plus a couple of the Adagio alone, coupled with their continual re-issuing (there have been so many that I have really lost track).
ANyway,. it's late and time for bed, so that's it for now.
Tim posted on Tuesday, 20 September, 2005 - 12:04 am
There are two things missing from CD re-issues that really strike me as bizarre - the 1977 'Choro de Saudade', and the shorter pieces side of the Ponce LP - one of the finest ever LP sides of guitar music.
Don't Sony realise that those pieces, some bits from Portrait and the '73 Lauro, Villa-Lobos, Ponce etc would make an outstanding Latin American collection. Please!