Peter Maxwell Davies

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'Eight songs for a mad king' is top stuff and i want to know more. Making my way through the 3rd/4th str quartets, the former written as a 'response' to the invasion of Iraq, so it oughta be included in that abstract political thread. Not quite sure what to make of it, still making my way through - for now I'll say its not as outraged sounding as you could imagine it being but it doesn't need to be like that.

Saw him give an interview last year and he sounded really nice and not a crank with a chip on his shoulder type. However, he also wrote this article. 'ILM' (the mythical ILM) wdn't be into it but he fights for music in schools so good for him.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Thursday, 9 March 2006 22:28 (thirteen years ago) link

Check out his personal website "Maxopus" - he offers downloads and custom burned compilations of his stuff(your picks) Now that you've reminded me of this, I really ought to get round to taking him up on it.

Soukesian, Thursday, 9 March 2006 23:22 (thirteen years ago) link

I only own the Miss Donnithorne's Maggot/Eight Songs CD. I never really got into MDM but Eight Songs for a Mad King is great. I'm usually not in the mood to hear his style of music though -- it demands my full attention. I'll have to check out his 3rd/4th string quartets.

NoTimeBeforeTime (Barry Bruner), Thursday, 9 March 2006 23:31 (thirteen years ago) link

PMD is a national treasure as far as I'm concerned. Don't know anything like enough of his music as I should. Antechrist is good though.

Tim Rutherford-Johnson (Rambler), Friday, 10 March 2006 10:15 (thirteen years ago) link

One of the absolute highlights of my time at Uni was when he came to speak to my music history class. So much enthusiasm and so many ideas. He talked about his childhood, discovering music, learning to compose, before taking us through his career and his love of the Orkneys. It was riveting. I could have quite happily listened to him for more than the two hours we had.

stew!, Friday, 10 March 2006 11:59 (thirteen years ago) link

three months pass...
"Miss Donnithornes' Maggot" is really good! Its sparser than 'Eight Songs', quite funny-by-default, friday the 13th material (you can just go on like this can't ya). Does look like anything with his Fires of London ensemble might be worth checking out.

xyzzzz__ (jdesouza), Friday, 23 June 2006 07:58 (thirteen years ago) link

nine years pass...

a fuller obit here:

François Pitchforkian (NickB), Monday, 14 March 2016 12:43 (three years ago) link

Saw a performance of the fifth symphony a couple of years ago and it's astonishing, always meant to dig deeper with this guy and maybe this week I will. RIP.

Matt DC, Monday, 14 March 2016 13:00 (three years ago) link

Oh no :-(

xyzzzz__, Monday, 14 March 2016 13:05 (three years ago) link

RIP. Excellent score for The Devils, wish he'd written more film music.

Chicamaw (Ward Fowler), Monday, 14 March 2016 13:05 (three years ago) link

Gotta hear that, and watch The Devils too.

I was trying to select a piece of his for the classical poll and Vesalii Icones is so good.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 14 March 2016 13:11 (three years ago) link

^that was the first piece by him i picked up... have only gotten into his stuff over the last year and a bit, & mostly just the sixties-early seventies work so far

some excellent footage included in the bfi devils dvd of the score being recorded too

no lime tangier, Monday, 14 March 2016 22:56 (three years ago) link

Iffy obit:

This amazing productivity is actually an obstacle to the survival of his music. It is hard to know where to start, and plunging in at random may lead to one of the many grey patches in his music, particularly in the later works such as the Strathclyde concertos. But the expressionist works of the 60s seem more and more to be genuine masterpieces. Unlike the other shocking things of that era such as Ken Russell’s 1971 film The Devils (for which Maxwell Davies wrote the music), they have not dated.

One of the things you should do to 'survive' is to compose just enough but not too much.

I reckon The Devils is also 'expressionist' sounding, like there is this weird decade cut-off. I'm not sure why interest in it couldn't be revived at some later point.

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 15 March 2016 12:05 (three years ago) link

Yeah I don't really get that, there are plenty of composers with fallow periods. If anything is likely to be an impediment to survival its a lack of consensus over what the masterpieces might be, but even then that can make exploration of a body of work more exciting.

Matt DC, Tuesday, 15 March 2016 12:10 (three years ago) link

holy crap, RIP. I literally only discovered him last night while trawling for rural horror oddities and today I see this thread.

draxx them sklounst (dog latin), Tuesday, 15 March 2016 12:14 (three years ago) link

Also Eight Songs.. is the clear starting point for PMD.

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 15 March 2016 12:44 (three years ago) link

three years pass...

Maxwell Davies's personal website has reverted to a sample project in Beaver Builder, under the pensive rubric "Music is nice."

alimosina, Tuesday, 11 June 2019 17:29 (three months ago) link

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