I wonder... Farewell to Stromness

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
dory
Posts: 1671
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:29 am
Location: Madison, Wisconsin, USA

I wonder... Farewell to Stromness

Post by dory » Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:49 am

This morning someone called into the classics on request program and asked for Farewell to Stromness. She said she had trouble finding it in anything but guitar and wanted to hear it on piano. I checked youtube and sure enough-- although there was one nice version played on the piano by the composer, most versions are for guitar. It was written on the piano for the piano. I wonder why it has caught on among guitarists and not pianists? I have probably asked an impossible to answer question. Sorry. I was just wondering.
Dory

Ray
Posts: 392
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:41 pm

Re: I wonder... Farewell to Stromness

Post by Ray » Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:11 am

dory wrote:
Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:49 am
This morning someone called into the classics on request program and asked for Farewell to Stromness. She said she had trouble finding it in anything but guitar and wanted to hear it on piano. I checked youtube and sure enough-- although there was one nice version played on the piano by the composer, most versions are for guitar. It was written on the piano for the piano. I wonder why it has caught on among guitarists and not pianists? I have probably asked an impossible to answer question. Sorry. I was just wondering.
I think it's because it works really nice on guitar because of the Celtic folk style & sound, the simple yet lovely melody and the sonority of the chords, especially in Timothy Walker's solo arrangement published by Boosey & Hawkes. The low D tuning gives the piece heft and the middle section in B minor sounds particularly resonant. So it's sort of like Albeniz's Asturias which you hear much more on guitar as well.

The other arrangement which is absolutely gorgeous is the quartet version played by the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet from their 1998 self-titled album LAGQ. This stunning arr. by LAGQ member Scott Tennant is so much more beautiful than the piano version which sounds rather plain in comparison. Here the various colors and shades of the guitar tones as well as the intimacy and "soul" achieved is far superior to the monochromatic piano timbre no matter how well played IMO.

If you search YouTube there's a live version of the LAGQ video under the title

"farewell to stromness" by LAGQ

and the recorded version under the title

The Yellow Cake Review, Farewell to Stromness (Excerpt)


Another really nice solo guitar arr. is Matthew McAllister's, which you can find on YouTube as well. It's similar to Tim Walker's but with more detail and ornaments.



Give a listen and let us know what you think! :D

User avatar
Peter Lovett
Posts: 829
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:35 am
Location: Hobart Australia

Re: I wonder... Farewell to Stromness

Post by Peter Lovett » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:16 am

There is a lovely story told by Matthew McAllister on meeting Peter Maxwell Davies and telling him that he plays Farewell to Stromness. Evidently PMD replied that he knew that but why didn't he play any of his other pieces to which Matthew replied that they were too difficult. I may have got this wrong but I think that was the gist of the story. If not, I am sure Matthew will pick up on it.

There is, however, a kernel of truth in the story. I saw PMD when he visited Hobart in 1980 with the consort, The Fires Of London, and the music was very confronting for someone who at the time was only beginning to appreciate classical music.
1994 Jim Williams lattice braced, Cedar/Tasmanian Blackwood

Return to “Public Space”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Adrian Allan, Altophile, Bing [Bot], CommonCrawl [Bot], Granary Guitars, James Lister, jebejava, Martin, Mikkel and 26 guests