Edmund Rubbra

Biography

Born: May 23, 1901; Northampton, England   Died: February 13, 1986; Gerard's Cross, England  
Edmund Rubbra's emergence during the interwar period as one of England's most skillful symphonists, and the subsequent dissemination of his musical ideals through 40 years of teaching at major British institutions, have earned him a place of honor among twentieth century British musicians. Rubbra was born into an impoverished Northampton family in 1901. His mother gave him his first musical lessons at the age of eight, and, although Rubbra was Read more forced to take a job as a railway clerk at age 14, his enthusiasm for music continued unabated. By 1917 he had discovered the music of Cyril Scott, and his subsequent recital of that composer's piano works impressed the composer enough that he invited Rubbra to study both piano and composition with him privately. After working with Scott for three years he attended Reading University on a musical scholarship for one year (1920-1921), after which he entered the Royal College of Music to study composition with Gustav Holst and harmony/counterpoint with R.O. Morris.

Rubbra's career was somewhat uncertain after graduating from the Royal College in 1925, and he was forced to work in a number of capacities to make ends meet (teaching school, working as an accompanist on a part-time basis, and writing reviews of new music for the Monthly Musical Record). By the mid-1930s, however, Rubbra was beginning to make waves as a composer, and the premieres of his first three symphonies (between 1937 and 1939) were sufficient to thrust him into the front rank of contemporary British composers.

Rubbra found professional stability with an appointment as lecturer at Oxford in 1947 (for which purpose he made a thorough and insightful examination of both books of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier), and in 1961 he was invited to join the composition faculty of the Guildhall School of Music, where he remained until the 1980s. His later years were marked by an increasing interest in Eastern spirituality, in conjunction with a devout Roman Catholicism. Rubbra died in 1986.

Although a major facet of British musical life during the second half of twentieth century, Rubbra's music has been sadly neglected by North American musicians. Rubbra developed his compositional voice slowly and with great care, absorbing the myriad influences of British composers, from Holst and Vaughan Williams to his childhood idol Cyril Scott, and eventually emerging with a musical language all his own. His later music shows a keen awareness of sixteenth century polyphony (especially that of Monteverdi). The 11 symphonies (the ninth, entitled Sinfonia Sacra, for soloists, chorus, and orchestra) are undoubtedly Rubbra's most significant contribution to the repertory. Read less
English Choral Music - Rubbra: Nine Tenebrae Motets, Etc
Release Date: 04/17/2001   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8555255   Number of Discs: 1
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Rubbra: Violin Concerto, Etc / Yuasa, Osostowicz, Et Al
Release Date: 10/18/2005   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8557591   Number of Discs: 1
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Rubbra: String Quartet No 2, Amoretti / Maggini Quartet
Release Date: 11/17/2009   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8572286   Number of Discs: 1
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Rubbra: String Quartets No 1, 3, 4 / Maggini Quartet
Release Date: 02/22/2011   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8572555   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 63 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    British String Quartets / Maggini Quartet
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8502021 Release Date: 09/13/2019   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  William Alwyn,  Malcolm Arnold,  Arnold Bax,  Lennox Berkeley  ... 
    Performer:  Michal Kaznowski,  Martin Outram,  Lorraine McAslan,  David Angel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Maggini String Quartet,  Maggini String Quartet members
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    On sale! $72.99
    CD: $43.99
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  • 2.
    Frank Merrick With Henry Holst
    Label: Nimbus Grand Piano   Catalog: NI8826 Release Date: 08/02/2019   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Arnold Bax,  Frederick Delius,  Edward Isaacs,  Edmund Rubbra  ... 
    Performer:  Henry Holst,  Frank Merrick
    CD: $29.99
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  • 3.
    The Pillar of the Cloud / Williams, Choir of Magdalen College Oxford
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 9045 Release Date: 06/21/2019   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Bacchus Dykes,  John Sheppard,  John Taverner,  Kenneth Leighton  ... 
    Performer:  William Fox
    Conductor:  Mark Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oxford Magdalen College Choir
    CD: $19.99
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  • 4.
    Rubbra: Sinfonia Concertante & Violin Concerto
    Label: Lyrita   Catalog: 1134 Release Date: 08/04/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edmund Rubbra,  Cyril Scott
    Performer:  Edmund Rubbra,  Endre Wolf
    Conductor:  Hugo Rignold,  Rudolf Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 5.
    Kathleen Ferrier Remembered
    Label: Somm   Catalog: 264 Release Date: 06/23/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms,  Hugo Wolf,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Kathleen Ferrier,  Frederick Stone,  Bruno Walter,  Gerald Moore
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  • 6.
    Enigmas / Wyllie, Backhouse, Overbury, Beattie, Price
    Label: Divine Art   Catalog: 25145 Release Date: 05/19/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Kenneth Leighton,  York Bowen,  Nicholas Sackman  ... 
    Performer:  Elspeth Wyllie,  Hetti Price,  Claire Overbury,  Catherine Backhouse  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 7.
    Forever Sing / Eley, Penna, Werner, Dumpson
    Label: Affetto Records   Catalog: 1703 Release Date: 05/05/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Edmund Rubbra,  Arthur Honegger,  Isadore Freed  ... 
    Performer:  Elem Eley,  J.J. Penna,  Noel Werner,  J. Donald Dumpson
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  • 8.
    Music for Two Violas / Mallinson, Wiesner
    Label: Meridian Records   Catalog: 84641 Release Date: 05/05/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gordon Jacob,  Fedor Druzhinin,  Edmund Rubbra,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Mallinson,  Matthias Wiesner,  Evgenia Startseva,  Oliver Lowe
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  • 9.
    British Symphonies
    Label: Lyrita   Catalog: 2355 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  William Sterndale Bennett,  Cyril Rootham,  Ernest John Moeran,  Arnold Bax  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicolas Braithwaite,  Vernon Handley,  Sir Adrian Boult,  Myer Fredman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 10.
    Rubbra: Choral Sacred Works / Christophers, The Sixteen
    Label: Coro   Catalog: 16144 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edmund Rubbra
    Conductor:  Harry Christophers
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
    CD: $18.99
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  • 11.
    Rubbra: The Complete Chamber Music & Songs with Harp / Chadwell, Perrett
    Label: Lyrita   Catalog: 353 Release Date: 05/13/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edmund Rubbra,  Lennox Berkeley,  Herbert Howells
    Performer:  Tracey Chadwell,  Danielle Perrett,  Timothy Gill
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  • 12.
    Poetry in Music: Britten, Howells, Ramsey, Rubbra, Tippett, Tomkins / Christophers, The Sixteen
    Label: Coro   Catalog: 16134 Release Date: 10/02/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  William Henry Harris,  Michael Tippett,  Thomas Weelkes,  James MacMillan  ... 
    Conductor:  Harry Christophers
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
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  • 13.
    Christmas Lullabies / Charlotte De Rothschild, Danielle Perrett
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7095 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edmund Rubbra,  Peter Warlock,  Roger Quilter,  Thomas Dunhill  ... 
    Performer:  Charlotte De Rothschild,  Danielle Perrett
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  • 14.
    British String Concertos
    Label: Lyrita   Catalog: 2346 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Samuel Coleridge-Taylor,  Gustav Holst,  Gerald Finzi,  William Busch  ... 
    Performer:  Lorraine McAslan,  Emanuel Hurwitz,  Kenneth Sillito,  Cecil Aronowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicholas Braithwaite,  Imogen Holst,  David Atherton,  Sir Adrian Boult  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 15.
    British Works For Cello & Piano Vol 3 / Paul Watkins
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10818 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edmund Rubbra,  Alan Rawsthorne,  Ernest John Moeran
    Performer:  Paul Watkins,  Huw Watkins
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  • 16.
    The Great Recordings / Malcolm Sargent [18-CD Set]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 634121 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Sir William Walton,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Gustav Holst  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Lewis,  John [baritone (50s)] Cameron,  James Milligan,  Duncan Robertson  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Huddersfield Choral Society,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $69.99
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  • 17.
    Recursions / Nicholas  Cords
    Label: In A Circle   Catalog: 6 Release Date: 03/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Heinrich Ignaz Biber,  Traditional,  Edmund Rubbra,  Alan Hovhaness  ... 
    Performer:  Nicholas Cords
    CD: $14.99
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  • 18.
    Kathleen Ferrier - The Complete Decca Recordings [14 CDs + DVD]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001654200 Release Date: 03/20/2012   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Schubert,  Franz Xaver Gruber  ... 
    Performer:  Zoe Vlachopoulos,  Ann Ayars,  Kathleen Ferrier,  Thornton Lofthouse  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Stiedry,  Reginald Jacques,  Boyd Neel,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Glyndebourne Festival Chorus,  Southern Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bach Choir  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 19.
    British Composers - Britten, Berkeley & Rubbra
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 29006 Release Date: 08/23/2011   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten,  Edmund Rubbra,  Lennox Berkeley
    Performer:  Joan Cross,  Tom Culbert,  Peter Pears,  Denis Dowling  ... 
    Conductor:  Reginald Goodall,  Benjamin Britten,  Herbert Menges,  Norman Del Mar  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  BBC Theater Chorus,  English Opera Group  ... 
    CD: $34.99
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  • 20.
    Shakespeare Inspired / Michelle Breedt, Nina Schumann
    Label: Twopianists (Label)   Catalog: 1039077 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Thomas Augustine Arne,  Mervyn Horder,  Roger Quilter  ... 
    Performer:  Michelle Breedt,  Nina Schumann
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  • 21.
    Rubbra: String Quartets No 1, 3, 4 / Maggini Quartet
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572555 Release Date: 02/22/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edmund Rubbra
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Maggini String Quartet
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  • 22.
    Songs Of Yesterday / Dan Laurin, Anna Paradiso
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1785 Release Date: 11/30/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  York Bowen,  Edmund Rubbra,  Cyril Scott,  Herbert Murrill  ... 
    Performer:  Dan Laurin,  Anna Paradiso
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  • 23.
    English Recorder Music
    Label: British Music Society   Catalog: 425 Release Date: 06/08/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edmund Rubbra,  Antony Hopkins,  Colin Hand,  Franz Reizenstein  ... 
    Performer:  Ross Winters,  Andrew Ball
    CD: $18.99
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  • 24.
    Rubbra: String Quartet No 2, Amoretti / Maggini Quartet
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572286 Release Date: 11/17/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edmund Rubbra
    Performer:  Charles Daniels,  Martin Roscoe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Maggini String Quartet
    On sale! $12.99
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  • 25.
    Ireland: Sea Fever, The Vagabond; Rubbra, Quilter / Terfel, Ferrier
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470195 Release Date: 10/14/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Roger Quilter,  Traditional,  Edmund Rubbra,  John Ireland
    Performer:  Ernest Lush,  Jennifer Vyvyan,  Kathleen Ferrier,  Phyllis Spurr  ... 
    Conductor:  Elgar Howarth,  David Hill
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Grimethorpe Colliery Band,  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
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