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Richard Rodney Bennett

Biography

Born: March 29, 1936; Broadstairs, Kent, England   Died: December 24, 2012; New York, NY  
A remarkably prolific composer and versatile pianist, Richard Rodney Bennett divided his attention among three primary musical interests: film music in an often Romantic style, concert music owing much to serialism, and jazz and cabaret music. Bennett began following all of these avenues by the 1950s, but he never allowed the paths to intersect. Each pursuit maintained its own integrity and in no way could he be considered a crossover artist. He Read more was writing music even as he was learning to read, and produced three string quartets by the time he was 18. Bennett enrolled in the Royal Academy of Music in 1953, studying composition with Howard Ferguson and Lennox Berkeley. He graduated in 1956, then spent 1957 - 1959 as a scholarship student in Paris with Pierre Boulez. Here, Bennett was thoroughly indoctrinated in Boulez's technique of total serialism and the German avant-garde, but his only surviving work from this period is Cycle II for Paul Jacobs. Bennett almost immediately took a highly personal approach to serialism, focusing on the melodic possibilities of a tone row and readily exploring its harmonic potential. A turning point came in 1981 with his ballet Noctuary, which fused the tonality of the Scott Joplin piece on which it was based with Bennett's usual atonal serialism. After this, Bennett's techniques became much freer; while still atonal, his highly expressive music shook off the strictest controls of serialism and often indulged in quotation of earlier composers. Bennett's catalog includes four string quartets, three symphonies, concertos for almost all the principal instruments (including harpsichord), and a great deal of chamber music. He frequently wrote for woodwinds throughout his career, but began to focus more intently on them in the late '80s upon befriending many wind players in his capacity as a piano accompanist. Since 1956, Bennett had also been writing film scores in a much more conservative style. He became a favorite composer of Joseph Losey, among other directors, and among his some 50 cinematic efforts are scores for such popular movies as Far from the Madding Crowd, Nicholas and Alexandra, Murder on the Orient Express, and Four Weddings and a Funeral. It was also in the 1950s that Bennett became interested in jazz, particularly as a pianist. He kept this fascination largely to himself until the 1990s, when he began touring the world with a solo cabaret act, singing and playing jazz pieces and torch songs. Read less
Bennett: Orchestral Works / Wilson, BBC Scottish Symphony
Release Date: 11/03/2017   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5202   Number of Discs: 1
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Richard Stoltzman: The Complete RCA Album Collection
Release Date: 05/05/2017   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 88985389642   Number of Discs: 40
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Browse 1-25 of 84 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Bennett: Orchestral Works / Wilson, BBC Scottish Symphony
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 5202 Release Date: 11/03/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Rodney Bennett
    Performer:  Colin Currie
    Conductor:  John Wilson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Gold / The King's Singers
    Label: Signum Classics   Catalog: 500 Release Date: 11/03/2017   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Robert Chilcott,  John Lennon,  Frances,  Kidjo Angelique  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers
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  • 3.
    Reynish International Repertoire Recordings, Vol. 8: Morning Music - Night Music
    Label: Mark Records   Catalog: 52578 Release Date: 08/18/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Rodney Bennett,  Irwin Bazelon
    Performer:  Martin Winter
    Conductor:  Timothy Reynish
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra
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  • 4.
    Richard Stoltzman: The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88985389642 Release Date: 05/05/2017   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  Olivier Messiaen,  Johannes Brahms,  Igor Stravinsky,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Stoltzman,  Jeremy Wall,  Bill Douglas,  Eddie Gomez  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Stoltzman,  Lawrence Leighton Smith,  Robert Salter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Woody Herman & His Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Tashi  ... 
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  • 5.
    Nowell Sing We! / Quinney, Choir of New College Oxford
    Label: Novum   Catalog: 1390 Release Date: 11/11/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Andreas Hammerschmidt,  Francisco Guerrero,  Henry John Gauntlett  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Quinney
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oxford New College Choir
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  • 6.
    Love Story: Piano Themes from Cinema's Golden Age / Lisitsa
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002500302 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Addinsell,  Hubert Bath,  Jack Beaver,  Richard Rodney Bennett  ... 
    Performer:  Valentina Lisitsa
    Conductor:  Gavin Sutherland,  Christopher Warren-Green
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Concert Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Oceana / The Esoterics, Banks
    Label: Terpsichore (Classical)   Catalog: 1715 Release Date: 02/26/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Rodney Bennett,  Osvaldo Golijov,  Gosta Nystroem,  Eric Banks
    Conductor:  Eric Banks
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Esoterics
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  • 8.
    Stephen Kovacevich: The Complete Philips Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002369302 Release Date: 09/11/2015   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Béla Bartók,  Igor Stravinsky,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich,  Jack Brymer,  Patrick Ireland,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis,  Sir Alexander Gibson,  John Lanchbery
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Octet members  ... 
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  • 9.
    Nocturnal / Stefano Grondona
    Label: Stradivarius   Catalog: 33954 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten,  Sir William Walton,  Richard Rodney Bennett,  Toru Takemitsu
    Performer:  Stefano Grondona
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  • 10.
    Times Go By Turns / New York Polyphony
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 2037 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  William Byrd,  John Plummer,  Thomas Tallis,  Richard Rodney Bennett  ... 
    Performer:  Geoffrey Dunstan Williams,  Steven Caldicott Wilson,  Christopher Dylan Herbert,  Craig Phillips
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Polyphony
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  • 11.
    Apparitions / Richardson, University Of Western Ontario Wind Ensemble
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 1336 Release Date: 06/11/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jim Territo,  Jason Noble,  Richard Rodney Bennett,  Yo Goto  ... 
    Performer:  Shawn Spicer
    Conductor:  Colleen Richardson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  University Of Western Ontario Wind Ensemble
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  • 12.
    Richard Rodney Bennett: Letters To Lindbergh / Bell, Moore, West
    Label: Signum Classics   Catalog: 325 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Rodney Bennett
    Performer:  Philip Moore,  Andrew West
    Conductor:  Christopher Bell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Youth Choir of Scotland Girls Choir
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  • 13.
    Sea Change: The Choral Music of Richard Rodney Bennett
    Label: Collegium Records   Catalog: 521 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Rodney Bennett
    Performer:  Charles Fullbrook,  Sue Dorey
    Conductor:  John Rutter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Singers Choir
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  • 14.
    Insomnia - A Nocturnal Voyage In Song / William Berger, Iain Burnside
    Label: Delphian   Catalog: 34116 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  William Berger,  Iain Burnside
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  • 15.
    My Dancing Day - Choral Music by Richard Rodney Bennett / Brough, BBC Singers
    Label: Signum Classics   Catalog: 293 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Rodney Bennett,  George Gershwin,  Edward "Duke" Ellington,  Cole Porter
    Performer:  Edward Goater,  Olivia Robinson
    Conductor:  Paul Brough
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Singers
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  • 16.
    100 Best British Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27315 Release Date: 05/22/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Thomas Tallis,  John Goss,  Charles Villiers Stanford  ... 
    Performer:  Jacqueline Du Pré,  Hugh Bean,  Gerald Moore,  Dame Janet Baker  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury,  Sir Philip Ledger,  Sir David Willcocks,  Sir Adrian Boult  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music,  Cambridge King's College Choir,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
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  • 17.
    The Thurston Connection - English Music For Clarinet And Piano / Cox, Buckle
    Label: British Music Society   Catalog: 440 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arnold Bax,  Roger Fiske,  Iain Hamilton,  Hugh Wood  ... 
    Performer:  Ian Buckle,  Nicholas Cox
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  • 18.
    This Is The Day / Rutter, Cambridge Singers
    Label: Collegium Records   Catalog: 136 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Rutter,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Sir William Walton,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Andrew Lucas,  Elin Manahan Thomas
    Conductor:  John Rutter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Singers,  Aurora Orchestra
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  • 19.
    English Anthem Collection From Oxford / Harper, Magdalen College Choir
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 4001 Release Date: 01/17/2012   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  William Byrd,  Thomas Morley,  John Farmer,  Richard Farrant  ... 
    Conductor:  John Harper
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Magdalen College Choir Oxford
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  • 20.
    Wolcum Yule / Andrew Lawrence-king, Anonymous 4
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 2927325 Release Date: 11/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Traditional,  Richard Rodney Bennett,  Peter Maxwell Davies  ... 
    Performer:  Jacqueline Horner,  Johanna Rose,  Susan Hellauer,  Marsha Genensky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anonymous 4
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  • 21.
    My True Love Hath My Heart / Connolly, Martineau
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10691 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten,  Herbert Howells,  John Ireland,  Ivor Gurney  ... 
    Performer:  Sarah Connolly,  Malcolm Martineau
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  • 22.
    On Christmas Night / Nethsingha, Choir of St. John's
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 5096 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Rutter,  Traditional,  James Burton,  William Mathias  ... 
    Performer:  John Challenger,  Julius Foo,  Julian Gregory,  Freddie James  ... 
    Conductor:  Andrew Nethsingha
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St. John's College Choir
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  • 23.
    Parry: Songs Of Farewell / Nigel Short, Tenebrae
    Label: Signum Classics   Catalog: 267 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Holst,  Richard Rodney Bennett,  Herbert Howells,  John Tavener  ... 
    Conductor:  Nigel Short
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tenebrae
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  • 24.
    Icon - The Melos Ensemble: Music among Friends
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 18414 Release Date: 03/22/2011   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Gervase de Peyer,  Lamar Crowson,  Cecil Aronowitz,  Manoug Parikian  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melos Ensemble London Members,  Melos Ensemble London
    CD: $75.99
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  • 25.
    Out Of The Cool / Susan Milan, Andrew Ball
    Label: Metier   Catalog: 28510 Release Date: 07/13/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  David Heath,  Arthur Butterworth,  Cecilia McDowall,  Robert Saxton  ... 
    Performer:  Susan Milan,  Andrew Ball
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