Friday, 1 November 2013

Tony Hymas' 1978 composition: Wessex Tales and Elements, KPM 1216

"Wessex Tales and Elements -- Two distinctive suites scored for 11 violins, 4 violas, 3 celli and 2 bassi and recorded in a natural acoustic."
Side A called "Wessex Tales" is "Rural life and scenes, past and present."
Side B called "Elements" is "A study of forces of nature."

I guess this is the kind of library record that will drive some to distraction, while others with a European classical predisposition or upbringing like myself will be entranced by the capabilities of the composer, the well-reputed Tony Hymas.  I am happy and not at all surprised he is still very much active in composition.  I love the way these guys were so well educated they were capable of composing music which equaled the great masters of European twentieth century music: Ravel, Bartok, Prokofiev, Stravinsky.

The title track "Wessex Tales" sounds like a string piece from a Mahler symphony but is far more intricately nondiatonic:

While on Side B, "Cloud Sculptures" and its polytonality remind me of some parts of "The Rite of Spring" (unfortunately not the good ones).  Between the two suites, the weaker is the second one, in opposition to the "Beethoven principle" that depression or tragedy are a source of creative stimulation, Tony instead seems to be an optimist since the happy side had more of a brilliantly creative spark.  It's also quite possible he got tired after writing the first 15 minutes or so of music.  This is what I believe happened with Puccini's La Boheme, which markedly deteriorates after the first act.

I know there are also a lot of library music fans out there, and I beg them to spread the word about our new blog.  I will be posting interesting library albums here and there (from my collection) which I hope are not already available online, though a mistake in that regard is eventually inevitable.


  1. tony hymas kpm1216

  2. wav [limited time only!]

  3. Hello Julian,
    I'm one of those fans of library music, and I'm def spreading the word about this new blog.
    Thank you for thisHymas gem.


  4. Thanks for this! Always a joy to check out stuff by the versatile Tony Hymas. Lovely blog :)

  5. Thanks all
    Your blog has shared some really great gems, pornotrond, thanks for all those

  6. hi
    is it possible to re upload the link you send me in wav pls