Hyperion Records

Simpson, Robert (1921-1997)  

Robert Simpson

born: 2 March 1921
died: 21 November 1997
country: United Kingdom

Robert Simpson was born in Leamington, England, in 1921. From 1942 to 1946 he studied with Herbert Howells and in 1951 joined the BBC. In the same year he was awarded a DMus from Durham University for his First Symphony. He remained with the BBC until his resignation in 1980 over the Corporation's cultural policy. During his years with the BBC he championed the music of many composers, but in particular he was a strong advocate of Bruckner and Nielsen, both of whom have had an important influence on Simpson's own work. He has also written major studies about them: 'The Essence of Bruckner' (1966), and 'Carl Nielsen, Symphonist' (1979). His other writings include the BBC Music Guide 'Beethoven Symphonies' (1970). In 1986 he moved to Ireland and continued to compose, even after a serious stroke in 1992. He died on November 21 1997, at the age of 76.

Eleven symphonies and fifteen string quartets form the impressive backbone of Dr Simpson's compositions. From the 1950s date his first two symphonies (1951, 1956) and the first three quartets (1951/2, 1953, 1953/4). In the sixties came the Third Symphony (1962) and in the seventies the Fourth to Seventh Symphonies (1971/2, 1976, 1977) and the Fourth to Eighth Quartets (1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, and 1979). To the eighties belong the Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Symphonies (1981, 1986, 1988) and the Ninth to Thirteenth Quartets (1982, 1984, 1984, 1987, 1989). In the nineties came the Eleventh Symphony (1990) and the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Quartets (1990, 1991). At the root of much of his music is the dramatic tension wrought from the opposition of conflicting tonalities, and the music's dynamic proceeds through tight thematic and tonal structures. Among his other compositions are concertos for piano (1967), flute (1989) and cello (1991), two string quintets (1987, 1995) and several works for brass band, including Energy (1971), The Four Temperaments (1983) and Vortex (1989).

Hyperion has recorded the first ten of Simpson's symphonies and, under the auspices of The Robert Simpson Society, all of the string quartets, both string quintets, the complete piano music and numerous other chamber works.

Albums
'Simpson & Bach: The Art of Fugue' (CDA67138)
Simpson & Bach: The Art of Fugue
'Simpson: Canzona, Media morte in vita sumu, Tempi & Eppur si muove' (CDA67016)
Simpson: Canzona, Media morte in vita sumu, Tempi & Eppur si muove
'Simpson: Horn Quartet & Horn Trio' (CDA66695)
Simpson: Horn Quartet & Horn Trio
'Simpson: Music for Brass' (CDA66449)
Simpson: Music for Brass
'Simpson: Sonata for violin and piano & Trio for violin, cello and piano' (CDA66737)
Simpson: Sonata for violin and piano & Trio for violin, cello and piano
MP3 £6.00FLAC £6.00ALAC £6.00Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66737  Archive Service   Download currently discounted
'Simpson: String Quartet No 12 & String Quintet' (CDA66503)
Simpson: String Quartet No 12 & String Quintet
'Simpson: String Quartet No 13 & String Quintet No 2' (CDA66905)
Simpson: String Quartet No 13 & String Quintet No 2
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'Simpson: String Quartet No 9' (CDA66127)
Simpson: String Quartet No 9
'Simpson: String Quartets Nos 1 & 4' (CDA66419)
Simpson: String Quartets Nos 1 & 4
'Simpson: String Quartets Nos 10 & 11' (CDA66225)
Simpson: String Quartets Nos 10 & 11
'Simpson: String Quartets Nos 14 & 15' (CDA66626)
Simpson: String Quartets Nos 14 & 15
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £10.50 CDA66626  Last few CD copies remaining  
'Simpson: String Quartets Nos 2 & 5' (CDA66386)
Simpson: String Quartets Nos 2 & 5
'Simpson: String Quartets Nos 3 & 6 and String Trio' (CDA66376)
Simpson: String Quartets Nos 3 & 6 and String Trio
'Simpson: String Quartets Nos 7 & 8' (CDA66117)
Simpson: String Quartets Nos 7 & 8
MP3 £5.25FLAC £5.25ALAC £5.25Buy by post £5.25 CDA66117  Please, someone, buy me …  
'Simpson: Symphonies Nos 1 & 8' (CDA66890)
Simpson: Symphonies Nos 1 & 8
'Simpson: Symphonies Nos 2 & 4' (CDA66505)
Simpson: Symphonies Nos 2 & 4
'Simpson: Symphonies Nos 3 & 5' (CDA66728)
Simpson: Symphonies Nos 3 & 5
'Simpson: Symphonies Nos 6 & 7' (CDA66280)
Simpson: Symphonies Nos 6 & 7
MP3 £5.25FLAC £5.25ALAC £5.25Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66280  Archive Service; also available on CDS44191/7   Download currently discounted
'Simpson: Symphony No 10' (CDA66510)
Simpson: Symphony No 10
MP3 £5.99FLAC £5.99ALAC £5.99Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66510  Archive Service; also available on CDS44191/7  
'Simpson: Symphony No 9' (CDA66299)
Simpson: Symphony No 9
MP3 £5.25FLAC £5.25ALAC £5.25Buy by post £5.25 CDA66299  Please, someone, buy me …  
'Simpson: Symphony No. 11 & Nielsen Variations' (CDA67500)
Simpson: Symphony No. 11 & Nielsen Variations
'Simpson: The Complete Solo Piano Music' (CDA66827)
Simpson: The Complete Solo Piano Music
'Simpson: The Complete Symphonies' (CDS44191/7)
Simpson: The Complete Symphonies
MP3 £30.00FLAC £30.00ALAC £30.00Buy by post £33.00 CDS44191/7  7CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
'Bach & Simpson: The Art of Fugue' (CDA67138)
Bach & Simpson: The Art of Fugue
Complete works available for download
Canzona for brass Corydon Brass Ensemble, Matthew Best (conductor)
Energy The Desford Colliery Caterpillar Band, James Watson (conductor)
Eppur si muove for organ Iain Quinn (organ)
Introduction and allegro on a bass by Max Reger The Desford Colliery Caterpillar Band, James Watson (conductor)
Media morte in vita sumus Corydon Singers, Corydon Brass Ensemble, Matthew Best (conductor)
Michael Tippett, His Mystery Raymond Clarke (piano)
Piano Sonata Raymond Clarke (piano)
Quartet for horn, violin, cello and piano Richard Watkins (horn), Pauline Lowbury (violin), Caroline Dearnley (cello), Christopher Green-Armytage (piano)
Quintet for clarinet and strings Delmé Quartet, Dame Thea King (clarinet)
Quintet for clarinet, bass clarinet and string trio RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet, Joy Farrall (clarinet), Fiona Cross (bass clarinet)
Sonata for violin and piano Pauline Lowbury (violin), Christopher Green-Armytage (piano)
String Quartet No 1 Delmé Quartet
String Quartet No 10 'For peace' Coull Quartet
String Quartet No 11 Coull Quartet
String Quartet No 12 Coull Quartet
String Quartet No 13 Delmé Quartet
String Quartet No 14 RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet
String Quartet No 15 RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet
String Quartet No 2 Delmé Quartet
String Quartet No 3 Delmé Quartet
String Quartet No 4 Delmé Quartet
String Quartet No 5 Delmé Quartet
String Quartet No 6 Delmé Quartet
String Quartet No 7 Delmé Quartet
String Quartet No 8 Delmé Quartet
String Quartet No 9 Delmé Quartet
String Quintet Coull Quartet, Roger Bigley (viola)
String Quintet No 2 Delmé Quartet, Christopher Van Kampen (cello)
String Trio Delmé Quartet
Symphony No 1 Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley (conductor)
Symphony No 10 Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley (conductor)
Symphony No 10 Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley (conductor)
Symphony No 11 City of London Sinfonia, Matthew Taylor (conductor)
Symphony No 11 City of London Sinfonia, Matthew Taylor (conductor)
Symphony No 2 Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Vernon Handley (conductor)
Symphony No 2 Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Vernon Handley (conductor)
Symphony No 3 Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley (conductor)
Symphony No 4 Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Symphony No 4 Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Symphony No 5 Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley (conductor)
Symphony No 6 Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley (conductor)
Symphony No 6 Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley (conductor)
Symphony No 7 Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley (conductor)
Symphony No 7 Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley (conductor)
Symphony No 8 Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley (conductor)
Symphony No 8 Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley (conductor)
Symphony No 9 Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Vernon Handley (conductor)
Symphony No 9 Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Vernon Handley (conductor)
Symphony No 9, illustrated talk by the composer Robert Simpson (narrator), Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Vernon Handley (conductor)
Symphony No 9, illustrated talk by the composer Robert Simpson (narrator), Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Vernon Handley (conductor)
Tempi Corydon Singers, Matthew Best (conductor)
The Four Temperaments The Desford Colliery Caterpillar Band, James Watson (conductor)
Trio for horn, violin and piano Richard Watkins (horn), Pauline Lowbury (violin), Christopher Green-Armytage (piano)
Trio for violin, cello and piano The Lowbury Piano Trio
Variations on a theme by Nielsen City of London Sinfonia, Matthew Taylor (conductor)
Variations on a theme by Nielsen City of London Sinfonia, Matthew Taylor (conductor)
Volcano The Desford Colliery Caterpillar Band, James Watson (conductor)
Vortex The Desford Colliery Caterpillar Band, James Watson (conductor)
Alphabetical listing of all musical works
Adagio mesto, Espressivo, Crescendo, Calmato, Adagio tranquillo …  First line to Tempi (Simpson)
Canzona for brass (Simpson)
Energy (Simpson)
Eppur si muove for organ (Simpson)
In semine durat genus / The race continues in the seed  First line to Media morte in vita sumus (Simpson)
Introduction and allegro on a bass by Max Reger (Simpson)
Media morte in vita sumus (Simpson)
Michael Tippett, His Mystery (Simpson)
Piano Sonata (Simpson)
Quartet for horn, violin, cello and piano (Simpson)
Quintet for clarinet and strings (Simpson)
Quintet for clarinet, bass clarinet and string trio (Simpson)
Sonata for violin and piano (Simpson)
String Quartet No 1 (Simpson)
String Quartet No 10 'For peace' (Simpson)
String Quartet No 11 (Simpson)
String Quartet No 12 (Simpson)
String Quartet No 13 (Simpson)
String Quartet No 14 (Simpson)
String Quartet No 15 (Simpson)
String Quartet No 2 (Simpson)
String Quartet No 3 (Simpson)
String Quartet No 4 (Simpson)
String Quartet No 5 (Simpson)
String Quartet No 6 (Simpson)
String Quartet No 7 (Simpson)
String Quartet No 8 (Simpson)
String Quartet No 9 (Simpson)
String Quintet (Simpson)
String Quintet No 2 (Simpson)
String Trio (Simpson)
Symphony No 1 (Simpson)
Symphony No 10 (Simpson)
Symphony No 11 (Simpson)
Symphony No 2 (Simpson)
Symphony No 3 (Simpson)
Symphony No 4 (Simpson)
Symphony No 5 (Simpson)
Symphony No 6 (Simpson)
Symphony No 7 (Simpson)
Symphony No 8 (Simpson)
Symphony No 9 (Simpson)
Symphony No 9, illustrated talk by the composer (Simpson)
Tempi (Simpson)
The Art of Fugue, BWV1080 (Bach/Simpson)
The Art of Fugue, BWV1080 (Bach/Tovey/Simpson)
The Four Temperaments (Simpson)
Trio for horn, violin and piano (Simpson)
Trio for violin, cello and piano (Simpson)
Variations and Finale on a theme by Beethoven (Simpson)
Variations and Finale on a theme of Haydn (Simpson)
Variations on a theme by Nielsen (Simpson)
Volcano (Simpson)
Vortex (Simpson)
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