RIP Vernon Handley

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by brassbandmaestro, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    Heard today of the death of the conductor, champion of british music Vernon "Todd" Handley. He died at his home. Which I always think is the best way.

  2. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    What a tragic loss for British music. I had the good fortune to meet Vernon Handley when he conducted the Halle on a couple of occasions and he was a thoroughly decent man; moreover he was one of the few conductors that the notoriously picky band actually liked and respected. I still treasure some of his Vaughan Williams recordings as the finest recordings in any genre I've ever bought, in fact I completely wore out a tape of Sea Symphony and had to buy the re-issued CD version.

    RIP Dr Handley, you'll be sadly missed.
  3. Daniel Sheard

    Daniel Sheard Member

    Been conducted by him at Cambridge. RIP
  4. Gorgie boy

    Gorgie boy Member

    As far as I'm concerned THE total master of British 20th century music, particularly Vaughan Williams. Had the absolute pleasure of being conducted by Todd when a member of NYO in 1985 (I think) when we played Vaughan Williams 4. Total pleasure and I felt that I was in the presence of soemone who knew the composer better than anyone else.

    RIP Todd.
  5. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    I was playing at the Proms last night and the news was announced in the afternoon rehearsal. A gasp went up around the orchestra at the news, such was the genuine affection held for him.

    My own experience of him was conducting the CBSO last year on Vaughan Williams' 5th Symphony - such insight into the music and (most importantly) he was prepared to trust the orchestra to look after technical details without his intervention.
  6. Alan Fernie

    Alan Fernie Member

    He was a regular visitor to the NCOS at Goldsmiths College (National Centre for Orchestral Studies) wher I did my post-grad year. We all used to look forward to it - he seemed to let you "just play", but still had control over what he wanted from us, unlike some of the other nutcases we had to endure! I too seem to have a lot of his recordings of Vaughan Williams, Elgar, Walton etc. A great man.
  7. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Alan - when were you at NCOS? I did the course in 1982-83; I also have some great memories of rehearsing and performing under Tod during the NCOS course.

    Any other NCOS veterans on tMP, out of interest?
  8. Alan Fernie

    Alan Fernie Member

    1980-81. Played the Jacob concerto to 3 people and a dog at a lunchtime concert in Greenwich Borough hall, and realised, over the year, that orchestral playing wasn't for me!!! Enjoyed it though. As well as Vernon Handley, we got Gennadi Rozhdentsvensky (!), Colin Davis (!!), and a lot of George Hurst, who made us play Wagner at pp, so he could "hear the harp" - this after Denis Wick telling us at a section practice that we'd all have to blow twice as loud to match up with the LSO! Martyn Brabbins was around too, but as our unofficial 4th trombonist! Whilst there, I arranged a composing lesson with Edward Gregson, who was along the road at Goldsmith's at that time, and I remember him sending a dep to do it!! Must've known......
  9. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Yes, all familiar memories for me as well. I also had to submit a composition portfolio and had a couple of sessions with Edward Gregson. We were lucky enough to work with, among others, Simon Rattle and Robert Farnon, as well as the regulars. As well as George Hurst we used to have Adrian Leaper doing a lot of the prep work. And Martyn Brabbins was still 4th trombone ... Particularly remember George Hurst's habit of letting us know whem he was annoyed by lifting the conductor's stand about 6 inches off the floor and letting it drop back with a crash. Happy days ...

    ... Anyway, mustn't hijack this thread and turn it into an NCOS nostalgia trip, or the Mods will descend.

    On topic.
  10. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I was introduced to much British orchestral repertoire via Vernon Handley's Classics for Pleasure releases, particularly the Delius collections - "Eventyr" especially made quite an impression.
  11. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    Yes, although I have heard those recordings, unfortunately I dont have those in my collection but I do have his VW box from cfp, an excellant anthology of his symphonies, miscellaneius orchestral works and concerti.

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