The Toronto Symphony With Sir Ernest MacMillan Play Music Of Murray Adaskin – 1954 – Past Daily Weekend Gramophone

Murray Adaskin - always surprises from our neighbors to the north.

Murray Adaskin – always surprises from our neighbors to the north.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – Murray Adaskin – Serenade Concertante – Toronto Symphony, Sir Ernest MacMillan, conductor – 1954 – CBC Transcription Service.

Heading across the border to Canada this week for a sampling of music from mid-20th century Canadian Composers, by way of The Canadian Composers League and one of a series of broadcasts by the CBC to honor their annual get-together in 1954.

Murray Adaskin (1906-2002) was a composer/violinist who was with the Toronto Symphony from 1923-1936 before forming The Royal York Hotel Trio which was together from 1938-1952. From 1952 to 1966 he was head of the Music Department at the University of Saskatchewan. A pupil of Darius Milhaud and an avid supporter and campaigner for the cause of Canadian Music awareness, Adaskin was also one of the founding members of the Canadian Composers League. In addition, Adaskin came from a large musical family.

The Serenade Concertante comes from 1954 and this broadcast session by the Toronto Symphony conducted by Sir Ernest MacMillan is most likely the first performance of the piece.

Very much in the vein of the Rochester school of lush and pastoral soundscapes, Adaskin is one of those composers who could certainly benefit from a bit more exposure, as he appears to have a rather large catalog of works, many of which haven’t been heard in a very long time. If his other compositions are on the par with this one, I would say it’s time for a rediscovery.

Have a listen to this 1954 composition and see what you think.

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4 Responses

  1. Jean Thorel says:

    Thanks to your post, I am discovering an interesting composer: I like the refined orchestration (a sort of big chamber orchestra) as well as the neo-classical Stravinskian touch in it. I am surprised either that he worked with Milhaud, the French touch is definitely there too.
    Merry Xmas, JOYEUX NOEL Gordon !!!
    Jean

    • gordonskene says:

      This is as much a new discovery for me as it is for you. It’s amazing just how much forgotten music is out there. I will keep unearthing things as long as people are interested in hearing them. Thanks for all your support! And Happy holidays to you too!

      • fremaux123 says:

        THX Gordon. I totally agree with you, so much forgotten music, a real pity……I even think that part of the trouble of big CD companies comes from their lack of curiosity.

      • gordonskene says:

        It’s a lack curiosity as well as no real interest in cultivating an audience to discover new things. The major labels are no longer run by people who love music – instead, they are run by accountants and people who only look at “the bottom line” and the instant turnaround. Which is why the music industry as we know it, will be a thing of the past soon.