Talk:Peter Maxwell Davies

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Untitled[edit]

He was knighted some years ago, becoming Sir Peter. --(The preceding unsigned comment was made by 203.37.77.1 at 23:03, 7 December 2003)

The sentence about him being gay keeps being deleted by anonymous. I took it that he was open about his sexuality and that it was worthy of comment. If you think otherwise please explain why here so we can reach a decision on the matter. -- Billlion 08:44, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

Re: reference to Sexuality and unverified quote[edit]

I fail to see the relevance of the 'gay ' comment since PMD has not used his sexuality in any way to define his work as, say the writer Edmund white has done. Are all composers to be defined by their sexuality, or only gay composers? What about bisexual ones? . The remark about AIDS seems strange and could be viewed as malicious . It is also unverified.

I strongly recommend that this sentence be deleted, or at least set in the context of PWM's work. Andrew Lowe Watson 01:35, 11 December 2006 (UTC)


I've removed the sentence and done a bit of re-jigging to get the professor of composition in elsewhere. Until the quote is verified, it should not appear, I think.  DDS  talk 14:35, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Explanation of name[edit]

Why does the artice explain his middle and last names? "His surname is "Davies", and "Maxwell" is his middle name." It just seems rather unnecessary and condescending. I've removed it for the mean time, if noone has any objections. 82.9.63.237 14:26, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

I reverted as it was pretty clear as it stands. The point is the he uses his middle name as his usual form of informal address (or rather its contraction Max), consequently he gives his full name as Peter Maxwell Davies, rather than say "Peter Davies" or "Peter M. Davies" consequently many people mistakenly think that his surname is "Maxwell Davies", in the tradition of double English surnames that are not hyphenated (like Ralph Vaughan Williams or Iain Duncan Smith) . Billlion 17:30, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
This information is useful, but shouldn't be part of the lede. WP:LEDE is a good guideline for this. Also, once the article begins referring to Davies as "Davies" and not "Maxwell Davies", I think it's pretty clear that Maxwell is not included in his last name. The part about what his friends call him doesn't really seem relevant for an encyclopedia article. It would be great if we could write a lede that would summarize the entire article. Many readers only read that far and it would be great to give them the most important information regarding his life and music, rather than just talk about his name. Best wishes! MarkBuckles (talk) 04:19, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Maybe its wrong to say Max is just what his friends call him, he is pretty much universally known by as Max, even the website about him is called maxopus. We need to have some way to say 'commonly known as Max'. It certainly should be mentioned. Its not that his friends call him `Max` in private as a pet name! Suggestions? Billlion 07:29, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes, 'Max' is something more akin to 'Josquin' with respect to Josquin Desprez. It's not just what his friends call him. 90.205.92.125 21:12, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
This has just surfaced again, in a well-meaning but ill-informed edit, and so I have reluctantly restored a portion of the rejected material.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 18:46, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
There are various reputable sites that consistently refer to him as “Maxwell Davies” - in the same way they would refer to Edward Elgar as “Elgar” or Felix Mendelssohn as “Mendelssohn” - and never get down to just "Davies". See [1], [2], [3], [4]. Calling him "Davies" most of the time would resolve this, but they either prefer not to do that, or they really think his surname is "Maxwell Davies". (Or maybe he's the César Franck of British music. That poor soul is still, after all these years, regularly referred to by his full name, as if he were either a living composer or some obscure dead guy nobody’s ever heard of, neither of which is remotely true. It’s not as if there’s any other well known composer with the surname Franck. If Davies is in this category of still requiring his given and surname to be mentioned every time because he's still alive, that might explain it - but we don't seem to have a problem with calling him just "Davies".)
The composer could have avoided this problem by simply referring to himself as Sir Maxwell Davies, dropping the Peter entirely. He never uses it anyway. But I guess we can’t actually force him to do that.
Now, more to the point, we aren’t helping matters by having a prominent picture in the lead that’s headed MAXWELL DAVIES, and a caption that says "Cover of Maxwell Davies' recording of his Fifth Symphony", where we call him Davies throughout the remainder of the text. At best, that’s ambiguous. At worst, it’s telling readers his surname is double-barrelled, which is the wrong message. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 22:21, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
Excellent point about the problem with the photo caption, which is easily remedied. As to "reputable sites", I don't particularly regard any websites as "reputable", at least not by comparison to published encyclopedias and other reference books, and the fact that an error is repeated many times does not make it true. The claim here, however, was that his own website prefers the double-barrelled name, which is simply not the case. It repeatedly refers to him as either "Max" or as "Davies". (Parenthetically, I do not believe that he is entitled by law to call himself "Sir Maxwell", only "Sir Peter".) Perhaps it would help the reader in this matter to mention that his parents' names were Thomas and Hilda Davies—nary a "Maxwell" in sight!—Jerome Kohl (talk) 23:10, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
(Parenthetically, I'm not sure that there's any law preventing him from attaching his title to something other than his first given name. Herbert Hamilton Harty was generally known as "Sir Hamilton Harty". Denis James Killen was always "Jim Killen" before knighthood and "Sir James" upon knighthood. Many other examples. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 00:54, 10 April 2010 (UTC))

Inappropriate move[edit]

SSomeone moved this article to Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. Please not that Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_(names_and_titles)#Other_non-royal_names states that "Titles of Knighthood such as Sir and Dame should not be included in the article title: use personal name instead". Can anyone figure out how to revert this? Billlion 17:04, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

I requested it on [5] hope that is the right way.Billlion 19:35, 13 April 2007 (UTC)


Comment moved from the article regarding founding of St Magnus Festival in 1977[edit]

This statement is wrong. Maxwell Davies did not found the festival, it was founded by the Head of the Music Department at Kirkwall Grammar Scool, Norman Mitchell. I know this because I worked there in the Music Department and one day in 1971 Norman told me that Peter Maxwell Davies was coming to live in Orkney. Some little time later he told me that he (Norman Mitchell) was thinking of founding a festival based around the fact that Davies was living in Orkney. In fact, study of the archives relating to the Orkney Arts Society will show that Davies was dubious about the possibility of success of such a festival at first. Sometimes statements to the effect that the festival was jointly founded by Davies and George Mackay Brown are made: this is even more wrong - Mackay Brown had no influence on the initial founding of the festival. --comment by Minnieandcarrie (talkcontribs) , moved from the article text by Antandrus (talk) 19:16, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

The most recent article in the New Grove has him as the founder, and director from 1977 to 1986. Do you have a published source indicating otherwise? While I don't doubt your account, we have a strict policy of going on reliable sources, for obvious reasons (since anyone can edit, and things have to be verifiable). Thanks, Antandrus (talk) 19:21, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Composers project review[edit]

I've reviewed this article as part of the Composers project review of its B-class articles. (I should note that this article was previously unassessed by the Composers project -- I identified it as worthy of detailed review from a scan of the unassessed articles.) I think the article is borderline Start/B, primarily due to some content deficiencies; see my detailed review on the comments page. Comments or questions should be left here or on my talk page. Magic♪piano 14:24, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Star Spangled Banner[edit]

[Eight Songs for a Mad King] was written at the same time as Jimi Hendrix's version of the "Star Spangled Banner" and utilised 'musical parody', in much the same way Hendrix had. In Eight Songs for a Mad King, Davis took a canonical piece of music, Handel's Messiah, and subverted it to suit his own needs, just as Hendrix had subverted the US National Anthem.


Why is this section on the Star Spangled Banner in here? Although it does draw some diverting comparisons, to me it smacks of music criticism and is not really worthy of an encyclopedia article. Might it be more suitable to cite some of the media's (outraged) reactions to Eight Songs in order to illustrate Max's status as an enfant terrible?--Cartopol (talk) 16:42, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

It looks like original research to me. Since there is no source cited for this comparison, it must certainly be regarded as improper synthesis. Further, it assumes that "everyone knows" Hendrix's version of the Star Spangled Banner caused outrage, rather than documenting that reaction, which is perilously close to being a second example of Original Research. I agree wholeheartedly that it would be better simply to cite contemporary media reactions.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 21:27, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
OR is EXACTLY what it was! What utter rot. 98.67.185.178 (talk) 03:20, 18 March 2016 (UTC)
I have removed this comparison as irrelevant. --Deskford (talk) 16:13, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Studies with Messiaen[edit]

Did he study with Olivier Messiaen, as it says at List of students of Olivier Messiaen? Badagnani (talk) 21:35, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

New Grove doesn't mention it, though I suppose it might have been possible that he had one or two lessons with Messiaen (certainly not a regular course of study). He spent a year (1957–58) in Italy on a scholarship studying with Petrassi, and did slope off from time to time to visit other parts of the continent (Darmstadt in July 1957, for example). Still, I'd say your skepticism is well-placed.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 06:11, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Wikipedia:WikiProject_Composers#Biographical_infoboxes[edit]

I find that interesting, since every other project (that I'm aware of) supports and encourages the use of infoboxes. If this is to be featured on the main page, I believe it should have a satisfactory infobox. Gerda Arendt, care to chime in? – Muboshgu (talk) 18:48, 14 March 2016 (UTC)

Well, in my opinion, the only satisfactory infobox (for composer biography pages) is no infobox. It has been pointed out elsewhere recently that by no means all recent Featured Articles have had infoboxes, so to suggest this as a criterion is merely to repeat that you like infoboxes on composer articles. It does not add any weight to your argument.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 18:51, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
Well opinions are like backsides - we all have them and they all stink. Don't you have any actuals reasons for your dislike, beyond following the herd? It's incredibly rude to an uninvolved editor to dismiss his genuine reason for wanting an infobox so disingenuously. The fact is that over three-quarters of Featured Articles have infoboxes - and for good reasons:
  • Fact: Infoboxes provide an at-a-glance summary of the key points of the article.
  • Fact: They contain basic information that readers are looking for that is regularly omitted from the lead.
  • Fact: They emit microformats and have a fixed structure, both of which facilitate the re-use of our article's data.
  • Fact: Readers often comment that they expect to see an infobox in the top-right of an article, and express surprise when the information is not there.
Against that there are some editors who think infoboxes spoil the aesthetic appearance of the article. I can respect that, but I would remind them that other editors are equally entitled to view an infobox as completing an article and to find them appealing in presentation. That really does boil down to just a personal preference. --RexxS (talk) 21:28, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
An infobox was added to this article today, and I liked it. It would place this composer with Bach and Handel, Beethoven and Verdi. There's an open discussion on WT:COMPOSERS if the 2010 discussion still reflects the consensus of the project, - I doubt it. You can chime in there, also. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 21:40, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
I prefer to associate Davies with Mozart, Brahms, Vivaldi, and Schoenberg, if such comparisons hae any validity. I have been following the discussion at WT:COMPOSERS with interest, and it does not look to me like any new consensus is likely to be reached there anytime soon. @RexxS: I have heard these arguments before, and I imagine you have heard the counter-arguments at Wikipedia:WikiProject_Composers#Biographical_infoboxes.If you have not, I invite you to peruse them there, rather than re-hash them all over again here. For what it is worth, I am not much concerned about the aesthetic apprearance of inforboxes—just their tendency to trivialize, distort, and to spread misinformation amongst the unwary, when used for composer biographies. I find them very useful indeed for other types of article.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 23:08, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for reminding me of some of the valid reasons for not including a particular version of an infobox. I do agree - and fully share your concern - that infoboxes may be misused to introduce trivia, to distort information, and to misrepresent nuances that cannot possibly be summarised in a few words. But with all due respect, I really don't think that Canley's version of {{Infobox classical composer}} that he added suffered from any of those faults. On the other hand, it did go some way to satisfying at least the first three reasons that I quoted above. I still believe that we have to examine on a case-by-case basis any particular infobox by examining its particular pros and cons. I do not accept that we can pre-judge that no infobox could possibly be a net benefit to every article in a particular class. Equally of course, there's no guarantee that an infobox can be found that will be a net benefit for every article. For those reasons, I favour discussion centred on the benefits and disadvantages of a given infobox in a given article, rather than blind reversion based on local consensus from elsewhere. YMMV. --RexxS (talk) 23:52, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
Perfect. Then let me begin with a weakness in the present example. There was a contentious issue a few years ago bout whether or not is it correct to say that Davies was born in Salford, Greater Manchester, given that Greater Manchester did not exist until some forty years after Davies was born. If I recall correctly, this was resolved only very uneasily. Now, the point at issue is not whether it is correct to say he was born in Greater Manchester, but rather that this is an extremely trivial issue, so far as the composer and his music are concerned, and could easily distract readers from much more relevant issues. Another is the "Era: Contemporary" indication, since even the article Contemporary Classical Music makes it clear that this term is not only vague, but also overlaps other style/historical designators.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 00:24, 15 March 2016 (UTC)
I have observed that we usually refer to the geographical region where someone was born by using the name that the location was known at the time. I agree that a Greater Manchester disambiguator is anachronistic. Fortunately, the version of the infobox that I restored states his place of birth as Salford, Lancashire, England. Does that still cause you the same problem?
I am by no means wedded to the designation of Era: Contemporary - although a reader who knew nothing about Peter Maxwell Davies might find it informative, perhaps. I'd certainly be happy to see it changed to something more apposite, if that is possible. It's probably true that any value for an |era= parameter will be vague to some degree and also overlap other historical designators, although the designers of {{Infobox classical composer}} clearly thought it worthy of inclusion. If it is particularly problematical in this case, perhaps it is better to not mention it than to mislead? Is this infobox more or less informative if Era is included? While we're looking in detail at the fields in the infobox, are there any others that should be included to provide key information? For example, the documentation advises "occupations = <-- Use this field *only* if the person was also **notable** for contributions in another discipline. If notable as a composer only, leave blank. -->" I would have thought that he was sufficiently notable as a conductor to have that included as a key piece of information, wouldn't you agree? --RexxS (talk) 02:50, 15 March 2016 (UTC)
The examples were not intended as problems to be solved, but as instances of complexity or ambiguity that cannot be addressed satisfactorily with a one-size-fits-all response. Changing the Salford description is all well and good, but it does not address the fact that there has been a difference o f opinion about how to address this in the past, which was tentatively resolved in a different way. The "era" issue, in this case, can only reasonably be resolved by repeating Davies years of birth and death, because there is not yet any widely accepted way of characterizing the span of time coincident with Davies period of professional activity. The suggestion of adding his conducting activities merely makes this more difficult, since conductors are not ordinarily assigned to a style period, unless of course they specialize in some past era. These are the sorts of concerns that have motivated the Composers Project position statement. The activities of so-called "classical" composers are rarely as simple as for other fields of activity. It is rare enough for a "classical" composer to be just a composer, but here there is another ambiguity for Davies, since he worked in light-music ("popular") as well as art-music ("classical") styles, and even within the latter consciously distinguished between "accessible" and "difficult" music. If you can figure out a way to accurately present this in an infobox, I would be interested to hear your solution.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 05:09, 15 March 2016 (UTC)
You're making the mistake of turning the discussion about a particular infobox into one about infoboxes in general. As ArbCom made clear, that's not useful. We don't need to rehash the sterile debates about problems that might occur in other infoboxes, so I'll ask you to concentrate on what is proposed here.
The infobox does not need to address any complexities of how the description of Salford was reached, just the consensus outcome, which is also present in the Early life and education section. Nobody seemed to find a need to elaborate on it there, so why do you want to hold the infobox to different standards?
The contents of the Era field, according to the template documentation should be "Suggest: Ancient, Biblical, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th century, Contemporary. From Template:Music topics. Follow wording in lead and categories". I see from the lead that he formed a group dedicated to contemporary music and the categories include English classical composers, 20th-century classical composers and 21st-century classical composers. It seems pretty clear that it would be fair to work from Template:Music topics and make use of the Contemporary label given there. The Contemporary article actually includes Peter Maxwell Davies as an example in its Opera section, and seems quite content to define itself in its lead as covering the span of time which happens to be coincident with Davies period of professional activity. I see no evidence here, before you mentioned it, that the Popular music label would be appropriate - in fact that appears nowhere in the article. Nevertheless, Davies had a long career and experimented in different musical styles, so if you feel strongly that there are hidden complexities that would make the label Contemporary inappropriate in this case, it would be useful for those to be present in the article, I think. I can see no mention in the article of his conscious distinction between "accessible" and "difficult" music, for example. May I remind you that the infobox has to summarise the article, not the contents of the talk page?
I'll take it then that he was notable as a conductor, and that you don't object to the inclusion of that key fact in the infobox? --RexxS (talk) 13:27, 15 March 2016 (UTC)
On the contrary, my points are all directed at matters specific to this one article. It does seem to me that, should there eventually be a consensus for an infobox (which there is not as yet) that any ambiguous or misleading fields should be left blank. I believe that Davies was well-respected as a conductor, not only of 20th-century music, but also of the symphonies of Haydn, amongst others. The Pierrot Players, of which he was co-founder, was established initially to perform Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire, one of the key works of Expressionism, and Davies as a composer has also been identified with that aesthetic stance (as is noted in the Wikipedia article). An aesthetic stance is of course quite a different thing from an "era" and, according to some writers (e.g., Otto Karolyi), the "era" to which Davies belongs is the post-modern era (not to be confused with the aesthetic stance of postmodernism, with which Davies may or may not be associated, depending on which authority you consult). I remain unconvinced that these are useful fields, especially for the newcomer who is not aware of the terminological pitfalls (presumably the prime audience at which infoboxes are aimed). If these fields were left blank, and only the dates of birth and death, and Davies activities as a conductor were included, I might be persuaded to accept an infobox for this article, though I still have reservations about such things, since vacant fields in templates tend to attract the unwary editor to "help" by filling them in with dubious data.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 19:04, 15 March 2016 (UTC)
You're not reading what you wrote. The example you produced about Greater Manchester had absolutely no bearing on this infobox, nor do the problems of distinguishing between Contemporary and Popular music apply to this article as it is currently written. Such abstract considerations are not directed at matters specific to this article.
I have always advocated, and do so now, that any ambiguous or misleading fields should be omitted entirely from the infobox, rather than left blank, as it removes some of the temptation for editors to add inappropriate values.
I'm afraid you're confusing the use of the fields in {{Infobox classical composer}}, which was designed through a 2010 consensus at Wikipedia:WikiProject Composers; the Era field is designed to hold information about the composer, of course. I've re-read the article several times and I still can't see how anyone would be confused by describing his compositions as Contemporary classical music - which has the following introduction: "Contemporary classical music can be understood as belonging to the period that started in the mid-1970s to early 1990s, which includes modernist, postmodern, neoromantic, and pluralist music. However, the term may also be employed in a broader sense to refer to all post-1945 musical forms." Surely that would be a useful link for anyone wanting a concise overview of his work? Anyway, the article at present makes no mention of "post-modern" or even "postmodern", so summarising the present content shouldn't have to overcome that obstacle, I think. Nevertheless, if this article were to be expanded to include the detail you provide here, I can see that oversimplification would then be a concern and I'd be on the side of removing the |era= field. But surely we're still some distance from there yet?
So far, we seem to be engaging in a dialogue that, even if productive between ourselves, isn't really involving the number of other editors that we need to establish any sort of genuine consensus. Even Muboshgu hasn't commented on the viability of the |era= field. So may I therefore make a suggestion? As a test, remove the |era= field and add | occupations = Composer, conductor (I personally wouldn't link conductor, but some may prefer that). If it attracts more people to this discussion to complain, we will hopefully get the fresh opinions that should help us move forward. If not, I'll concede the point you make (as silence is consent). What do you think? --RexxS (talk) 20:30, 15 March 2016 (UTC)
Whatever else we may disagree about, I heartily concur that what we need most is input from other editors active on this article. As far as "era" is concerned, there are worse choices than "contemporary", but it is a moveable feast, so to speak. When I was an undergraduate (admittedly not recently), "contemporary music" was generally understood to extend as far back as the period immediately after the First World War. We students found this rather quaint, and rather preferred to think of it as applying to music from after 1945. This is now the "old fogey" point of view, as reflected in the article Contemporary classical music, and the more current view is that it is better applied only to music written after 1970. Of course, many devotees of popular music are outraged at such an idea, since for them "contemporary" means music from the period of living memory—of those under the age of 30. Anything older being "so twentieth century!" Designators other than "contemporary" tend to be weighted with sylistic baggage, which isn't too much of a problem for music before 1900, but if composers since then have been unanimous about one thing, it is that they are not unanimous when it comes to style or aesthetics. And, of course, it has been fashionable for more than a century now to declare oneself unsuited to pigeon-holing. I like your suggestion to remove this parameter from the infobox and see if it provokes some comment.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 22:59, 15 March 2016 (UTC)
As a mere youngster who only graduated in 1972, I ought to defer to your understanding of "contemporary". Perhaps the Contemporary classical music article needs some fleshing out? Anyway, I've removed |era= and added |occupations=. The tree is shaken; let's hope some fruit falls. --RexxS (talk) 00:46, 16 March 2016 (UTC)
As they say, "What difference will it make in a thousand years' time?" Well, for one thing, it will no longer do to label the late-20th and early 21st centuries the "contemporary period". Of course, Wikipedia is mutable, so whenever somebody comes up with a sensible term to cover this "era", editors can update things to match. The "Contemporary classical music" article needs more than just fleshing out. So does the 21st-century classical music article. The present time is always the most difficult to see from a distance. Looking into the future is a piece of cake, by comparison. Let us hope someone takes pity on us soon, and adds something to the discussion.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 05:51, 16 March 2016 (UTC)

Princeton status[edit]

Ordinary graduate students in Music get a degree of MFA (Master of Fine Arts) or if they pursue further, a Ph. D. Peter Maxwell Davies was enrolled there until leaving in 1964 without a degree. Maybe he needed to have some student status in order to qualify for a Fellowship he got? I would guess he was a special.case. I would not want to suggest he failed as a student. The Category about year of degree unknown seems strange, as apparently there was no degree. Marlindale (talk) 00:19, 15 March 2016 (UTC)

It was a Harkness Fellowship he had at Princeton. Holders would spend from 9 up to 21 months at Princeton. I have the impression that normally holders of such a Fellowship would not be working toward a degree. Nowadays the Fellowships relate to Health Policy. Marlindale (talk) 00:35, 15 March 2016 (UTC)

Page views[edit]

poorly phrased . . .[edit]

" close contact with the Queen had converted him to monarchism. " -- I think it should be made clear he meant he came around to the idea of the "constitutional monarchy" where the royals are just a figurehead here - the way it reads, one might think he agreed with Liz having some sort of real role in the government, which I am absolutely sure he did not. 98.67.185.178 (talk) 03:19, 18 March 2016 (UTC)

List of compositions by Peter Maxwell Davies[edit]

I was bold and started a sortable list List of compositions by Peter Maxwell Davies, to be expanded. One problem I see is that the main site for his works lists the composition year, while our list in the biography seems to have the dates of a first performance. The grouping of works is different also, "dramatic works" on the website, while we distinguish opera and ballet, for example. For a start, I kept them separate but in one sort group. The website has simply "Orchestral works", but I made three groups, symphonies, concertos and "orchestral", meaning other orchestral. Please discuss, and expand, and check, - I always make mistakes copying numbers ;) --Gerda Arendt (talk) 13:24, 18 March 2016 (UTC)

A forbidding task, Gerda, and about time someone with a stout heart undertook it. Davies was a prolific composer, and the "select list" here was already getting out of proportion. Thank you so much for making a start. It is customary, except perhaps in operatic circles, to prioritize the years of composition rather than of first performance, but in my opinion there is nothing wrong with supplying both. I have not yet examined your new list, so I do not yet understand how a sortable list would group works into the categories you name. With music composed after 1900, there are often pieces that do not fit comfortably into the traditional categories. Davies's Eight Songs for a Mad King is a good example. It certainly qualifies as a "dramatic work", and is certainly not a ballet, but is it an opera? I don't think many people would say so.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 17:10, 18 March 2016 (UTC)
Thank you! (You easily get a stout heart in three unnecessary years of alleged infobox wars ;) ) - Let's continue on the talk of the other article. I applied the year of composition, but found that not only the bio has 1985 for An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise, but it is in several 1985 articles. I am ready to "supply both" in the individual article, but not in the list which is complex enough. We can discuss the groups. - To answer the edit summary question: it was the Reger opusmax (from where I copied). The other similar list is Carl Nielsen works where a wish of a major editor was to not have the normal order of genres (opera/stage works first) but symphonies first. We are free, because it works by hidden sort key. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 21:23, 18 March 2016 (UTC)
I agree that the place to continue this discussion is the Talk page of the list itself.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 22:41, 18 March 2016 (UTC)

Gerda, I suggest that consideration of the order for a compete works list, while comparing the merits of ordering by supposed composition date and first performance date (and what if something was not performed until a long time after it was written? Does that make this a poor basis for a definitive list, which is now by definition surely final, being after the compser's death)? I think one also needs to consider the status of the Opus numbers. Maybe I can help you with the "web programming" ... Iph (talk) 23:50, 2 April 2016 (UTC)

The ″Weasel Words" thing on the Sibelius comparison statement[edit]

In the Music section paragraph beginning "Worldes Blis (1969)" I was intrigued by the sentence, and the note in it: "Some have drawn a comparison[weasel words] between this later style and the music of Jean Sibelius." A quick search looking at just 2 pages finds

  • the Guardian's guide to Peter Maxwell Davies's music of 20 August 2012 (by Tom Service who went to Orkney and had talks on walks on the beach with him) where he discusses the symphonies especially 1 to 7. And (when viewed 2nd April 2016) just one comment is left on the page, by contributor stupormundi and dated the same day the article was published, referring to Sibelius. He says "So he turned to tradition, in particular to Sibelius, whose music Max so much admires. I remember him making a distinction between the development of material, which is key to the classical style and that of the romantic composers who followed, and the transformation of material that Max saw as a key quality of Sibelius's thinking." So there is a trail to be followed; evidently Max talked or wrote about Sibelius in this context at some point.
  • the first page of the www.maxopus.com section on Max's Life and Career written in August 2009 by Independent writer Roderic Dunnett, who has no Wikipedia page of his own but is quoted in twenty articles (as of 2nd April 2016) including ones about composer Ian Venables; countertenor Robin Blaze; art historian, writer & editor Frances Spalding; artist Clive Hicks-Jenkins, and in Symphony No. 2 (Davies) about Max's (Sir Peter's) Opus 91. Dunnett writes:
Just as Webern found a foundation for his approach to serial composition in the works of Emperor Maximilian’s court composer Heinrich Isaac, so medieval music, already an inspiration for Max’s early works such as the Dunstable-influenced wind sextet Alma Redemptoris Mater and the choral cantata Veni Sancte Spiritus, married with the examples of, in particular, Sibelius, Haydn and Beethoven to provide a formidable intellectual foundation for the extension of Davies’s style to embrace concentrated larger forms, not least the symphony and concerto, with confidence from the 1970s onwards.
...
The Second Symphony, a quite extraordinary evocation of light and wave moment inspired by the Orkney landscape, was written for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and premiered there at Symphony Hall under Seiji Ozawa in February 1981, and points the way forward to many later works, not least the Antarctic Symphony, also written for the Philharmonia, which followed on in 2001 from the Sibelius-like cycle of numbers 1-7.

Iph (talk) 23:50, 2 April 2016 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Peter Maxwell Davies/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Last edited at 13:29, 11 December 2008 (UTC). Substituted at 02:44, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

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