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Havergal Brian Symphonies 22-24


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Author Topic: Havergal Brian Symphonies 22-24  (Read 2756 times)
Albion
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« on: March 29, 2013, 11:41:45 am »



http://www.mdt.co.uk/brian-havergal-symphonies-22-23-24-alexander-walker-naxos.html

 Smiley
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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2013, 06:28:09 pm »

Splendid Smiley Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2013, 01:21:03 am »

I know, this is marvellous news and sooner than I thought. This means that only 8 symphonies remain without professional recordings: 5, 14, 19, 21 and 26-29, ie 75% of the symphonies are available. I reckon I have a reasonable chance of seeing the whole cycle available within a few years. I wish I could say the same for the operas.  
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kyjo
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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2013, 01:26:22 am »

Indeed, excellent news! I must admit that sometimes I can't help wishing that Brian had continued to compose in the epic, monumental (and more accessible, I might add) style of the first four symphonies, but his later symphonies contain their fair share of wonders, even if they take more listenings to discover than the earlier ones.
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« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2013, 01:31:39 am »

As I think I have probably already said elsewhere......

I have it on the HIGHEST authority that the performances on the new Naxos disc are "very good indeed" Grin Grin
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Greg K
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« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2013, 01:34:30 am »

I'll admit to never having heard of Alexander Walker.

Has he conducted any previous recordings?
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kyjo
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« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2013, 01:42:13 am »

I'll admit to never having heard of Alexander Walker.

Has he conducted any previous recordings?

This is Walker's second recording, to my knowledge. His first was this excellent disc of Waghalter's Violin Concerto and other works:



Based on his choice of repertoire so far, he could be quite a promising conductor that we should keep an eye on Smiley Here is his website: http://www.alexanderwalker.org.uk/
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« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2013, 07:44:09 am »

I know, this is marvellous news and sooner than I thought. This means that only 8 symphonies remain without professional recordings: 5, 14, 19, 21 and 26-29, ie 75% of the symphonies are available.

It surprises me that No. 5 is left out, given that this is a relatively modest and accessible piece.
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« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2013, 07:56:24 am »

Indeed, it's long been the only one of the earlier works not available. Possibly because of the need for a soloist. No. 21 has the odd distinction of having been on the first ever (amateur) recording, but still in the last eight to get a professional one. It would be nice to hear if 14 responds well to a decent quality performance, or if it's as bad as Malcolm MacDonald thinks.
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« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2013, 02:08:42 pm »

Indeed, it's long been the only one of the earlier works not available. Possibly because of the need for a soloist. No. 21 has the odd distinction of having been on the first ever (amateur) recording, but still in the last eight to get a professional one. It would be nice to hear if 14 responds well to a decent quality performance, or if it's as bad as Malcolm MacDonald thinks.
I presume Malcolm MacDonald knows what he's talking about;but No 14 is one of my favourites! Sad
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« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2013, 01:50:11 am »

Two points about Havergal Brian's Symphony No.14:

(1) There IS a recording available "semi-commercially". The recording is the BBC studio recording by the London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Edward Downes made in 1969
It has been issued on cd as KHCD-2012-077 (coupled with Myer Fredman's recording of Symphony No.Cool. It can be bought from http://klassichaus.us/

If you go to this site you will find a whole host of wonderful restorations of several BBC recordings of the HB symphonies available on cd. These include the Symphony No.5 "Wine of Summer" in the 1976 performance by Brian Rayner Cook with the New Philharmonia under Stanley Pope(an almost incomparable interpreter of Brian;s music, incidentally).
Klassic Haus also have Symphony No.21 in the Leicestershire Schools Symphony Orchestra recording and Symphony No.28 in the Stokowski recording. I would not however recommend the Stokowski 28th since-so sadly-he made rather a mess of the performance.

(2) I know Malcolm MacDonald very well and I do know that since he wrote his famous trilogy on the Brian symphonies he has revised some of his views. I cannot state categorically that he has substantially revised his opinion of No.14 but I suspect that he would now moderate his criticisms. Malcolm has been so passionately committed to the HB's music-ever since I first drew his attention to Brian's very existence back in 1963-that he felt compelled to write more critically about some of the music in order to moderate his enthusiastic endorsement of everything Brian ever wrote Grin He would now-if he was re-writing Volume 2 for example-remove his disparaging, unfair and untrue comments about the "Cheltenham Symphonies" to which I took such violent exception when the book was published and which, in hindsight, he regrets inserting.
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« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2013, 09:21:31 am »

Ah yes, I do remember those comments. Still, his writing style is wonderful and he really helped me to appreciate Brian back when I was 16, an appreciation that has continued over a quarter century. Please tell him so, if you have the chance. I had all three volumes and lost them in unfortunate private circumstances a few years ago, but made sure I replaced all three.
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« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2013, 12:16:11 pm »

Ah yes, I do remember those comments. Still, his writing style is wonderful and he really helped me to appreciate Brian back when I was 16, an appreciation that has continued over a quarter century. Please tell him so, if you have the chance. I had all three volumes and lost them in unfortunate private circumstances a few years ago, but made sure I replaced all three.

Agreed - I wish they could come back into print again - maybe a 2nd edition, newly revised?
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jimfin
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« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2013, 01:08:14 pm »

I ordered mine via Amazon UK not very long ago (less than a year), so you will probably be able to track copies down if you hunt around a bit and are prepared to pay a bit, as I was
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« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2013, 01:32:52 pm »

Two points about Havergal Brian's Symphony No.14:

(1) There IS a recording available "semi-commercially". The recording is the BBC studio recording by the London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Edward Downes made in 1969
It has been issued on cd as KHCD-2012-077 (coupled with Myer Fredman's recording of Symphony No.Cool. It can be bought from http://klassichaus.us/

If you go to this site you will find a whole host of wonderful restorations of several BBC recordings of the HB symphonies available on cd. These include the Symphony No.5 "Wine of Summer" in the 1976 performance by Brian Rayner Cook with the New Philharmonia under Stanley Pope(an almost incomparable interpreter of Brian;s music, incidentally).
Klassic Haus also have Symphony No.21 in the Leicestershire Schools Symphony Orchestra recording and Symphony No.28 in the Stokowski recording. I would not however recommend the Stokowski 28th since-so sadly-he made rather a mess of the performance.

(2) I know Malcolm MacDonald very well and I do know that since he wrote his famous trilogy on the Brian symphonies he has revised some of his views. I cannot state categorically that he has substantially revised his opinion of No.14 but I suspect that he would now moderate his criticisms. Malcolm has been so passionately committed to the HB's music-ever since I first drew his attention to Brian's very existence back in 1963-that he felt compelled to write more critically about some of the music in order to moderate his enthusiastic endorsement of everything Brian ever wrote Grin He would now-if he was re-writing Volume 2 for example-remove his disparaging, unfair and untrue comments about the "Cheltenham Symphonies" to which I took such violent exception when the book was published and which, in hindsight, he regrets inserting.
Regarding,Klassic Haus. I bought two downloads. Symphony No2  & 3. It's all very professional,with notes by 'Johan',who's usually at the HB thread at GMG,all the relevant recording & performance/production details,'sleeve' artwork,etc. You can also buy them as cds. A nice touch is a small reproduction of the original Aries Lp 'artwork'! Excellent! And don't worry about the website being in dollars & outside the uk! I was Huh,but it all went very smoothly,without a hitch! No nasty hidden charges!! In fact,according to my bank statement,Symphonies 2 & 3 cost me 4.59 each!! Smiley I did suggest the Aries Lp of Fricker's Fifth Symphony;but unfortunately,I don't have the Lp & they are hard to get (in the UK,anyway!).
  I wonder what are the chances of Malcolm MacDonald's books about the Brian symphonies being brought back into print? I did manage to buy Volume 1 from a nice seller on ebay for around ten pounds! I also remember telling Dundonnell at the GMG,that MM was music's answer to Rider Haggard;which,understandably,brought a 'mixed' response! Grin But,reading the latter pages of 'She',at my fathers,last weekend,I can sort of see what I meant! Grin Malcolm MacDonald is one of the few writers I have ever come across who can vividly evoke the sound world of a composer via the written word. Like RH he has an almost cinematic gift for evoking images with words. Thrilling stuff...........but not quite as purple as Rider Haggard,rest assured! Even,'She who must be obeyed' would be impressed! Shocked Grin
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