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Havergal Brian Symphonies 22-24


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Author Topic: Havergal Brian Symphonies 22-24  (Read 2889 times)
jimfin
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« Reply #30 on: April 05, 2013, 04:07:02 pm »

Which is extremely cryptic, considering that it can't be the number of a symphony to be released, since we know about that! But As said, HB is someone to be very optimistic about, Daniel Jones not so, at the moment, though HB certainly had his years of neglect!
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #31 on: April 05, 2013, 05:22:42 pm »

I'm betting on a recording of No 5,as it's the only one of the earlier,more approachable ones (until you've cracked the later ones) that hasn't been recorded. It has the 'glamorous' appeal of expansive late romanticism,with a soloist and some big,exciting climaxes. Yet,all very concentrated & pared down,in a manner which looks forward to the more compressed symphonies of Brian's later years. In other words,the best of both worlds! Grin That curious 'martial' episode always reminds of the one in Shostakovich's own Fifth,for some strange reason. It just seem to storm out of nowhere! The thought of hearing this & some of Brian's most hauntingly,beautiful & inspired orchestration is very exciting! But,unlike other Brian symphonies a good deal of it's success will depend on the choice of soloist, ie he will have to be allot better than Mark Stone Sad or Donald Maxwell (who was okay,to be fair) !! Grin
 
Oh well,we can all live in hope,can't we?!! Sad Sad Sad
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Gauk
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« Reply #32 on: April 06, 2013, 11:15:51 am »

I do think if you wanted to recommend one symphony as an introduction to HB's work, No 5 would be it.
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« Reply #33 on: April 06, 2013, 01:43:54 pm »

Just leave it all in the hands of the HB Society Smiley

It can be relied upon to be doing its very considerable best in negotiations with whichever record companies might be interested Grin
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #34 on: April 08, 2013, 12:44:09 pm »

No 14 is another big favourite,as I've mentioned before. It's just so jam packed with good,varied ideas and once you 'crack it',one of Brian's most approachable late symphonies.I'll have another listen ,later,when I've got the time! It's one of those pieces of music that's wonderful for late night listening,bringing all kinds of fantastic imagery to mind.
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #35 on: April 08, 2013, 02:59:32 pm »

My suspicion is that No.14 is actually the very last one which will get a modern commercial recording Sad
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #36 on: April 08, 2013, 05:29:27 pm »

 Sad
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Albion
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« Reply #37 on: April 18, 2013, 04:20:31 pm »

Here are Malcolm MacDonald's programme-notes for the forthcoming release:

http://www.naxos.com/mainsite/blurbs_reviews.asp?item_code=8.572833&catNum=572833&filetype=About%20this%20Recording&language=English#

and the track timings:

Symphony No.22, "Symphonia brevis"
1. I. Maestoso e ritmico                           04:45
2. II. Tempo di Marcia e Ritmico                04:37

Symphony No.23
3. I. Moderato                                       06:56
4. II. Adagio non troppo ma pesante          06:48

5. Symphony No.24 in D major         16:29

English Suite No.1, Op.12
6. I. Characteristic March                 04:54
7. II. Valse                                    05:18
8. III. Under the Beech Tree             03:29
9. IV. Interlude                               02:18
10.V. Hymn                                    03:50
11.VI. Carnival                                06:02

Total Playing Time: 01:05:26

 Smiley
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A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it. (SG, 1922)
Dundonnell
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« Reply #38 on: April 18, 2013, 10:57:30 pm »

As ever....descriptive evocation...... without recourse to excessive technicality........let alone the pages of philosophical ramblings, badly translated(if indeed it is actually posible to translate Huh) of CPO's notorious Eckhardt van den Hoogen Roll Eyes
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Albion
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Henry Hugo Pierson (1815-1873)


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« Reply #39 on: April 30, 2013, 05:42:28 pm »

My copy of this exciting disc arrived today and, I must admit, I put it into the CD player with some trepidation (remembering the woeful Marco Polo/ Naxos recording of No.2) ...

 Huh

I needn't have worried! This is splendidly played and conducted throughout and clearly great care has taken to balance orchestral textures so that important figures and instruments which might be lost in the mle (such as the harp) come across with great clarity. Having said that, it's neither a 'dry' nor a 'swimming pool' acoustic and seems just about ideal. With this brilliant and hugely enjoyable rendition of English Suite No.1 (time to finally put the Hull YSO disc to bed), all of Havergal Brian's early extant orchestral music is at last available on disc in professional performances (courtesy of Naxos and Toccata) as are all four surviving English Suites (Dutton, Toccata and now Naxos). Alexander Walker gets wonderful results from his Russian forces who in all probability never heard of Brian before this recording was made but sound totally unfazed by his stringent orchestral demands and elusive style. All in all, a real winner and strongly recommended for those who respond to early or late Havergal Brian (or, like me, who even enjoy both  Wink).

 Grin
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A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it. (SG, 1922)
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« Reply #40 on: April 30, 2013, 05:57:23 pm »

My copy is due to arrive tomorrow but your assessment coincides with the views of those who had heard the master tapes, including MM Grin Grin
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Albion
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Henry Hugo Pierson (1815-1873)


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« Reply #41 on: April 30, 2013, 06:02:45 pm »

That's good to know!

 Wink

I was honestly dreading having to endure scratchy and anaemic upper strings, wobbly horns, insecure woodwind, trumpets to whom subtlety was a closed book and a general air of bewilderment - but all is well and it is a pleasure to be able to listen to this symphonic 'trilogy' in consistently high-quality performances played by the same orchestra. There is some great percussion playing too!

 Smiley
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A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it. (SG, 1922)
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« Reply #42 on: April 30, 2013, 11:40:05 pm »

I think that Naxos were made well aware of the mixed reception to their previous releases of Brian symphonies by those in a position to express their opinions with some authority Grin Grin

My understanding is that IF they are to continue with their previously halted project of recording Brian's music they needed to balance the financial cost with a reasonable assurance of both recording and performance quality. The original idea had been to use the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and James Judd but this fell through for financial reasons. Another possibility floated was the Ulster Orchestra.

To be fair to Naxos the standard of their recordings has much improved over the past few years. I have heard very few complaints about recent recordings.

The question was whether the Russian musicians, even under a conductor clearly committed to the music, could master the idiom. That requires competency and adequate rehearsal time.

Obviously...from what I am hearing from others....the hopes have been fulfilled Smiley Smiley
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jimfin
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« Reply #43 on: May 01, 2013, 10:02:01 am »

Overall, my opinion of the Marco Polo/Naxos versions of Brian works is higher than some people's seems to be. The recordings of 11, 12 and 15, and indeed the Gothic and perhaps Das Siegeslied, were pretty satisfactory in my opinion. No. 2 seems to have been pretty wobbly, and the Dutton recordings of late have been glorious, but Marco Polo/Naxos allowed me to get a pretty good idea of a huge number of Brian symphonies. Still, if they have got better, all the better!
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Albion
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Henry Hugo Pierson (1815-1873)


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« Reply #44 on: May 01, 2013, 04:05:59 pm »

Overall, my opinion of the Marco Polo/Naxos versions of Brian works is higher than some people's seems to be.

To clarify, I have no problems with many if not most of the MP/ Naxos Brian discs. Here's how I would loosely rank them, with standard of performance taking priority over recording quality/ acoustic within a total 'score':

1. Performance: 9/10     Recording: 8/10   = 17/20 Grin   Kiss


2. Peformance: 9/10     Recording: 8/10   = 17/20 Grin   Kiss


3. Performance: 8/10     Recording: 9/10   = 17/20 Grin   Kiss


4. Performance: 9/10     Recording: 6/10   = 15/20 Smiley


5. Performance: 8/10     Recording: 7/10   = 15/20 Smiley


6. Performance: 7/10     Recording: 7/10   = 14/20 Smiley


7. Performance: 6/10     Recording: 7/10    = 13/20 Undecided


8. Performance: 3/10     Recording: 4/10   = 7/20 Shocked   Tongue   Cry
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A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it. (SG, 1922)

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