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Wanted: works of analysis of symphonic music

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Author Topic: Wanted: works of analysis of symphonic music  (Read 1044 times)
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« on: October 15, 2016, 09:53:33 pm »

I treasure the copies of each of the three volumes which Malcolm sent to me when they were published-free of charge but more importantly signed by him. Volume One is inscribed "To Colin-In Ancient Friendship". Smiley There is not often that I listen to one of the symphonies without the relevant volume to hand. No books on music that I have ever come across combine such detailed technical analysis with the incredible ability to enhance one's understanding and appreciation of the music through the vivid power of the writing. It undoubtedly helps that I knew him so well as a young man but when I read his descriptions I can still hear his voice. What a loss he was Sad But he lives on through these and his other books Smiley

This set is among the best musical analyses I know of. I bought the first volume in the late 1970s, soon after it was published, when I was in the throes of my initial passion for Brian's music. His insightful, musically erudite, and engagingly written analyses helped me greatly in gaining a better understanding of the works and Brian's style.

I had a brief correspondence with him when I was preparing the American premiere of Brian's "By the Waters of Babylon," fifteen years ago. He didn't really have much to contribute to the rather little that was known about the work, but was kindly encouraging and appreciative of my efforts.

The chapter on Brian in the Penguin 2-volume set of "The Symphony," mentioned in another post on this thread, was actually my initial introduction to Brian in the early 1970s. The information in that chapter was incredibly tantalizing, and I read and re-read it in anticipation of actually hearing some of the music. When I finally managed to hear a work by Brian it was the "Gothic" on the Aries pirate LP set, and it blew me away. Forty-plus years later, the work still does!
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