Author Topic: Havergal Brian.  (Read 590046 times)

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Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2007, 03:39:24 AM »
Maybe it moved him to exit the room . . . .

Yes, apparently  ;D

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2007, 03:46:02 AM »
Here's a site with information and many links to further articles about the Gothic.
 Includes the timings of various performances.

http://www.musicweb-international.com/brian/sym1.htm

Sarge
« Last Edit: June 10, 2007, 03:52:38 AM by Sergeant Rock »
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2007, 03:51:36 AM »
So which recording Gothic to we recommend? If there is more than one recording?

Besides Lenard's on Marco Polo or Naxos, I've heard rumours that there are boots of Boult's 1966 performance. I've never been able to get my hands on one though. For all practical purposes then, Lenard is it. Not to worry: it's a very good performance, and of course, inexpensive now.

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline BachQ

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #23 on: June 10, 2007, 03:58:17 AM »
Here's a site with information and many links to further articles about the Gothic.
 Includes the timings of various performances.

http://www.musicweb-international.com/brian/sym1.htm

Sarge

Why is this called a symphony, when it's really like a sinfonietta?

Part one:

2 piccolos (1 also flute), 3 flutes (1 also alto flute), 2 oboes,  oboe d’amore, cor anglais,  bass oboe, Eb clarinet, 2  Bb clarinets, basset horn, bass clarinet, 3 bassoons, contrabassoon, 6 horns, Eb cornet, 4 trumpets in F, bass trumpet, 3 tenor trombones, 2 tubas, 2 sets (min 3 drums) timpani, 2 harps, organ, celesta, min 8 percussion:  glockenspiel, xylophone, 2 bass drums, 3 side drums, tambourine, pair cymbals, gong, triangle;  strings [say 16.16.12.10.8]

Part two:

Soprano, alto, tenor, bass soloists, large children’s choir, 2 large mixed double choruses [in practice 4 large SATB choirs]
orchestra: 2 piccolos (1 also flute), 6 flutes (1 also alto flute), 6 oboes (1 also oboe d’amore, 1 also bass oboe), 2 cors anglais, 2 Eb clarinets (1 also Bb clarinet), 4  Bb clarinets, 2 basset horns, 2 bass clarinets, contrabass clarinet, 3 bassoons, 2 contrabassoons, 8 horns, 2 Eb cornets, 4 trumpets in F, bass trumpet, 3 tenor trombones, bass trombone, contrabass trombone, 2 euphoniums, 2 tubas, 2 sets (min 3 [in practice 4] drums) timpani, 2 harps, organ, celesta, min 18 percussion:  glockenspiel, xylophone, 2 bass drums, 3 side drums, long drum, 2 tambourines, 6 pairs cymbals, gong, thunder machine [not thunder sheet], tubular bells, chimes, chains, 2 triangles, birdscare;   strings (20.20.16.14.12)
4 off stage groups: each containing 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 tenor trombones, set (min 3 drums) of timpani
(in summary: 32 wind, 24 on stage brass, 24 off stage brass, 6 timpanists, 18 percussion, 4 keyboards and harps, 82 strings - total orchestra c190 players, plus adult choir of min 500 [assumes largely professionals], children’s choir of 100, 4 soloists = c800)

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2007, 04:28:33 AM »
Why is this called a symphony, when it's really like a sinfonietta?

 ;D :D ;D


18 percussion:  glockenspiel, xylophone, 2 bass drums, 3 side drums, long drum, 2 tambourines, 6 pairs cymbals, gong, thunder machine [not thunder sheet], tubular bells, chimes, chains, 2 triangles, birdscare...

Ah, to be a virtuoso birdscare player! That would be the life.

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline Christo

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2007, 04:54:39 AM »
There's quite a collection of Brian fans here - in fact, a motley crew of ex-HB Society members ...
;) :D 8) >:D 0:) ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;)
… music is not only an `entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

lukeottevanger

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2007, 04:59:59 AM »
Ah, to be a virtuoso birdscare player! That would be the life.

The bird-scare, long drum and thunder sheet are marked in the instrumentarium, but don't appear in the score; it's conjectured that they are to be played in the final climax[es] of the piece.

A relatively common instrument like the celesta, believe it or not, only has a very brief appearance in the score, too.

lukeottevanger

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #27 on: June 10, 2007, 05:01:52 AM »
;) :D 8) >:D 0:) ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;)

That is indeed an exact likeness of the front row of seats which I remember seeing at the HBS-organised premiere of The Cenci a few years ago. ;D

Offline Christo

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #28 on: June 10, 2007, 05:03:46 AM »
That is indeed an exact likeness of the front row of seats which I remember seeing at the HBS-organised premiere of The Cenci a few years ago. ;D

Well, I only attended a HBS London concert with the Violin Concerto and the orchestral music from The Tigers, 12 years ago (1995) - and then the front row still had their teeth.  :-X :-X :-X :-X :-X :-X
« Last Edit: June 10, 2007, 02:22:04 PM by Christo »
… music is not only an `entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #29 on: June 10, 2007, 02:12:19 PM »
The bird-scare, long drum and thunder sheet are marked in the instrumentarium, but don't appear in the score...

Unemployed already, even before I'd had a chance to master the instrument. Damn...

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

lukeottevanger

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #30 on: June 10, 2007, 02:22:19 PM »
Consider it a lucky escape - it's a real bugger to tune.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #31 on: June 10, 2007, 11:58:57 PM »
As one of the motley former members of the HBS I recommend the following:

Symphony 8 (a masterpiece)

Symphony 10 (a masterpiece) (briefly on Unicorn, we really need a modern CD version)

Symphony 9

Symphony 7

Symphony 3

Sinfonia Brevis (not on CD)

Gothic Symphony (wonderful orchestral movements, choral sections very impressive but go on too long IMHO)

In Memoriam (great work)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Harry

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #32 on: June 11, 2007, 12:03:13 AM »
As one of the motley former members of the HBS I recommend the following:

Symphony 8 (a masterpiece)

Symphony 10 (a masterpiece) (briefly on Unicorn, we really need a modern CD version)

Symphony 9

Symphony 7

Symphony 3

Sinfonia Brevis (not on CD)

Gothic Symphony (wonderful orchestral movements, choral sections very impressive but go on too long IMHO)

In Memoriam (great work)

Fine list my friend, matching recordings? ;D

lukeottevanger

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #33 on: June 11, 2007, 01:11:46 AM »
There is only one of each (except the Sinfonia Brevis). 7, 8 and 9 are on the EMi disc I recommend above all; 3 you have ordered; 10 was on Unicorn (the pioneering orchestra is my old youth orchestra, the LSSO!); the Gothic is on Marco Polo or Naxos (same recording, different incarnations); In Memoriam is on one of the Marco Polo Brian series.

For my money any of the first 12 or so Brian Symphonies, in particular, offer the easiest way into his music - 12 very different masterpieces each with its own tone. The larger scale earlier symphonies (1-4 are all huge, with 4 nearly as big as the Gothic in some respects) give way to slightly more modest-sized pieces (though 7 is a very large one too). The later symphonies are the models of concision, and very possibly even finer works, , but Brian's undiluted style probably needs assimilating through the earlier works first.

One word of advice - in Brian's music it is important to listen to the bass as a melodic line more than in any other comparable composer. No one else makes their trombones, euphoniums, tubas, bassoons and double basses work quite as hard as he does!
« Last Edit: June 11, 2007, 01:14:04 AM by lukeottevanger »

Harry

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #34 on: June 11, 2007, 01:26:22 AM »
Thanks for the info, I will act on this and other advise given in this thread.
I look forward to the recordings I can lay my hands on.

Hector

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #35 on: June 11, 2007, 04:35:30 AM »
Besides Lenard's on Marco Polo or Naxos, I've heard rumours that there are boots of Boult's 1966 performance. I've never been able to get my hands on one though. For all practical purposes then, Lenard is it. Not to worry: it's a very good performance, and of course, inexpensive now.

Sarge

There is a bootleg of Boult's 60's performance I think somebody on this board may have heard it.

Surely, the Beeb has tapes of either/or the Boult and the Schmidt, or knows somebody who has?

Certainly, there are plenty of conductors, orchestras and record companies around able to process a Brian cycle.

In fact, wasn't Marco Polo/Naxos doing this with the likes of Leaper and Friend?

Lloyd-Jones springs to mind.

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #36 on: June 11, 2007, 04:56:30 AM »
Certainly, there are plenty of conductors, orchestras and record companies around able to process a Brian cycle.
In fact, wasn't Marco Polo/Naxos doing this with the likes of Leaper and Friend?

Yes, they were...and then they suddenly stopped circa 1995. That's very unlike this company, one that has a spendid history of providing complete cycles. I've never heard an explanation why they stopped. Maybe there really is only a dozen Brian fanatics on this planet...not enough to sustain the cycle  ;D


In Memoriam is on one of the Marco Polo Brian series.

On this one, a very important recording as it allows us to hear Brian's final symphony:




Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Hector

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #37 on: June 11, 2007, 05:53:16 AM »
Yes, they were...and then they suddenly stopped circa 1995. That's very unlike this company, one that has a spendid history of providing complete cycles. I've never heard an explanation why they stopped. Maybe there really is only a dozen Brian fanatics on this planet...not enough to sustain the cycle  ;D


On this one, a very important recording as it allows us to hear Brian's final symphony:




Sarge

On the ball, as usual.

Perhaps we should write to Heyman and ask why the cycle ceased.

Leaper would be more than capable.

Considering some of the obscure composers hardly worthy of such attention (Hans Huber) that get on disc it is surprising that Brian has not, so far, received his recorded due!

karlhenning

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #38 on: June 11, 2007, 06:00:18 AM »
I think the idea is they're waiting until the Dittersdwarf cycle is complete  >:D

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #39 on: June 11, 2007, 06:18:49 AM »
I think the idea is they're waiting until the Dittersdwarf cycle is complete  >:D

dB will be very pleased to hear that.

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

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