Author Topic: Havergal Brian.  (Read 697513 times)

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Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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  • William Havergal Brian, symphonist (1876-1972)
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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7260 on: March 07, 2017, 06:14:33 AM »
It's just a matter of time. I think the goal will be reached eventually.
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline Maestro267

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7261 on: March 17, 2017, 11:16:56 AM »
Ordered two more Brian discs today. Symphonies 10 & 30, Concerto for Orchestra and English Suite No. 3 (RSNO/Brabbins), and Symphonies Nos. 6, 28, 29 & 31 (Russian State SO/Walker). It's mainly a case of plugging in small gaps now. Nos. 6 & 10 are the only ones missing of the first 12 in my collection.

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7262 on: March 17, 2017, 11:19:38 AM »
Then you're in for a treat - 6 and 10 are among the best.


P.S. Those discs you ordered are excellent!
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline Maestro267

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7263 on: March 18, 2017, 11:00:15 AM »
Then you're in for a treat - 6 and 10 are among the best.


P.S. Those discs you ordered are excellent!

I've heard both before, No. 6 in the Radio 3 performance last year, and parts of No. 10 in the Unknown Warrior documentary on Youtube.

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7264 on: March 18, 2017, 11:02:58 AM »
Please report back when you have listened to the two discs!
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7265 on: March 18, 2017, 12:11:41 PM »
I've heard both before, No. 6 in the Radio 3 performance last year, and parts of No. 10 in the Unknown Warrior documentary on Youtube.

Unknown Warrior documentary? Link?
My favorite Debussy and Ravel pianists: Zoltán Kocsis, Alexandre Tharaud, Anne Queffélec, and Paul Jacobs


Offline Christo

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7266 on: March 18, 2017, 12:16:36 PM »
Unknown Warrior documentary? Link?

Great to see the grand old man himself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9f7_wiFeDIU
… 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 Mirror Image

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7267 on: March 18, 2017, 12:19:08 PM »
My favorite Debussy and Ravel pianists: Zoltán Kocsis, Alexandre Tharaud, Anne Queffélec, and Paul Jacobs


Offline Maestro267

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7268 on: March 22, 2017, 03:50:15 AM »
Ordered two more Brian discs today. Symphonies 10 & 30, Concerto for Orchestra and English Suite No. 3 (RSNO/Brabbins), and Symphonies Nos. 6, 28, 29 & 31 (Russian State SO/Walker). It's mainly a case of plugging in small gaps now. Nos. 6 & 10 are the only ones missing of the first 12 in my collection.

Both these discs have now arrived. Currently listening to No. 10 as I write. The "calm before the storm" section (c. 4-5 mins in) sent shivers down my spine in only the way that the pre-storm moments in Strauss' Alpensinfonie have done before. I also didn't expect the offstage trumpet. That's a nice touch.

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7269 on: March 22, 2017, 03:54:05 AM »
I happen to have listened to no. 10, too, again after a long time. And yes, that utterly still passage remains very striking, and very poetic.
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Online vandermolen

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7270 on: March 22, 2017, 05:50:36 AM »
No 10 is one of the greatest - after much turbulence it arrives at 'a sense of hard-won yet lasting triumph' as I think Harold Truscott (also an interesting composer) wrote in that fine old Penguin Guide to the Symphony Vol. 2.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline springrite

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7271 on: March 22, 2017, 06:09:03 AM »
No 10 is one of the greatest - after much turbulence it arrives at 'a sense of hard-won yet lasting triumph' as I think Harold Truscott (also an interesting composer) wrote in that fine old Penguin Guide to the Symphony Vol. 2.

It remain my favourite, as many of you recall that it was the work that connected to my experience working to help air crash victims and families. It has special meaning to me.
Do what I must do, and let what must happen happen.

Offline Maestro267

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7272 on: March 22, 2017, 01:52:19 PM »
Another little element to Havergal Brian's music I enjoy is his tendency to let cymbal crashes ring out at the end of movements, even after the other instruments stop playing. This is most notable in the 7th Symphony, where each movement ends with a resonating cymbal, bell or tam-tam strike. The Symphony No. 30 ends with this effect too, with the cymbals and tam-tam left sounding after the bare-fifth B flat chord ends.

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7273 on: March 22, 2017, 02:21:46 PM »
Well-listened. The 7th is indeed remarkable in that respect, with every movement ending that way. The 8th and 12th also end with a gong-stroke, soft in the former, loud in the latter.
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline Maestro267

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7274 on: March 22, 2017, 02:37:42 PM »
The key in which the Seventh ends was also quite unexpected on first listen, from this listener's point of view. Brian's a fantastic, colourful writer for percussion.

And while I'm here, this week's purchases takes my Brian symphony total up to 24/32. I just need Nos. 13, 16, 18, 21-24 and 26 to complete the set now.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 02:43:44 PM by Maestro267 »

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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    Bruckner, Wagner, Brian, Bax, Dyson, Delius...
Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7275 on: March 22, 2017, 02:47:10 PM »
The key in which the Seventh ends was also quite unexpected on first listen, from this listener's point of view. Brian's a fantastic, colourful writer for percussion.


Yes, that final chord is magical. Brian is endlessly inventive. It remains a mystery he still hasn't really broken through, hearing his music live is such an invigorating experience. In 1987 I was in Liverpool, at the Philharmonic Hall, to hear the Seventh 'in the flesh'. I can still remember it.
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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  • William Havergal Brian, symphonist (1876-1972)
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    Bruckner, Wagner, Brian, Bax, Dyson, Delius...
Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7276 on: March 22, 2017, 02:48:17 PM »
And while I'm here, this week's purchases takes my Brian symphony total up to 24/32. I just need Nos. 13, 16, 18, 21-24 and 26 to complete the set now.


Very good!
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline relm1

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7277 on: March 22, 2017, 04:09:09 PM »
Sorry if I'm late to the party but did Faust ever get fully funded?

Offline springrite

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7278 on: March 22, 2017, 05:05:52 PM »
Sorry if I'm late to the party but did Faust ever get fully funded?

The funding got to a rousing start but has stalled just a few pennies short. (Well, a bit more than a few pennies, I guess)
Do what I must do, and let what must happen happen.

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7279 on: April 20, 2017, 02:47:25 PM »
I have been over in the Darius Milhaud thread enthusing about my latest find *. However that thread has convinced itself that DM is an over-prolific composer of low interest and low inspiration and so it isn’t worth posting anything else there.
 
However I did want to make an observation about DM and Brian. These two are composers who are not, at first acquaintance, very similar. DM is much more neo-classical than Brian, and his harmonic language tends to bi- or poly-tonality or ‘non-triadic diatonic’ (ie using the notes of a major or minor scale with few chromaticisms but without privileging the common chords); in fact he specifically eschews chromaticism (in his autobiography he states that he is writing music that is in the mode of ‘Mediterranean lyricism’ (he was from Provence), and opposes this to Wagner and Germanic chromaticism generally).
 
One similarity is that both composers are cunning as to form, with both Brian and DM you get passages that sound like recapitulation when the material quite different, or the form is truncated to arrive at abrupt but satisfying endings. And with both the music is an endlessly varied stream of inspired contrapuntal utterance.
 
Listening to a few of DM’s later works I feel a quite a similarity with Brian in mood too. In the 1960s, after DM had finished his official count of symphonies (12) he wrote a few more works that are symphonic in the ‘Music for’ series (if he was invited to conduct at a festival he would write a work for that place), especially ‘Music for Indiana’ and ‘Music for New Orleans’**. This latter work particularly sounds very Brianesque to me, with the finale a dogged journey through music chaos and quite astonishing contrapuntal heterophony to end in sombre exhilaration.
 
Well worth a listen. Naturally the ‘Music for’ works are mainly not recorded, but several of these works are available on the third page of the French music downloads at the Art Music Forum.
 
 
*Trust me to light on another composer who is shamefully underrecorded, or rather, his most famous works are recorded multiple times, but other of his works (ones that I think are more valuable) are not recorded, or not available.
** When I saw the title I thought ‘Music for New Orleans’ was going to be full-on jazz, as DM was very taken with jazz on a trip to the US in 1920 and introduced it to France on his return. But for some reason it isn’t.