Author Topic: Havergal Brian.  (Read 591301 times)

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Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Havergal Brian
« Reply #7460 on: August 09, 2017, 08:07:34 AM »
More so than the snapping minor second which opens the final movement of the New World Symphony?

That work is so much more obscure than the Gothic.
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7461 on: August 09, 2017, 08:24:27 AM »
That work is so much more obscure than the Gothic.

Especially to a US composer!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7462 on: August 09, 2017, 08:31:48 AM »
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7463 on: August 09, 2017, 08:38:56 AM »
As I never dared to watch this horror movie, nor consciously heard the music accompanying it, it might help if you could clarify this suggestion a bit: does John Williams also make use of 16 horns, 12 trumpets, 11 trombones, 10 tubas, 6 sets of timpani, 6 sets of cymbals, 4 choirs and 2 triangles, or only the one bird scarer - or what?  ::)
Sorry! It was referring to a critic,who compared the opening of the Gothic Symphony,after the Prom performance,to the Jaws theme. It was an "in-joke" that might have back fired a little here. Johan might remember? ("Help me!" :() There were a few posts about it at the time,I seem to remember. I thought it was quite funny,actually. It had never once crossed my mind that there was any similarity;but I can,sort of,see (hear) what he meant! Maybe there were some sharks in the audience?!

NB: I think it was The Economist?

https://bgreinhart.wordpress.com/2011/07/18/seeing-the-gothic/

http://www.economist.com/node/21524808




Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7464 on: August 09, 2017, 08:54:16 AM »
From the Nikolay Miaskovsky thread:
Well, I've really enjoyed the symphonies I've listened to thus far.  But, I am taking my time going through the set, as these are very dark, and yes, disturbing works in some ways.  Even darker than Shostakovich.

Hmm, I'm tempted to explore the string quartets now, too!  :)

In a few of the symphonies I've heard thus far, I can almost hear a quasi Jaws theme!   ;D

AND, I love that about 18 or 19 of the 27 symphonies are in minor keys!  :D (I'm just guessing the #, don't quote me on it).  ;)

The symphonies I've 'first listened to so far are:

#1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 19 and 25.  Also, the Symphony-Suite in A minor, and the Slav Rhapsody in D minor.
Apparently,the Gothic isn't the only one?!! ???

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7465 on: August 09, 2017, 12:00:42 PM »
As I never dared to watch this horror movie, nor consciously heard the music accompanying it, it might help if you could clarify this suggestion a bit: does John Williams also make use of 16 horns, 12 trumpets, 11 trombones, 10 tubas, 6 sets of timpani, 6 sets of cymbals, 4 choirs and 2 triangles, or only the one bird scarer - or what?  ::)
;D You were lucky of course. I was a school boy when Jaws came out,and had the misfortune to be sitting next to a 'friend' who was obsessed with the film (he even had the book!). My first encounter with Havergal Brian was still five years away!!!!

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7466 on: August 09, 2017, 05:09:51 PM »
;D You were lucky of course. I was a school boy when Jaws came out,and had the misfortune to be sitting next to a 'friend' who was obsessed with the film (he even had the book!). My first encounter with Havergal Brian was still five years away!!!!

Judging by the Reader's Digest version (all I could bear to turn the pages) the novel was dross.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline krummholz

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Re: Havergal Brian
« Reply #7467 on: August 15, 2017, 07:06:23 AM »
More so than the snapping minor second which opens the final movement of the New World Symphony?
To some ears perhaps. To these, it's almost a clear case of cribbing (Williams from Dvorak, of course).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Havergal Brian
« Reply #7468 on: August 15, 2017, 07:10:56 AM »
To some ears perhaps. To these, it's almost a clear case of cribbing (Williams from Dvorak, of course).
OT
Also, see the similarity between the March from Prokofiev's 'Love of Three Oranges' Suite and the 'Parade of the Ewoks' (John Williams: Star Wars: 'Return of the Jedi').
« Last Edit: August 15, 2017, 07:12:30 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline krummholz

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7469 on: August 15, 2017, 07:19:57 AM »
Posting about the Nordic feel of some of Daniel Jones' earlier symphonies,and some affinities shared by Brian and Jones (Daniel not Corporal! ;D) ie,the cragginess,alleviated by a certain lyricism and a flair for colourful orchestration;got me thinking again,about european influences in Brian's earlier symphonies. The main influences,apparent to my ears,are composers like Mahler and Bruckner. Even then,any influences are all pretty well assimilated,and subsumed,by Brian's very personal soundworld. Comparisons have been made,over the years,between the Gothic and Mahler (particularly,for obvious reasons,the eighth) but the only comparison really is in the size of the forces and scale of the two works. If I had to pick the most 'Mahlerian' Brian symphony,it would be No 2. The most 'Brucknerian' would be No 3.
Really ?! The 2nd sounds more to me like it might have been influenced by early Schoenberg than either Mahler or Bruckner, though my impression is more Bruckner than Mahler; and in the final funeral march, Wagner of course (including several actual quotations). And the 3rd has always sounded more redolent of Richard Strauss to me than any of those three. I'm not sure I could pick a Mahlerian Brian symphony, their styles are so different, despite Brian's love of counterpoint and funeral marches. Maybe the 11th? I don't think so, though it shows that Brian was certainly very aware of and fond of Mahler.

I would definitely add Schoenberg, early Schoenberg anyway, to the list of Brian's influences, particularly the Gurre-lieder.

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7470 on: August 31, 2017, 05:20:37 PM »
The new Naxos recording of the Symphonies 8, 21 and 16 is announced for release on 1 October.

https://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.573752

The liner notes by John Pickard are very informative.

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7471 on: August 31, 2017, 07:25:58 PM »
Thanks for spotting that, calyptorhynchus!

Update: read the liner notes. Yes, very good.
 
« Last Edit: August 31, 2017, 07:45:14 PM by J.Z. Herrenberg »
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 #7472 on: September 01, 2017, 12:21:13 AM »
Of course, when that disc is released, it means that the long process of making all 32 of Brian's symphonies available on disc will finally be complete! A significant moment in raising awareness of neglected music, surely.

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7473 on: September 01, 2017, 01:43:43 AM »
Of course, when that disc is released, it means that the long process of making all 32 of Brian's symphonies available on disc will finally be complete! A significant moment in raising awareness of neglected music, surely.

Yes, a historic moment. That I would be 56 to see the day. It was 40 years ago that I discovered Malcolm McDonald's books about HB...
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7474 on: September 01, 2017, 05:46:53 AM »
And it's only taken 40 years! ;D A few more quid in the fund and we might even live to hear his Faust opera?! I think this will be only the second Brian cd (or Lp) to have a mountainscape on the front. The Unicorn cd was the last one. I presume it reflects Brian's metaphorical scaling of the creative peaks? Or just a handy photo?! ;D It looks cool,though! The eighth is often cited as one of his best. I've always had a fondness for the twenty first in the old LSSO recording. One of his most immediately approachable scores,amongst the later ones. I wonder if they can beat that classic recording? The LSSO still seems to reign supreme. Brabbins is good;but it's the LSSO recording I go to first! Newstone's Seventh is another example. Although,I find the Mackerras more satisfactory as a reading (of a Brian symphony) than Brabbins' tenth! But the LSSO were a school orchestra,of course! Conversely,if I want to listen to the Second,Brabbins is now my first port of call,not Mackerras (who is also very good). I also rather like Leslie Head,but I'm digressing a bit now!! ::) :) Anyway,this is excellent news! :)

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7475 on: September 01, 2017, 06:12:33 AM »
I agree with all of your preferences, cilgwyn.
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 #7476 on: September 04, 2017, 03:32:13 AM »
The imminent availability of all 32 symphonies on disc makes the "marathon" do-able. The symphony cycle can be broken down into eight concert-length programmes. Once No. 10 is reached, the symphonies are quite short, so more of them can fit into the programmes. Here's my "schedule" for how I would listen to them:

Programme 1
No. 1

Programme 2
No. 2
*interval*
No. 3

Programme 3
No. 4
*interval*
Nos. 5 & 6

Programme 4
No. 7
*interval*
Nos. 8 & 9

Programme 5
Nos. 10-12
*interval*
Nos. 13-15

Programme 6
Nos. 16-18
*interval*
Nos. 19-21

Programme 7
Nos. 22-24
*interval*
Nos. 25 & 26

Programme 8
Nos. 27-29
*interval*
Nos. 30-32

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7477 on: September 04, 2017, 03:36:55 AM »
Love it. Your personal Brian Festival! Keep an ambulance ready for after you have finished your binge, for either serious withdrawal symptoms or overused ears.
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7478 on: September 05, 2017, 02:17:08 AM »
You may need the Brian recovery position!


Offline vandermolen

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7479 on: September 05, 2017, 07:28:38 AM »
And it's only taken 40 years! ;D A few more quid in the fund and we might even live to hear his Faust opera?! I think this will be only the second Brian cd (or Lp) to have a mountainscape on the front. The Unicorn cd was the last one. I presume it reflects Brian's metaphorical scaling of the creative peaks? Or just a handy photo?! ;D It looks cool,though! The eighth is often cited as one of his best. I've always had a fondness for the twenty first in the old LSSO recording. One of his most immediately approachable scores,amongst the later ones. I wonder if they can beat that classic recording? The LSSO still seems to reign supreme. Brabbins is good;but it's the LSSO recording I go to first! Newstone's Seventh is another example. Although,I find the Mackerras more satisfactory as a reading (of a Brian symphony) than Brabbins' tenth! But the LSSO were a school orchestra,of course! Conversely,if I want to listen to the Second,Brabbins is now my first port of call,not Mackerras (who is also very good). I also rather like Leslie Head,but I'm digressing a bit now!! ::) :) Anyway,this is excellent news! :)
This is such exciting news! No.8 is my favourite, with its wonderfully searching and visionary ending. The Lyrita CD featuring Symphony 6 and 16 has a sort-of mountainous cover image, although more of the Pennines than the Alps.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

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