Author Topic: Havergal Brian.  (Read 591303 times)

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Offline springrite

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7280 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 #7281 on: April 20, 2017, 03:47:25 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.
 

 

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7282 on: April 20, 2017, 03:56:50 PM »
Very interesting observations. I don't think I have ever listened to Milhaud, so I'll have to see and hear for myself...
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 #7283 on: April 21, 2017, 04:52:44 AM »
I had the old Louisville recording of Milhaud's Sixth Symphony on a Lp years ago. I must admit I didn't actually set out to buy it. The firm went bust. One of those mail order companies that used to advertise in Gramophone. They offered me a choice. My money back,or I could buy have some Lp's to the same value. For some reason I chose the latter. One of the Lps was the Milhaud. The Sixth strikes me as one of his most interesting works. Like Myaskovsky,the sheer number of symphonies (and other music) puts me off further investigation. Luckily Youtube has some of the symphonies,or ever all of them?! Again,the problem is the possibility og getting side tracked......and using Audacity and ripping and burning drives me bonkers!! There really needs to be a resurgence of Ye olde audio cassette,like there was for vinyl (all though,low brow folk like me called them Lp's or records!). Also,unlike Lp's,you can record on them. Just bung it in,press play and record and bobs your uncle! No messing around with b***** file format converting,and the aforementioned ripping and burning! And my Dolby cassette deck produces magnificent sounding recordings,I might add (I just have!). Are they objects of beauty.like vinyl records? Do they have an aroma? Are they sexy?!! According,to an article at the Guardian,they are!!!Well,I personally think my colllection of musicassettes are rather cute! Sexy,though?!  ::) ::) ::) ;D
Anyway,I'm getting sidetracked here. Milhaud sounding Brianesque? Interesting! I'm just afraid that if I like Milhaud's Sixth that much,and agree with you,there will be more hours of burning and ripping,for my own personal use I should point out!! The Cpo set is an arm and a leg to me at the moment!!

As to being alone in liking Milhaud. I recently found someone at the GMG who likes Draeseke,too. Holbrooke? Erm,Gareth Vaughan. One other member at the AMF,possibly? Posts get few answers,if any. Actually,vandermolen did post a reply once................about Myaskovsky,I think?!! ;D Posts about Gilbert and Sullivan at the Gilbert and Sullivan Sanctuary (more like hermitage) have yet to receive any answers at all!! :( :( :( As the Seargent Major used to say in it 'It aint half hot mum'. Oh dear,how sad,never mind!! ;D

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7284 on: April 21, 2017, 05:01:29 AM »
Here it is! It's not a spoof,is it?!!

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/apr/21/aidan-moffat-record-store-day-vinyl

Do you remember "undressing" your Brian Lp's Johan?!! Does any other devout Brianite here,for that matter?!! ::) ;D ;D

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7285 on: April 21, 2017, 07:42:30 AM »
Talking of lp's.I did love the old Lyrita Lp sleeve design. I used to prop it up in front of me while I was listening to it. Somehow,the artwork seemed to 'go' with the music;in the way that it builds up in those blocks of sound and abrupt juxtaposition of ideas and mood that are so typical of his style. The fragmented shapes and colours of the sleeve so cleverly reflecting the soundworld in visual terms (the Sixteenth Symphony even more so,in some ways,possibly?). I love it when they reissue old,much loved recordings with the original artwork. I suppose I sound like an ingrate,but I was disappointed that Lyrita didn't use this in the reissue. I think it is a splendid design. I just like the simplicity of it. I find it quite striking,actually. Of course,the addition of the Cooke symphony altered the musical content,somwhat. Cooke,imo,not being a composer I would ever play immediately after listening to Brian (Daniel Jones,perhaps?). Of course,if you haven't already got in your collection,you can always buy the Lp secondhand and prop it up while listening to the cd;but it's not the same as having the design on the jewel case (booklet,actually) of a nice,shiny Lyrita cd.



As to "undressing it"? Personally,I just took the Lp out and put it on the turntable. It's just a piece of plastic with a hole in the middle for goodness sake!! ::) ;D

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7286 on: April 21, 2017, 08:56:24 AM »
Undressing Brian?! God forbid! I do like the artwork of 16, too, btw.
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7287 on: April 21, 2017, 09:32:47 AM »
I had the old Louisville recording of Milhaud's Sixth Symphony on a Lp years ago. I must admit I didn't actually set out to buy it. The firm went bust. One of those mail order companies that used to advertise in Gramophone. They offered me a choice. My money back,or I could buy have some Lp's to the same value. For some reason I chose the latter. One of the Lps was the Milhaud. The Sixth strikes me as one of his most interesting works. Like Myaskovsky,the sheer number of symphonies (and other music) puts me off further investigation. Luckily Youtube has some of the symphonies,or ever all of them?! Again,the problem is the possibility og getting side tracked......and using Audacity and ripping and burning drives me bonkers!! There really needs to be a resurgence of Ye olde audio cassette,like there was for vinyl (all though,low brow folk like me called them Lp's or records!). Also,unlike Lp's,you can record on them. Just bung it in,press play and record and bobs your uncle! No messing around with b***** file format converting,and the aforementioned ripping and burning! And my Dolby cassette deck produces magnificent sounding recordings,I might add (I just have!). Are they objects of beauty.like vinyl records? Do they have an aroma? Are they sexy?!! According,to an article at the Guardian,they are!!!Well,I personally think my colllection of musicassettes are rather cute! Sexy,though?!  ::) ::) ::) ;D
Anyway,I'm getting sidetracked here. Milhaud sounding Brianesque? Interesting! I'm just afraid that if I like Milhaud's Sixth that much,and agree with you,there will be more hours of burning and ripping,for my own personal use I should point out!! The Cpo set is an arm and a leg to me at the moment!!

As to being alone in liking Milhaud. I recently found someone at the GMG who likes Draeseke,too. Holbrooke? Erm,Gareth Vaughan. One other member at the AMF,possibly? Posts get few answers,if any. Actually,vandermolen did post a reply once................about Myaskovsky,I think?!! ;D Posts about Gilbert and Sullivan at the Gilbert and Sullivan Sanctuary (more like hermitage) have yet to receive any answers at all!! :( :( :( As the Seargent Major used to say in it 'It aint half hot mum'. Oh dear,how sad,never mind!! ;D
Yes, I only ever reply about Miaskovsky regardless of the thread.  8) 8) 8)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7288 on: April 21, 2017, 09:38:03 AM »
Actually I have a great new Brian recording - Symphony 3 conducted by Stanley Pope on the Klassic Haus Restorations label. From the bootleg first recording/performance in 1974. It is more urgent and powerful IMHO than the version on Hyperion - good as that is. The pianos are more prominent (Ronald Stevenson and David Wilde) and our very own GMG Forum member John Whitmore gets a credit for suggesting the release! Great stuff - this CD has given me much pleasure - now, back to Miaskovsky.  8)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7289 on: April 21, 2017, 09:39:52 AM »
Talking of lp's.I did love the old Lyrita Lp sleeve design. I used to prop it up in front of me while I was listening to it. Somehow,the artwork seemed to 'go' with the music;in the way that it builds up in those blocks of sound and abrupt juxtaposition of ideas and mood that are so typical of his style. The fragmented shapes and colours of the sleeve so cleverly reflecting the soundworld in visual terms (the Sixteenth Symphony even more so,in some ways,possibly?). I love it when they reissue old,much loved recordings with the original artwork. I suppose I sound like an ingrate,but I was disappointed that Lyrita didn't use this in the reissue. I think it is a splendid design. I just like the simplicity of it. I find it quite striking,actually. Of course,the addition of the Cooke symphony altered the musical content,somwhat. Cooke,imo,not being a composer I would ever play immediately after listening to Brian (Daniel Jones,perhaps?). Of course,if you haven't already got in your collection,you can always buy the Lp secondhand and prop it up while listening to the cd;but it's not the same as having the design on the jewel case (booklet,actually) of a nice,shiny Lyrita cd.



As to "undressing it"? Personally,I just took the Lp out and put it on the turntable. It's just a piece of plastic with a hole in the middle for goodness sake!! ::) ;D
Keith Hensby did those designs. When I last enquired a few years ago he was alive and well and still working as a graphic artist. The Bax symphony LP covers were a bit monotonous though.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7290 on: April 21, 2017, 09:41:03 AM »
I also prefer the Pope 3rd. More mystery, more magic. Did you read the liner notes by yours truly, Jeffrey?
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7291 on: April 21, 2017, 09:43:34 AM »
I also prefer the Pope 3rd. More mystery, more magic. Did you read the liner notes by yours truly, Jeffrey?
OMG!!!  ::) ::) ::)
How did I miss that?
Yes, of course I read them and found them, as expected, excellent in all respects. This adds even more to the attraction of this CD Johan.  :)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7292 on: April 21, 2017, 10:18:19 AM »
OMG!!!  ::) ::) ::)
How did I miss that?
Yes, of course I read them and found them, as expected, excellent in all respects. This adds even more to the attraction of this CD Johan.  :)


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

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7293 on: April 21, 2017, 10:45:04 AM »

Phew!
I like the description of the Symphony as 'heroic and iridescent'. Yes, very informative and insightful notes. You say a lot in a comparatively shorts space. CDs produced by these kind of small private labels often contain no notes at all, so your ones are a real bonus.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7294 on: April 21, 2017, 12:26:28 PM »
I like the description of the Symphony as 'heroic and iridescent'. Yes, very informative and insightful notes. You say a lot in a comparatively shorts space. CDs produced by these kind of small private labels often contain no notes at all, so your ones are a real bonus.


Thanks, Jeffrey. I liked the challenge of saying something about this symphony in a way that wasn't too influenced by Malcolm MacDonald. Which is almost impossible...
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7295 on: April 21, 2017, 12:36:49 PM »

Thanks, Jeffrey. I liked the challenge of saying something about this symphony in a way that wasn't too influenced by Malcolm MacDonald. Which is almost impossible...
Well, you managed that very successfully Johan.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7296 on: April 21, 2017, 01:32:13 PM »
For those interested... I own the copyright.
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 #7297 on: May 03, 2017, 02:18:27 AM »
Exciting news about a new Havergal Brian recording on the "Future Dutton releases" thread at the Art Music Forum. Is this really true? Johan: Did you know about this?!! ??? :o

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7298 on: May 03, 2017, 03:09:23 AM »
Exciting news about a new Havergal Brian recording on the "Future Dutton releases" thread at the Art Music Forum. Is this really true? Johan: Did you know about this?!! ??? :o


Only since yesterday evening, cilgwyn, when I received the festive 250th issue of the HBS Newsletter, to which I also contributed a short piece. But not just the news of a new Dutton recording in the offing (with the newly-orchestrated Vision of Cleopatra and other early pieces, both choral and orchestral) is an exciting prospect, also the next Naxos recording: symphonies 7 and 9!
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 #7299 on: May 03, 2017, 03:37:48 AM »
Two more Brian cds.....and,the one that's being released in the Autumn (I believe?)!! ??? :) Is this with Alexander Walker and the same Russian orchestra? I presume,or I might add,hope so;because he does seem to have a 'feel' for Brian's music. All his recordings,to date,have lived up to expectations. I haven't been disappointed yet! As to the Dutton cd. I like the program. I can understand Dundonnel's points (if you have seen his post at the AMF) but I think a really good performance of For Valour could change perceptions of this piece. As to Psalm 23. I must admit to not being too familiar with the piece. I will rectify this later by putting on the LSSO recording on the Heritage cd.  And come to think of it,I really could do with another listen to that 2 cd set. I like the idea of a cd programing some of these early orchestral pieces with choral works,though,and I like the program.
I am very excited about a new recording of the Seventh. A Russian orchestra could make this a particularly interesting experience. I wonder if there any ways in which a new recording could improve on the Mackerras. The Mackerras is very good,but I know that my first port of call for the Seventh is always the Pope (recording,not the one in the Vatican! ;D).

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