Nice to see this thread revived. I have the greatest admiration for Rubbra and have thought of him as the true heir of Vaughan Williams. I think that VW thought much the same. Colin writes eloquently of Rubbra's appeal and I entirely agree.
My own favourite Rubbra recording is Barbirolli's of Symphony No 5. This was also my introduction to Rubbra on an old EMI LP, where it was coupled with Vaughan Williams's Five Variants on Dives and Lazarus and the Oboe Concerto; a great disc, which I borrowed from the High St Kensington Music Library in the 1970s. Oddly enough as I was driving into work today I was thinking that I must listen to some more Rubbra. My other favourites are Symphony No 7 conducted by Boult on Lyrita (my other Rubbra LP discovery), Symphony No 8 and, of course Symphony No 4. I like No 1 too but haven't really got my head round the choral No 9 yet.
As Colin says, there is something deeply spiritual about Rubbra's music, which is very conducive to quiet introspection (not that I get much chance for that
) and it grows on you with repeated listening. I'd also recommend the haunting work 'Resurgam' (on Lyrita with symphonies 3 and 4), a beautiful, haunting, short work.
A new biography of Rubbra has recently appeared. I believe that his son, Benedict Rubbra is quite well known as a painter.
As to my favourite composers; Miaskovsky (obviously), Vaughan Williams, Malcolm Arnold, Langgaard, Brian, Honegger, Tubin, Holmboe, Rubbra, Bruckner, Shostakovich, Copland, Diamond and Bloch come to mind.