Havergal Brian.

Started by Harry, June 09, 2007, 04:36:53 AM

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Maestro267

We need a good No. 4 with a less warbly soprano.

Albion

#8181
Quote from: Maestro267 on January 12, 2023, 09:28:34 AMWe need a good No. 4 with a less warbly soprano.

Forget the Marco Polo/ Naxos No.4. Despite the more limited sonics you're far better off with John Poole in 1974 (broadcast 25/6/1975) with Felicity Palmer, lots of choruses and the LPO...

https://www.mediafire.com/file/3ct5hialrj8kire/Brian_-_Symphony_No.4%252C_Das_Siegeslied_%25281932-33%2529_-_Poole.mp3/file

 ;)
A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it. (SG, 1922)

Roasted Swan

Quote from: Albion on January 12, 2023, 01:02:51 PMForget the Marco Polo/ Naxos No.4. Despite the more limited sonics you're far better off with John Poole in 1974 (broadcast 25/6/1975) with Felicity Palmer, lots of choruses and the LPO...

https://www.mediafire.com/file/3ct5hialrj8kire/Brian_-_Symphony_No.4%252C_Das_Siegeslied_%25281932-33%2529_-_Poole.mp3/file

 ;)


Again a Klassichaus release - http://klassichaus.us/Brian%3A-Symphony-Nos--4--and--5.php

Maestro267

Man that feels like that would be *perfect* for Lyrita!

vandermolen

I've been greatly enjoying this CD and I can't understand why, up until now, it passed me by - maybe because I already owned alternative recordings of all three work. However, I think it makes a very nice programme featuring two of my favourite HB symphonies. Even if the alternative performances (Makerras/Fredman) are better the Naxos is an excellent recording and it's good to hear alternative performances of these works. Any other views on this CD?
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Albion

#8185
Quote from: vandermolen on January 24, 2023, 11:23:15 AMI've been greatly enjoying this CD and I can't understand why, up until now, it passed me by - maybe because I already owned alternative recordings of all three work. However, I think it makes a very nice programme featuring two of my favourite HB symphonies. Even if the alternative performances (Makerras/Fredman) are better the Naxos is an excellent recording and it's good to hear alternative performances of these works. Any other views on this CD?


It's great! Alexander Walker has the measure of Brian and his Naxos discs have all been uniformly excellent. I agree that the Mackerras No.7 and the Fredman No.16 are "reference" recordings, but you simply can't go wrong with this CD. Hasten and purchase (if you haven't already). The more alternative interpretations we have, the better. It's wonderful that Naxos were clearly not content just to "complete the cycle" but are interested enough in Brian to offer new versions of previously recorded works...

 ;D
A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it. (SG, 1922)

Symphonic Addict

A few days ago I finished my traversal throughout his 32 symphonies, which provided me of a better understanding of this composer. However, on the basis of what I heard being a listener without expert musical knowledge, I drew some conclusions or ideas:

1. He's got a distinctive voice.

2. When he was inspired, he really made good things, although that inspiration was intermitent.

3. Some symphonies sound like they were written with no real purpose, I didn't feel anything special on them and many sound strikingly similar each other. If there were more hummable tunes or memorable melodies on them, they would have much more appeal.

4. The use of cymbals and glockenspiel (mostly) is not special most of the times, but rather somewhat exaggerated, and I could include the percussion section in general; I often thought he wanted to create much noise but without addying anything particularly exceptional to the musical organism. His writing for strings and brass sounds more convincing to me.

5. I consider he is an overrated composer.


Said that, I classified them as below:


Very good

1, 7, 8, 16


Significantly interesting

2, 3, 11, 20, 21, 28, 29


Mildly attractive

4, 6, 9, 13, 25


Disappointing or that did nothing for me

5, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 30, 31 and 32


It's not my goal to hurt feelings as I am aware he's very respected and admired for many here, I'm just giving my personal impressions.
As we acquire knowledge, things do not become more comprehensible, but more mysterious.

Albert Schweitzer

vandermolen

Quote from: Albion on January 24, 2023, 07:16:23 PMIt's great! Alexander Walker has the measure of Brian and his Naxos discs have all been uniformly excellent. I agree that the Mackerras No.7 and the Fredman No.16 are "reference" recordings, but you simply can't go wrong with this CD. Hasten and purchase (if you haven't already). The more alternative interpretations we have, the better. It's wonderful that Naxos were clearly not content just to "complete the cycle" but are interested enough in Brian to offer new versions of previously recorded works...

 ;D
A good point, thanks. I listened to the CD again last night with much pleasure.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

vandermolen

Quote from: Symphonic Addict on January 24, 2023, 08:04:19 PMA few days ago I finished my traversal throughout his 32 symphonies, which provided me of a better understanding of this composer. However, on the basis of what I heard being a listener without expert musical knowledge, I drew some conclusions or ideas:

1. He's got a distinctive voice.

2. When he was inspired, he really made good things, although that inspiration was intermitent.

3. Some symphonies sound like they were written with no real purpose, I didn't feel anything special on them and many sound strikingly similar each other. If there were more hummable tunes or memorable melodies on them, they would have much more appeal.

4. The use of cymbals and glockenspiel (mostly) is not special most of the times, but rather somewhat exaggerated, and I could include the percussion section in general; I often thought he wanted to create much noise but without addying anything particularly exceptional to the musical organism. His writing for strings and brass sounds more convincing to me.

5. I consider he is an overrated composer.


Said that, I classified them as below:


Very good

1, 7, 8, 16


Significantly interesting

2, 3, 11, 20, 21, 28, 29


Mildly attractive

4, 6, 9, 13, 25


Disappointing or that did nothing for me

5, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 30, 31 and 32


It's not my goal to hurt feelings as I am aware he's very respected and admired for many here, I'm just giving my personal impressions.
Interesting to hear your view Cesar. We disagree on 10 (one of my favourites) and 22 (and 3) but otherwise my list of favourites is similar (I,3,6,7,8,9,10,16,22). Although there aren't many 'hummable tunes' I do feel that some of the themes do stay with me (the brief but moving 'funeral march' in No.16 for example).
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Albion

#8189
Quote from: vandermolen on January 24, 2023, 09:55:16 PMA good point, thanks. I listened to the CD again last night with much pleasure.

Brian is endlessly fascinating. Either you get him or you don't, it's that simple. I've stacked up a pile of CDs to plough through including all the symphonies, orchestral works, choral works, concertos and the operas, wonderful stuff. Here is my edited version of the BBC "Agamemnon"...

https://www.mediafire.com/file/32jwzsmnswmsx75/Brian_-_Agamemnon_%25281957%2529.mp3/file

 ;D
A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it. (SG, 1922)

Albion

#8190
I'm sure that I'm getting increasingly senile. I was just about to order 8, 21 and 26 (Naxos) and 3, 17 (Heritage) from Amazon, then went to the shelf and there they were already lurking. The Stanley Pope No.3 is the one to have, as it's just bloody gorgeous: chuck the Hyperion (dry as a corpse recording) out of the window or use it as a coaster. Alexander Walker's No.8 is a scorcher and better played than the Groves RLPO.

Prolific throughout an enormously long composing career, he is best known for the 32 numbered symphonies. Luckily we can now assemble good recordings of all of them, and there are some real crackers. Several of the BBC broadcasts have also been commercially released. For what it's worth, here are my top recommendations...

No.1, The Gothic - Brabbins, Hyperion CDA67971/2
No.2 - Brabbins, Dutton CDLX7330
No.3 - Pope, Heritage HTGCD153
No.4, Das Siegeslied - Leaper, Naxos 8.570308
No.5, Wine of Summer - Brabbins, Dutton CDLX7314
No.6, Sinfonia Tragica - Fredman, Lyrita SRCD295
No.7 - Mackerras, EMI 724357578226
No.8 - Walker, Naxos 8.573752
No.9 - Groves, EMI 724357578226
No.10 - Brabbins, Dutton CDLX7267
No.11 - Leaper, Naxos 8.572014
No.12 - Leaper, Naxos 8.570308
No.13 - Brabbins, Dutton CDLX7296
No.14 - Brabbins CDLX7330
No.15 - Rowe, Naxos 8.572014
No.16 - Fredman, Lyrita SRCD295
No.17 - Pope, Heritage HTGCD153
No.18 - Friend, Naxos 8.557775
No.19 - Brabbins, Dutton CDLX7314
No.20 - Penny, Naxos 8.572641
No.21 - Walker, Naxos 8.573752
No.22, Symphonia brevis - Walker, Naxos 8.572833
No.23 - Walker, Naxos 8.572833
No.24 - Walker, Naxos 8.572833
No.25 - Penny, Naxos 8.572641
No.26 - Walker, Naxos 8.573752
No.27 - Brabbins, Dutton CDLX7314
No.28 - Walker, Naxos 8.573408
No.29 - Walker, Naxos 8.573408
No.30 - Brabbins, Dutton CDLX7267
No.31 - Walker, Naxos 8.573408
No.32 - Leaper, Naxos 8.572020

 :)
A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it. (SG, 1922)

vandermolen

Quote from: Albion on January 25, 2023, 04:10:34 AMI'm sure that I'm getting increasingly senile. I was just about to order 8, 21 and 26 (Naxos) and 3, 17 (Heritage) from Amazon, then went to the shelf and there they were already lurking. The Stanley Pope No.3 is the one to have, as it's just bloody gorgeous: chuck the Hyperion (dry as a corpse recording) out of the window or use it as a coaster. Alexander Walker's No.8 is a scorcher and better played than the Groves RLPO.

Prolific throughout an enormously long composing career, he is best known for the 32 numbered symphonies. Luckily we can now assemble good recordings of all of them, and there are some real crackers. Several of the BBC broadcasts have also been commercially released. For what it's worth, here are my top recommendations...

No.1, The Gothic - Brabbins, Hyperion CDA67971/2
No.2 - Brabbins, Dutton CDLX7330
No.3 - Pope, Heritage HTGCD153
No.4, Das Siegeslied - Leaper, Naxos 8.570308
No.5, Wine of Summer - Brabbins, Dutton CDLX7314
No.6, Sinfonia Tragica - Fredman, Lyrita SRCD295
No.7 - Mackerras, EMI 724357578226
No.8 - Walker, Naxos 8.573752
No.9 - Groves, EMI 724357578226
No.10 - Brabbins, Dutton CDLX7267
No.11 - Leaper, Naxos 8.572014
No.12 - Leaper, Naxos 8.570308
No.13 - Brabbins, Dutton CDLX7296
No.14 - Brabbins CDLX7330
No.15 - Rowe, Naxos 8.572014
No.16 - Fredman, Lyrita SRCD295
No.17 - Pope, Heritage HTGCD153
No.18 - Friend, Naxos 8.557775
No.19 - Brabbins, Dutton CDLX7314
No.20 - Penny, Naxos 8.572641
No.21 - Walker, Naxos 8.573752
No.22 - Walker, Naxos 8.572833
No.23, Symphonia brevis - Walker, Naxos 8.572833
No.24 - Walker, Naxos 8.572833
No.25 - Penny, Naxos 8.572641
No.26 - Walker, Naxos 8.573752
No.27 - Brabbins, Dutton CDLX7314
No.28 - Walker, Naxos 8.573408
No.29 - Walker, Naxos 8.573408
No.30 - Brabbins, Dutton CDLX7267
No.31 - Walker, Naxos 8.573408
No.32 - Leaper, Naxos 8.572020

 :)
Most interesting, although I do rate the Groves No.8 very highly. I think that 22 not 23 is 'Brevis'.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Albion

Quote from: vandermolen on January 25, 2023, 05:07:38 AMMost interesting, although I do rate the Groves No.8 very highly. I think that 22 not 23 is 'Brevis'.

Indeed, duly corrected. I will endeavour to be more brevis...

 ;D
A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it. (SG, 1922)

Albion

Why isn't No.3 a repertoire piece when it's just so bloody gorgeous? Alright, you need a couple of pianists who can get their fingers flexing and a tremendous brass/ woodwind ensemble in the third movement (with its Straussian waltz interlude) but it's one of Brian's most colourful and approachable scores which would go down a storm when well played in concert...
A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it. (SG, 1922)

Albion

Onto No.17 now under Stanley Pope. There is such wondrously BEAUTIFUL melodic writing and orchestration here that I am flabbergasted that nobody (in concert terms) seems to care a tinker's tuppence about Brian. This is as much of a scandal as is the neglect of Bantock, Holbrooke, Boughton, Scott, Bax, Dyson and Bliss (et al)...
A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it. (SG, 1922)

vandermolen

Quote from: Albion on January 25, 2023, 05:58:16 AMIndeed, duly corrected. I will endeavour to be more brevis...

 ;D
;D
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Symphonic Addict

Quote from: vandermolen on January 24, 2023, 10:03:28 PMInteresting to hear your view Cesar. We disagree on 10 (one of my favourites) and 22 (and 3) but otherwise my list of favourites is similar (I,3,6,7,8,9,10,16,22). Although there aren't many 'hummable tunes' I do feel that some of the themes do stay with me (the brief but moving 'funeral march' in No.16 for example).

I remember enjoying the No. 10 the first times I listened to it, but on my revisitation I found it incongruous and rambling.
As we acquire knowledge, things do not become more comprehensible, but more mysterious.

Albert Schweitzer

Symphonic Addict

Quote from: Albion on January 25, 2023, 06:53:34 AMThis is as much of a scandal as is the neglect of Bantock, Holbrooke, Boughton, Scott, Bax, Dyson and Bliss (et al)...

Bantock, Bax, Bliss and some Dyson, yes, I agree. As to the others I feel less enthusiastic about.
As we acquire knowledge, things do not become more comprehensible, but more mysterious.

Albert Schweitzer

Albion

Quote from: Symphonic Addict on January 25, 2023, 02:44:06 PMBantock, Bax, Bliss and some Dyson, yes, I agree. As to the others I feel less enthusiastic about.

Which of Dyson's works would you particularly promote?

 8)
A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it. (SG, 1922)

vandermolen

#8199
Quote from: Albion on January 25, 2023, 04:38:07 PMWhich of Dyson's works would you particularly promote?

 8)
Not addressed to me but I'd strongly recommend the Symphony, Hierusalem, Quo Vadis (it has some longueurs but the most moving final section) and Concerto da Chiesa. No doubt Cesar will give you his own recommendations.
This is a good starting place:
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).