Author Topic: Havergal Brian.  (Read 1020218 times)

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Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #8060 on: July 22, 2021, 08:16:53 AM »
You heard correctly... The organ did help out.
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 #8061 on: July 22, 2021, 08:34:12 AM »
I meant to post as well that I thought the opening of the third movement reminded me a bit of Bruckner, particularly the scherzo to his Fifth Symphony. That movement is one of the strangest I know of in the symphonic repertoire. Some fantastical and pretty demonic music, and not just the famous xylophone passage.

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #8062 on: July 22, 2021, 09:05:38 AM »
That Brucknerian 'vibe' is certainly there. Malcolm MacDonald notices it, too, in volume 1 of his classic trilogy on Brian's symphonies. As for the Vivace as a whole, I agree. It is among the most fantastical and demonic music Brian ever wrote. That transitional passage with the xylophone always feels like a Brianic take on the famous transition in Beethoven's Fifth, from Scherzo to Finale, which RVW also mimics in his Fourth.
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline Catison

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #8063 on: July 22, 2021, 06:16:41 PM »
Something randomly came to me and today I typed in 'Havergal Brian' into my Apple Music search.  I was pleasantly surprised to see the new Walker recordings and the other new stuff that has come into existence since I last dove into the Brian-verse 5 years ago.  Anyways, I really liked Symphony 10 and Symphony 8.  I don't know why I picked those, but they scratched the itch that I didn't know I had.

Then I thought I come here and see if this thread was still active...it was and it was nice to peruse.  Thanks again for having a great fan base here to help me feel comfortable diving into this music again!
-Brett

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #8064 on: July 22, 2021, 07:59:24 PM »
Something randomly came to me and today I typed in 'Havergal Brian' into my Apple Music search.  I was pleasantly surprised to see the new Walker recordings and the other new stuff that has come into existence since I last dove into the Brian-verse 5 years ago.  Anyways, I really liked Symphony 10 and Symphony 8.  I don't know why I picked those, but they scratched the itch that I didn't know I had.

Then I thought I come here and see if this thread was still active...it was and it was nice to peruse.  Thanks again for having a great fan base here to help me feel comfortable diving into this music again!
Great to hear from you. Yes, this thread is still alive, which is either a testament to the power of Brian's music or the stubbornness of a few misguided souls (as the detractors would have it)! Those Walker CDs have been mostly good. I personally still prefer Newstone and Mackerras in the Seventh and Fredman in the Sixth and Suxteenth, but it's great we now have a choice. It's quite remarkable. And Faust and The Cenci still await us.
Keep on listening! (as David Hurwitz always ends his excellent YouTube videos)
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline Albion

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #8065 on: July 22, 2021, 10:03:54 PM »
Is there any news yet about the CD release of Faust?

 :-\
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)

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #8066 on: July 22, 2021, 10:07:41 PM »
Is there any news yet about the CD release of Faust?

 :-\
Alas, no, John. The last news we had was the John Pickard post I quoted in April.
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline Albion

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #8067 on: July 22, 2021, 10:27:49 PM »
Alas, no, John. The last news we had was the John Pickard post I quoted in April.

Presumably the editing has been done - now would be a good time to release, given the general current lack of enterprise shown by several companies which used to be much more imaginative - Hyperion and Chandos seem to have largely given up and turned more and more to the mainstream.

Dutton Epoch has long been one of my favourite companies for exploratory repertoire along with CPO...

 :)
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)

Offline krummholz

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #8068 on: July 23, 2021, 04:38:38 AM »
Great to hear from you. Yes, this thread is still alive, which is either a testament to the power of Brian's music or the stubbornness of a few misguided souls (as the detractors would have it)! Those Walker CDs have been mostly good. I personally still prefer Newstone and Mackerras in the Seventh and Fredman in the Sixth and Suxteenth, but it's great we now have a choice. It's quite remarkable. And Faust and The Cenci still await us.
Keep on listening! (as David Hurwitz always ends his excellent YouTube videos)

Interesting take on the xylophone passage, Johan. The RVW transition to the Finale in Symphony 4 is well-known as a reference to the similar passage in Beethoven's #5, but I had never thought of the Brian in those terms. Shall have to listen again, soon.

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #8069 on: August 27, 2021, 05:31:41 PM »
Enjoying this rather serviceable performance of the Symphony No. 4 Das Siegeslied. I had forgot what an epic gargantuan score this is!! Just my cup of tea. It should be better known, there are many arresting and thought-provoking moments that leave quite an impression.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/7XK-d3Jeb2k" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/7XK-d3Jeb2k</a>
Give us something else; give us something new; for Heaven's sake give us something bad, so long as we feel we are alive and active and not just passive admirers of tradition!

Carl Nielsen

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #8070 on: August 27, 2021, 09:06:12 PM »
Yes, this live performance is more gripping than the Naxos. Das Siegeslied remains a strange work. Malcolm Macdonald's idea that it represents a crushing indictment of power never wholly convinces me, as the work seems to embody Power itself. Brian's two extremes, which we see in the Eighth in the most exemplary fashion, are the ruthless and the vulnerable. Das Siegeslied is his most ruthless work, with a central movement that has a glacial beauty (with one explosion), and I don't know if he is enjoying himself or critiquing that side of his, and of reality...
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 #8071 on: August 27, 2021, 09:37:59 PM »
I played this the other day and was gripped throughout. His music is invariably 'episodic' but some of those episodes are very special (especially that fanfare towards the end). I now consider this to be one of my favourite HB symphonies along with 3,6,7,8,9,10,11,16 and 22.
"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).

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #8072 on: August 28, 2021, 03:32:10 AM »
Enjoying this rather serviceable performance of the Symphony No. 4 Das Siegeslied. I had forgot what an epic gargantuan score this is!! Just my cup of tea. It should be better known, there are many arresting and thought-provoking moments that leave quite an impression.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/7XK-d3Jeb2k" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/7XK-d3Jeb2k</a>

This same performance can be bought via the Klassichaus website;

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

for a very reasonable $5 for a 320 kps download.  The audio quality is markedly better than on the YouTube link here - more present and richer in detail - which is something you do need in as 'big' a work as this.  Klassichaus in general has a rich archive of these BBC sourced off-air Brian recordings which I think complement the more modern studio recordings very well

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #8073 on: August 28, 2021, 03:55:10 AM »
Yes, although the Havergal Brian Society cannot and won't endorse them, those Klassic Haus editions are a real improvement. Because these recordings serve(d) a need, I decided to write the liner notes for most of them. Ten years ago, almost...
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #8074 on: August 28, 2021, 04:43:03 AM »
Yes, although the Havergal Brian Society cannot and won't endorse them, those Klassic Haus editions are a real improvement. Because these recordings serve(d) a need, I decided to write the liner notes for most of them. Ten years ago, almost...

Great to "see" you, friend!
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 J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #8075 on: August 28, 2021, 04:46:00 AM »
Great to "see" you, friend!
Likewise, Karl!
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline Augustus

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #8076 on: October 12, 2021, 03:27:10 PM »
Well, it's here at last!  Havergal Brian's Faust has just been advertised on the Dutton Vocalion website as available.  For those of you who are Havergal Brian Society members, their price as advertised in the latest Newsletter is a little cheaper, once postage has been included for Dutton.  I can hardly wait for my copy to arrive.  I dare to think this is perhaps the most significant Brian issue to date.

The HBS are also taking orders for a new Heritage Records disc featuring the Stanley Pope performances of Symphonies 3 and 17 from BBC master tapes, so this may well improve on the sound of the KlassikHaus transfers from off-air recordings.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #8077 on: October 12, 2021, 03:33:23 PM »
Well, it's here at last!  Havergal Brian's Faust has just been advertised on the Dutton Vocalion website as available.  For those of you who are Havergal Brian Society members, their price as advertised in the latest Newsletter is a little cheaper, once postage has been included for Dutton.  I can hardly wait for my copy to arrive.  I dare to think this is perhaps the most significant Brian issue to date.

The HBS are also taking orders for a new Heritage Records disc featuring the Stanley Pope performances of Symphonies 3 and 17 from BBC master tapes, so this may well improve on the sound of the KlassikHaus transfers from off-air recordings.

I'm not a Havergal Brian fan, but I urge everyone here (and elsewhere) to provide links for other people about anything you mention that's going to be released.

Like this:

https://www.duttonvocalion.co.uk/proddetail.php?prod=2CDLX7385
"Competitions are for horses. Not artists." - Béla Bartók

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #8078 on: October 12, 2021, 07:05:59 PM »
This composer thread will be on the top of this board for quite a good time, I suspect.  ;D
Give us something else; give us something new; for Heaven's sake give us something bad, so long as we feel we are alive and active and not just passive admirers of tradition!

Carl Nielsen

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #8079 on: October 12, 2021, 11:49:21 PM »
Well, it's here at last!  Havergal Brian's Faust has just been advertised on the Dutton Vocalion website as available.  For those of you who are Havergal Brian Society members, their price as advertised in the latest Newsletter is a little cheaper, once postage has been included for Dutton.  I can hardly wait for my copy to arrive.  I dare to think this is perhaps the most significant Brian issue to date.

The HBS are also taking orders for a new Heritage Records disc featuring the Stanley Pope performances of Symphonies 3 and 17 from BBC master tapes, so this may well improve on the sound of the KlassikHaus transfers from off-air recordings.
Good news! I hope that Heritage release Symphony 8 as well.
"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).