Author Topic: Havergal Brian.  (Read 912165 times)

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Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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  • William Havergal Brian, symphonist (1876-1972)
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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7900 on: August 23, 2019, 09:27:14 PM »
Forgot also to recommend Symphony no.6.  :)


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

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7901 on: August 23, 2019, 11:04:10 PM »

Offline DaveF

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7902 on: November 28, 2019, 02:10:38 PM »
BBC Radio 3 had a piece about Brian in its "Essential Classics" programme on Tuesday morning (so now HB is "Essential"!).  I caught the beginning of it, starting about 10:00, and will get the rest on catch-up:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000bmtk
"All the world is birthday cake" - George Harrison

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7903 on: November 28, 2019, 02:22:43 PM »
That's progress! Thanks for spotting this .
Update: I don't see Brian in the tracklist...
« Last Edit: November 28, 2019, 02:29:01 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 #7904 on: November 29, 2019, 09:16:33 AM »
I've found it. It's a section called "Musical Time Traveller", and it's a short featurette rather than a full playthrough. Still interesting though. It starts around 1:10:15 into this programme: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000bmtk

It's a fascinating little bit, including a brief extract of the composer talking about the symphony.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2019, 10:37:20 AM by Maestro267 »

Offline Hattoff

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7905 on: December 20, 2019, 02:39:41 AM »
Of slight interest but amusingly, Brian is clued in today's Times Crossword.

Faust Brian put together without leading notes, like Berg.

8 letters.

Thumbs up to anyone who gets it.

They don't name the compiler in the Times unfortunately.

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7906 on: December 20, 2019, 02:41:45 AM »
Of slight interest but amusingly, Brian is clued in today's Times Crossword.

Faust Brian put together without leading notes, like Berg.

8 letters.

Thumbs up to anyone who gets it.

They don't name the compiler in the Times unfortunately.
The compiler is... John Grimshaw, Chairman of the Havergal Brian Society!
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Offline Hattoff

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7908 on: December 20, 2019, 03:06:59 AM »
Excellent, I knew Brian fans were clever. ;)
« Last Edit: December 20, 2019, 03:15:47 AM by Hattoff »

Offline krummholz

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7909 on: January 07, 2020, 11:03:40 AM »
So I have been trying to figure out what is the proper tempo for the introduction to the first movement of the 27th Symphony. It's apparently marked Lento, but the three recordings I've heard of it seem to have drastically different ideas of how slow to play it. Brabbins takes that introduction at a rather jaunty pace, more like an Allegretto (assuming the flute's first two notes are quavers). There's a recording online of a California student orchestra that takes it exceedingly slowly indeed, to my ears way too slowly (but then I heard the work first in the Brabbins). On the other hand, Mackerras's venerable reading takes it at somewhere between Brabbins and the student orchestra, and sounds just right to me.

Has anyone seen the score? Does Brian use metronome markings? (I assume not, otherwise the rather extreme differences between the three performances would be hard to justify.) What does the group think?
« Last Edit: January 07, 2020, 11:05:14 AM by krummholz »

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7910 on: January 07, 2020, 12:05:04 PM »
See for yourself... From volume 2 of MacDonald's classic series. I think Mackerras nails the tempo, too.

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

Offline krummholz

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7911 on: January 07, 2020, 12:35:38 PM »
Thanks Johan! So they're semiquavers not quavers, and maybe Brabbins's tempo isn't wrong either then. I still prefer Mackerras's though.

One very odd thing: all three recordings play the flute's fourth note as an A-flat, but MM's excerpt has it as a B-flat! A misprint somewhere?

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7912 on: January 07, 2020, 12:43:50 PM »
Well-spotted! It's a misprint. Look at the start of the Allegro...

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

Offline krummholz

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7913 on: January 07, 2020, 12:49:49 PM »
Yep! I love how Brian turns that rather plaintive flute theme into something like a Handelian bourree... and then of course, the theme never returns in its original form!

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7914 on: January 07, 2020, 12:52:25 PM »
Indeed, always varying and voyaging onward! And that in his nineties...
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline relm1

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7915 on: February 29, 2020, 05:40:37 PM »
Any news about the Faust recording?  It recorded a while ago so just wondering when we'll hear something about a major new premiere recording?

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7916 on: March 01, 2020, 11:14:19 PM »
Well, the release date has not yet been announced. The latest issue of the HBS Newsletter contained extensive reports by Committee members about the recording sessions at the famous Abbey Road studios. If they are to be believed (and I have no reason not to), we're in for a treat.
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline Klaatu

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7917 on: March 27, 2020, 11:37:10 AM »
Here's a couple of interesting YouTube videos about the Gothic Symphony by composer Bret Newton:

https://youtu.be/j9wy0NgmRWc

https://youtu.be/YtvhoT9tWKk

Perhaps the most interesting comment by Bret is this remarkable statement:

"The more I dig into this piece, the more I uncover and the more I understand about this piece, the more I realise it is an ABSOLUTE MASTERPIECE, maybe one of the greatest symphonic pieces of the 20th century."

High praise indeed!

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Havergal Brian.
« Reply #7918 on: March 27, 2020, 12:02:06 PM »
Here's a couple of interesting YouTube videos about the Gothic Symphony by composer Bret Newton:

https://youtu.be/j9wy0NgmRWc

https://youtu.be/YtvhoT9tWKk


Perhaps the most interesting comment by Bret is this remarkable statement:

"The more I dig into this piece, the more I uncover and the more I understand about this piece, the more I realise it is an ABSOLUTE MASTERPIECE, maybe one of the greatest symphonic pieces of the 20th century."

High praise indeed!
That's a great find, Klaatu! Of course, I agree with his assessment. I have been living with that beast for almost forty years, and I haven't fallen out of love with it.
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato