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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterly Havergal Brian from Russia
I'd waited a long time to hear the same orchestra play these three late symphonies (1964-5) as a set - previously only No 22 had been fitfully available, Nos 23-24 having been broadcast decades ago - and the New Russia State Symphony don't disappoint. No 24 is revealed to be the masterly single-movement symphony I remembered from before, ad there's a cracking accout of...
Published 4 months ago by Mr. Guy Rickards

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A concentrated and related group of works
The term “late period” isn’t really appropriate in Brian’s case, given that the composer wrote 26 of his 32 symphonies between the ages of 72 (in 1948) and his death at aged 96 in 1972. The last ten span the final four years of Brian’s composing life, between 1964 and 1968. Within them, numbers 22-24, in particular form a concentrated and...
Published 11 months ago by John Abbott


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A concentrated and related group of works, 30 April 2014
By 
John Abbott (San Francisco, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Brian: Symphonies No. 22-24 [English Suite No. 1] [Alexander Walker] [Naxos: 8.572833] (Audio CD)
The term “late period” isn’t really appropriate in Brian’s case, given that the composer wrote 26 of his 32 symphonies between the ages of 72 (in 1948) and his death at aged 96 in 1972. The last ten span the final four years of Brian’s composing life, between 1964 and 1968. Within them, numbers 22-24, in particular form a concentrated and related group. Written between December 1964 and August 1965, they all have something of a martial sound and share a concern for march-rhythms, changeable moods and developing variation.

Symphony No 22 "Symphonia Brevis" (1964-5, but first performed in 1971) is Brian’s shortest symphony (at just nine minutes long) and one of the most tightly organized, with the dense polyphony of the opening maestoso, leading to a ghostly, nocturnal march, calm but uneasy.

Symphony No 23 (1965, first performed 1973) is another two movement work, Brian considered calling it “Symphonia grandis”. Like its predecessor, includes martial elements (in the opening allegro and prior to the conclusion). “Eerie, belligerent and seethes with incident” (Rob Barnett).

Symphony No 24 in D major (1965, first performed 1973) has just one movement of 18 minutes length, though it's divided into three sections of widely varying mood. The work closes with a restful, optimistic adagio.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterly Havergal Brian from Russia, 12 Dec. 2014
By 
Mr. Guy Rickards (Northwood, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Brian: Symphonies No. 22-24 [English Suite No. 1] [Alexander Walker] [Naxos: 8.572833] (Audio CD)
I'd waited a long time to hear the same orchestra play these three late symphonies (1964-5) as a set - previously only No 22 had been fitfully available, Nos 23-24 having been broadcast decades ago - and the New Russia State Symphony don't disappoint. No 24 is revealed to be the masterly single-movement symphony I remembered from before, ad there's a cracking accout of the early, engaging First English Suite (1899-1904) to boot. Strongly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three more towards the 32 symphonies for Brian addicts on a fine budget lable, 27 Dec. 2014
By 
Mr. S. M. Collins (Nottingham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Brian: Symphonies No. 22-24 [English Suite No. 1] [Alexander Walker] [Naxos: 8.572833] (Audio CD)
Fine recording. As the Brian symphonies are getting picked off you can tell that releases lack the drama and the feistiness of many of his (particularly early) works.
However collectors will pounce upon any release of this almost criminally ignored composer. For three short symphonies composed in his eighties, they are by no means poor
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb performance, 5 May 2014
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This review is from: Brian: Symphonies No. 22-24 [English Suite No. 1] [Alexander Walker] [Naxos: 8.572833] (Audio CD)
An excellent CD with new repertoire. Fabulous conducting by Walker. This belongs on the shelves of anyone who calls themselves a classical music fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well worth a listen, 15 April 2014
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This review is from: Brian: Symphonies No. 22-24 [English Suite No. 1] [Alexander Walker] [Naxos: 8.572833] (Audio CD)
The composer was new to me, but this a very enjoyable collection. Alex Walker really draws out the atmosphere of the music.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really great performances of three tough but engaging symphonies, 2 April 2015
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This review is from: Brian: Symphonies No. 22-24 [English Suite No. 1] [Alexander Walker] [Naxos: 8.572833] (Audio CD)
Really great performances of three tough but engaging symphonies. I am a long term fan of Brian but sometimes struggle with a sameness of sound and rhythm. However this cd is worth the money for the 24th alone. A noble score. I am not much taken with English Suite 1, it is ok but lacks the vision and punch of later pieces. Superb performances and great recording.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Brian Symphonies, 13 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Brian: Symphonies No. 22-24 [English Suite No. 1] [Alexander Walker] [Naxos: 8.572833] (Audio CD)
There are quite a few recordings of Brian's huge output of orchestral music and this fine recording from Naxos is a good place to start if you don't know his works.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another bargain, 30 Jun. 2013
By 
Lance Edwards (derbyshire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Brian: Symphonies No. 22-24 [English Suite No. 1] [Alexander Walker] [Naxos: 8.572833] (Audio CD)
Good to have another recording of Brian in modern stereo. He is always interesting and the Russian orchestra as recorded here are superb. Take a chance...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 31 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Brian: Symphonies No. 22-24 [English Suite No. 1] [Alexander Walker] [Naxos: 8.572833] (Audio CD)
More symphonic masterpieces from Havergal Brian
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brian is unfairly neglected as a composer, 14 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Brian: Symphonies No. 22-24 [English Suite No. 1] [Alexander Walker] [Naxos: 8.572833] (Audio CD)
All very enjoyable and a good introduction to his music. I would recommend it for starters, then explore more of his recordings on the Naxos label.
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