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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
13
4.5 out of 5 stars


on 27 December 2014
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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on 2 April 2015
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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on 30 April 2014
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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on 12 December 2014
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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on 15 April 2014
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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on 5 May 2014
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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on 24 October 2015
While this was very much an introduction to Brian's work, and is not easy to get into straight away, this music is quite distinctive and engaging. Very good recorded sound.
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on 13 September 2013
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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on 31 August 2014
More symphonic masterpieces from Havergal Brian
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on 30 June 2013
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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