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Brian Havergal: Symphonies Nos. 11 & 15

> For Valour, Op. 7 - —
> For Valour, Op. 7 - Andante tranquillo
> For Valour, Op. 7 - Marcarto e pomposo, sempre pesante
> For Valour, Op. 7 - Allegro vivace
> For Valour, Op. 7 - Piu allegro
> Doctor Merryheart - — (Theme)
> Doctor Merryheart - Variation 1: Whimsies and Sunshadows (Grillen und Sonnenschatten)
> Doctor Merryheart - Variation 2: Smiles and Storms (Lacheln und Sturme)
> Doctor Merryheart - Variation 3: Dreams: Asleep in the Arms of Venus (Traume: Schlummernd in den Armen der Venus)
> Doctor Merryheart - Variation 4: Merryheart as a chivalrous knight chases Bluebeard (Als ritterlicher Kampe verfolgt Merryheart den Blaubart)
> Doctor Merryheart - Variation 5: Merryheart fights a dragon (Merryheart kampft mit dem Drache)
> Doctor Merryheart - Variation 6: Merryheart leads a procession of heroes (Merryheart fuhrt einem Zug Helden)
> Doctor Merryheart - Variation 7: Merryheart awakes (Merryheart ist wash)
> Doctor Merryheart - The Dance of Merryheart (Merryhearts Tanz)
> Symphony No. 11 - I. Adagio -
> Symphony No. 11 - II. Allegro giocoso -
> Symphony No. 11 - II. Adagio -
> Symphony No. 11 - II. (Scherzo) -
> Symphony No. 11 - II. Andante espressivo teneramente
> Symphony No. 11 - III. Maestoso e pesante - Allegro marcia
> Symphony No. 11 - III. Grazioso -
> Symphony No. 11 - III. Allegro marcia
> Symphony No. 15 - Maestoso e marcato -
> Symphony No. 15 - — -
> Symphony No. 15 - — -
> Symphony No. 15 - Cantabile e espressivo molto -
> Symphony No. 15 - — -
> Symphony No. 15 - Allegro con brio

Album Summary

>Brian, Havergal : For Valor, for organ & orchestra
>Brian, Havergal : Doctor Merryheart
>Brian, Havergal : Symphony no 11
>Brian, Havergal : Symphony no 15 in A major
Conductors Ensemble
  • >
Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Havergal Brian was never a conventional composer, but the three later works on this disc rank among his most unconventional approaches to the symphonic form. The highly virtuosic Doctor Merryheart portrays an imaginary astronomer's musical obsessions. The artless spontaneity of Symphony No. 11, whose Adagio is one of Brian's most profound inspirations, and the extrovert character of Symphony No. 15, are firmly grounded in Brian's resourceful technical mastery. The martial vigour of the early overture For Valour drew inspiration from the Walt Whitman poem Drum Taps (also used by Vaughan Williams in Dona nobis pacem, NXS 8572424).

"This is a reissue...I've thoroughly enjoyed listening to this recording, hearing new things each time. The symphonies are powerful, stately, yet vivacious, and have a scope that goes beyond the actual track timing...Playing and recorded sound are superb; notes are in English. Since much of Brian's music can be rather forbidding, this is a good place to start."-American Record Guide

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: National Concert Hall, Dublin.



Reviews

Important recordings in the Brian revival
The works on this disc were recorded in 1993 and 1997, and were part of the series of Marco Polo discs from the end of the century that helped move Brian from cult status more or less into the mainstream of British classical music. It's nice to have this music at budget price, and more widely available (though this particular Marco Polo issue is still out there both on CD and through MP3 downloads). The CD begins with two very early works. Both the Concert Overture: For Valour and the Comedy Overture: Doctor Merryheart owe a great deal to Elgar and to Richard Strauss. They're very expressive and highly emotional; Brian wears his heart on his sleeve in this music. Don't expect Monty Python in the Comedy Overture, by the way; this is very much in the Falstaff hearty-laughs tradition. The symphonies come from much later in Brian's career. I'm certainly no Brian specialist, but I find this craggy/lyrical music to be highly cogent, and more accessible than I had assumed. The music repays careful listening, but chunks of these symphonies blasting from the CD player in my car have provided spur-of-the-moment inspiration along with much admiration for an uncompromising, crusty old composer.
Submitted on 03/03/11 by Dean Frey 
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Works Details

>Brian, Havergal : For Valor, for organ & orchestra
  • Conductor: Tony Rowe
  • Running Time: 3 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Brian, Havergal : Doctor Merryheart
  • Conductor: Adrian Leaper
  • Running Time: 1 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Brian, Havergal : Symphony no 11
  • Conductor: Adrian Leaper
  • Running Time: 6 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral

>Brian, Havergal : Symphony no 15 in A major
  • Conductor: Tony Rowe
  • Running Time: 4 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral