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Havergal Brian: Symphonies Nos. 6, 28, 29 and 31 / New Russia State SO, Walker

Album Summary

>Brian, Havergal : Symphony no 6 "Sinfonia Tragica"
>Brian, Havergal : Symphony no 28 in C minor
>Brian, Havergal : Symphony no 29 in E flat major
>Brian, Havergal : Symphony no 31
Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Havergal Brian's extraordinary late creativity is almost unparalleled in musical history. Between the completion of his Sixth Symphony in 1948 and the end of his compositional life two decades later he wrote a further twenty-six symphonies. No. 6 marks a crucial point in his adoption of more concise forms and economy of expression in its single-movement span, a process taken even further in the brief but free polyphonic fantasia of No. 31. In Symphonies Nos. 28 and 29 Brian turned to the classical four-movement model, if wholly and idiosyncratically re-imagined. The intensity and even savagery of No. 28 is balanced by No. 29, Brian's most lyrical late work.

MusicWeb International, May 2015
My expectations of high performance quality were fully met by these gripping accounts. Walker achieves extraordinarily intense playing that illuminates this music to its best advantage.

American Record Guide, September/October 2015
Brian's enigmatic Symphony 6, Tragic (1948), for all its inwardness and lack of pretension just may be the best piece he ever wrote. Symphonies 28 and 29 - both recorded premieres - date from 1967. 28 has a snarky, humorous opening. Its first movement packs several exciting bits in less than four minutes. Brian wrote Symphony 29 soon after 28. Both are brief, with four movements, played without pause. Symphony 29 has an epic opening with plenty of brass, bass, and percussion. Symphony 31 (1968) is stronger altogether. It has a descending four-note scale figure in its opening bars that constantly recurs. The initial section has a neo-baroque theme with contrapuntal phrases chiming in. Brian has all sorts of fun with his various motifs. Even at the end, it's in the bass run-up to the final chord. Characteristic of later Brian, that chord is simply a bare fifth.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Studio 5, Russian State TV & Radio Company KULTURA, Mos (05/20/2014-05/24/2014).



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Works Details

>Brian, Havergal : Symphony no 6 "Sinfonia Tragica"
  • Conductor: Alexander Walker
  • Ensemble: New Russia State Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Studio 5, Russian State TV & Radio Company KULTURA, Moscow (05/20/2014-05/24/2014)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral

>Brian, Havergal : Symphony no 28 in C minor
  • Conductor: Alexander Walker
  • Notes: Studio 5, Russian State TV & Radio Company KULTURA, Moscow (05/20/2014-05/24/2014)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral

>Brian, Havergal : Symphony no 29 in E flat major
  • Conductor: Alexander Walker
  • Notes: Studio 5, Russian State TV & Radio Company KULTURA, Moscow (05/20/2014-05/24/2014)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral

>Brian, Havergal : Symphony no 31
  • Conductor: Alexander Walker
  • Notes: Studio 5, Russian State TV & Radio Company KULTURA, Moscow (05/20/2014-05/24/2014)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral