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Brian: The Soul of Steel, Legend / Cook, Vignoles, Levine

Audio Samples

>Brian, Havergal : When Icicles Hang by the Wall, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : Take, O Take Those Lips Away, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : Sorrow Song, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : The Message, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : Farewell, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : Care-Charmer Sleep, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : Since Love is Dead, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : The Soul of Steel, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : Why Dost Thou Wound and Break My Heart?, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : On Parting, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : Lady Ellayne, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : Renunciation, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : Love is a Merry Game, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : Piping Down the Valleys Wild, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : The Chimney Sweeper, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : The Land of Dreams, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : The Defiled Sanctuary, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : Legend, for violin & piano

Album Summary

>Brian, Havergal : When Icicles Hang by the Wall, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : Take, O Take Those Lips Away, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : Sorrow Song, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : The Message, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : Farewell, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : Care-Charmer Sleep, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : Since Love is Dead, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : The Soul of Steel, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : Why Dost Thou Wound and Break My Heart?, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : On Parting, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : Lady Ellayne, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : Renunciation, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : Love is a Merry Game, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : Piping Down the Valleys Wild, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : The Chimney Sweeper, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : The Land of Dreams, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : The Defiled Sanctuary, for voice & piano
>Brian, Havergal : Legend, for violin & piano
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"Havergal Brian (1876-1972) was a prolific writer of symphonies, but his songs also warrant attention, and this recording offers a chance to explore another side of this interesting composer. Between 1890 and 1926, it is estimated that he wrote about 65 songs, choosing poems of Shakespeare, Donne, Herrick, and other 17th Century writers as well as William Blake and his lesser-known contemporaries. Most of his songs deal with somber subjects of grief, separation, the dying of love, and, as he noted in a letter to Granville Bantock in 1919, his "three great themes-love, hate, and death". Brian Rayner Cook, who studied this music with the composer and has been a long-time champion of Brian's songs, is the first to record some of them. These 17 songs were recorded in Wigmore Hall in 1982. Cook's singing is always sensitive to the text and probes the sadness and cynicism of these songs. His voice has just the right timbre and is consistently even at any pitch or dynamic level. Vignoles effectively handles these sometimes unorthodox compositions, as in 'When Icicles Hang By the Wall' with its toccata- like writing or 'Take, O Take Thy Lips Away' where the ardent vocal line is mocked by the more lighthearted and independent piano accompaniment. Also included is Legend, a six-minute work for violin and piano written in 1919, one of only four chamber pieces Brian wrote-and the other three have disappeared. Even this piece, lost in Brian's study, was not discovered and published until after his death. It is performed here elegantly and passionately by Levine and Lawson. Brian's music, especially the music on this recording, is not heard very often, so this is a good way to experience aspects of this composer who occupies a distinct and original place in England's musical life. Useful notes and complete texts." -ARG



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Works Details

>Brian, Havergal : When Icicles Hang by the Wall, for voice & piano
  • Performers: Brian Rayner Cook (Baritone); Roger Vignoles (Piano)
  • Notes: Wigmore Hall, London W1 (03/14/1982/04/13/1982)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Brian, Havergal : Take, O Take Those Lips Away, for voice & piano
  • Performers: Roger Vignoles (Piano); Brian Rayner Cook (Baritone)
  • Notes: Wigmore Hall, London W1 (03/14/1982/04/13/1982)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Brian, Havergal : Sorrow Song, for voice & piano
  • Performers: Roger Vignoles (Piano); Brian Rayner Cook (Baritone)
  • Notes: Wigmore Hall, London W1 (03/14/1982/04/13/1982)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Brian, Havergal : The Message, for voice & piano
  • Performers: Roger Vignoles (Piano); Brian Rayner Cook (Baritone)
  • Notes: Wigmore Hall, London W1 (03/14/1982/04/13/1982)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Brian, Havergal : Farewell, for voice & piano
  • Performers: Brian Rayner Cook (Baritone); Roger Vignoles (Piano)
  • Notes: Wigmore Hall, London W1 (03/14/1982/04/13/1982)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Brian, Havergal : Care-Charmer Sleep, for voice & piano
  • Performers: Roger Vignoles (Piano); Brian Rayner Cook (Baritone)
  • Notes: Wigmore Hall, London W1 (03/14/1982/04/13/1982)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Brian, Havergal : Since Love is Dead, for voice & piano
  • Performers: Roger Vignoles (Piano); Brian Rayner Cook (Baritone)
  • Notes: Wigmore Hall, London W1 (03/14/1982/04/13/1982)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Brian, Havergal : The Soul of Steel, for voice & piano
  • Performers: Roger Vignoles (Piano); Brian Rayner Cook (Baritone)
  • Notes: Wigmore Hall, London W1 (03/14/1982/04/13/1982)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Brian, Havergal : Why Dost Thou Wound and Break My Heart?, for voice & piano
  • Performers: Brian Rayner Cook (Baritone); Roger Vignoles (Piano)
  • Notes: Wigmore Hall, London W1 (03/14/1982/04/13/1982)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Brian, Havergal : On Parting, for voice & piano
  • Performers: Roger Vignoles (Piano); Brian Rayner Cook (Baritone)
  • Notes: Wigmore Hall, London W1 (03/14/1982/04/13/1982)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Brian, Havergal : Lady Ellayne, for voice & piano
  • Performers: Roger Vignoles (Piano); Brian Rayner Cook (Baritone)
  • Notes: Wigmore Hall, London W1 (03/14/1982/04/13/1982)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Brian, Havergal : Renunciation, for voice & piano
  • Performers: Roger Vignoles (Piano); Brian Rayner Cook (Baritone)
  • Notes: Wigmore Hall, London W1 (03/14/1982/04/13/1982)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Brian, Havergal : Love is a Merry Game, for voice & piano
  • Performers: Brian Rayner Cook (Baritone); Roger Vignoles (Piano)
  • Notes: Wigmore Hall, London W1 (03/14/1982/04/13/1982)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Brian, Havergal : Piping Down the Valleys Wild, for voice & piano
  • Performers: Brian Rayner Cook (Baritone); Roger Vignoles (Piano)
  • Notes: Wigmore Hall, London W1 (03/14/1982/04/13/1982)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Brian, Havergal : The Chimney Sweeper, for voice & piano
  • Performers: Brian Rayner Cook (Baritone); Roger Vignoles (Piano)
  • Notes: Wigmore Hall, London W1 (03/14/1982/04/13/1982)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Brian, Havergal : The Land of Dreams, for voice & piano
  • Performers: Brian Rayner Cook (Baritone); Roger Vignoles (Piano)
  • Notes: Wigmore Hall, London W1 (03/14/1982/04/13/1982)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Brian, Havergal : The Defiled Sanctuary, for voice & piano
  • Performers: Roger Vignoles (Piano); Brian Rayner Cook (Baritone)
  • Notes: Wigmore Hall, London W1 (03/14/1982/04/13/1982)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Brian, Havergal : Legend, for violin & piano
  • Performers: Stephen Levine (Violin); Peter Lawson (Piano)
  • Notes: Craxton Studios, London NW3 (12/14/1981-12/15/1981)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic