Havergal Brian on Music

April 2009
459 pages
21.6x13.8 cm
Musicians on Music
ISBN: 9780907689485
Format: Hardback
Toccata Press

Havergal Brian on Music

Volume Two: European and American Music in his Time

Havergal Brian

Edited by Malcolm MacDonald

This second volume of Brian's writings shows him to have been one of the most perceptive commentators on contemporary music in the twentieth century.
In this second volume of selections from his journalism, written over four decades between 1907 and 1946, the maverick English composer Havergal Brian [1876-1972] directs his enquiring mind at the music being composed in France, Germany, Italy and elsewhere, while he and his British contemporaries were fighting to establish new music at home. Richard Strauss figures prominently among the composers discussed, beginning with reviews of Hallé and Queen's Hall concerts in 1907 and 1910. But even Strauss was not treated as lavishly as another whose music clearly fascinated Brian deeply: Arnold Schoenberg. From Gurrelieder to the Violin Concerto, Brian emerges as one of Schoenberg's most sympathetic and understanding champions among the English critical fraternity in the inter-War period. Other composers featured include Bartók, Berg, Busoni, Debussy, Dohnányi, Dukas, Glazunov, Grieg, Hindemith, Kilpinen, Lehár, Mahler, Messager, Puccini, Rachmaninov, Ravel, Respighi, Shostakovich, Sibelius, Sousa, Stravinsky, Szymanowski, Tailleferre and Varèse - as well as figures now obscure such as Alfred Bruneau, August Bungert, César Géloso and Wilhelm Kienzl.

Malcolm MacDonald's introductions and annotations provide the background to each piece and cast light on Brian's more obscure references.


[E]ine... wichtige Veröffentlichung, gerade weil man einen durch Musikjournalismus gefilterten Blick auf das Musikleben der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts, vor allem der 30er Jahre erhält. Die MUSIKFORSCHUNG

A fascinating read. THE DELIAN
This second volume of Brian's writing...makes for tantalising reading...What Malcolm MacDonald's meticulously annotated volume shows is the work of a highly intelligent commentator...at the critical vanguard. CLASSICAL MUSIC [Editor's Choice]
A body of writing second to none for its insight into the musical world of the earlier twentieth century, as one of its most pertinent commentators saw it.music journalism such as Brian's is a salutary reminder of what ought to be possible. INTERNATIONAL RECORD REVIEW
MacDonald's editing is up to its usual high standards - his footnotes alone make fascinating reading. AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE

[B]oth a work of scholarship and an important historical source for an understanding of the British music of the early 20th century. ELGAR FOUNDATION

This is a golden treasury of fascinating journalism from a period in British musical history that can easily be bypassed when leaping from Elgar to Britten and beyond, and penned by a writer of great skill, broad musical perception and understanding, and above all the insights of a remarkable composer. MUSIC & VISION DAILY

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