Havergal Brian on Music: European and American Music in His Time
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.
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Brian the Contemporary
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