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BRIAN, H.: Symphonies Nos. 20 and 25 (Ukraine National Symphony, Penny)


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MAESTRO’S MUSINGS – Jeremy Siepmann talks to the British conductor Andrew Penny

BRIAN, H.: Symphonies Nos. 20 and 25 (Ukraine National Symphony, Penny)

Havergal Brian was one of the most remarkable of twentieth century symphonists, whose reputation for the gargantuan (Symphony No. 1 ‘The Gothic’; Naxos 8.557418–19) has tended to overshadow the more concise nature of his later music. His Symphony No. 20 for instance, written in 1962, is compact, thematically sophisticated, and deeply expressive. Both it and No. 25 (1966) abandon Brian’s previous practice of one-movement symphonies in favour of the more classical three movements. Symphony No. 25 has beautiful melodies channelled within a wholly logical structure and is one of Brian’s most distinguished late works.

Brian, Havergal

  Fantastic Variations on an Old Rhyme
1.   I. Andante 00:02:33
2.   II. Allegro molto 00:01:15
3.   III. Con moto e espressione 00:02:56
4.   IV. Allegro vivace 00:03:30
5.   V. Lento 00:01:48
  Symphony No. 20 in C-Sharp Minor
6.   I. Adagio - Allegro agitato - 00:02:35
7.   I. (formal development section arrives) - 00:02:28
8.   I. (vigorous, highly allusive development of the first theme) - 00:01:39
9.   I. Coda 00:01:43
10.   II. Adagio ma non troppo, cantabile e sostenuto - 00:03:24
11.   II. (a bridge passage beginning with violin and flute solos) - 00:01:25
12.   II. (a development of the original polyphonic complex) - 00:02:00
13.   II. (the third span begins with a musing clarinet solo) 00:02:40
14.   III. Allegro vivo - 00:01:19
15.   III. Lento - 00:01:29
16.   III. (a kind of slow waltz, with violin solo) - 00:01:32
17.   III. Allegro - 00:01:38
18.   III. (reappearence of the rondo - theme on trombones) 00:01:20
19.   III. (fast Coda) 00:01:15
  Symphony No. 25 in A Minor
20.   I. Allegro risoluto - 00:03:18
21.   I. (the motto returns again to initiate an eventful development) - 00:00:35
22.   I. (elegantly lyrical tune for oboe with flute and harp accompaniment) - 00:01:55
23.   I. (sinister reiterations of a 3 - note figure) - 00:01:09
24.   I. (the return of the 4 - note motto) - 00:00:56
25.   I. (a mysterious episode of nagging triplet rhythms) - 00:01:08
26.   I. Coda 00:00:58
27.   II. Andante cantabile - 00:01:49
28.   II. (a poignant new idea, first heard on solo oboe) - 00:02:27
29.   II. (opening theme now returns on cellos) - 00:01:31
30.   II. (a more defined march - music takes over) - 00:02:02
31.   II. (final return of the main theme) 00:01:08
32.   III. Allegro ma non tanto - 00:01:58
33.   III. Lento - 00:01:35
34.   III. (a little woodwind cadenza leads back to the rondo music) - 00:00:35
35.   III. (a different and irreverent snatch of folk - song from a bassoon) 00:01:09

Total Playing Time: 01:02:42

Brian, Havergal

Penny, Andrew

Ukraine National Symphony Orchestra

Label: Naxos

Genre: Orchestral

Period: 20th Century

Catalogue No: 8.572641

Barcode: 747313264179

Physical Release: 07/2011

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