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Havergal Brian on Music

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 Halle 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 Bartok, Berg, Busoni, Debussy, Dohnanyi, Dukas, Glazunov, Grieg, Hindemith, Kilpinen, Lehar, Mahler, Messager, Puccini, Rachmaninov, Ravel, Respighi, Shostakovich, Sibelius, Sousa, Stravinsky, Szymanowski, Tailleferre and Varese - as well as figures now obscure such as Alfred Bruneau, August Bungert, Cesar Geloso 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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[E]ine... wichtige Veroeffentlichung, gerade weil man einen durch Musikjournalismus gefilterten Blick auf das Musikleben der ersten Halfte des 20. Jahrhunderts, vor allem der 30er Jahre erhalt. 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 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 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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