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

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

Composer(s)Brian, Havergal
Artist(s) Penny, Andrew, Conductor • Ukraine National Symphony Orchestra
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category Orchestral
Catalogue 8.572641
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
  Booklet / liner notes available
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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.

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Work/Track Title Time
BRIAN, H.: Symphonies Nos. 20 and 25 (Ukraine National Symphony, Penny) 1:02:42   
  Fantastic Variations on an Old Rhyme          
      I. Andante 2:33       
      II. Allegro molto 1:15       
      III. Con moto e espressione 2:56       
      IV. Allegro vivace 3:30       
      V. Lento 1:48       
  Symphony No. 20 in C-Sharp Minor          
      I. Adagio - Allegro agitato - 2:35       
      I. (formal development section arrives) - 2:28       
      I. (vigorous, highly allusive development of the first theme) - 1:39       
      I. Coda 1:43       
      II. Adagio ma non troppo, cantabile e sostenuto - 3:24       
      II. (a bridge passage beginning with violin and flute solos) - 1:25       
      II. (a development of the original polyphonic complex) - 2:00       
      II. (the third span begins with a musing clarinet solo) 2:40       
      III. Allegro vivo - 1:19       
      III. Lento - 1:29       
      III. (a kind of slow waltz, with violin solo) - 1:32       
      III. Allegro - 1:38       
      III. (reappearence of the rondo-theme on trombones) 1:20       
      III. (fast Coda) 1:15       
  Symphony No. 25 in A minor          
      I. Allegro risoluto - 3:18       
      I. (the motto returns again to initiate an eventful development) - 0:35       
      I. (elegantly lyrical tune for oboe with flute and harp accompaniment) - 1:55       
      I. (sinister reiterations of a 3-note figure) - 1:09       
      I. (the return of the 4-note motto) - 0:56       
      I. (a mysterious episode of nagging triplet rhythms) - 1:08       
      I. Coda 0:58       
      II. Andante cantabile - 1:49       
      II. (a poignant new idea, first heard on solo oboe) - 2:27       
      II. (opening theme now returns on cellos) - 1:31       
      II. (a more defined march-music takes over) - 2:02       
      II. (final return of the main theme) 1:08       
      III. Allegro ma non tanto - 1:58       
      III. Lento - 1:35       
      III. (a little woodwind cadenza leads back to the rondo music) - 0:35       
      III. (a different and irreverent snatch of folk-song from a bassoon) 1:09       
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