Havergal Brian: Symphonies Nos. 8, 21 & 26
New Russia State Symphony Orchestra, Alexander Walker
Naxos 8573752 @ £7.50*
This issue completes the commercial recording of all 32 of Brian’s symphonies.
Each of the three symphonies on this recording represents a significant milestone in Havergal Brian’s long musical journey, and each demonstrates the breadth of his symphonic approach. No. 8 was the first of Brian’s symphonies to be performed and is one of his most gripping and unpredictable, full of sonic invention. Behind the more apparently genial and expansive No. 21 lies profound emotional complexity, while No. 26 embodies elements of a divertimento though it retains disquieting outbursts. Gramophone wrote of the previous Brian recording by these forces (8573408): “The New Russia State Symphony Orchestra do the music proud.” This issue completes the commercial recording of all 32 of Brian’s symphonies.