Friday, January 25, 2013

Awards 2012 - Symphony

Brian: Symphony no.1, 'Gothic'
soloists; choirs; BBC Concert Orchestra; BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Martyn Brabbins

"Havergal Brian's Gothic is his most "popular" symphony, with a total of six and a half performances... Roger Wright of the BBC and the people assembling the resources for his Leviathan must have felt a bit like Ike getting his D-Day logistics in hand. Following Brian's demands more closely than any other, this performance used more than 750 singers and an orchestra of 210... This performance is one of transcendent skill. From the soloists all the way across to the children's choirs, there's conviction in the work's musical value and confidence in its execution... To snitch HP Lovecraft's favorite adjective, the orchestral playing from beginning to end can only be described as Cyclopean." - Don O'Connor, American Record Guide.
"In a sense, Hyperion's release is a perfect one, of a great event, a magisterial work and an encapsulation of the enormous difficulties of the project as a whole." - Guy Rickards, Gramophone. 

Bruckner: Symphony no.9 (four-movement version). Berlin Philharmonic/Simon Rattle [EMI]
Pettersson: Symphonies nos.1 and 2. Norrköping Symphony Orchestra/Christian Lindberg [BIS]
Prokofiev: Symphony no.5; The Year 1941. São Paulo Symphony Orchestra/Marin Alsop [Naxos] 
Messiaen: Turangalîla Symphony. Steven Osborne; Cynthia Millar; Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra/Juanjo Mena [Hyperion]

A year for symphonic improbabilities, in some ways: aside from the very fact of this Gothic's existence, we also meet a completion of Bruckner's unfinished 9th symphony, as well as one of Pettersson's incomplete 1st.

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