Brian: Volume 1, Early and Late Works – BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Garry Walker
The English composer Havergal Brian (1876 – 1972) had one of the longest creative careers in all music: the works on this CD span sixty-five years, from the early Burlesque Variations, written in 1903 in partial response to the ‘Enigma’ Variations by Elgar, who was a friend of Brian’s, to the penultimate work he ever composed, the ‘Legend’ Ave atque vale of 1968 – music of astonishing vigour and energy for a ninety-two-year-old.
" Highly Recommended."
Guy Rickards - Gramophone - August 2011
Download Roundup March 2011
‘I don’t imagine that repeated hearing will cool my initial warm welcome. […] …I’m delighted to have all this music and equally delighted that Toccata Classics continue their innovative work, with these sympathetic performances, well recorded, and with informative notes’
Brian Wilson - MusicWebInternational.com - March 2011
‘...The four works on this first of two volumes from Toccata Classics devoted to Havergal Brian’s orchestral music span nearly 65 years and could hardly make a more fascinating programme. […] Garry Walker obtains consistently lively, admirably spruce results from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. […] Calum MacDonald’s authoritative and personable booklet-notes add further lustre to a thoroughly recommendable release. Roll on Volume Two!’
Andrew Achenbach - theclassicalreview.com - March 2011
‘...[this disc] has fulfilled all my expectations if not exceeded them… […][booklet writer Malcolm MacDonald’s] knowledge, insight and understanding of this shamelessly idiosyncratic composer is little short of stupendous. That sense of dedication suffuses every element of this recording from the fascinating choice of repertoire to the fine engineering supporting excellent playing from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra… strikingly confident and convincing performances… […] I consider this a very special disc – exactly the kind of high quality combination of rare repertoire, performance and technical presentation that collectors hope for. For those as yet unfamiliar with the Havergal Brian I think this could act as an excellent introduction. […]…one of my discs of the year without doubt.’
Nick Barnard - MusicWebInternational.com - April 2011