The Gothic Symphony


The Gothic Symphony

A major musical experience in July 2011 at the London Proms.

A rare performance of THE GOTHIC SYMPHONY by Havergal Brian. Conducted by Martyn Brabbins. The work is massive in many senses of that word and as Tom Service said on Radio 3 last night: “dark, but life affirming.”

If you are used only to the well-seasoned (and to me inferior) Marco Polo recording of this work, last night’s performance, I think you’ll find, is a complete revelation.

Havergal Brian wrote 32 symphonies (the Gothic is his first) and much else. I have long owned CDs of his music. Please consult his wikipedia etc and the Havergal Brian Society.

Much more will be said on this event, I feel.

PS: Someone has mentioned to me that Eugene Goossens wrote a similar work, one based on St John’s Revelation (that word again), entitled ‘The Apocalypse’ that, I note this morning, is only briefly mentioned on Goossens’ wikipedia.

WEIRDTONGUE eat your heart out.


Rutland Boughton

I have begun listening today to Rutland Boughton’s opera THE QUEEN OF CORNWALL.

This was recently issued by Dutton Epoch on two CDs. New London Orchestra & Members of the London Chorus conducted by Ronald Corp.

Two quotations from WEIRDTONGUE: A Glistenberry Romance – a novella published in 2010 by The InkerMen Press:

“Even if I do disappear through retrospective editing, I shall feel it a job worth doing. Indeed, a joy. As a result of all our work (including my own work as a simplon that may vanish before you have the chance to see it) there will be a new majestic Festival for Glastonbury that should even rival Wagner’s Bayreuth. Perhaps I’m the sad ghost of Thomas Hardy. But no room for doubters.”

“Rutland Boughton’s opera The Immortal Hour was performed with flair and majesty. Followed by the guest appearance from the realms of reality itself by that fine group Goldwrap. Finally a recitation of Proustian prose to the backdrop of chamber music by Saint-Saens. And four girls called the Supremes – a name borrowed from reality. Their smiles were broad. Their youth rediscovered without having to grow old first.”


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