A GOLDEN TREASURY
Havergal Brian on European and American music,
read by PATRIC STANDFORD
Just over a quarter of a century ago, Malcolm MacDonald edited a first volume of selected writings by Havergal Brian, one of very few British composers who have also excelled in the craft of music journalism. Many have tried, but few have succeeded in sustaining such a high level of critical writing for over half a century, though perhaps Philip Heseltine (also known as Peter Warlock) may have done so had his life been long enough. Brian's long life and prolific output in words, as it was in music, form a hugely important contribution to British musical attitudes, and as MacDonald rightly says in the introduction to the first volume: 'No British composer was such a consistently interested, and tirelessly inquisitive, reporter of the musical life of the first half of the 20th century'.
The first volume (Toccata Press, 1986) concentrated on Brian's writing about British music. The second, which appeared only a few months ago and similarly represents the unparalleled devotion and impeccably detailed editing of Malcolm MacDonald, is devoted to Brian's journalism on European music, Scandinavian and Russian composers, and a dozen pieces on the American scene as observed from Britain...
Copyright © 2 November 2010 Patric Standford,