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Havergal Brian The Complete Music for Piano



William Havergal Brian was virtually self-taught in composition; nevertheless he rapidly acquired an invincible desire to be a composer and in the early twentieth century began to make a name for himself. Some of his music was admired by Elgar, works of his were performed by conductors such as Henry Wood and Thomas Beecham but the musical establishment however, with the exception of his good friend Sir Granville Bantock, passed him by and his own growing body of mature work remained almost entirely unknown and unperformed. With the death of Bantock in 1946, Brian lost his last advocate for performances of his music until the early 1950s, when his work came to the attention of a young BBC music producer named Robert Simpson. Simpson gradually brought about over the next quarter of century a growing number of performances mostly in radio broadcasts, which began to initiate recognition of Brian’s achievement.

Brian died just short of his 97th birthday in 1972. Though he knew that the BBC was committed to broadcasting, in due course, all of his symphonies, not a note of his music was commercially issued on record during his lifetime and he died without having heard many of his finest works.

Havergal Brian The Complete Music for Piano


"This new and comprehensive reissue may be recommended enthusiastically." Paul Corfield Godfrey

“It is his piano works that feature on a new release from the enterprising Cameo Classics label. Billed as the complete music for piano, Peter Hill, brings his superb musicianship to performances that give an insight into another part of Brian’s creative genius. Peter Hill’s performances are excellent with many insights into this singular composers smaller scale works. The recording is warm but full of detail. There are useful booklet notes by the late Harold Truscott (1914-1992). Cameo Classics must be thanked for bringing these recordings to us.”

"I am only too happy and grateful that two such fine pianists have seen fit to tackle Brian’s works on disc...there is something about these works that do add in a very real manner to our appreciation of Brian as a composer." The Havergal Brian Society, December 2014