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Too Darn Big

This week we’re ascending some of the most colossal musical mountains in existence – works like Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder and Havergal Brian’s Gothic Symphony that are (usually) too big to program on Exploring Music.

For more information on Havergal Brian, you can visit this website: http://www.havergalbrian.org

 
Program 1

On Monday we travel back to 12th century Denmark with Schönberg. Full of luscious orchestral textures, themes that echo Bruckner and Wagner, and enough singing to please an Opera aficionado, Gurrelieder is not to be missed. 

Arnold Schoenberg: Gurrelieder (Part I)
Philharmonia Chorus and Voices, City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus & soloists/Salonen
Signum 173
Excerpts + 41:23
Purchase

Program 2

On Tuesday, all seems blissful with Schönberg's Danish king and his bride, until a trombone choir and a wood dove herald disaster. 

Arnold Schoenberg: Gurrelieder (Part II, Excerpts from Parts I & III)
Philharmonia Chorus and Voices, City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus & soloists/Salonen
Signum 173
Excerpts + 23:38, 15:00
Purchase

Program 3

Insanity thy name is Valdimar! On Wednesday, Gurrelieder's hero rails against God and embarks on one last wild hunt. Then we start our most epic listening session yet, with the first twelve minutes of the longest symphony in the world. 

Arnold Schoenberg: Gurrelieder (Part I)
Philharmonia Chorus and Voices, City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus & soloists/Salonen
Signum 173
Excerpts + 30:07
Purchase

Schoenberg: Three Piano Pieces, Op. 11, I (excerpt)
Pollini, p.
DG 471631
1:05
Purchase

Havergal Brian: Symphony No. 1, Gothic, I
BBC National Orchestra of Wales & BBC Concert Orchestra + choirs & soloists/Brabbins
Hyperion 67971
12:09
Purchase

Program 4

On Thursday we listen to more of Havergal Brian's "Gothic Symphony" and Gary Thorpe tells the tale of Brian, a man who wrote 32 symphonies after the age of fifty.

Havergal Brian: Symphony No. 1, Gothic (excerpts)
BBC National Orchestra of Wales & BBC Concert Orchestra + choirs & soloists/Brabbins
Hyperion 67971
25:34, 17:45
Purchase

Program 5

On Friday we finish the longest symphony in the world with quadruple choruses and an exquisite oboe theme.

Havergal Brian: Symphony No. 1, Gothic (Excerpt fr. Part II + III)
BBC National Orchestra of Wales & BBC Concert Orchestra + choirs & soloists/Brabbins
Hyperion 67971
15:58, 37:56
Purchase

 

The Exploring Music streaming website is made possible by Mr. & Mrs. William Gardner Brown and Susan & Richard Kiphart.
You have opened up the world of Classical Music to me, where previously, it seemed too complicated.
Steffen Demeter
This is simply one of the very best radio programmes in the medium!...The study of the people, the times, and the events that inform the music we otherwise enjoy and even, heaven forbid, take for granted, brings the entire world of the music and the composer to life.
Walther Davies
There isn't a program you broadcast on Exploring Music" that isn't of interest. I find them all engaging. It is a combination of variety of subject, intellectual curiosity and your obvious enthusiasm which characterize your satisfying programs.
Michael Sanders
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Kourtney
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Christine Anderson
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Sally Rosenbaum
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Jean Quay
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