Brian: Symphonies Nos. 17 & 32 (Adrian Leaper) (Naxos: 8.572020)
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Naxos continues its reissue of the Marco Polo recordings of Havergal Brian symphonies, of which the Gothic (Naxos 8.557418-19) is the most famous. This CD includes the inventive, fantasia-like Symphony No. 17 (1960-61), and the composer's last ever work, the dark and affirmative Symphony No. 32 (1968). It is a remarkable achievement for a man of 92. Composed five decades earlier, the extended symphonic poem In Memoriam (1910), notable for the 'advanced' nature of its scoring, is contrasted with the exuberant Festal Dance (1908), once intended as the finale to an early work the composer had originally entitled Fantastic Symphony.
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