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The E-BNR aims to build a comprehensive & unique cross-artform guide to the British neo-Romantic tradition, from 1880 to the present day.

While the British Romantics of 1789-1824 have spawned a vast industry of publishers, conferences & tourism, the later neo-Romantic traditions remain largely neglected. The E-BNR is aimed at bringing this hidden tradition to light.

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 WHAT IS NEO-ROMANTICISM ?

  Neo-Romantic artists have drawn their inspiration   from artists of the age of Romanticism or earlier.   Characteristic themes in their work include a   mystical approach to the British landscape...

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  This is the online   Encyclopedia-BNR,   version 0.5 beta.

  Contact the editor.
INDEX OF ENTRIES:

1880-1920:


  Fiction:

George Macdonald.
Lewis Carroll.
John Ruskin.
Christina Rosetti.
Rudyard Kipling.
William Morris.
Richard Jefferies.
Edward Carpenter.
Kenneth Grahame.
Arthur Machen.
Algernon Blackwood.
'Saki'.

  Poetry:

G.M. Hopkins.
W.B. Yeats.
A.E. Housman
Laurence Binyon.

  Music:

Gustav Holst.
Vaughan Williams.
Edward Elgar.
Granville Bantock.

  Painting:

Edward Burne-Jones.
Maxwell Armfield.
Mark Symons.
John Duncan.
George Henry.
  & Edward Atkinson
  Cornell.

Gerald Moira.
Robert Bateman.
Samuel Palmer.
Walter Crane.
Edward Robert Hughes.
Bernard Sleigh.
Eleanor Fortescue
  -Brickdale.

Nathaniel Sparks.
F.C. Robinson.
Reginald Hallward.
Laurence Housman.
James Joshua Guthrie.
Paul Nash.
Charles Mahoney.
Arthur Rackham.
Thomas Cooper Gotch.
Christopher Wood.

  Movements:

Symbolism.
Aesthetic movement.
Birmingham Group.
Neo-gothic architecture.
Pictorialism.
Fairy & ghost photos.


1920s - 'places to hide':

Ballet design.
Book illustration.
The Kibbo Kift.


1930-to-1955:


  Fiction:

John Cowper Powys.
J.R.R. Tolkien.
Mervyn Peake.
C.S. Lewis.
Daphne du Maurier.
Mary Webb.
Herbert Read.
Forrest Reid
T.H. White.
Hugh Walpole.

  Non-fiction:

Robert Graves.
Rev. Francis Kilvert.
Geoffrey Grigson.
Bill Brandt.
Roger Mayne.
John Deakin.
Nikolaus Pevsner.

  Music:

Arnold Bax.
Vaughan Williams.

  Painting:

John Piper.
John Craxton.
John Minton.
David Jones.
Graham Sutherland.
Stanley Spencer.
Eric Ravilious.
Ralph Chubb.
Charles Mahoney.
Michael Ayrton.
Thomas Monnington.

  Poetry:

Dylan Thomas.
Edwin Smith.
Ithell Colquhoun.
Francis Berry.
George Barker.
Laurence Whistler.

  Film:

Humphrey Jennings.
Powell & Pressburger.
David Lean.
Epic British film music.

 


 

 

 

 

   ENTRY: Brian, Havergal.

   William (Havergal) Brian (b. January 29, 1876 d. November 28, 1972) was a British composer.

   He acquired an almost legendary status at the time of his rediscovery in the 1950s and 1960s for the number of symphonies he had managed to write (thirty-two, an unusually large number for any composer since Beethoven), and for his creative persistence in the face of almost total neglect during the greater part of his long life. Even now none of his works can be said to be performed with any frequency, but few composers who have fallen into neglect after an early period of success have continued to produce so many serious and ambitious works so long after any chance of performance would seem to have gone for good.

   William Brian (he adopted the name "Havergal" from a local family of hymn-writers) was born in Dresden, a district of the city of Stoke-on-Trent, and was one of a very small number of composers to originate from the English working class.

   After attending an elementary school he had difficulty finding any congenial work, and taught himself the rudiments of music. For a time he was organist of Odd Rode Church just across the border in Cheshire. In 1895, he heard a choir rehearsing Elgar's King Olaf, attended the first performance and became a fervent enthusiast of the new music being produced by Richard Strauss and the British composers of the day. Through attending music festivals he made the lifelong friendship of his near-contemporary composer Granville Bantock (1868 1946).

   In 1907 his first English Suite attracted the attention of Henry Wood who performed it at the London Proms. It was an overnight success and Brian obtained a publisher and performances for his next few orchestral works. Why he never succeeded in maintaining his success is a matter for debate, but it was probably due to his shyness with strangers and lack of confidence on public occasions. Whatever it was, the offers of performance soon dried up.

   Brian moved to London and gradually Brian began composing again, and, living in conditions of the most basic poverty, eventually obtained work of a musical kind, copying and arranging, and writing for the journal Musical Opinion.

   In the 1920s he at last turned to symphonies, though he had written more than ten before one of them was first performed in the early 1950s. This was due to his discovery by Robert Simpson, himself a significant composer and BBC Music Producer, who asked Sir Adrian Boult to programme the Eighth Symphony in 1954. From then on Brian composed another twenty-two symphonies, many of the later ones short, single or two-movement works, and several other pieces.

   In 1961, Brian's largest surviving work, the Gothic Symphony, which had been written between 1919 and 1927, was first performed at Central Hall, Westminster, in a partly amateur performance conducted by Bryan Fairfax, and in 1966 the first fully-professional performance was given at the Royal Albert Hall conducted by Boult, both occasions largely the result of Simpson's lobbying. The latter performance was broadcast live and many people heard their first music of Brian that evening. This encouraged considerable interest, and by his death six years later several of his works had been performed and the first commercial recordings had begun to appear.

   For a few years after Brian's death, while Simpson still had influence at the BBC, there was a revival of interest with a number of recordings and performances; two biographies and a three-volume study of his symphonies appeared. The reputation of his music has always been restricted to enthusiasts and has never achieved the popularity of, say, Vaughan Williams.

   In the 1970s his music began to be recorded and issued on records, and since the 1980s much of his music has been published.


~

INDEX OF ENTRIES:

1955-to-1975:

  Painting:

Leslie Hurry.
Robin Tanner.
Ceri Richards.
Michael Ayrton.


  Classical music:

Havergal Brian.
Benjamin Britten.

  Poetry:

Dylan Thomas   (reputation).
Vernon Watkins.
Ted Hughes.
Christopher Logue.
Keith Vaughan.
Ore magazine.
Eric Ratcliffe.
Edwin Morgan.
Roland Mathias.

  Fiction:

Laurie Lee.
Alan Garner.
John Gordon.

  Non-fiction:

Laurie Lee.
E.P. Thompson.
J.A. Baker.
Geoffrey Grigson.


1975-to-2000:


  Photography:

Fay Godwin.
James Ravilious.
Raymond Moore.
Andy Goldsworthy.

  Popular music:

Robert Wyatt.
Syd Barrett.
Marc Bolan.
John Foxx.
Throbbing Gristle.
Genesis P. Orridge.
The Dancing Did.
Virginia Astley.
Brian Eno.
Roger Eno.

  Classical music:

Dave Heath.

  Illustration:

Clifford Harper.

  Film:

Derek Jarman.
David Rudkin.

  Fashion:

Vivienne Westwood.

  Literature:

Angela Carter.
Ted Hughes.
Peter Ackroyd.
Heathcote Williams.
Keith Roberts.
Richard Cowper.
Robert Holdstock.
Susan Cooper.

  Poetry:

Kathleen Raine.
Roland Mathias.
Gwyn Thomas.
R.S. Thomas.
George Mackay
  Brown.

Seamus Heaney.
Pauline Stainer.

  Artists:

Graham Ovenden.
Annie Ovenden.
Ann Arnold.
Robert Lenkiewicz.
John Elwyn.
Cecil Collins.
Ian Hamilton Finlay.
Andrew Logan.
Alan Reynolds.
Norman Ackroyd.
Christopher P. Wood.
Jim Leon.

  Groups & circles:

The Ruralists.
Temenos magazine.
Resurgence magazine.
Crop Circles, makers.
English Underground.


2000 - to the present:

Andrew Logan.
Ian Hamilton Finlay.
Vivienne Westwood.
Andy Goldsworthy.
Christopher Bucklow.
Peter Ackroyd.
Pauline Stainer.
Brian Eno.
Roger Eno.
Jon Aldersea.
Christopher P. Wood.
Made in Staffordshire, England.   2007. Last updated: 18th Jan 2007. Site search by PicoSearch.
Some of the initial E-BNR text was sourced or partly derived from Wikipedia, used here under the GNU licence.