REB 175 Dennis Brain by Dennis Brain


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Picture of REB 175 Dennis Brain by artist Dennis Brain from the BBC records and Tapes library
Rear cover
Picture of REB 175 Dennis Brain by artist Dennis Brain from the BBC records and Tapes library

BBC records label code
BBC Records label

Label
BBC Records label


Release details

DetailValue
Catalogue numberREB 175
TitleDennis Brain
Artist(s)Dennis Brain
Cover conditionGood
Record conditionNear mint
BBC records label codeD
Item deleted?Yes
Released1974
Distributed / printed byPolydor
Country of originUK UK flag
Media typePrimary
Media genreMusic - Classical
View all other tracks listed as Music - Classical.
Run-off codes / Shop bar codesREB 175 M A//2 420 05 11 5
REB 175 M B//2 420 05 11 7 1
My rating*****
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What type of seller was used?Not recorded
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Front cover
Front cover of REB 175
Back cover
Back cover of REB 175
Label
Label Label

Tracks

Below is a list of tracks for this release.
Side & trackTrack and ArtistLength
A1Horn trio in E Flat, Op 40 (1st, 2nd and 3rd movements) [Brahms]
B1Horn trio in E Flat, Op 40 (4th movement) [Brahms]
B2Horn quintet in E Flat, K 407 [Mozart]
B3Le Basque [Marin Marais]
Total length of media 0:00.

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Extra notes on cover, middle (gatefold sleeve) and any inserts


Side A


Dennis Brain (horn)
Max Salpeter (violin)
Cyril Preedy (piano)

Recorded from a 'live' broadcast on 15.2.57.

Side B


Musicians

- Track 1
Dennis Brain (horn)
Max Salpeter (violin)
Cyril Preedy (piano)

Recorded from a 'live' broadcast on 15.2.57.
Track 2
Dennis Brain (horn)
The Carter String Trio: Mary Carter (violin), Anatole Mines (viola), Eileen McCarty ('cello)
with Eileen Grainger (viola)

Broadcast on 3.11.56
Track 3
Dennis Brain (horn)
Wilfred Parry (piano)

This little encore was introduced by Denis Brain to the audience at his last Edinburgh Festival recital on 24.8.57, a week before his death. Although his words are not as clear as they might be, it was felt that Dennis Brain fans would like to have this rare recording of his voice.

DENNIS BRAIN (1921-1957)
Unique BBC Sound Archive recordings from his last broadcasts.

Dennis Brain was killed tragically in 1957 when driving himself back to London after a concert at the Edinburgh Festival. He was only thirty-six, and there may be some who suspect that sentiment has led us to exaggerate his qualities. This is not so. If the standard of horn-playing is high in Britain today it is largely due to his example, It may or may not be true that as an infant he picked up a French horn and played a scale on it, but he did seem a perfect illustration of the in-heritability of instrumental gifts. Horn-playing ran in the Brain family and Dennis's father, Aubrey, was also a fabulous player, for many years first horn of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. During his student days at the Royal Academy of Music in London, Dennis often said that his ambition was to sit next to his father in the orchestra. An opportunity came when Adolf Busch and his Chamber Players performed all the Bach Brandenburg Concertos in the Old Queens Hall: there are tow horn-parts in his First Brandenburg. Yet it did not take long for Dennis's own name to become a household word with music-lovers all over the world.

During the war he joined the Central Brand of the RAF. It seemed absurd that such talents, amounting to genius, should be wasted on guard duties and ceremonial marches. He was never known to complain, however, and would amuse his colleagues with outrageous feats of virtuosity for the sheer fun or it, without a trace of conscious self-display. He could articulate pieces like 'The Flight of the Bumble Bee' or Paganini's Moto Perpetuo at a speed that would have left most fiddlers at the starting-post, yet he had a charm of personality that was reflected in every sound he made. No-one who heard Toscanini conduct the Brahms symphonies in London in 1952 will ever forget the way Dennis Brain rose to the occasion and played those famous horn solos with an unmatchable warmth and nobility.

In the post-war years, helped by recordings, Dennis Brain's international reputation was unique. He could, if he had wished, have become first horn of almost any orchestra in the world, and in London both the Philharmonia and the Royal Philharmonic competed for his presence. Composers too were inspired, and not only in Britain. Hindemith wrote his Horn Concerto for Dennis and inscribed his score 'to the unsurpassed original performer of his work from a grateful composer'. Yet Dennis remained the most approachable of people: he would approach you, whether an amateur horn-player seeking advice or an ordinary music-lover in search of an autograph. If one caught his eye in the orchestra it would somehow smile and convey his delight in the music.

This human quality was part of his secret. To master the most notoriously intractable of instruments was one thing, but to convey - on the French horn - brilliance, charm, serenity, tragedy or humour, was phenomenal. Dennis Brain just seemed to know how music should be played. He as an ideal colleague in chamber music. During student days we would play the wind-and-piano quintets by Mozart and Beethoven, with Dennis's brother Leonard as oboist. There was the Beethoven Sonata for horn and piano, recorded during the war, and in later years Dennis Brain formed his own ensemble, exploring a large repertory. One important item, the Brahms Horn Trio, he took part in on many memorable occasions. Yet at his death there was no published recording available, which gives a special value to the present release.

Brahms composed the Horn Trio on a visit to the Black Forest. He was thirty-two, and the death of his mother may be linked with the elegiac adagio mesto and the brooding middle section of the scherzo. The scherzo itself, and even more so the finale, are however fully in the tradition of the 'hunting' rondos of the Mozart horn concertos, and Brahms (significantly) wrote for the Waldhorn. Dennis Brain's recording of the Mozart concertos was a best-seller. The Mozart Quintet is from the same stable and was written for the same player, Leutgeb, with an unusual quertet of violin, two violas and cello. The horn part is equally concertante and spectacular.
DENIS MATTHEWS

It was with the greatest pleasure that I accepted the invitation to write a few words by way of a Coda for his historic Dennis Brain recording. I was Dennis's pianist for approximately the last eight years of his life and this embraces his Wind Ensemble and any work for horn and piano. In addition to broadcasts there was, of course, a tremendous amount of travelling involved both at home and abroad. I particularly remember, with pleasure, an Italian tour in 1956 and a concert at the Saltzburg Festival in 1957. During the last two years of his life Dennis formed a Trio with the late Jean Pougnet and myself which was known as the Brain-Pougnet-Parry Trio. This was to prove the most successful ensemble (and ultimately the most tragic) with which I have ever been associated. We did many concerts and tours and many more were planned, again both home and abroad. Each concert ended with the Brahms Horn Trio, the first half consisting of works for violin-and-piano and horn-and-piano. The last last appearance of the Trio was a Scottish Arts Council tour and it is interesting to note that Sylvia Cartner (the producer of this recording) for violin, horn an piano. I feel very sad that we made no recordings as a Trio but one most feel grateful that the performance of the Brahms Horn Trio heard in this recording has been preserved over the years.

The short Marin Marais piece which concludes this record was Dennis's permanent encore. This performance took place at an Ensemble concert at the Edinburgh Festival of 1957. He had just played with me the Dukas ''Vilanelle'' for horn and piano and in going on to the platform to play his encore I whispered to him ''I should announce it if I were you'' and he whispered back ''No repeats at all''. Hence an extremely short piece was made even shorter. Alas, this was to be his last appearance as a soloist. I shall always feel grateful at having been his friend and colleague.
WILFRID PARRY

To BBC wish to emphasise that these are Archive recordings but that every effort has been made to bring them up to as high a technical standard as possible.

Dennis Brain was an EMI recording artist and the BBC would like to express its gratitude to EMI for permission to issue these recordings commercially.


Sleeve designed by


Andrew Prewett

Produced by


Sylvia Cartner
 

Other versions

I have the following similar releases in the database:
BBC - 22175Dennis Brain
 

Other versions

I have the title track on these releases:
[albums]REGL 352Dennis Brain

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This page was last updated on 08-01-2023 at 20:46:26 UK local time.

This record has been seen 829 times since 20th May, 2017.