Havergal Brian's 'The Gothic' is a gargantuan work that earned an entry in the Guinness Book of Records under 'Longest Symphony'. 2011 marks the 21st anniversary of the first and only available 'new' recording of the work, and this limited edition slipcase version is released to co-incide with the work's Proms debut on 17th July. Completed in the 1920s but unplayed until 1961, its most famous outing came in 1966, when Sir Adrian Boult presided over a BBC-sponsored rendition at the Royal Albert Hall. Even Mahler never contemplated a work on quite this scale, although he too found inspiration in Goethe's Faust. Since the 1950s there has been a spasmodic, but unmistakeable, growth of interest in Havergal Brian's music. His First Symphony, however, The Gothic, remains his most famous work, some might say his most notorious, on account of its length and the gigantic forces employed. Nevertheless it is in many ways his most personal and crucial work. Before it came his songs and choral works, short orchestral pieces and the satirical opera The Tigers; after it came the long line of Symphonies Nos. 2 - 32, none of them on the same scale as The Gothic, but all affected by the experience of writing it.
''A passionately committed performance from the Slovak forces... it conveys surging excitement from first to last, helped by a rich recording, which gives a thrilling impression of massed forces'' --The Penguin Guide