The truth of the matter is that the BBC recordings made of the complete Brian symphonies from the 1970s are in fairly wide distribution and therefore availability-and have been for some time. One can access them as a member of the Havergal Brian Society from its Recordings Archives, there are indeed copies available on You Tube and the American company Klassic Haus has issued several of the recordings on cd, properly attributed to the correct orchestras and conductors. The Klassic Haus website can be easily and quickly accessed online.
Are these "commercial recordings"? What is the precise legal status of the You Tube recordings or the Klassic Haus cds? I don't know and I am not really sure that I want to know! I suspect-although I have no evidence of this-that the HB Society (not to mention the BBC) turn a blind eye to these "goings-on"-partly because it is probably more trouble than it is worth to take any form of legal action (against whom in any case?) and, more importantly, because these recordings from 40 years ago or so have helped raise Brian's profile. As I have said before, most of these older recordings have genuine artistic merit and deserve to be heard.
On the other hand-and this is a vital point-Naxos, Dutton and Toccata are recording and issuing modern versions, in excellent sound and in superb performances, available universally to purchase both online and in record shops. Their enterprise, supported incredibly generously by the HBS, should be supported by all who love or are merely interested in Brian's music. I have all the old BBC recordings but I had absolutely no hesitation in buying all of these new "commercial recordings" (in the full, unadulterated, fully legal sense).
I would very strongly urge others to do exactly the same!
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