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Englund: Symphonies 2 & 4, Piano Concerto No 1 / Turku Po


Release Date: 01/25/2000 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8553758   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sven Einar Englund
Performer:  Niklas Sivelov
Conductor:  Jorma Panula
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 16 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

I was quite surprised, reading the notes to this recording, to find myself quoted as saying (more than a decade ago) that Einar Englund's Second Symphony (subtitled the "Blackbird") was one of the masterpieces of the 20th century orchestral literature. It was a huge relief, then, to listen to this new recording and find nothing that leads me to change my mind. This is a marvelous work, from the eerie desolation of its opening bird calls to the frequently martial episodes that eventually bring the piece to its emphatic close. Englund's musical language here sounds a bit like late Sibelius mingled with Prokofiev, which is not to slight the composer's originality and mastery one bit. In any event, it's a combination that works very, Read more very well.


The Russian influence is even more pronounced in the First Piano Concerto, a tuneful, fiery, percussive work that certainly deserves more attention from today's crowd of "name" players. It would bring the audience to its feet in a live concert. The Fourth Symphony ("Nostalgic") appeared in 1976, after a long gap in the composer's symphonic writing, during which he felt his language stood little chance of being accepted by the "serialist" avant-garde of the late 1950s and '60s. Written for strings and percussion, the second movement (subtitled "Tempus fugit") is especially appealing with its imitative alarm clock noises, though the heart of the work lies in the darkly brooding concluding Epilogue. In this work, Englund found an economy of expression combined with a haunting yet sparse lyricism that sounds somehow typically Finnish.


All three works are very well performed by the dean of Finnish conductors, Jorma Panula, and his Turku orchestra. Niklas Sivelöv tears into the piano concerto with genuine relish and a virtuoso's delight in its many opportunities for display, and Naxos' recording is both natural and well balanced. A major recording of a major composer, at much less than a major price--what could be better than that?
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 2 "The Blackbird" by Sven Einar Englund
Conductor:  Jorma Panula
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948; Finland 
Date of Recording: 1996 
Venue:  Turku Concert Hall, Turku, Finland 
Length: 30 Minutes 9 Secs. 
2.
Concerto for Piano no 1 by Sven Einar Englund
Performer:  Niklas Sivelov (Piano)
Conductor:  Jorma Panula
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1955; Finland 
Date of Recording: 1996 
Venue:  Turku Concert Hall, Turku, Finland 
Length: 22 Minutes 27 Secs. 
3.
Symphony no 4 "Nostalgic" by Sven Einar Englund
Conductor:  Jorma Panula
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1976; Finland 
Date of Recording: 1996 
Venue:  Turku Concert Hall, Turku, Finland 
Length: 23 Minutes 28 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Symphony No. 2, "The Blackbird": I. Allegro moderato
Symphony No. 2, "The Blackbird": II. Andante molto sostenuto
Symphony No. 2, "The Blackbird": III. Finale (Allegro deciso)
Piano Concerto No. 1: I. Moderato
Piano Concerto No. 1: II. Larghissimo
Piano Concerto No. 1: III. Allegro ma non troppo
Symphony No. 4, "Nostalgic": I. Prelude
Symphony No. 4, "Nostalgic": II. Tempus fugit
Symphony No. 4, "Nostalgic": III. Nostalgia
Symphony No. 4, "Nostalgic": IV. Intermezzo: Epilogue

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