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Panufnik: Symphony No 8; Sessions / Ozawa, Boston So

Release Date: 07/09/2002 
Label:  Helios   Catalog #: 55100   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Andrzej PanufnikRoger Sessions
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 38 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This record, issued to commemorate the 1981 centenary of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, contains two of the works commissioned for the event. The Panufnik symphony and Sessions concerto make a well-contrasted pair, not least because, while Panufnik's is a very concerto-like symphony, Sessions's is a very symphonic concerto: and both represent quite different responses to the hallowed symphonic tradition.

Panufnik describes his symphony as "a votive offering to the miraculous ikon of the Black Madonna of Czçstochowa in my native Poland". He has cast the work in a particularly challenging form, beginning with a long slow movement and complementing that with a second of very different character. The transparency
Read more and deliberation of the early stages are distinctive, but the listener's reaction to the movement as a whole will depend on whether or not he feels that there is sufficient melodic interest to sustain the form. Panufnik describes the work's strict symmetrical scheme in his notes, and his claim that he was not constrained by that scheme must obviously be accepted. As a whole, the work has a palpably organic, evolutionary quality, as well as an effectively orchestrated surface, and these are powerful compensations for any listener who finds the material itself rather hard to come to terms with.

Roger Sessions may be a less 'traditional' composer than Panufnik, but the influence of Schoenberg has long been important to him, and this concerto, completed in his eighty-fifth year, is further evidence of how fruitful and unconstraining that influence can be. The work is consistently entertaining from its lively, playful start to its touchingly valedictory close, and has an exuberance as well as a depth of feeling which make clear that Sessions in his mid-eighties is still at the height of this powers.

-- Gramophone [12/1982]
reviewing the original LP release
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Works on This Recording

Sinfonia votiva by Andrzej Panufnik
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1981/1984; England 
Concerto for Orchestra by Roger Sessions
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1979-1981; USA 

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