WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Lilburn: The Three Symphonies / Judd, New Zealand Symphony


Release Date: 07/16/2002 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8555862   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Douglas Lilburn
Conductor:  James Judd
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
On sale! $12.99
CD:  $11.49
In Stock



Notes and Editorial Reviews

The New Zealand players ought to know this fine music, and it doesn't take long for them to convince you that they certainly do. New Zealander Douglas Lilburn, who died in 2001 in his mid-80s, wrote only three symphonies (between 1949 and 1961). The first two have been compared to Sibelius, but the rather muscular, sinewy idiom of Nielsen or Stenhammar (of the Second Symphony in particular) comes more readily to mind, not to mention Howard Hanson's own "Nordic" Symphony. In any case, both works are strongly crafted, closely argued, conservative pieces written for the standard Brahmsian orchestra, and never for a moment do they outstay their welcome. The Third Symphony is made of tougher stuff and consists of a single brief Read more (14-minute) movement that flirts with atonality here and there but never strays too far from its tonal roots.


James Judd leads his orchestra in big, bold performances that make the best possible case for this music. His assured handling of the fragmented textures and melodic lines in the Third Symphony has particular command and fluency. Typically from this source, the recording offers fine impact and dynamic range but has a touch of congestion in fully scored passages and an exaggerated front-to-back perspective that occasionally obscures some details and emphasizes others: for example, the sudden buzz or rattle at 5:06 into the Third Symphony isn't distortion--it's actually a resonance effect produced by the overly prominent trilling horns. While it's certainly noticeable, I wouldn't call this a terribly serious fault, and let's hope that Naxos plans to delve into Lilburn's music beyond just the symphonies. The notes, by the way, spend too much time talking about the music's theoretical portrayal of the New Zealand landscape, making some rather childish associations of specific themes with geographical landmarks--mountain peaks, coastlines, and so forth. Better to ignore them and just listen. The music speaks for itself. Strongly recommended. [5/25/2002]
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 1 by Douglas Lilburn
Conductor:  James Judd
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948; New Zealand 
Date of Recording: 05/2001 
Venue:  Fowler Center, Wellington, New Zealand 
Length: 31 Minutes 13 Secs. 
2.
Symphony no 2 in C minor by Douglas Lilburn
Conductor:  James Judd
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1951; New Zealand 
Date of Recording: 05/2001 
Venue:  Fowler Center, Wellington, New Zealand 
Length: 31 Minutes 18 Secs. 
3.
Symphony no 3 by Douglas Lilburn
Conductor:  James Judd
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1961; New Zealand 
Date of Recording: 05/2001 
Venue:  Fowler Center, Wellington, New Zealand 
Length: 14 Minutes 45 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title