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Alfven: Symphonies Nos. 1-5; Swedish Rhapsodies / Jarvi, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic

Alfven / Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orch / Jarvi
Release Date: 10/25/2011 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 8974   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Hugo Alfvén
Performer:  Christina HogmanClaes H. Ahnsjö
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 5 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 5 Hours 44 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Licensed from BIS, these performances on balance remain the finest versions of this music available, though some of the Naxos recordings are equally fine. Alfven wrote some very colorful, enjoyable music, especially the Swedish Rhapsodies and tone poems such as A Legend of the Skerries. As a symphonist, he was a bit hapless. The best of them is No. 4, with its wordless vocalise and Straussian lushness. It really is a tone poem in all but name, and it benefits from its free-form construction. Still, you won't find more exciting interpretations of any of these works, and even the derivative early symphonies sound fresh and impulsive in Järvi's hands. He understands that there's no point in forcing the music to sound more profound that it Read more really is, and the result, paradoxically, is that it succeeds on its own terms better than you might expect. It's good to see these works available at a discount price.

– David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Swedish Rhapsody no 2, Op. 24/R 58 "Uppsala" by Hugo Alfvén
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907; Sweden 
Venue:  Stockholm Concert Hall, Stockholm, Swede 
Length: 10 Minutes 9 Secs. 
2. Symphony no 1 in F minor, Op. 7/R 24 by Hugo Alfvén
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1897; Sweden 
Venue:  Stockholm Concert Hall, Stockholm, Swede 
Length: 40 Minutes 16 Secs. 
3. Drapa, Op. 27 "In Memoriam King Oscar II" by Hugo Alfvén
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1908; Sweden 
Venue:  Stockholm Concert Hall, Stockholm, Swede 
Length: 10 Minutes 40 Secs. 
4. Uppenbarelsekantat "Revelation Cantata", Op. 31: Andante religioso by Hugo Alfvén
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; Sweden 
Venue:  Stockholm Concert Hall, Stockholm, Swede 
Length: 4 Minutes 3 Secs. 
5. Swedish Rhapsody no 1, Op. 19 "Midsummer Vigil" by Hugo Alfvén
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903; Sweden 
Venue:  Stockholm Concert Hall, Stockholm, Swede 
Length: 13 Minutes 45 Secs. 
6. Symphony no 2 in D major, Op. 11/R 28 by Hugo Alfvén
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1897-1898; Sweden 
Venue:  Stockholm Concert Hall, Stockholm, Swede 
Length: 53 Minutes 7 Secs. 
7. Swedish Rhapsody no 3, Op. 47/R 120 "Dalarhapsodien" by Hugo Alfvén
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1931; Sweden 
Venue:  Stockholm Concert Hall, Stockholm, Swede 
Length: 21 Minutes 40 Secs. 
8. Symphony no 3 in E major, Op. 23/R 54 by Hugo Alfvén
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905; Sweden 
Venue:  Stockholm Concert Hall, Stockholm, Swede 
Length: 37 Minutes 18 Secs. 
9. The Prodigal Son, R 214 by Hugo Alfvén
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1957; Sweden 
Venue:  Stockholm Concert Hall, Stockholm, Swede 
Length: 18 Minutes 11 Secs. 
10. En skärgårdssägen, Op. 20/R 49 by Hugo Alfvén
Performer:  Christina Hogman (), Claes H. Ahnsjö ()
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904; Sweden 
Venue:  Stockholm Concert Hall, Stockholm, Swede 
Length: 16 Minutes 35 Secs. 
11. Symphony no 4 in C minor, Op. 39/R 93 "Från havsbandet": Andante by Hugo Alfvén
Performer:  Christina Hogman (), Claes H. Ahnsjö ()
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1918-1919; Sweden 
Venue:  Stockholm Concert Hall, Stockholm, Swede 
Length: 47 Minutes 45 Secs. 
12. Bergakungen, Op. 37: Suite by Hugo Alfvén
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1916; Sweden 
13. Symphony no 5 in A minor, Op. 54/R 209 by Hugo Alfvén
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942-1953; Sweden 
Venue:  Stockholm Concert Hall, Stockholm, Swede 
Length: 47 Minutes 27 Secs. 
14. Gustav Adolf II Suite, Op. 49/R 121: 4th movement, Elegy by Hugo Alfvén
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932; Sweden 
Venue:  Stockholm Concert Hall, Stockholm, Swede 
Length: 4 Minutes 37 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Alfven is a classical composer of the first rank! October 24, 2013 By Stephen Schoeman (Westfield, NJ) See All My Reviews "Here is a delicious collection of Hugo Alfven's symphonies and rhapsodies wonderful performed by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic under the great conducting of Neeme Jarvi. The gorgeous picture that fronts the boxed CD set tells it all. A composer who could be light and could be dark, who could sweep and could jar, and who could present beauty through music. Known for his Swedish Rhapsody No. 1, Alfven has more treasures for us. As with other composers, Bizet for Carmen and Leoncavallo for Pagliaci, the shame is that one work is seen to define the composer! Or be the only work known to have been written by the composer. Here is music of the highest quality. Ever so interesting. And music that will make you wonder why Hugo Alfven is not a household name outside his beloved Sweden! Stephen Schoeman, Ph. D." Report Abuse
 Bargain price; interpretations not for all tastes March 7, 2013 By Miles Rind (Cambridge, MA) See All My Reviews "If you like lots of loud, emphatic noise (or if you liked the conducting of the late Georg Solti) you will like Järvi's conducting of these symphonies. Järvi also seems to favor a distant position of the microphones (I have noticed this characteristic in his recordings with different orchestras on different labels, so I infer that it reflects his choice): this makes the climaxes seem even muddier than his already bombastic style of interpretation would make them in any case. He is, of course, always very precise, and I have no complaints about the playing of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic. But I find these recordings jarring to listen to." Report Abuse
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