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Berwald: 4 Symphonies, Orchestral Works / Bjorlin, Royal PO


Release Date: 08/10/1999 
Label:  Emi Classics Double Fforte Catalog #: 73335   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Franz Berwald
Conductor:  Ulf Björlin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 25 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Romantic composer Franz Berwald had to make a living at other trades, first as an orthopedic surgeon in Berlin and later as the manager of a sawmill and glass factory in northern Sweden! In between these stints, he enjoyed his most productive period as a composer, from 1842-45. In an incredible burst of creativity during this brief time he composed four symphonies and five tone poems for orchestra. Only the Sinfonie sérieuse (No. 1) was performed in his lifetime, when it had a lukewarm reception. His best work, the Sinfonie singulière (No. 3), wasn't performed until 50 years after his death. The symphonies are all inventive and quite distinctive, with many surprises along the way. The second movement of the Sinfonie Read more singulière is a case in point. It begins calmly with an ethereal melody, but soon little woodwind chirps signal a different mood, and suddenly the listener is catapulted into a bustling scherzo. This vigorous music subsides into a recap of the slow theme and the movement closes quietly. The brass writing is colorful and these performances make the most of it. Conductor Ulf Björlin leads with energy and insight and gets terrific playing from the orchestra. His well-chosen tempos seem exactly right, as do the balances. The spacious recordings sound better than ever in EMI's new ART processing, though the originals would have benefited from a tighter, more focused bass line. Overall, these performances rank among the best currently available. [4/4/2000]

--Rad Bennett, ClassicsToday.com

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The title of Franz Berwald’s Third Symphony, ‘singulière’, is apt, for he was a very singular composer. Writing at the time of Mendelssohn and Schumann, but with a particularly Scandinavian airiness to his orchestral textures, he often sounds ahead of his time... Performances from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under conductor Ulf Björlin, are committed and the sound muscular.

-- Matthew Rye, BBC Music Magazine
reviewing Symphonies 1 and 3, previously released as EMI 65303
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 1 in G minor "Sérieuse" by Franz Berwald
Conductor:  Ulf Björlin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Sweden 
Date of Recording: 1976 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 27 Minutes 33 Secs. 
2.
Symphony no 2 in D major "Capricieuse" by Franz Berwald
Conductor:  Ulf Björlin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Sweden 
Date of Recording: 1976 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 23 Minutes 46 Secs. 
3.
Symphony no 3 in C major "Singulière" by Franz Berwald
Conductor:  Ulf Björlin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845; Sweden 
Date of Recording: 1976 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 30 Minutes 0 Secs. 
4.
Symphony no 4 in E flat major by Franz Berwald
Conductor:  Ulf Björlin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845; Sweden 
Date of Recording: 1976 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 28 Minutes 16 Secs. 
5.
Elfenspiel by Franz Berwald
Conductor:  Ulf Björlin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841; Sweden 
Date of Recording: 1976 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 8 Minutes 26 Secs. 
6.
Estrella de Soria: Overture "Tragic" by Franz Berwald
Conductor:  Ulf Björlin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841; Sweden 
Date of Recording: 1976 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 7 Minutes 47 Secs. 
7.
Erinnerung an die norwegischen Alpen by Franz Berwald
Conductor:  Ulf Björlin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Sweden 
Date of Recording: 1976 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 8 Minutes 57 Secs. 
8.
Wettlauf by Franz Berwald
Conductor:  Ulf Björlin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Sweden 
Date of Recording: 1976 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 8 Minutes 53 Secs. 

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