Alfvén: Symphony No 1, Etc / Scottish National Orchestra
This beautifully recorded CD is a showcase not simply for Hugo Alfvén but also for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, an ensemble that proves itself with this recording to be a top-flight orchestra. The CD opens with 'Festspel,' a boisterous and jubilant overture written for the opening of the 1908 season of the Royal Dramatic Theater in Stockholm. The Suite from 'Bergakungen' is a magical and ravishing score. With rustling string sections, bucolic winds and a boldness that recalls Mussorgsky and Prokofiev, this enchanting work based on a famous Swedish folk tale ought to be concert staple. The 'Uppsala' Rhapsody opens on a quiet and brooding note that recalls the work of Sibelius before expanding into a triumphant blaze of brass. Alfvén's first symphony proved to be a dramatic breakthrough for the composer and for Sweden as well since the late 19th-century music scene had been dominated by chamber works. With hallmarks of Wagner and Berlioz redolent throughout, this mature work has a Nordic grandeur that will appeal to all lovers of 19th-century Scandinavian music.
Catalog Number: 8553962
Composer: Hugo Alfvén
Conductor: Niklas Willén
Orchestra/Ensemble: Royal Scottish National Orchestra