Englund: Symphonies Nos 1 & 2 / Lilje, Estonian Symphony

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"Though he was born on the Swedish island of Gotland, Englund settled in Helsinki, where he studied and later, after a spell of study in...
"Though he was born on the Swedish island of Gotland, Englund settled in Helsinki, where he studied and later, after a spell of study in Tanglewood with Copland, taught. On returning home after his service on the front in 1945, he burned all his wartime manuscripts and sketches, and wrote this symphony, his first orchestral piece—and a remarkably accomplished piece it is! It became known in his native country as the War Symphony, though the composer characterized it as an expression of ''a euphoric joy at having—by a sheer miracle—come through four years of hell during the Second World War alive''. The musical language has more in common with Shostakovich than any other modern composer, but it is far from derivative. The idiom is accessible and there are memorable melodic ideas. The Second Symphony is something of a discovery—the very opening bars in their evocation of nature are almost prophetic of the Tippett of The Midsummer Marriage, and the second movement with its overtones of Shostakovich and its Sibelian undercurrents is really quite powerful. It is only in the finale that he resorts to the (to my ears) rather conventional stock-in-trade Prokofiev-Shostakovich finale (there is a sequential passage that could even come out of Arnold—try track 7, 1'24'' - 1'58'' and you will see what I mean). But while I would not stake the greatest claims for either symphony, neither is as concentrated or densely argued as, say, a Tubin or Rawsthorne symphony, Englund is a real composer who knows a thing or two about musical movement and development and has a well-stocked imagination. The Estonian Symphony Orchestra under Peeter Lilje give a good account of themselves and the recording made in the Philharmonia Hall in Tallinn is very good indeed."

-- Robert Layton, Gramophone [8/1992]


Product Description:


  • Release Date: September 05, 2008


  • UPC: 6413657775124


  • Catalog Number: ODE751


  • Label: Ondine


  • Number of Discs: 1


  • Period: ""


  • Composer: Sven Einar Englund


  • Conductor: Peeter Lilje


  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Estonian State Symphony Orchestra


  • Performer: Peeter, Lilje