Wirén: Symphonies No 4 And 5, Etc / Dausgaard, Et Al

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These two short, perfectly proportioned symphonies provide an appropriate ending to the orchestral achievement of a grossly underrated, even misunderstood composer--one of the very few who was self-aware enough to understand exactly what his gifts were and how to make the most of them. Unlike the comparatively more expansive earlier symphonies, both of these works are based on a single short theme or motif, which Wirén then subjects to variations of exceptional ingenuity, all cloaked in staggeringly efficient and colorful orchestration. Although he claimed to revere Nielsen above all other symphonic composers, Wirén's actual technique resembles nothing so much as a sort of Swedish Janácek. His symphonies are, one and all, magnificent mosaics; and while these last two employ more tonally ambiguous thematic material than their siblings, and end slowly and quietly (the kiss of death when it comes to their chances of being played live), they are so beautifully sculpted and so easy to follow that they truly deserve the widest dissemination among music lovers. The delicious ballet suite Oscarsbalen reveals Wirén's gift for gentle parody in a typically glittering orchestral context. Here is the composer of the ever-popular Serenade for Strings, in case you were wondering what happened to him after the two symphonies. The performances here are as distinguished as the music, with the Norrköping orchestra's excellent solo winds seizing every opportunity to shine. Excellent sonics add the finishing touch to a truly memorable disc.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: 999563-2

  • UPC: 761203956326

  • Label: CPO

  • Composer: Dag Wirén

  • Conductor: Thomas Dausgaard

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Norrköping Symphony Orchestra