Alfven: Complete Symphonies, Suites & Rhapsodies

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Alfven: Complete Symphonies, Suites & Rhapsodies
Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, Niklas Willen

[ Naxos / 7 CD Box Set ]

Release Date: Friday 25 November 2022

This item is currently out of stock. We expect to be able to supply it to you within 2 - 4 weeks from when you place your order.

The music of Hugo Alfvén has always been close to the hearts of the Swedish people. He is regarded as representing the spirit of the country, partly owing to his intimate knowledge of Swedish folk music. He was no narrow 'provincial', however, but a highly sophisticated musician who spent ten years travelling throughout Europe. Nor were his talents confined to music. He was an engaging writer and an accomplished watercolourist who once contemplated a career as a painter. Alfvén's painterly instincts are reflected in a colourful and virtuosic fl air for orchestration, which has been compared with that of Richard Strauss. Music lovers who know him best as the popular, cheerful entertainer will discover in the works recorded here a more elegiac and dramatic side: sometimes melancholy, even turbulent, but characterised, too, by a bacchanalian exuberance.

"The Second may be Alfven's greatest symphony... A lovely coupling for the symphony is the Prodigal Son Suite... The music is fresh and lovely and could easily have come from about the same time as the symphony... Certainly Willen, a young Swedish conductor of obvious talent, gives convincing and well-played performances. The recording is very good and the notes are detailed. At Naxos's bargain price this cannot be easily passed up." American Record Guide [Symphony 2/Prodigal Son]

"A superb recording, one of the best yet from Dublin's National Concert Hall" Classics Today [Symphony 2/Prodigal Son]

'Willén treats the Fourth Symphony more as a symphonic poem than a symphony. His approach is soft-edged, impressionist, and blended. He digs into the music.' - American Record Guide

"This enchanting disc provides a timely corrective revealing a late Romantic whose aptitude for painting is mirrored in orchestration of glorious colour…a strong, affirmative performance under this Swedish conductor [Willen]" Yorkshire Evening Post [Symphony No 3/Swedish Rhapsody 3]

'If you are not familiar with Alfvén, this release is as good a place as any to whet your appetite. Performances and recording are exemplary. Highly recommended.' - Fanfare (Synnove Solbakken & Country Tale Suites)

"The Fourth is perhaps Alfvén's most ambitious and in many ways most imaginative symphony and Alfvén takes a leaf out of Nielsen's book by incorporating two wordless voices into the score in the manner of the Sinfonia espansiva." Penguin Guide


Festspel, Op. 25 ('Festival Overture')
Suite from Bergakungen ('The Mountain King')
Swedish Rhapsody No. 2, Op. 24
Symphony No. 1 in F minor, Op. 7
Prodigal Son
Symphony No. 2
Symphony No. 3
Swedish Rhapsody No. 3
Synnove Solbakken
En Bygdesaga
Symphony No. 4, Op. 39
Festival Overture, Op. 52
Symphony No. 5 in A Minor, Op. 54
Uppenbarelsekantat (Revelation Cantata)

Bonus CD:
Den förlorade sonen (The Prodigal Son), Suite
King Gustav Adolf II Op. 49: Elegy
Swedish Rhapsody No. 1, Op. 19 'Midsommarvaka'

Larsson, L-E:
Pastoral Suite, Op. 19
The Winter's Tale: Epilogue

Frösöblomster: excerpts

Svenskt Festspel

Mellanspel ur kantaten Sången (Interlude from the cantata The Song), Op. 44

Serenade for string orchestra, Op. 11: IV, Marcia
(all with the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, Okko Kamu)