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Howard Hanson: Symphony No. 2 "Romantic"; Lux Aeterna / Gerard Schwarz

> Symphony No. 2, Op. 30, "Romantic" - I. Adagio - Allegro moderato
> Symphony No. 2, Op. 30, "Romantic" - II. Andante con tenerezza
> Symphony No. 2, Op. 30, "Romantic" - III. Allegro con brio
> Lux aeterna, Op. 24 - Lux aeterna, Op. 24
> Mosaics - Mosaics

Album Summary

>Hanson, Howard : Symphony no 2, Op. 30 "Romantic"
>Hanson, Howard : Lux Aeterna, Op 24
>Hanson, Howard : Mosaics for orchestra
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Hanson's intent in 1930 to write music that was "young in spirit, lyrical and romantic in temperament" was fully realized in his ardent Second Symphony. This, his best known symphonic statement, acknowledges a Sibelian inheritance through horn fanfares, powerfully lyric string writing, and a sense of unity both all-embracing and memorable. Lux Aeterna is a rhapsodic, strongly modal work for viola and orchestra, richly repaying Hanson's interest in Palestrina. Mosaics is a much later set of variations revealing his organizational control and expressive power. "Richly drawn is the Second Symphony - the Romantic, its second movement anthem beloved of millions of Americans. [Schwarz's] feeling for long-term growth is possibly the surest of all, leading us from one resolution to the next with an increasing sense of expectation." (Gramophone on Symphony No. 2) 658592070729

I can honestly say that the journey through Hanson's symphonies has been for me well worth the time and these performances by the Seattle Symphony under Schwarz are very fine and detailed.

Le Devoir
This symphony of 1930, particularly significant for its lyrical romanticism and generous, attests. Welcome to republish this Naxos recording of Delos 1988. The coupling is excellent.

As befits Schwarz's elegant approach and the Seattle Symphony's noble playing, the sound is layered with the tonal radiance, effortless dynamic range and large sound stage that were trademarks of legendary recording engineer John Eargle's work. The Seattle Opera House... also deserves superstar status for its part in recordings that sound smoother and more powerful now... the two companion pieces benefit from Naxos's reissuing... Lux aeterna, with its elaborate solo roles for 'viola obbligato' (sweetly played by Susan Gulkis Assadi), double bass and violin (a wonderful, Elgarian cadenza), emerges as music that American audiences would gratefully benefit from. Mosaics... ripples with glorious symphonic muscle.

American Record Guide
Utterly gorgeous music gorgeously played and recorded. If you don't have it, you must - and if you don't have this recording, it is hard to beat.

MusicWeb International
This further Naxos reissue of recordings first released by Delos follows hard on the heels of Volume 1 (8.559700). There's a review from the early days of MusicWeb International by Ian Lace of the two Delos twofers* from which these recordings are taken in which he rightly singles out the Romantic Symphony as Hanson's most approachable work and awards the performances and recording a ****(*) recommendation... It only remains for me to say that the Naxos reissues, on the showing of the first two volumes, deserve just as much praise and that this second disc is probably the best place to start: Lux Æterna and Mosaics are almost as appealing as the Symphony, though perhaps slightly less immediately approachable. The mp3 sound is good. I shan't be jettisoning my copy of Hanson conducting his own First and Second Symphonies... but I look forward to hearing the remaining Naxos discs.

Gerard Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony do a fine job with... the best-known of Hanson's seven symphonies - and provide a highly interesting contrast through the performance of the little-known Mosaics (1957), a set of variations that also offer some Nordic intensity but that are, in the main, clear, dramatic and quite well orchestrated. Lux Aeterna... clearly shows the instrumental influence of Respighi... Susan Gulkis Assadi, the violist in this performance, has a warm and lovely tone that melds well with the orchestral sound without ever dominating or attempting to dominate it; and the work itself offers a pleasant mixture of emotional and contrapuntal complexity.

Film Music: The Neglected Art
This is a very nice work...

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Seattle Opera House, Seattle, WA.


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Works Details

>Hanson, Howard : Symphony no 2, Op. 30 "Romantic"
  • Conductor: Gerard Schwarz
  • Ensemble: Seattle Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 28 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1930

>Hanson, Howard : Lux Aeterna, Op 24
  • Performer: Susan Assadi (Viola)
  • Conductor: Gerard Schwarz
  • Ensemble: Seattle Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 16 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1923

>Hanson, Howard : Mosaics for orchestra
  • Conductor: Gerard Schwarz
  • Ensemble: Seattle Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Seattle Opera House, Seattle, WA (05/18/1992-05/19/1992)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1957