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Howard Hanson: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5; Elegy / Gerard Schwarz

Audio Samples

>Hanson, Howard : Symphony no 4, Op 34 "The Requiem"
>Hanson, Howard : Symphony no 5, Op 43 "Sinfonia Sacra"
>Hanson, Howard : Elegy in Memory of Serge Koussevitsky for orchestra, Op 44
>Hanson, Howard : Dies Natalis I, for orchestra

Album Summary

>Hanson, Howard : Symphony no 4, Op 34 "The Requiem"
>Hanson, Howard : Symphony no 5, Op 43 "Sinfonia Sacra"
>Hanson, Howard : Elegy in Memory of Serge Koussevitsky for orchestra, Op 44
>Hanson, Howard : Dies Natalis I, for orchestra
Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Hanson's symphonic cycle reached a profound spiritual crux at the time of the Fourth Symphony, which was written, in effect, as a Requiem for his father. It journeys from turbulence to the simplicity of resolution, in a way both characteristic and also deeply moving. The Fifth Symphony also evokes religious imagery in a tautly structured, richly atmospheric canvas. The Lutheran element surfaces too in Dies Natalis, whilst Hanson's admiration for Serge Koussevitzky is marked by the Elegy he wrote for the conductor. "Schwarz's commitment to the music is evident in every bar: you really can take the quality, not least of his marvelous orchestra, for granted." (Gramophone on the original Delos release).

David's Review Corner
Throughout the performances Schwarz digs deeper into the Hanson idiom than any other conductor I have heard, and his Seattle orchestra responds magnificently. The recordings made between 1988 and 1994 once appeared on the Delos label... the sound quality is responsive to the music's impact.

Audiophilia
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.

Allmusic.com
These Howard Hanson recordings by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra... [is] wonderfully orchestrated and has a certain honest quality that has made it wear well even if there's a shortage of really memorable melody... musically effective combination, especially given the numerous ways Hanson can deploy the orchestra to set up the chorales...

MusicWeb International
highly recommended... the recordings sound fine.

Infodad.com
Schwarz has taken the measure of all this music and conducts it with understanding and considerable sensitivity.

The Guardian
Hanson apparently regarded the Fourth, (1943), composed as a requiem for his father, as his finest work, while the single-movement Fifth, completed 11 years later, was subtitled Sinfonia Sacra. Both are imposing, economical works with an austerity that emphasises their debt to Sibelius.

Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review
The middle period Hanson ... strikes me as being a sort of rich Nordic dessert. It is lush, sated, majestic, filled with glorious peaks and pithy quietude in alternation. The Requiem is understandably somber and elegaic; the "Sinfonia Sacre" has a slightly broader range of expression. Both occupy a kind of middle ground between some of the eclecticism of the earlier works and the breakthrough of new elements and the evolving sonic palette of the last symphonies.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Seattle Opera House, Seattle, WA.



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Works Details

>Hanson, Howard : Symphony no 4, Op 34 "The Requiem"
  • Conductor: Gerard Schwarz
  • Ensemble: Seattle Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Seattle Opera House, Seattle, WA (02/16/1990/02/18/1990)
  • Running Time: 25 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1943

>Hanson, Howard : Symphony no 5, Op 43 "Sinfonia Sacra"
  • Conductor: Gerard Schwarz
  • Notes: Seattle Opera House, Seattle, WA (05/18/1992/05/19/1992)
  • Running Time: 15 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1954

>Hanson, Howard : Elegy in Memory of Serge Koussevitsky for orchestra, Op 44
  • Conductor: Gerard Schwarz
  • Running Time: 12 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1956

>Hanson, Howard : Dies Natalis I, for orchestra
  • Conductor: Gerard Schwarz
  • Notes: Seattle Opera House, Seattle, WA (06/06/1994/06/07/1994)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1967