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Peter Maxwell Davies: Symphony No. 1

Album Summary

>Maxwell Davies, Peter : Symphony no 1, for orchestra, J. 142
>Maxwell Davies, Peter : Mavis in Las Vegas, theme and variations for Orchestra, J. 287
Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Peter Maxwell Davies's visionary music has gained him knighthood, the prestigious position of Master of the Queen's Music and a leading position among the foremost composers of our time. The two works on this disc, authoritatively conducted by the composer, show two sides of his remarkable musical imagination. The First Symphony is permeated by the presence of the sea and the haunting landscape of his home in the Orkney Islands, while the vibrant theme and variations Mavis in Las Vegas is an exuberant 'tribute' to the glitzy gambling capital of the world, in all its hyper-reality. Universally acknowledged as one of the foremost composers of our time, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies has made a significant contribution to musical history through his wide-ranging and prolific output. He lives in the Orkney Islands off the north coast of Scotland, where he writes most of his music. His substantial chamber and instrumental catalogue includes the landmark cycle of ten string quartets, the Naxos Quartets, described in the Financial Times as 'one of the most impressive musical statements of our time'.

David's Review Corner
Available for a brief period on the Collins label, the superb sound comes from BBC Manchester's recording team.

Financial Times
Having invested heavily in Max's 12 Naxos quartets and been rewarded with a new market for his music, the budget label has courageously taken over the long unavailable Collins Classics catalogue of older Max music...Decent performances, but Max has written far better music.

BBC Music Magazine
The unfolding narrative of the [Symphony] has a compelling force on its own terms. The recording is somewhat dull and unengaging, but the energy and excitement of the performance shine through. After the strenuousness of the Symphony, the high jinks of Mavis in Las Vegas comes as welcome light relief.

Fanfare Magazine, September/October 2012
Another split review! What can I say? Mavis is a gem, and I wouldn't want to be without it, but the symphony overstays its welcome.

MusicWeb International
Great fun; a reminder of the composer's relaxed, more genial side.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester, UK (1994-12-08_1994-12-09&1997-).


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Works Details

>Maxwell Davies, Peter : Symphony no 1, for orchestra, J. 142
  • Conductor: Peter Maxwell Davies
  • Ensemble: BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester, UK (12/08/1994-12/09/1994)
  • Running Time: 54 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1976

>Maxwell Davies, Peter : Mavis in Las Vegas, theme and variations for Orchestra, J. 287
  • Conductor: Peter Maxwell Davies
  • Running Time: 13 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1997