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Symphony 2 in D Major / Prodigal Son


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Audio CD, October 16, 2001
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$10.66 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Symphony 2 in D Major / Prodigal Son + Symphony 1 / Festival Overture / Mountain King + Symphony 5
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Editorial Reviews


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Den forlorade sonen (The Prodigal Son) Suite: I. Moderato 3:44$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Den forlorade sonen (The Prodigal Son) Suite: II. (Untitled) 2:17$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Den forlorade sonen (The Prodigal Son) Suite: III. Drottningens av Saba festmarsch (Allegro maestoso) 2:23$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Den forlorade sonen (The Prodigal Son) Suite: IV. Polketta: Tempo di polketta 2:54$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Den forlorade sonen (The Prodigal Son) Suite: V. Steklat: Allegretto 2:44$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Den forlorade sonen (The Prodigal Son) Suite: VI. Polka 2:13$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Den forlorade sonen (The Prodigal Son) Suite: VII. Final: Polska 2:50$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 11: I: Moderato12:08Album Only
listen  9. Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 11: II: Andante18:29Album Only
listen10. Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 11: III: Allegro 5:53$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen11. Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 11: IV (i): Preludio: Adagio 7:12$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen12. Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 11: IV (ii): Fuga: Allegro energico10:06Album Only

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 16, 2001)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • Run Time: 73 minutes
  • ASIN: B00005NUON
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #319,686 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Grasso on November 11, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Alfven's Second Symphony is probably the best unknown symphony in the world. Almost no one records it, it is never played in concert halls (at least not in the states), and for some diabolical reason Alfven is still best known for his first Swedish Rhapsody (fine piece though it is). The Second Symphony is so much more--a complete surprise if you enjoy late Romantic music and have never heard it. Powerful, brooding, yet with melodies that only Alfven could have written (the second theme of the first movement, for example). How this symphony remains unknown is a complete mystery, as it easily ranks with early Nielsen and Sibelius. The Naxos version is wonderfuly played, the sound is great, and overall, it is a tremendous performance that should win a wide audience (as wide as classical can be these days). The bonus, his short ballet suite from The Prodigal Son, is lighter Alfven, but extremely charming stuff. Derived from Swedish folksong, it inhabits a sunny world very much in tune with his early Swedish Rhapsody. A must have for fans of late Romantic music, Scandinavian music, or Alfven's works. Go ahead and buy it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. R. Trtek on October 6, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Hugo Alfven's most famous work is undoubtedly the First Swedish Rhapsody, subtitled "Midsummer Vigil." Many people will likely recognize the music even if they don't know who wrote it. Alfven also composed three other rhapsodies and five symphonies. I must confess that the symphonies don't really impress me much, except this one. I don't know that I'd go so far as to call it an undiscovered masterpiece, but it's definitely worth repeated listening. There might be some unconscious nods toward Tchaikovsky in the first movement and faint echoes of Dvorak in the last; written at the close of the 19th Century, it strikes me as leaning in that direction rather than toward the 20th Century, not that that's a bad thing. The music for the ballet The Prodigal Son, meanwhile, is a delightful set of tunes. Rustic and energetic, it recalls perhaps some moments of that First Rhapsody. In any case, this disc has two winners.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By W. Chiles on July 18, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
You have to appreciate the Naxos approach to classical music today. While other major recording companies continue to churn out recordings of standard repertoire by new and often uninteresting artists, this label continues to explore new and unheard repertoire by lesser known artists and 2nd tier but fully qualified ensembles. Known primarily for his short piece "Midsummer Rhapsody" Alfven also composed a great deal of worthy music including five symphonies and the ballet suite "Prodigal Son" included on this release. I've heard recordings of the 3rd, 4th and 5th on this label also conducted by Willen who has passion for this music and brings to it a high level of nuance and forward motion where some other conductors tend to let the energy and your interest lapse.

I checked this CD out after reading a review that suggested Alfven's Second Symphony was his masterpiece. I'm inclined to agree on the basis of this recording. It's well engineered and played revealing Alfven's melodic gifts and ability to compose a virtuoso score that is exciting and likely a fun challenge for the musicians that play it. It's language is fully tonal, written in a style that is Alfven's own but not in any way strange or unusual. His approach to the traditional symphony would fit nicely on a program that includes, say, the music of Sibelius or Vaughan Williams, to mention two of his contemporaries. At the Naxos budget price, I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys romantic era music and desires to hear something new and refreshing.
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Format: Audio CD
While I was a little hesitant about giving an unequivocal recommendation to the first volume in this series, the performances here are far more satisfying. Willén has changed orchestras, and perhaps there is better chemistry between conductor and orchestra here or something (I don't question the quality of the Scottish orchestra on the previous volume) - anyway, these are genuinely impressive performances, worthy to be set alongside Järvi's, although the works on this release are not among Alfvén's strongest. I have to admit that the symphony is probably Alfvén's weakest in the genre, desperately trying but ultimately failing to achieve any kind of symphonic unity or any truly memorable thematic material (the scherzo apart); it is an ambituous work, too long for its relatively modest ideas, but the scoring is inventive and there are enough fine moments and ideas to make it a worthwhile listening experience nonetheless. Willén does what he can for the work, and almost succeeds in imbuing it with real life and spirit, contrastive colors and some dramatic urgency. I still prefer Järvi's somewhat quicker and even more dramatic approach, but Willén's is surely a worthy alternative, and there is little to choose between when it comes to the orchestral contributions - maybe Järvi's string section is fuller, but the brass section of the Irish orchestra is truly impressive, and Willén uses it for all its worth to create some wonderful textural progressions, especially in the slow movement.

The coupling is a rarity, a tuneful, lightly scored and heavily folk-music-infected ballet suite with some really memorable tunes and numbers. No profundity, but many lovely moments and genuine foot-tapping dance music.
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