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  • Wiren: Symphonies 2 & 3 / Concert Overtures
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Wiren: Symphonies 2 & 3 / Concert Overtures

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Audio CD, April 11, 2000
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Wiren: Symphonies 2 & 3 / Concert Overtures + Dag Wirén: Symphonies 4 & 5 / Oscarsbalen Ballet Suite
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Norrkoping Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Thomas Dausgaard
  • Composer: Dag Wiren
  • Audio CD (April 11, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: CPO
  • Run Time: 66 minutes
  • ASIN: B00004S5CD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #183,232 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Sym No.2, Op.14: Allegro Molto
2. Sym No.2, Op.14: Adagio-Allegro Molto-Tempo I
3. Sym No.2, Op.14: Allegro-Piu Moto-Poco Meno Moto-Tempo Primo-Meno Mosso-Piu Mosso-Meno Mosso
4. Sym No.3, Op.20: Allegro Attaca Subito
5. Sym No.3, Op.20: Adagio
6. Sym No.3, Op.20: Allegro Molto-Poco Piu Moto-Tempo I-Prestissimo-Poco Meno Moto-Poco Piu Mosso...
7. Conc Ov No.1, Op.2: Allegro-Meno Moto-A Tempo-Meno Moto-A Tempo I
8. Conc Ov No.2, Op.16: Allegro Moderato

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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Evan Wilson on February 4, 2002
Dag Wiren is one of those composers who is known, if known at all, for one piece--the Serenade for Strings, Op. 11 which shows up periodically on discs of Scandanavian favorites. To give us a further idea of this Swedish composer's work, CPO has issued 4 of his 5 symphonies (the 1st was suppressed) on two discs. I intend to review both discs here, so this review will be copied under the other disc.
Wiren believed in absolute music, so none of these pieces indulges in the pictorialism of Strauss or the impressionism of Debussy. In addition, Wiren's muse was given to terseness, so the longest piece on either disc is a 30 minute symphony with the remainder of the pieces being around 20 minutes.
These two disc also illustrate two very different sides of Wiren's temperment. Basically, it seems to me, Wiren got more severe and terse as he got older. Thus, the disc containing the 2nd and 3rd symphonies and two overtures contains far more approachable music than the disc with the 4th and 5th symphonies and the ballet suite. That said, there is nothing on either of these discs that will send the moderately adventurous listener running from the room.
What does Wiren sound like? Well, like a lot of Scandanavian composers, he doesn't always escape the influence of Sibelius, particularly in his use of slow harmonic motion and cold, clear orchestral sounds. Both the 2nd and 3rd symphonies contain memorable thematic material which reminds me vaguely of Sibelius' early symphonies. This disc is clearly the place to start with Wiren, because it contains ideas that will stick easily in your memory. Both overtures are tuneful delights as well.
The disc containing the 4th and 5th symphonies is more difficult. Both pieces have an austerity that reminds me of Vaughan Williams late music.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By G.D. TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 6, 2010
Wirén belonged to the Swedish group "Composers of the Thirties" encompassing Lars-Erik Larsson and Gunnar de Frumerie. His Serenade still survives in the concert hall, but his symphonies are rarely heard - which is a pity indeed, for these are superbly crafted, imaginative, inventive and memorable works. Stylistically, you might try to imagine Sibelius, Alfvén and Nielsen filtered through a lyrical neo-classicism (melodic, but still rather strict, even austere neo-classicism) and mixed with an equal amount of Prokofiev at his most sardonic. Wiren was not an overly prolific composer, and it is not hard to see why - while his style is personal, very recognizable and the music is memorable, the compositional range is rather limited (there isn't overly much you can do with it, really). His symphonies have been covered in two volumes by the ever-enterprising CPO label (the first symphony was withdrawn by the composer and has never been performed - I do not know whether it even exists anymore).

The second symphony is an active, indeed restless work, always striking out in new, interesting directions and dominated by fluttery woodwinds and busy string figures - but each movement is also based on wonderful melodies to offset the activity. The overall effect is actually more pastoral than dramatic; music of open fields, woodlands and blue skies, but it is exquisitely realized and not without traces of an epic sweep to it. The third is more aggressive, at least in the first movement, which has a certain (mock?) martial feel to it (the thematic development is also clever).
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