Alfven: Complete Symphonies, Vol. 1
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Along with Wilhelm Stenhammar and Wilhelm Peterson-Berger, Hugo Alfven surely ranks as one of the leading composers of Swedish late romanticism. In the country of his birth he was noted for his compositions inspired by Swedish folklore - one of which, Midsommarvaka, his most famous work, is heard on Vol. 1 of this new edition of his complete symphonic works. It is both astonishing and impressive that Alfven, who previously had composed nothing more than a few piano pieces, songs, and chamber works, suddenly came forward in 1897 with a full-length symphony of some forty minutes in length. This highly regarded Symphony No. 1 exhibits very finely nuanced tone colours, and with it he immediately became known as a capable and experienced composer. Alfven composed Drapa, a monumental, magnificent, and festive work with the subtitle 'King Oscar II in memoriam', for a gala event at the Royal College of Music and conducted its premiere on 18 October 1908. For this ambitious project CPO have secured the support of the German Symphony Orchestra of Berlin and Lukasz Borowicz one of Germany's best orchestras and one of today's most promising young conductors.
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