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Hugo Alfven: Symphonies Nos. 1-5; Swedish Rhapsodies [Box Set] Box set
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Alfven is completely in the romantic tradition. But it would not be giving him his due to describe his music by way of his nationality. Grieg and Sibelius come through, but more beside. You will find Both Beethoven and Tchaikowsky here as well (and a dash of John Williams, Holst and Mahler when it comes to his use of brass, too).
It is hard to compare Jarvi to other renditions, since I haven't heard any - lets just say that on the surface, it feels to me like the pieces are played the way they were written to be played. There is a richness to the recording which I absolutely love.
My main takeaway from listening to Alfven's works is - why don't we know this composer better? Is it merely because of the era in which he lived? Possibly he was after his time. Nevertheless, I would recommend to any fan of Romantic music that they get familiar with the works of Alfven, pronto. This collection is a wonderful way to do it.
A number of the works are 3-10 minute pieces featuring strings with just the odd wind instrument. Then there are all the symphonies. Some rather standard, some reminding us of Strauss or Sibelius. The fourth is in one movement. There is also a ballet pantomime.
The music is from the late 1800s to the 1900s. Alfven certainly has classical influences. For comparison, some Sibelius works soumd quite modernist. The Alfven works are more comparable in style to Grieg. He produced a large volume of orchestral works. Inspiration is sometimes the Swedish pastoral scene and some folk tunes. Imagine a Midsummer fest.
It is not music that may strike you initially as astounding, but well crafted work. Probably my favorite Nordic composer after Sibelius. Nielsen was more challenging and may become something I like in the long run. Grieg only wrote one symphony. Alfven is easy to get into in a casual way. If you like the classic era, you will like this. I believe he is labeled as Romantic (national romantic).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really enjoyed this set. Very good audio. Never hear of this composer before I tried these CD's, but a very Nordic style that I like. Not Sibelius, but a good side-kick.Published 20 months ago by Art S.
Apart from Swedish Rhapsody No 1 I found this music basically uninteresting, and I doubt that I would ever listen to it again. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Melvyn Bowler
Wonderful music! If you have never heard the Swedish Rhapsodies you are really missing some great music. This set includes some extras that are will worth having as well.Published on July 28, 2014 by N L Moore