Review By Dan Morgan,MusicWeb International,July 2012
Far from being mere duty pieces all three display the deceptively simple, open-hearted qualities that suffuse so much of Hanson’s work; moreover, his Romantic spirit is undiminished, despite the changed and changing musical milieux of the 1960s and 1970s.
Review By Lynn René Bayley ,Fanfare,July 2012
…Hanson’s…Sixth Symphony…proved to be a surprising success, its six movements played consecutively without a break…and built around a simple three-note theme. As in so much of his music, Hanson used those three notes to great advantage in a succession of various moods, particularly in the first Adagio, which is the symphony’s central and longest movement. In the fourth movement, an Allegro assai, the theme is explored rhythmically and with imaginative harmonic changes that grow out of one another in odd angles, while a second, stately Adagio leads us into a final Allegro with the three-note motto used antiphonally. This final movement is tremendously exciting, built as it is on two overlaid rhythmic patterns, and ending in a tremendous
Hanson’s final symphony, his seventh, combines a chorus and orchestra à la Beethoven but in his own personal style. Luckily, the conductor remembers the work when it was new, and so can to some extent recapture the grandeur and lyricism of that time. The “waves” of the music are created via a rush of strings to which winds, brass, percussion, and chorus are added, breaking over the listener in flowing and ebbing washes of sound…And, again, Hanson creates magic out of his transitions…It is only 46 bars long, but within that span Hanson builds a lovely yet chromatic movement.
Gerard Schwarz, usually a fine, dependable conductor, is his normally fine self here. For the benefit of those who weren’t around 40 years ago, I’d like to drop in at this point that he was one of the greatest trumpet virtuosos of his day… © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review
Review By Juan Berberana,Ritmo,July 2012
Concluye la reedición (las grabaciones son originales del sello Delos) de las sinfonías del americano Howard Hanson (1896-1982) en NAXOS, con la grabación de la Sexta sinfonía y la Sea Symphony (Num. 7). Probablemente las dos piezas más interesantes de su catálogo. La Sexta fue encargada por la Filarmónica de Nueva York, para homenajear a Leonard Bernstein (su titular, entonces), y sí que guarda una cierta afinidad con el mundo musical (me refiero como compositor) del célebre director americano. La Séptima es una obra en cierto sentido recapituladora, casi crepuscular (a 4 años del fallecimiento de Hanson), donde se respira el Hanson de sus ancestros y el de mayor acento
Review By Laurence Vittes ,Gramophone,June 2012
Hanson wrote the music on this CD when he was 72, 78 and 81 years of age, and about each he must have felt deeply. The Sixth Symphony was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic to celebrate its 185th season. Lumen in Christo was commissioned by Nazareth College to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The Seventh Symphony, his last, commemorates the 50th anniversary of the National Music Camp at Interlochen, Michigan.
They are full of musical cues that the listener is intended to hear, from places like Haydn’s Creation and Handel’s Messiah, and even the famous passages from Hanson’s own Fourth Symphony. There are bold strokes, ominous moods, martial attitudes, gentle epiphanies and hopeful, joyful resolutions.
Review By Steve Arloff,MusicWeb International,May 2012
The obvious admiration that Schwarz has for both the man and the music makes all these performances both telling and convincing. The Seattle Symphony give their all while the Seattle Symphony Chorus (Chorale) is wonderfully impressive in the two works in which they feature. I read that the 120 members volunteer more than 30,000 hours each year—now that’s what I call “the big society”!
Review By Lawrence Hansen,American Record Guide,May 2012
I was grateful to Delos for letting me hear them in excellent performances in sonics that are still state of the art 20 years later.
It’s invigorating and exciting, with a grand sweep sometimes…it is worth hearing. It’s a luminous, radiant piece well worth reviving. © 2012 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide online
Review By Carlo Bianchi,Musica,May 2012
Review By James Norris,Audiophilia,April 2012
HANSON, H.: Symphonies (Complete), Vol. 4 - Symphonies Nos. 4 and 5 / Elegy / Dies natalis I (Seattle Symphony, Schwarz) 8.559703
HANSON, H.: Symphonies (Complete), Vol. 5 - Symphonies Nos. 6 and 7 / Lumen in Christo (Seattle Symphony and Chorale, Schwarz) 8.559704
These recordings were previously released on the Delos label and it’s good that Naxos have re-released them for they are amongst the finest symphonies in the American tradition standing comparison in my opinion with Charles Ives and Virgil Thompson.
Review By Rob Barnett,MusicWeb International,March 2012
As with the earlier volumes Schwarz brooks no dilution of the music. Nothing is routine or careless.
The old passionate munitions and the aggressive air-burst energy is still there in the six-movement Sixth Symphony. Lumen in Christo growls with awe. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review
Review By Infodad.com,February 2012
The re-release of the Delos International recordings of the complete symphonies of Howard Hanson concludes with the composer’s final works in the form, played by the Seattle Symphony under Gerard Schwarz with as much warmth, skill and stylistic attentiveness as the earlier volumes received. The Hanson cycle was a significant accomplishment when originally released and remains one in Naxos’ fine reissue. © 2012 Infodad.com Read complete review
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