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Magnard - The Four Symphonies Double CD

Price: £13.25 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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£13.25 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Magnard - The Four Symphonies + Roussel: The Complete Symphonies and Other Orchestral Works
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Product details

  • Orchestra: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Ossonce
  • Composer: Albèric Magnard
  • Audio CD (5 Jan. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Double CD
  • Label: Hyperion Dyad
  • ASIN: B001L8K16S
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,597 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Symphony No 1 in C minor Op 4 [31'07]
2. Symphony No 2 in E major Op 6 [36'04]
Disc: 2
1. Symphony No 3 in B flat minor Op 11 [37'33]
2. Symphony No 4 in C sharp minor Op 21 [35'40]

Product Description

Albéric Magnard really is the great so-far-undiscovered master of French music. Born in 1865 (the same year as Sibelius, Nielsen and Glazunov), the son of the managing editor of Le Figaro, his reticent personality prevented him from courting fame or even performances of his music. But he wrote two operas, chamber music, and four wonderful symphonies unsurpassed by any other French composer of his time. His end was tragic: in 1914, defending his estate in Normandy, he was shot dead by German soldiers who then burned his house down, destroying many manuscripts (including one of the operas mentioned above which is now lost for ever). His four-movement symphonies are substantial in length, cyclic in character, serious, attractively scored, slightly melancholic, and well worth getting to know.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Lapwing on 11 Feb. 2009
Format: Audio CD
First of all this set of two CD's is excellent value. The price provides an economical way of getting to know 140 minutes of music by this little known yet fascinating composer. OK, how often have you heard someone say they cannot understand why `this masterpiece is unknown' only to discover, when, you listen to it, umpteen reasons why it is and should remain so. Well, I can't see anybody who listens to these excellently recorded performances not being bowled over by the sheer quality of this accessible music.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By paulk on 11 Mar. 2010
Format: Audio CD
Wonderfully played and recorded. However, you will also realise that the music is so good that another version can provide those different subtleties, variations in tempi, instrumental balance, etc, so do, please, also explore Sanderling's complete symphonies with Malmo Symphony Orchestra. That is an equally impressive set, and for a very good budget price.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
A Major French Symphonist 28 Sept. 2009
By Transfigured Knight - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Alberic Magnard led a somewhat successful life as a composer. He was killed during World War I trying to protect his home from German invasion. A sad way to go for sure, but of what Magnard left behind were four gorgeous symphonies, chamber works, and a few more orchestral works. His symphonies, however, are his major contributions to music. Magnard is sometimes referred to as a "French Bruckner," but honestly I don't hear it, well maybe in the brass chorales, but that's it. He did employ some cyclic type of phrases into his symphonies, but he's really nothing like Bruckner at all, so I think that description isn't a fair one.

I own two complete cycles of Magnard's symphonies: one with Thomas Sanderling/Malmo Symphony originally on Bis (I own the much cheaper Brilliant Classics release) and this one with Jean-Yves Ossonce/BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Both cycles are fantastic, but I think this one with Ossonce has the better audio quality (a hallmark of Hyperion Records). Sanderling's cycle sounds good and he gives more aggressive accounts, but Ossonce's readings are much broader in emotion I think. The BBC Scottish Symphony also play with more of a firey restraint, which may or may not appeal to you, but I found this to be overall more satsifying than Sanderling's more intense readings. It seems Ossonce lets the music flow better and allows it reach it's own resolutions.

Anyone remotely interested in hearing a more obscure French symphonist that deserves wider exposure, then they should pick up this release. Highly recommended.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Marvellous Magnard 27 Feb. 2011
By Alan - Published on
Format: Audio CD
These really are symphonies that merit repeated listening. There is real beauty, depth and dignity in this music that becomes more and more apparent with each hearing, combined with Magnard's outstanding orchestral technique. I first bought the 3rd and 4th symphonies, and was stunned by the quality of this music, which sadly never seems to make it to the concert hall. I guess the third remains my favourite, the music has a unique sound and melodic contour, very typical of Magnard. I can see why Bruckner is mentioned, if only because Magnard writes with great long-breathed paragraphs and the climaxes, when they come, seem inevitable. Elgar often springs to mind, not because of the sound-world of these symphonies, but because of their nobility. Try them, be patient, and be rewarded!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Magnard is Magnificent! 2 Feb. 2011
By Y. Shuster - Published on
Format: Audio CD
What a treasure! It is a true shame that Magnard's works are not better known. The symphonies are sublime and one only enjoys them more and more with repeated listenings! The orchestral playing and sound in this recording is absolutely first rate! I have heard it said that Magnard is the "French Bruckner." Like the other reviewer, I don't really hear that. I feel he belongs to a much later style, sort of what you might get if you were to combine Sibelius (he sounds much more like Sibelius than Bruckner), early Vaughn-Williams and Gliere. I could find nothing objectionable at all in this music or this recording. To the contrary, the music and its playing are first rate, A+
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Neglected Composer worth Exploring 9 April 2013
By D. C. Cannon - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you read the music history books, nothing happened in French music between Franck and Debussy. Of course that's not the full story, and once again a smaller record label like Hyperion uncovers another hidden gem of a composer. In this case Alberic Magnard, who wrote late in the nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Magnard is sometimes called the French Bruckner, and I can hear a little of that composer in those big climaxes. However, the real influence here seems to be Cesar Franck/Vincent D'Indy and their use of cyclic themes. The first two Magnard symphonies are very pleasant and enjoyable nineteenth century works, Perhaps the musical material could be a little more memorable here but it is very well orchestrated and the musical argument well done.

It is the last two symphonies that are eye openers. The influence of medieval music starts to make its presence felt in those chant like themes that open the works and the interestingly orchestrated scherzos that suddenly break out into what sounds like a Renaissance dance. The use of cyclic themes is handled very subtly but is still there. For someone new to Magnard, these works were true surprises and a real discovery.

While neither the Glasgow BBC Orchestra or conductor Jean-Yves Ossonce are household names, they do a fine job with these lesser known scores, and the Hyperion engineers capture the large orchestra sound nicely. Re-issued on Hyperion's Dyad label, this is now a very affordable double CD offering. Definitely a composer worth taking a chance on.
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