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  • Maxwell Davies: Symphony No. 6- Time and the Raven / An Orkney Wedding with Sunrise
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Maxwell Davies: Symphony No. 6- Time and the Raven / An Orkney Wedding with Sunrise

5 customer reviews

Price: £5.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Maxwell Davies: Symphony No. 6- Time and the Raven / An Orkney Wedding with Sunrise + Maxwell Davies: Symphonies No. 4 & 5 (Scottish Chamber Orchestra; Philharmonia Orchestra; Peter Maxwell Davies) (Naxos: 8572351) + Symphony No. 2 / St. Thomas Wake, Foxtrot for Orchestra
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Product details

  • Conductor: Peter Maxwell Davies
  • Composer: Peter Maxwell Davies
  • Audio CD (29 Oct. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B009F2CWVO
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 57,227 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Symphony No. 6 - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
2. Time and the Raven - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
3. An Orkney Wedding with Sunrise - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Product Description

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies's passionate Sixth Symphony is dedicated to the memory of the writer George Mackay Brown, with the very special musical virtuosity' of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in mind. It is one of his most beautifully expressive works and, whilst not untroubled, reaches moments of serene beauty. Composed for the 50th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, Time and the Raven is a brilliant and exciting collage, whilst few contemporary works enjoy such popularity as the magical An Orkney Wedding with Sunrise.

The Sixth is in many ways Maxwell Davies's most immediately approachable symphony an excellent entry point' to his ongoing cycle of symphonies. It's both powerful and consoling, with the musical architecture leading ever onward to the moving last movement. Time and the Raven is a bold occasional piece, whilst An Orkney Wedding with Sunrise is one of his most performed compositions, notable for his use of the bagpipe. The performances are conducted by the composer with his favourite orchestra.

Universally acknowledged as one of the foremost composers of our time, Peter Maxwell Davies has made a significant contribution to musical history through his wide-ranging and prolific output. He lives in the Orkney Islands off the north coast of Scotland, where he writes most of his music.

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By S. H. Smith on 17 Nov. 2012
Format: Audio CD
Master of the Queen's Music, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (b.1934), is a truly versatile composer who can write serious music, such as his rigoriously argued symphonic cycle, alongside occasional pieces and other small-scale works with a popular appeal. In its re-release of the Collins Classics recordings, Naxos succeeds in showing off the diversity of the composer's output. On the present disc, the Symphony No.6 is coupled with "Time and the Raven", composed for the 50th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, and the ever-popular "Orkney Wedding with Sunrise".

No-one can pretend that the Maxwell Davies symphonies make for easy listening. They are tough, uncompromising works, as rugged as the Orkney landscape in which most of them were written. Perhaps the Symphony No.6 of 1996, with its long periods of quiet, brooding contemplation counterbalancing its more disturbed moments, is as good a place as any to begin one's exploration. Evenso, great efforts of concentration are required in order to engage with the work.

The first movement is predominantly dark and brooding, with lonely wind solos and spectral strings. The quicker passages require individual virtuosity as wisps of theme are tossed from one instrument to another. The second movement, "a mirror of the first", as the composer describes it, again begins slowly, with huge timpani strokes leading to a solemn brass theme. After a climax the music picks up momentum, although temporal changes are frequent, imbuing the music with a restless feel. The third movement, too, has a slow, brooding introduction, this time in the strings, rather Mahlerian in tone, and expressively beautiful. This extended string passage seems to be at the contemplative heart of the work.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By xxsfgsvs TOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 Feb. 2013
Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
One reason that the Sixth Symphony may appear a good entry point to Peter Maxwell Davies' symphonies is that it feels like a consolidation of what he had developed in the previous five. That doesn't necessarily make it the best of the bunch. The three expansive movements make for a large symphony in scope with a searching and melancholic finale. Certainly it is a sombre work but not so forbidding. The first two movements effortlessly move between tempo changes, which, adds greater weight to the less animated finale.

In scale it is similar to the first three; more tonally grounded than the first but more subdued orchestral colouring than the exquisitely scored Second. The expansiveness comes as a surprise after the compact one movement Fifth seemed to herald a change of direction.

The two other works on this disc are strangely subdued given their populist elements. "Orkney Wedding and Sunrise" manages to sound very well behaved. I did wonder whether the composer re-scored some of it because some brass instruments disappeared from the original recording and generally the brass certainly sound distant. This sounds in part due to the balance of the recording and also some rather polite playing. The drunken party seems to amount to no more than a couple of babychams. The playing sounds refined and a little too careful. Perhaps Peter Maxwell Davies wanted to smooth over the more pictorial elements to provide a more cohesive form, though thankfully, the entry of the bagpipe sunrise is superbly executed. Some might prefer this more cautious approach but I miss the previous raucousness that clearly harks back to Malcolm Arnold's "Tam O' Shanter".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Sillitoe on 7 Feb. 2013
Format: Audio CD
With the 6th Symphony we have something new, three movements, all at least partly slow in texture, and it is the slow Adagio introduction which draws you into the main body, Allegro, of the first movement and the Symphony as a whole. The two outer movements seem to pivot around the central Adagio non troppo, and a word of warning here, do not listen to this work at first using headphones, as a lot of the symphonic colour comes via the percussion section and the timpanist could leave you with a headache! The final movement begins with a slow lilting section, which is not usually how you describe the music of Maxwell Davies, with solo violin, before leading in to a more animated section, quite impressive stuff! Included on this disc are the `occasional overture' Time and the Raven from 1995, and the ever popular An Orkney Wedding with Sunrise with its bag-pipe solo here expertly played by George McIlwham, who in my opinion is the finest interpreter of the work that I have heard, and superbly backed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
The problem is, there are no further Collins recordings of the symphonies for Naxos to re-issue, so let us hope that they invest in new recordings of the final three symphonies, I have hear the 7th and would love to hear the Antarctic Symphony (Symphony No. 8), I have heard so many good things about the work, let us also hope that they can encourage the composer to conduct them himself!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ann McCabe on 31 May 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Recommend this for all lovers of the music of Peter Maxwell Davies. A good starter record for newcomers to his wonderful rich music.
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