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Sinding: Symphony 1, 2

Christian Sinding , Ari Rasilainen , Norwegian Radio Orchestra Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 4.96 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Sinding: Symphony 1, 2 + Apex: Sinding Symphonies 3 & 4
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Product details

  • Orchestra: Norwegian Radio Orchestra
  • Conductor: Ari Rasilainen
  • Composer: Christian Sinding
  • Audio CD (14 Oct 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: CLASSICAL
  • ASIN: B00006L9RN
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 205,287 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. "Symphony No. 1 in D minor, Op. 21 - I Allegro moderato"
2. "Symphony No. 1 in D minor, Op. 21 - II Andante"
3. "Symphony No. 1 in D minor, Op. 21 - III Vivace"
4. "Symphony No. 1 in D minor, Op. 21 - IV Allegro"
5. "Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 83 - I Allegro moderato"
6. "Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 83 - II Andante"
7. "Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 83 - III Allegro"

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Sinding's First Symphony cost its composer a great deal of effort. Its gestation lasted most of the 1880s and it did not reach its final form until 1892. Although it is stylistically inconsistent and a little uneven, it is well worth getting to know. Ultimately, I thought it less rewarding than the second and third symphonies but it is far more immediately attractive and approachable than they are largely because its structures are clearer. It is also more conventional tonally.

The 11 minute first movement states its main theme at once. The second subject arrives in the expected key (F major) but the development, as well as making use of both main themes, achieves impetus by employing an insistent dotted note rhythm taken from the exposition's transitional material. At 5 mins 48 secs the tonic is re-established and the recapitulation proceeds regularly until, at 8 mins 27 secs and after the return of the second subject, a new descending march-like theme is introduced. This is to reappear in the finale. The coda is built on the transitional material and a final reference to the main theme. Altogether, this is a fine, notably well sustained movement.

The 10 minute slow movement is practically monothematic, the central section of its ternary structure, beginning at 3 mins 39 secs, being built on an idea closely related to the main theme. (It is also related to the first movement's second subject; thematic iterrelationships are characteristic of Sinding's music and there are many other examples in this symphony.) The passionate writing for massed strings in this movement will remind you of Tchaikovsky while the luxuriant music for solo strings in the central section shows the influence of Strauss.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful 1 Nov 2009
By Colloredo von Salzburg - Published on Amazon.com
After listening the simple but beautiful violin concerto, i chose this
CD to introduce into Sinding's symphonic music. The result was awesome.
This music is still more beatiful, plenty of original ideas, lyricism and
very well elaborated structure. Despite a light sibelian atmosphere along
the music, we can better appreciate a slave flavor, perhaps some Glazunov
style. This is a wonderful sample to know this great norwegian composer.
I recommend this whole cycle by Rasilainen enthusiastically.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fine first symphony and an undistinguished second 7 Nov 2009
By G.D. - Published on Amazon.com
Christian Sinding is famous for being famous for his hugely effective and stirring piano piece Frühlingsrauschen, which seems to have fallen out of favor as an encore the last couple of years. His many large scale works have never manage to establish themselves outside of Norway (and frankly not even there), and it is not too hard to hear why. Neither of his four symphonies here are quite comparable to the Svendsen symphonies, say and they also showcase the fact that Sinding's development as a composer was something of a decline from youthful freshness to rather generic, Wagnerian late-romanticism. Thus, for instance, the first symphony is clearly his best, and even that one not quite as impressive as, say, his piano quintet from the early 1880s.

The first symphony, in d minor, was written in 1892 and is actually a very appealing work. It has a nice forward momentum and splendid, soaring themes somewhat reminiscent of his Russian contemporaries (Glazunov, say), although the character is more of a mix of Grieg/Svendsen and Schumann. It is, in general, a breezy, cheeky work with a beautiful slow movement and an attractive Vivace - even the finale works well at bringing the various strands together in a convincing whole. It is a rather inspired work, well constructed although a little heavily orchestrated - indeed, if I were to compare Sinding to, say, Svendsen, one of the most obvious things is how much lighter and airier the latter is; Sinding's music is, at times, a little heavy and indigestible.

It is not really a problem in the first symphony, which is fresh and inventive enough, but the second symphony suffers a little. Stylistically, Schumann is still present, but Wagner is a more pronounced model, and it doesn't really work for Sinding. Thus, the first movement never really takes flight and the second movement, while beautiful enough, sounds very generically Romantic. Only in the finale does things pick up a little; here there is some energy and momentum and even some genuine inspiration. But overall this is not a work I will return to very often.

I haven't heard any alternative performances (there is at least a set from CPO out there), but I cannot really hear anything to complain about from the Norwegian Radio Orchestra under Ari Rasilainin. Maybe the orchestral sound is a little thin, but they sound spirited enough and Rasilainen has a good grasp of the music and is able to play up its strengths. Sound quality is unremarkable but fair enough. In sum, then, I think the adventurous who doesn't set the standards to high will be amply rewarded, but I do not really think you'll loose much by passing it by either (if you instead secure yourself a version of the superior Svendsen symphonies). As for the final verdict, I am a little torn - the first symphony is a really appealing work. Maybe (but I hope not) I am swayed by the fact that another reviewer here has given it a top grade when I choose to give this issue 3 rather than 4 stars.
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