Hanson: Symphony No.6 & No. 7 (Naxos: 8.559704)
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Hanson's last two symphonies offer a fitting conclusion to his compositional career. Commissioned for the 185th anniversary season of the New York Philharmonic and dedicated to Leonard Bernstein, the romantic Sixth is cast in six continuous movements pervaded by a haunting three-note motif. The Seventh sets the poetry of Walt Whitman and reaffirms Hanson's Sibelian inheritance whilst proudly ending his own symphonic cycle in a blaze of glory. Lumen in Christo, which intriguingly bears the inscription"with variations on themes by Haydn and Handel," is a choral work for women's voices that sets sacred texts on the subject of light, ending in ethereal calm."I found this to be an even more satisfying release than its predecessor, and it is sure to please those who have been enjoying Schwarz's Hanson survey." (Fanfare on the original Delos release of Symphonies Nos. 3 and 6).
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