Maxwell Davies: Symphonies No. 4 & 5 (Scottish Chamber Orchestra/ Philharmonia Orchestra/ Peter Maxwell Davies) (Naxos: 8.572351)
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The orchestra used by Peter Maxwell Davies
for his Fourth Symphony is of Classical period proportions, but this relatively compact framework belies a richness of ideas and sonorities. With its starting point in the tone poem Chat Moss
, the single-movement Fifth Symphony
utilizes a more varied orchestral palette than its predecessor, with a large percussion section often in evidence. Both works are performed here by the orchestras for which they were written. The First Symphony
can be heard on 8.572348, the Second Symphony
on 8.572349, and the Third Symphony
Our Peter Maxwell Davies
symphonic releases have already gathered momentum with the "sheer splendour of sound"
of the Symphony No. 1
(8.572348), and the Symphony No. 2
(8.572349), "an important issue that imperatively demands, and richly rewards, repeated hearing"
(both review quotes from Gramophone
on the original Collins Classics releases). Having already revived interest in these stunning performances and recordings, this release on a single disc of both the "especially rewarding"
Fourth Symphony and the Fifth Symphony, "his most accessible"
), will be warmly received by a swiftly growing new audience.
Universally acknowledged as one of the foremost composers of our time, Sir 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.