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Magnard Symphonies

The Four Symphonies:
Symphony No 1 in C minor, Op 4; No 2 in E major; No 3 in B flat minor, Op 11; No 4 in C sharp minor, Op 21

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra / Jean-Yves Ossonce

Hyperion Dyad CDD22068 (2 CDs for the price of 1)
(Originally issued on four separate discs)

This is a great bargain for the New Year. Albéric Magnard (1865-1914) still remains (in England) a little known master of French music. He was killed in 1914 defending his estate and German soldiers then burned down his Normandy house, destroying many manuscripts.

Hyperion describes the symphonies as "substantial in length, cyclic in character, serious, attractively scored, slightly melancholic, and well worth getting to know" which I endorse fully.

You can get a fair idea of them from the samples to be heard on Hyperion's website.

I have previously recommended the BIS CDs of them (and Accord's boxed set of the complete chamber music) but this re-issue surely caps all those in terms of value for money; originally four separate CDs, now on two-for-the-price of one ! And with detailed information and essays about each symphony.

For full background information do click onto my two links above. They say it all...

Peter Grahame Woolf