Philip Sawyers- Symphony no. 2, Cello Concerto, Concertante for Violin, Piano and Strings

£12.00

Orchestra of the Swan
Kenneth Woods, conductor
Maja Bogdanovic, cello
Steinberg Duo
– Nicholas Burns- piano, Lousia Stonehill- violin

Philip Sawyers (1951-)

Cello Concerto
Symphony no. 2
Concertante for Violin, Piano and Strings

WORLD PREMIERE RECORDINGS

“Here are three recent works of strong personality, genuine substance and warm-hearted integrity…uncommon skill in handling instrumental forces…performed here with thrilling conviction and formidable assurance by soloist Maja Bogdanovic… and the Orchestra of the Swan…Sawyers’s excitingly integrated music marries a generous lyrical impulse to a genuine thematic substance and marvellously invigorating contrapuntal flair… dashingly eloquent advocacy by the Steinberg Duo… Boasting admirable sound and judicious balance, this rewarding collection earns the strongest recommendation”
Andrew Achenbach- Gramophone

“…with regard to Sawyers’s compositions: they speak naturally, seriously, but by no means doggedly; his music is emotionally direct and always involving the intelligent listener. This is the kind of music for which many people have been secretly hoping for years…Power, strength and expressive range are here a-plenty, and the continuous flow of the music is gripping, travelling this way and that, but at all times utterly well-paced…The performances are totally committed and the recording quality is really fine. This is the kind of music that gives one hope for the future of our art.”
Robert Matthew-Walker, The Classical Source

SKU: NI6281 Category: Tags: , ,

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Released 7 July, 2014
Nimbus Records
Produced, engineered and edited by Simon Fox-Gál

Orchestra of the Swan
Kenneth Woods, conductor
Maja Bogdanovic, cello
Steinberg Duo
– Nicholas Burns- piano, Lousia Stonehill- violin

Philip Sawyers (1951-)
Cello Concerto
Symphony no. 2
Concertante for Violin, Piano and Strings

WORLD PREMIERE RECORDINGS

A 2014 MusicWeb International RECORD OF THE YEAR “It reveals Sawyers as a composer of real range, skill, intelligence and power. Contemporary music that is accessible in the best sense – knotty but not opaque, challenging but compelling. Very well engineered too and performed with zealous passion.”

“Here are three recent works of strong personality, genuine substance and warm-hearted integrity…uncommon skill in handling instrumental forces…performed here with thrilling conviction and formidable assurance by soloist Maja Bogdanovic… and the Orchestra of the Swan…Sawyers’s excitingly integrated music marries a generous lyrical impulse to a genuine thematic substance and marvellously invigorating contrapuntal flair… dashingly eloquent advocacy by the Steinberg Duo… Boasting admirable sound and judicious balance, this rewarding collection earns the strongest recommendation”
Andrew Achenbach, Gramophone

“…with regard to Sawyers’s compositions: they speak naturally, seriously, but by no means doggedly; his music is emotionally direct and always involving the intelligent listener. This is the kind of music for which many people have been secretly hoping for years…  I began with the Concertante (2006), the shortest work here at eleven minutes and calling for the fewest number of players. It is a magnificent composition, in the line of a single-movement three-sectioned combination of emotional power and relaxation, drama and contemplation, superbly expressed within an underlying and unifying pulse. The music is immediately intriguing and concerned entirely with development. The preparation for the central slower section is wonderfully achieved, growing quietly (and wholly organically) from the previous concluding bars, it builds to a genuine and powerful climax before morphing into the faster third section – a true ‘coming together’ of the material….  I ought not to have been surprised by the sheer fearlessness and directness of expression of the Second (2008), the work of a musician who is communicative, intelligent and unfailingly musical at all times within a very wide expressive range. There are no miscalculations in this work: it is a genuine Symphony, such as Sibelius, Nielsen, Schoenberg and Shostakovich would instantly have recognised, and in no sense is it ‘old-fashioned’ – the concept of ‘fashion’ in music is as unacceptable to Sawyers as it was to those earlier masters. Power, strength and expressive range are here a-plenty, and the continuous flow of the music is gripping, travelling this way and that, but at all times utterly well-paced. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect is that it is written for exactly the same-sized orchestra that Beethoven calls for in his Seventh Symphony, eminently playable, lying under the fingers and totally rewarding….The performances are totally committed and the recording quality is really fine. This is the kind of music that gives one hope for the future of our art.”
Robert Matthew-Walker, The Classical Source

“The symphony is full of drama and excitement. While at times it can seem restless and disturbed there are also plenty of moments of calm during which Sawyers’ facility for writing haunting themes shows itself. This is a symphony where the cerebral and the emotional are perfectly in keeping with each other. They deliver a work that is passionate, at times even volcanic, but always genuine in its expression…It’s another demonstration of Sawyers’ complete grasp of writing thematically interesting music that rewards the listener at every level. While short in terms of length it is dynamic with a powerfully driven motivic sense that cannot fail to grab the listener’s attention…This is a disc that anyone new to the music of Philip Sawyers, as I was, will find highly rewarding and thoroughly infectious.”
— Steve Arloff, MusicWeb International

“….And now here is Philip Sawyers with an effortless demonstration that the history of music can proceed in an unbroken line and that music of yesterday can easily accommodate the best products of today… There is much pleasure in observing with what freedom and resource Sawyers shows passing but fleeting respect for 12-note techniques in both the Symphony and Concertante. That is as it should be. To have piano and violin  as soloists in a concerted work is unusual. Haydn  and  Mendelssohn  had  shown that it could be done successfully, and Sawyers has also managed a work of great accomplishment. The start could hardly be more compelling…This CD reflects great credit on all the performers, but most on a composer previously unknown to me.”
–Robert Anderson, MV Daily 

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