Hanson: Symphony No. 1; Symphony No. 3; Symphony No. 5; Piano Concerto in G; Merry Mount Suite; The Lament for Beowulf

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Hanson
LABELS: Delos
WORKS: Symphony No. 1; Symphony No. 3; Symphony No. 5; Piano Concerto in G; Merry Mount Suite; The Lament for Beowulf
PERFORMER: Carol Rosenberger (piano); Seattle Symphony & Chorale/Gerard Schwarz
CATALOGUE NO: DE 3709 Reissue
Howard Hanson is best remembered now as a conductor for the Mercury label, and his music is pleasant but anonymous: lush harmonies are all very well, but I miss the memorable tunes which should be part of this late Romantic style. The shade of Rachmaninov raises its head, and there are whiffs of Barber, Vaughan Williams, and, in the Piano Concerto, Prokofiev. Hollywood sometimes isn’t far away: the Merry Mount Overture could be the title sequence of a Forties movie. If this sounds like your bag, don’t hesitate: the performances in this re-compilation could hardly be bettered. They are totally committed, and the recordings are uniformly excellent, with real colour and depth of sound. Martin Cotton

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