WORKS: Sinfonie singulière; Sinfonie serieuse; Elfenspiel
PERFORMER: RPO/Ulf Björlin
CATALOGUE NO: CDM 5 65303 2 ADD (1977)
The title of Franz Berwald’s Third Symphony, ‘singulière’, is apt, for he was a very singular composer. Writing at the time of Mendelssohn and Schumann, but with a particularly Scandinavian airiness to his orchestral textures, he often sounds ahead of his time.
These recordings have, by and large, been superseded by Neeme Järvi’s more recent two-CD set of the complete symphonies (DG, full-price), but as an introduction to the captivating music of this Swedish master at mid-price, this single disc is ideal.
Performances from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under conductor Ulf Björlin, are committed and the sound muscular. Matthew Rye