Sakari Oramo

Carl Nielsen: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 3 "Sinfonia Espansiva"

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The second installment in Sakari Oramo's superb hybrid SACD cycle of the symphonies of Carl Nielsen on BIS presents the Symphony No. 1 in G minor and the Symphony No. 3, "Sinfonia espansiva," two ruggedly independent works that reflect the composer's late Romantic style yet point to the modernism to come. While the Symphony No. 1 was influenced by Brahms and offers a rich harmonic language, propulsive rhythms, and a fairly homogenous orchestral palette, the Symphony No. 3 is striking for its reliance on unfolding counterpoint and long-breathed lines, and most notable for the use of wordless parts for soprano and baritone voices in the pastoral slow movement. These performances by Oramo and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra are exceptional for their stunning power and spacious feeling, though the crisp details and focused sound quality will be the biggest draw for audiophiles. This package on BIS follows Oramo's 2014 release of the Symphony No. 4, "The Inextinguishable," and the Symphony No. 5, Nielsen's most popular symphonies, and the extraordinary quality of these recordings gives high hopes for the conclusion of the series.

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