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NA 9702

HANSON, H.: Symphonies (Complete), Vol. 3 - Symphony No. 3 / Merry Mount Suite (Seattle Symphony, Schwarz)

The Classical Shop
release date: January 2012


Seattle Symphony Orchestra

Schwarz, Gerard

Gerard Schwarz



Seattle Opera House, USA

Record Label


Orchestral & Concertos


Total Time - 52:02
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HANSON, H.: Symphonies (Complete), Vol. 3 - Symphony No. 3 / Merry Mount Suite (Seattle Symphony, Schwarz)

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Symphony No. 3, Op. 33

1 I. Andante lamentando - Agitato 10:37
2 II. Andante tranquillo 8:52
3 III. Tempo scherzando 5:35
4 IV. Largamente e pesante 10:56

Merry Mount Suite, Op. 31

5 I. Overture 3:00
6 II. Children's Dance 1:48
7 III. Love Duet 4:44
8 IV. Prelude to Act II and Maypole Dances 6:30
 Gerard Schwarz Conductor
 Schwarz, Gerard

Hanson’s symphonic cycle is one of the most important in American music. The Third Symphony, composed between 1936 and 1938, is imbued with the rich Nordic sensibility that runs through the First. It owes its impetus to the pioneering Swedish settlements in America, and its expansive lyricism is beautifully calibrated, with a chorale theme acting as a hopeful constant throughout the journey. Hanson wrote his opera Merry Mount, possibly his most ambitious work, in 1934. Four years later he produced this vibrant orchestral suite.

"...Symphony No. 3 is a full, lush work with a large orchestra, and the Seattle Symphony under the direction of Gerard Schwarz does an excellent job of bringing Hanson’s music to life. The orchestra plays with perfect rhythmic synchronization, a credit to the excellent conductor at the helm..."

V. Vasan - - December 2011

"...Throughout, the way that Hanson uses the orchestra argues once more that he be accepted fully into the repertoire of American orchestras whose causes he so profoundly furthered. He welcomed the challenge of sounding ‘Sibelian’ and dealt with it head on: the chilling, frozen blasts of glorious northern air that open the symphony are answered by a set of variations that show off the orchestra, by section and by instrument. Just when the music threatens to run out of steam, an unexpected surge of energy from deep within the harmonic core focuses attention on a final triumph. And that’s just the first movement.The Third is a big symphony…existing in an increasingly parallel-universe harmonic world; Hanson’s romanticism may be ‘post’ in terms of European culture but it was none the less deeply felt and beautiful in a purely and uniquely American vein."

Laurence Vittes - Gramophone magazine - March 2012

"...One cannot imagine that Schwarz’s reading will be bettered any time soon."

Paul Corfield Godfrey - - 8 May 2012

"...impressive musically and sonically [Symphony No 3] ... This recording of theMerry Mount Suite is also the the best, despite strong competition ... if you don’t have this symphony you should pick it up. It’s enjoyable music."

Vroon - American Record Guide - March/April 2011

"...beautifully lyrical and original. It is highly attractive to listen to with the unusual opportunity to hear Scandinavian themes filtered through the creative impulse of an American-born composer.  It has certainly spurred me on to explore the other six Hanson symphonies... The other offering on the disc is his Merry Mount Suite taken from his opera which had its premiere in 1934.  Its setting is New England in Puritan times. The story centres around the story of a Pastor’s romantic obsession with a visiting lady. This is hardly the obvious choice for an opera it has to be said, especially when you read that it ends with murder.  However, the premiere at the Met elicited no fewer than fifty curtain calls.  The music is again lush and gorgeous with the occasional whiff of Copland..."

Steve Arloff - - 12 March 2012

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