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NM 0165
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NM 0165
Colossos or Panic

Goehr: Colossos or Panic

The Classical Shop
release date: September 2012

Originally recorded in 2010


Birmingham Contemporary Music Group

BBC Symphony Orchestra

Oliver Knussen

Hilary Summers


Claire Booth



CBSO Centre, Birmingham

Studio 1, BBC Maida Vale, London

Grote Zaal, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam


Ann McKay

Andrew Keener

Alexander Goehr, Oliver Knussen


Andrew Mellor

Neil Pemberton

Willem Muller

Record Label



Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 67:02
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Colossos or Panic

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Colossos or Panic

1 I 14:57

Colossos or Panic


The Deluge

3 I Scena I 7:01
 Claire Booth soprano
 Hilary Summers contralto
4 II Scena II 2:09
 Claire Booth soprano
 Hilary Summers contralto
5 III Scena III 3:52
 Claire Booth soprano
 Hilary Summers contralto

Little Symphony

6 I Lentissimo, molto sostenuto 1:30
7 II Grave 9:49
8 III Molto allegro 5:37
9 IV Quasi recitando, tempo commodo 11:37
 Oliver Knussen

To celebrate Alexander Goehr’s 80th birthday this year, BBC Radio 3 commissioned a new orchestral work which was premiered by the BBC Symphony Orchestra on 13 January 2012 at Barbican Hall in London. Oliver Knussen, to whom the work is dedicated, conducted the work. = Goehr’s orchestral evocation of Goya’s terrifying painting, Colossos, is coupled with the premiere recording of his early cantata The Deluge, inspired by Eisenstein’s notes for a film based on a writing by Leonardo da Vinci (the film was never completed). The neo-classical Little Symphony uses the chordal structure of Mussorgsky’s ‘Catacombs’ from Pictures at an Exhibition as a harmonic backbone and is performed by the Dutch chamber orchestra, ASKO Ensemble. 

 "... an ... essential purchase. Knussen once again proves an ideal guide to three further works by Goehr ... Colossos or Panic, Op 55(1992), which launches the programme is an audacious and compellingly argued 25-minute symphonic work inspired by Goya’s painting of the same name ... Colossos or Panic - rather like Goya’s striking canvas - is awesomely itself and, I would argue, one of his finest and boldest statements in any genre. Knussen and the BBCSO map out clearly its statisfying overarching design, whilst highlighting vividly all its teeming details. This is a stunning traversal of a genuine magnum opus... Knussen, soprano Claire Booth, contralto Hilary Summers and members of the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group approach the score [The Deluge] with taste, style and a genuine feel for its stark poetry... Beautifully moulded scrupulously detailed and deeply persuasive, this new reading of one of Goehr’s most affecting and directly communicative scores [Little Symphony] makes a profoundly satisfying conclusion to NMC’s programme..."

Paul Conway - Tempo - Vol 67 No 266 - October 2013

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