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TR 0768
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TR 0768
Symphonies 5 & 6

Gillis - Symphonies 5 & 6

The Classical Shop
release date: March 2008

Originally recorded in 2008


Sinfonia Varsovia

Ian Hobson

Record Label
Albany Records


Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 66:03
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Symphonies 5 & 6



Select Complete Single Disc for

Paul Bunyan: an Overture to a Legend


Symphony No. 6

2 Slowly; fast; slowly 8:37
3 Quite fast 7:10
4 Slowly-tenderly 6:24
5 Briskly 5:20

Symphony No. 5

6 Slowly; fast; slowly 11:05
7 In Memoriam 11:32
8 Qutie fast 9:05
 Ian Hobson
Don Gillis: Symphonies Nos 5 and 6, etc.Sinfonia Varsova, Ian Hobson

‘The two symphonies on this disc show Don Gillis in a more serious mode than previous releases in this terrific series. Both works are major statements, original both in form and content. They reflect the jazzy, popular idiom of Gillis’s lighter works and contain the same high level of craftsmanship and melodic appeal – but the tone is more sober, the instrumental colouration a bit darker. This is particularly true of Symphony No. 5, subtitled In Memoriam, a post-war tribute that makes its points with touching simplicity and heartfelt sincerity. Certainly it must be accounted one of the finer works of its kind, a far cry from either the “nationalist bombast” or “expressionist war-is-hell” approach to its subject.

‘Symphony No. 6, subtitled Mid-Century U.S.A., has four movements as opposed to No. 5’s three, but it lasts about the same amount of time (just shy of half an hour). Its slow opening and third movement reveal Gillis as a master of reflective, lyrical expression as well as boisterous optimism. The Paul Bunyan Overture is a charming, curiously nostalgic piece, given its title, with a gentle, fairytale atmosphere that’s eminently memorable. All three works receive excellent performances from the Sinfonia Varsovia under Ian Hobson, and my only quibble is that the brass section, trumpets in particular, needs to play with more heft and brashness to fully realise the music’s period flavour and stylistic vernacular. It’s a small point, but worth noting. Fine sonics reveal all the important details of Gillis’s colourful textures. This is another winner in what is turning into a genuinely exciting voyage of discovery of a major composer.’

David Hurwitz, Classics Today

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