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Six favourite symphonies by (really) lesser-known composers.

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OK, I have started this for purely selfish reasons; to see if I can discover another great symphony by a 'sadly-neglected' composer. Here are my six. I have tried to include works by composers of different nationalities - but this is not a 'rule' for the thread:

Cyril Rootham: Symphony No 1 (British) Lyrita CD

Kaljo Raid: Symphony No 1 (Estonian) Chandos CD

Klaus Egge: Symphony No 1 (Norwegian) Aurora CD

Ross Edwards: Symphony No 1 'Da pacem Domine' (Australian) ABC CD

Rudolph Simonsen: Symphony No 2 'Hellas' (Danish) CPO CD

Douglas Lilburn: Symphony No 1 (New Zealander) Naxos/Kiwi Pacific/Continuum CD

While probably known to more than a few posters here, these guys mostly fall far outside the classical canon (alas):

Leevi Madetoja: Symphony No 1 (Finnish) Alba (though all three are excellent and available in fine performances on Chandos, too)

Joonas Kokkonen: Symphony No 4 (Finnish) Ondine

Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Symphony in F# Minor (Austro-Hungarian/American) EMI (relatively well-known composer, but I rarely hear this 20th-century masterwork mentioned)

William Mathias: Symphony No 3 (Welsh) Nimbus

Vagn Holmboe: Symphony No 3 "Sinfonia rustica" (Danish) BIS

Ned Rorem: Symphony No 3 (American) Naxos

(And akin to Korngold's situation, you have composers like Boccherini, Rimsky-Korsakov, etc. who are household names among classical fans but whose symphonies you might not have heard--but should!)

Sergeant Rock:
Richard Wetz Symphonies 1, 2, 3 various conductors and orchestras, CPO

Bernard Herrmann Symphony Herrmann/National Phil, Unicorn

Tikhon Khrennikov Symphony #2 Svetlanov/USSR State Academy, Vox

Edouard Lalo Symphony G minor Almeida/Orch Monte-Carlo, Philips

John McEwen A Solway Symphony Mitchell/LPO, Chandos

Mikis Theodorakis Symphony #7 "Spring" Hauschild/Phil Dresden, Sound Wings


mc ukrneal:
Interesting idea. This is the type of thread that hurts the wallet!

My thinking would be:

Arriga/Vorisek Cd on Hyperion (can get both on the same disc, so efficient use of the slush fund)
Arriiga Symphony in D major. Vorisek Symphony in D minor. (the D's have it)

The rest would include:
Arensky Symphony No 1 (good version on Chandos with Polyansky conducting, and a second symphony on another disc if you like it)

Svendson symphony no 1 (which I have coincidentally  with #2 on the same disc, BIS)

Steinberg Symphony No 1 (DG, there is a second around too, these used to be at Archivmusic)

Reinicke Symphony no 2 (CPO, with #3)

I was also thinking of including Langaard No 14 or Lyapunov No 1. If I think more, I'm sure I'll remember others too.

Gade: Symphony No.1
Schmidt: Symphony No.1
Langgaard: Symphony No.1
Bantock: A Celtic Symphony
Rott: Symphony in E major
d'Indy: Symphonie sur un chant montagnard français ("Symphonie cévenole")
Glière: Symphony No.1

These came immediately to mind. Some very good suggestions above (i.e. Korngold and McEwen). Keep them coming, people!  8)


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