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Zan Furtwangler
Audiophile Audition, August 2013

The sound is spectacular, ranking in the demonstration class thanks in part to the composer’s gifted orchestration.

[An Orkney Wedding with Sunrise] is a genuine masterpiece, full of feeling combined with whimsy and with bagpipes to boot. It is raucous with melodies buried here and there to boot. Getting acquainted with this composition after several hearings, I found it enjoyable. Incidentally, Maxwell Davies lives in the Orkney Islands.

In Time and the Raven Maxwell Davies treats an Australian aboriginal song to such change as to be unrecognizable, then covers a broad selection of made-up national anthems, ending with a rambunctious fortissimo coda.

This is highly recommended! © Audiophile Audition Read complete review



Ronald E. Grames
Fanfare, July 2013

The superb series of Maxwell Davies symphonies, conducted by the composer, ended with this release in 1996. Naxos, happily, has now restored all of these important recordings to the catalog.

Highly recommended for [An Orkney Wedding with Sunrise], and the overture, but especially for the extraordinary symphony. © 2013 Fanfare Read complete review



Lynn René Bayley
Fanfare, March 2013

I must give praise to the Royal Philharmonic for its wonderful ability to immerse itself in this music and play it with such conviction.

An excellent disc…in fact one of the finest in the Maxwell Davies series to date. © 2013 Fanfare Read complete review



Byzantion
MusicWeb International, February 2013

Maxwell Davies has said that he wrote the Sixth with the virtuosity of members of the Royal Philharmonic in mind, and certainly they cruise through the challenging score with barely a wind-ruffled hair, expertly directed by the composer himself. Sound quality is very decent, with excellent stereo. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Mark Sealey
Classical Net, February 2013

The playing of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is superb throughout. They grasp the many nuances of Maxwell Davies’ writing as firmly as they convey convincingly its melodic and rhythmic thrusts.

Clearly the fact that the composer is conducting is crucial. But the sound, the very depth of color brought to the score, by Royal Philharmonic Orchestra are what count. Solo highlights always fit easily and seamlessly into the whole. The result is that the music’s architecture is clear; the direction of the many developments brought to it by Maxwell Davies’ vibrant imagination draws us in nicely.

This is important, approachable and original music played with attack and sensitivity under the direction of a composer whose work deserves to be better known outside the UK. The bargain price of the CD would make it recommend itself…The place of the Sixth in the Maxwell Davies symphony cycle adds to the appeal.

The acoustic is close and conducive to an appreciation of Maxwell Davies’ orchestral color and energy. The short folded two pages of the accompanying booklet with background are informative…And well up to Naxos’ standard. If you’re collecting the cycle of symphonies, you won’t want to omit this release…If you’re new to Maxwell Davies’ work, this makes a good place to start. © 2013 Classical Net Read complete review



Robert Cummings
Classical Net, February 2013

…the symphony comes across in fine sound and the performance, led by the composer, is obviously authoritative. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra responds with utter commitment to Maxwell Davies’ baton, their playing sounding accurate and beyond any serious criticism.

Time and the Raven…makes a logical filler here…it is light and colorfully orchestrated and quite optimistic.

An Orkney Wedding with Sunrise…the sound is vivid and the performances of both fillers are splendid. This is a highly rewarding disc. © 2013 Classical Net Read complete review



Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, November 2012

The Peter Maxwell Davies conducts his symphonic output series continues with a new reissue of his Symphony No. 6…As in the symphonies immediately preceding this one…the soft-focus orchestral palette of color continues, but this time it often gives way to moments of impassioned turbulence and adagio passages of considerable beauty and mystery.

This would seem to be the definitive version, with Davies conducting the Royal Philharmonic in a resoundingly vivid performance.

The disk contains two bonus works, which are less formally symphonic but quite good to have nonetheless.

For the symphony and the attractive additional works this one would be an essential addition to your English modern library. © 2012 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2012

If you are just coming to Peter Maxwell Davies’s orchestral output do start here with a disc including his Sixth and most readily approachable symphony. If Davies has often written of his music’s melodic content, traditionalists may have searched hard to find any. Here it is here much more apparent, the bleakness of his home in Scotland’s remote Orkney Islands often creating the music’s cold and brutal sound colours. He describes the first movement as a scherzo, though much is slow moving until the wind blows away the mist to reveal activity. Its arrival brings agitation, and, at more than twenty minutes, the movement is extended. That feel of disturbance gives way to moments of relaxed beauty that are swept aside as the central Adagio erupts onto the scene. Timpani and percussion make their presence felt as we head towards a finale where I find a sadness the composer may never have intended, its slow desolate ending only reinforcing that atmosphere in my mind. Time and the Raven is a substantial concert overture commissioned for the 50th anniversary of the United Nations, its message that the raven is the bird of warning probably not the one they expected. That followed nine years after his best known concert work, An Orkney Wedding with Sunrise, an overtly populist piece as a “picture postcard of an actual wedding I attended on Hoy in Orkney”. It weaves into the score traditional Scottish tunes, its ending becoming rather tipsy. Taken from two discs first issued by Collins Classics in 1994 and 1996, I can only conclude by saying that with Davies at the helm they are benchmark performances in exceptionally fine sound. © 2012 David’s Review Corner






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8:29:45 AM, 26 November 2014
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