MAGNARD, A.: Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4 (Freiburg Philharmonic, Bollon)
Albéric Magnard became a French national hero when he died defending his home at the outbreak of the First World War and, although he wrote relatively little, his catalogue is full of expansive and beautifully crafted music. Magnard was a symphonist at heart, and with its evocations of landscape and expressive lyricism his Third Symphony was admired by Paul Dukas for its ‘perfect clarity’ and as an ‘all too rare creation’. The luminous Fourth Symphony is one of Magnard’s last surviving works—a masterpiece that successfully synthesises Wagnerian high drama with Classical transparency.
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