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Dan Morgan
MusicWeb International, December 2014

If I had to choose a single Recording of the Year it would have to be this one. Per Nørgård’s hallucinatory opera Der gottliche Tivoli was one of my top choices in 2012, but Sakari Oramo and the Wiener Philharmoniker’s performances of Symphonies 1 and 8 are even more desirable. This is music of startling originality, conducted and played with authority and flair. Another top-notch recording from Dacapo. © 2014 MusicWeb International

David Hurwitz, November 2014

…the Vienna Philharmonic…plays magnificently for Sakari Oramo, and the engineering is equally superb. For adventurous listeners, you could hardly do better as an introduction to Norgard’s impressive symphonic legacy. © 2014 Read complete review

Raymond Tuttle
Fanfare, November 2014

…Oramo has been going from strength to strength, and he is very canny and sensitive here. Even more impressive…is the sound of the Vienna Philharmonic playing outside of its usual comfort zone, and yet playing so well. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

Allen Gimbel
American Record Guide, November 2014

This is challenging music that may reward sympathetic listeners. © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Tom Huizenga
National Public Radio, October 2014

[Per Nørgård’s]…most recent symphony, the Eighth from 2011, is surprisingly sprightly…[it] sounds especially expressive in these performances by the Vienna Philharmonic, led by Sakari Oramo. © 2014 National Public Radio Read complete review, October 2014

…the Vienna Philharmonic offers new perspectives on the most visionary voice of Nordic music and one of the greatest symphonists of our time. This is powerful, elemental music from a composer unafraid to take chances and explore new territory. © 2014 Read complete review

Dan Morgan
MusicWeb International, August 2014

There’s no doubt that apart from the striking confidence and originality of these scores the playing of this peerless band has much to do with the success of this recording. Make no mistake, Oramo proves himself a sensitive and stylish interpreter of these symphonies…Idle fancies aside Oramo has done an impeccable job here, as have the recording engineers.

Two very different works, supremely well played, conducted and recorded; surely one of the…finest symphonic releases thus far. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review

David Fanning
Gramophone, August 2014

Great to see this superabundantly imaginative music being taken up by an institution as traditionally minded as the Vienna Philharmonic. Dacapo’s recording is as beautiful as the Vienna Phil’s playing… © 2014 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Daniel Coombs
Audiophile Audition, July 2014

The performances by the Vienna Philharmonic under the superb guidance of Sakari Oramo are excellent…The surround sound quality is superb and I found this a very enjoyable recording. © 2014 Audiophile Audition Read complete review

Robert Benson, July 2014

This new issue of two symphonies is a treasure. It is a pleasure to hear the great Vienna Philharmonic under Sakari Oramo’s firm direction playing this music. Audio [throughout] is rich…A superb issue! © 2014 Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, July 2014

The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra’s ventures into music of our time are bestowed on just a few, Per Nørgård being the first Danish composer to gain this respect…throughout both works the Finnish conductor, Sakari Oramo, draws from the Vienna orchestra a mosaic of the most vibrant colours, the sound engineers playing their part in capturing the wide dynamic spectrum in such beautiful and realistic sounds. By any standard a fabulous recording. © 2014 David’s Review Corner

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, June 2014

Surprisingly enough this is the first recording of the Vienna Philharmonic doing Nordic new music. They picked music we should hear and they do a very good job with it.

Just for the premier of the 8th alone this is an important disk. The inclusion of the 1st gives you a wide perspective on the composer. And the performances are committed and sonically grand.

Recommended! © 2014 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

John Miller, June 2014

Sakari Oramo has clearly trained the VPO players to master these instrumental colours and textures, and at the same time to give the music a sweep and purpose which many listeners will find deeply satisfying. In precision, intonation and control of detail, the VPO play at their best and obviously enjoy doing so…

DaCapo’s regular recording producer Preben Iwan and sound engineer Jens Jamin have delivered an excellent concert image of the VPO set in its famous long-box hall, full of Nørgårdian minute detail, yet fully allowing the orchestra to excite the hall’s rich resonance.

For the long-neglected First Symphony, I suggest that devotees of late Sibelius should certainly listen to this darkly convincing evocation of the Nordic Mind. Admirers of Nørgård will be pleased to have his Eighth symphony to evaluate and add to their collection. Others may just want to hear what the VPO really sounds like on a good recording. Highly recommended… © 2014 Read complete review

Steven A. Kennedy
Cinemusical, June 2014

Both [symphonies] receive quite excellent performances here and the disc’s excellent sound quality allows you to hear the various strands of this music even in large climaxes…[this disc] make for an apt introduction to [Nørgård’s] music. © 2014 Cinemusical Read complete review

Daniel Stephen Johnson
WQXR (New York), June 2014

The young Per Nørgård belonged to the generation of composers who picked up their pens to sustain the late Romantic symphonic tradition of Jean Sibelius. Heroic and monumental, his own Symphony No 1, “Austera” was written in the 1950s, and was just released by the Danish Dacapo label in a new recording by the Vienna Philharmonic. The result is a compelling homage to his great Scandinavian precursor.

Presented alongside the First on this new album and in its world première recording, Nørgård’s Eighth Symphony shows how that young composer has evolved into a mature, unmistakably contemporary artist, outfitted with technical tools representing half a century of his own musical innovations. At the same time, he never gives up the Sibelian heroics of his youth and only heightens them with scintillating new rhythms and harmonies, here ably limned by conductor Sakari Oramo.

Here is a composer of rich, robust symphonic repertoire, tricked out with meticulous detail and the bright, bold glimmer of the jagged 20th century. © 2014 WQXR (New York) Read complete review

Norman Lebrecht
Sinfini Music, June 2014

The Eighth Symphony…has wit and warmth, as well as a breadth of landscape that may seem familiar from Danish film-noir and detective serials.

It sounds like fun to play and the Vienna Philharmonic, conducted by Sakari Oramo, make light work of its sharp turns and mood swings. If you discover only one living composer in 2014, make it Per Nørgård. © 2014 Sinfini Music Read complete review, June 2014

The performances here are truly exemplary: the smooth-as-silk Vienna Philharmonic, under the knowing direction of Finland’s Sakari Okamo, here makes its first foray into modern Scandinavian music, and its recording of Symphony No 8 is a world première. © 2014 Read complete review

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