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Penguin Guide, January 2009

The Irish Symphony has won great acclaim for its brilliant scoring and craftsmanship, with the Scherzo particularly engaging. The brief, dancing Scherzo entitled The Fair Day, which may here be less genial on Naxos than it can be, is the more exciting for being taken at breathtaking speed. The players of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland take up the challenge brilliantly, and bring all the necessary warmth to the other evocative movements, which, like the two tone-poems, a generous fill-up, are atmosphere programme-pieces inspired by Irish legends and places. Full, clear sound.

Turok’s Choice, March 2002

"With the Wild Geese, In Ireland, and An Irish Symphony, are well performed by the National Symphony or Ireland."

Robert Emmett
Fanfare, October 2001

"Naxos offers a strong and competitive outing...excellent wind coloration, juxtaposed with a wonderful sheen on the strings."

John Puccio
Sensible Sound, September 2001

"Good sound and a budget price and you have the well-known definition of a bargain on your hands...just pleasant, sometimes nostalgic, often relaxing, occasionally cheering, and ultimately rewarding music. The Naxos sound is up to the task...and I heartily recommend it."

Geoffrey Norris
The Daily Telegraph (Australia), January 2001

"Sir Hamilton Harty spent the greater part of his life in London, and in Manchester as conductor of the Hallé Orchestra from 1920 to 1933, but the three works on this disc attest to the strong emotional ties he retained with his native Ireland. He was born in Hillsborough, Co. Down, and as a composer was largely self-taught, though the Irish Symphony (1904), written in his mid-20s, is a thoroughly assured piece, orchestrated with particular skill and balancing romantic drama with wistful reflection. Its Irish accent derives from Harty's use of folk tunes, not in the manner of a pot-pourri but integrated into a shapely and evocative musical argument.

"There is tremendous life to this performance by the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, which also plays the tone poem with the Wild Geese and the gentle rhapsody In Ireland with affectionate attention to colouring mood."

Frank Behrens

"As program music, it is superb. Proinssias O Duinn and his National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland are quite at home with music like this. Grabbit."

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