The Fourth Symphony is very diatonic, tonal, impeccably crafted and sophisticated. The Second Symphony is a large-scale work, lasting nearly three-quarters of an hour, written in 1943–3 at the height of the war, and it has great sweep and power. There is a lot of Roy Harris in the opening measures, and the music unfolds with a similar sense of inevitability and purpose. There are also reminders both of Shostakovich and of the Copland of Appalachian Spring. It is beautifully crafted and evinces a continuity of musical thought that defines the real symphonist. These excellent performances, at bargain price, with such dedicated and expert playing, all set in a spacious and well-balanced, ventilated acoustic (though some may find it too reverberant), represent good value at the asking price.
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