EDWARD FIFLET BRÆIN (1924-1976): Symphonies No. 1, Op. 4, No. 2, Op. 8 and No. 3, Op. 16
Catalogue Number: 05J094
Reference: PSC 1227
Description: Three monumental and stylistically dissimilar symphonies from a relatively forgotten Norwegian composer. The first symphony is a youthful work from 1950 which manages to keep in uneasy equilibrium a Nordic Romanticism in line from Svendsen with a more modern, but still conservative, idiom whose origins are less identifiable. After Bræin spent 1950-1 studying in Paris with Jean Rivier, he produced the Second in 1954 which is in a more severe, neo-classical style and whose dark overtones lead you inexorably to comparison with a Shostakovich war symphony. Another chunk of time later - 1964 - and the Third is a single-movement work in several sections whose basic neo-classical character also bears witness to the effects of modernism on Bræin by its inclusion of dissonant clusters at moments of powerful emotional peaks (although it is also where the most pronounced use of counterpoint and imitation appears in these symphonies). Norwegian Radio Orchestra; Peter Szilvay.