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Label: Hyperion
Recording details: Various dates
Caird Hall, Dundee, Scotland
Produced by Various producers
Engineered by Mike Clements
Release date: September 1998
Total duration: 67 minutes 11 seconds

Cover artwork: Morning Landscape (c1850) by Antoine Chintreuil (1816-1873)

Albéric Magnard really is the great so-far-undiscovered master of French music. Born in 1865 (the same year as Sibelius, Nielsen and Glazunov), the son of the managing editor of Le Figaro, his reticent personality prevented him from courting fame, or even performances of his music. But he wrote two operas, chamber music, and four wonderful symphonies unsurpassed by any other French composer of his time. His end was tragic: in 1914, defending his estate in Normandy, he was shot dead by German soldiers who then burned his house down, destroying many manuscripts (including one of the operas mentioned above which is now lost for ever).

His four-movement symphonies are substantial in length, cyclic in character, serious, attractively scored, slightly melancholic, and well worth getting to know. All four are issued this month on this disc and a companion (CDA67040).


‘C'est magnifique. Pick of the Month’ (BBC Music Magazine)

‘An absorbing musical encounter that should spawn its fair share of magnard converts’ (The Independent)

‘Superb performances by Ossonce and his Scottish players’ (American Record Guide)

‘The works are insinuating. I keep wanting to come back for more. Another Hyperion success’ (Classic CD)

‘These albums compel the highest recommendation’ (Fanfare, USA)

‘A set of performances which brings this music alive in a way that it can rarely have enjoyed since its composition. Something of a discovery then, which will hopefully lead to a further interest in an endlessly fascinating composer’ (Hi-Fi News)

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