The Swedish composer Franz Berwald wrote music staggeringly ahead of his time; his symphonic works have rather more in common with Mendelssohn and Berlioz than strict chronological considerations would suggest. Robert Layton has written (in his Guide to the Symphony): 'It is the quality of Berwald's thematic invention, his transparent textures and expert orchestration, and the generosity of spirit that informs his musical personality that make his music engage both our sympathies and our affection'.
This set contains the four complete surviving symphonies, the fragmentary youthful A major Symphony (completed for this recording by Duncan Druce), and overtures to two of the composer's most successful operas.
There could be no orchestra more qualified to record the works of Berwald than that of the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation. Here they are conducted by Roy Goodman and recorded in the Berwald Hall in Stockholm.