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Philip Sawyers (1951-)


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Dundonnell
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« on: October 24, 2017, 04:19:39 pm »

It is not unknown for me to prattle on about British symphonies and to lament the dearth of British composers writing symphonies Wink

It is therefore strange that I have never mentioned (or listed!) Philip Sawyers. Sawyers has written three symphonies. Each of these has been recorded by Nimbus. The Symphony No.3 has just been released and I am listening to it (again!). Really quite splendid work Smiley Anyone attuned to, say, the music of Robert Simpson should find the symphony very much to their tastes. It is a big, serious work. There may be elements which are serial but it stands in the symphonic traditions of Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner and Mahler. The composer himself says that his own musical explorations have taken him to the "unrelenting sense of brooding and pessimism" of Fartein Valen". Now the reference to Valen initially worried me since I am not a great admirer of the Norwegian composer but the "brooding and pessimism" (which may be particularly Scandinavian) certainly does suit my tastes Smiley

I have the two earlier symphonies but I cannot recall them making the same very immediate impression on me as does No.3 (I shall listen to both again though!). This new symphony is however a winner in my book Smiley Sawyers is a genuinely fine composer who has been fortunate enough to get his music onto cd and I look forward to more from him!!!

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2017/Oct/Sawyers_orchestral_v3_NI6353.htm
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M. Yaskovsky
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« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2017, 08:51:29 am »

Agree, S3 is on my wish list. I was particularly boiled over by 'The Gale of Life' on the disc with S1 BTW.
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relm1
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« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2017, 01:26:56 am »

I thought the Symphony No. 3 was fantastic.  Very well written and almost Mahlerian.  Especially in the slow movement.  So great to hear a major new four movement symphony with taught structure, thematic development, long thought structure with grace and elegance.  At 40 minutes, it is a substantial new work where the first movement's turbulence is transformed in the final moments of the symphony.  Highly recommended and hope for many more symphonies from Sawyers to come.
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2017, 01:57:51 am »

Wholly agree  Smiley
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