The collaboration between Gothenburg Symphony, Neeme Järvi and BIS began in 1982 with the recording of Wilhelm Stenhammar’s First Symphony, originally released on vinyl and then re-released on CD in 1986. By that time, Neeme Järvi and the orchestra had already started on the many Sibelius recordings that would contribute to the team’s rise to fame.&&& In total, the orchestra and Järvi would go on to record some 45 discs for BIS, including several with music by Stenhammar. It would however take until 2018 – 36 years after that first disc – before the opportunity arose to record that late, great work of his – the symphonic cantata Sången (The Song) for four vocal soloists, mixed choir, children’s choir and large orchestra.
Because of the large forces involved, Sången is a rarity in the concert hall as well as on disc – there has only been one previous commercial recording, made in 1988. As might be expected there was a sense of occasion in the Gothenburg Concert Hall during the concert and recording of this all-Stenhammar programme – a sense of occasion that audibly comes across in this present disc. Also included are the well-loved Two Sentimental Romances for violin and orchestra with the orchestra’s eminent leader Sara Trobäck as soloist and the rarely heard suite from the music to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
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