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Mondo Fuego™
For serious music lovers who want to expand their repertoire
Wed Nov 8, 2017 10:59am

Howard Hanson, Symphony No. 2 "Romantic"

Howard Harold Hanson (October 28, 1896 – February 26, 1981) was an American composer, conductor, educator, music theorist, and champion of American classical music. As director for 40 years of the Eastman School of Music, he built a high-quality school and provided opportunities for commissioning and performing American music.

The Symphony No. 2 in D-flat major, Opus 30, W45, "Romantic", was written by Hanson on commission from Serge Koussevitsky for the 50th anniversary of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1930.

The symphony is in three movements, with much thematic material shared among the movements.
1.Adagio — Allegro moderato — Lento molto espressivo — Piu mosso — Meno mosso — Tranquillo — Molto piu mosso — Animato — Molto meno mosso — Animato — Meno mosso — Ancora meno mosso — Molto meno mosso
2.Andante con tenerezza
3.Allegro con brio — Molto meno mosso — Piu mosso — Animato — Largamente

The "lyrical, haunting second theme" of the first movement has become known as the "Interlochen theme".

I envision a Nordic scene of war with Viking ships, and weary sailors torn between an unknown destiny ahead and visions of a loved one back at home. YMMV.

The symphony lasts about 30 minutes, but is well worth the time. Parts of it may raise the hair on the back of your neck and send tingles down your spine.

Let me know what you think.
Performed by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin.

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