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Edvard Fliflet BRĈIN (1924-1976)
Symphony No. 1 op. 4 (1949-50) [20:23]
Symphony No. 2 op. 8 (1955) [25:34]
Symphony No. 3 op. 16 (1968) [18:06]
Norwegian Radio Orchestra/Peter Szilvay
rec. January 2005, Store Studio, NRK Oslo.
SIMAX PSC1227 [64:03] 
Experience Classicsonline

This is an essential acquisition for collectors of Scandinavian symphonies. Norwegian composer Edvard Fliflet Brĉin was born in Kristiansund and in 1942 moved to Oslo, studying at the Music Conservatory and graduating as an organist. Odde Grüner-Hegge was his conducting teacher and Bjarne Brustad for composition. His claim to some prominence rests on his opera Anne Pedersdotter (1971).

He wrote three symphonies and they are handily gathered on this disc. The First was premiered by the Oslo Phil conducted by Grünner-Hegge. It's a fascinating yet gawky fusion-collision of Grieg's cool pastoralism (a lovely lyrical presence at 6:42), ursine Beethovenian dance from the Seventh Symphony and the knockabout skirl of the last two movements of Shostakovich 6. The Second was written after study in Paris with Jean Rivier (1950-51) on his return to Oslo. There are fewer rough edges in this work, a greater refinement and a predominantly cooler emotional temperature. Again the Oslo Phil presented the work's premiere over the radio in February 1955 when they were conducted by Ĝivind Fjeldstad. Composer-critics Finn Mortensen and Klaus Egge noted similarities with the Shostakovich symphonies something which I more readily associate with the First Symphony. The folk voice is certainly there though and remains a clear presence in the Third Symphony which was completed in 1968 and premiered once again by the Oslo Phil in 1969. This is a clamorous work recalling in its turmoil Milhaud's Eighth but again mixed with brutal infusions from Shostakovich. It ends once again with a Beethovenian exultation this time of a type familiar from the Egmont overture. 

Decent notes are a fixture from Simax. Here they are provided by Elef Nesheim and Peter Szilvay.

Rob Barnett


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