One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,514 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                     Editor in Chief: John Quinn              

Some items
to consider


paid for


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

Deaconoff; Stockhausen

Live at the Clifton Festival

Choir at Clifton Cathedral


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience


Symphonies 1, 2, 3



Aho Symphony 5

Dowland - A Fancy


Rachmaninov_ Babayan


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Peter BOYER (b.1970)
Silver Fanfare for orchestra (2004) [4:11]
Festivities for orchestra (2011) [5:55]
Three Olympians for string orchestra (2000) [14:18]
Celebration Overture for orchestra (1997 rev. 2001) [6:40]
Symphony No. 1 for orchestra (2012-13) [24:11]
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Peter Boyer
rec. Abbey Road Studios, London, 17 June 2013

Peter Boyer is an American composer with a steadily increasing reputation. He is known primarily for his orchestral works, which have received over 300 performances, by more than 100 orchestras. In his notes he expresses his thanks for the opportunity to perform and record five of these in a day with the LPO at Abbey Road.
The main work here is Symphony No.1 commissioned and premiered by the Pasadena Orchestra two months before this recording. The work is dedicated to Leonard Bernstein and this is clearly music that would have appealed to the dedicatee. The first movement Prelude which the composer states contains aspects of both arch form and variation form has one main theme which builds up during its relatively short duration. I was surprised to be reminded of the music of English composers like Vaughan Williams with its pastoral overtones. The second movement Scherzo/Dance is very energetic whilst being strong on melody. It is much more “American” in its vibrancy and rhythm and is splendidly executed. The final Adagio has an evocative melody that slowly builds up making full use of the different harmonic effects of the orchestra. This is wide-screen music to play at full volume and become immersed in; it has the strong feeling of being a theme to an epic film. The three movements are strong in intensity although I did wonder about the relevance of the title "Symphony"; no matter - I enjoyed the music and the performance.
Silver Fanfare, which commences the disk, was composed as the first movement of a six-movement work On Music’s Wings. This was commissioned by the Pacific Symphony and its music director Carl St. Clair in celebration of that orchestra's 25th anniversary in 2004. It makes a lively opening without having the depth of the Symphony. Festivities, here given its world premiere recording, was commissioned and first performed by conductor Gerard Schwarz and the Eastern Music Festival, in celebration of the Festival's fiftieth anniversary in 2011. The start is slightly ominous on the piano and even when it develops retains a wistful quality. Boyer certainly has an ear for melody and orchestration and this is a definite success.
The Conductors Institute at Bard College commissioned Three Olympians for string orchestra in 2000. Greek gods of Olympus inspired the three movements: Apollo, Aphrodite and Ares. Apollo is forceful while Aphrodite is a more delicate piece with an overtone of sadness. Ares is the God of War and is represented here by intimidating rhythms making full use of the LPO strings. Celebration Overture was one of Boyer’s earliest commissions, composed in 1997 at the age of 27, for the inaugural season of the Henry Mancini Institute. This is very much as the title suggests, pleasant and vigorous, but certainly the least substantial work here. A filmic melody intersperses the lively rhythms showing, even at this stage, Boyer’s strengths.
I came to this disk knowing nothing about Peter Boyer and have greatly enjoyed the experience. Symphony No. 1 in particular strikes me as a fine Twenty-First century work. The playing and recording are first class and as is usual with Naxos there are excellent notes. More please.
David R Dunsmore