“Hats off to conductor Kenneth Woods and his Orchestra of the Swan who have been making a case for Gal’s elegantly built orchestral pieces…Here’s hoping this is the beginning of a substantial Gal revival.” – National Public Radio’s All Things Considered “You may not have heard of Hans Gal. But the American conductor Kenneth Woods thinks you should have.” The Washington Post
“A symphonic conductor of some stature.” Gramophone (Editor’s Choice)
“Well-made music and the [Orchestra of the] Swan does it proud, giving also a spruce and eloquent performance of Schumann’s Second.” The Daily Telegraph
Recorded: 6-7 December 2010 at Civic Hall, Stratford-upon-Avon
Released: June 2011 with Avie Records (AV2230)
Kenneth Woods and Orchestra of the Swan continue their revelatory cycle pairing the symphonies of Hans Gal and Robert Schumann, with Gal’s Second and Schumann’s Fourth.
Kenneth Woods, Principal Guest Conductor of Stratford-upon-Avon based Orchestra of the Swan, has made international headlines for his ongoing cycle of world-premiere recordings of Hans Gal’s Symphonies. The set, paired with the symphonies of Robert Schumann, has been featured on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and Performance Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, in Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine, and dozens of other newspaper and online reviews, introducing a new generation to Gal’s wide-ranging and extensive oeuvre.
Woods and OOTS continue the cycle with Gal’s Second and Schumann’s Fourth. The Gal, written in 1942-43 during the darkest war years, is perhaps the most personal of the composer’s four symphonies. With an emotional depth and haunting beauty, the symphony distils the process of overcoming pain and loss into the language of pure music. Composed a century earlier, Schumann’s Fourth is arguably his most popular symphony.