Many will only know of Francis Chagrin as a composer of light music and of music for films.I have known the two symphonies (No. 1 dates from 1959 and No.2 from 1970) from radio broadcasts in the 1970s. It is wonderfully unexpected that Naxos are issuing the symphonies in performances recently given on BBC Radio Three by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under that most enterprising of conductors, Martyn Brabbins: http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/Naxos/8571371
Both symphonies are serious contributions to the symphonic repertoire. I look forward with eager anticipation to what your reviewer will in due course make of them. I suppose that they sit somewhere alongside the music of composers like Peter Racine Fricker but the influence of the tougher side of Vaughan Williams is not a million miles away either. There is that brooding intensity which-speaking very personally-so much appeals to me.
I never expected to find them on disc and I applaud Naxos with the greatest of enthusiasm and gratitude.
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