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Hanson’s intent in 1930 to write music that was “young in spirit, lyrical and romantic in temperament”, was fully realised in his ardent Second Symphony. This, his best known symphonic statement, acknowledges a Sibelian inheritance through horn fanfares, powerfully lyric string writing, and a sense of unity both all embracing and memorable. Lux Aeterna is a rhapsodic, strongly modal work for viola and orchestra, richly repaying Hanson’s interest in Palestrina.
Mosaics is a much later set of variations revealing his organisational control and expressive power. “Richly drawn is the Second Symphony – the Romantic, its second movement anthem beloved of millions of Americans. [Schwarz’s] feeling for long-term growth is possibly the surest of all, leading us from one resolution to the next with an increasing sense of expectation.” (Gramophone on the original Delos release)