The six symphonies were recorded between 1973 and 1975, and for their time were the best available recordings of Nielsen's music. They constitute the bulk of this 2008 box set, and though two smaller sets of the symphonies and the concertos were issued by EMI in 2007, this seven-disc compendium provides much more music at a comparable cost.
Bossa Nova translated as the "new beat" or "the new style", grew out of Rio De Janeiro in 1958. The instigators were a handful of artists with a desire to break from tradition, developing the samba rhythms with the influence of cool American jazz to find a music with such a warm soul and natural rhythm that no-one can help but tap and sway to its beat. Bossa Nova is palm trees swaying, it is like melting sugar in hot coffee, it is the setting sun and warm sand underfoot. It is the sound and beat of Brazil, it is one of the world's coolest musical styles and it remains to this day one of the world's great musical treasures.
The release of this four-CD set of works for solo string instruments and orchestra pays tribute, as does the recently issued box-set of ‘British Piano Concertos’, to the imagination and vision of the late Richard Itter and his pioneering Lyrita label. For many, Lyrita was the British music label and was loyally supported by various ‘in house’ conductors, among them Adrian Boult, Nicholas Braithwaite, Norman Del Mar and Vernon Handley. Many of the recordings offered here are from the old Lyrita analogue and early digital catalogue but there are a few recordings made during the label’s short revival between 1993 and 1996 which were not issued until more than a decade after they were made. The set makes for fantastic value for money, each CD containing well over 70 minutes of music, and the performances are generally of tremendous vibrancy and quality.