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Classical Music Review

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Symphony No. 1


Composer: Peter Drew
Conductor: Ivan Josip Skender
Performed by: Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra
Label: Navona Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 26 August 2022

Peter Drew’s Symphony No. 1: Reminiscence is a pastiche of sorts; it gathers up the musical moments that have touched the composer throughout his life. These musical reminiscences recall his excitement as a very young boy, listening to the works of the great western composers through the speaker of a portable radio, and musically encapsulate his discovery of jazz and popular music. The symphony eventually carries listeners well beyond the shores of America to Africa, Australia, Brazil, throughout Europe, India, and Mongolia. Those who follow Drew along this symphonic journey are sure to reap the rewards of the composer’s lifelong dedication to music in all its forms...

Peter Drew’s Symphony No. 1: Reminiscence contains four pieces (31 min, 07 sec) of pure orchestral joy. In many ways Drew's compositions feel like classic cinema scores by the likes of Bernard Herrmann and John Williams. There's a depth and complexity to the pieces, all of which have distinct and varied personalities of their own.

At other times this feels like a new work by Holst, and just as quickly it can turn and deliver a remarkably intricate western movie score. It's this diversity and ability to morph into so many familiar genres that makes it a release you'll instantly warm to.

It's timeless and richly layered. For lovers of beautifully intricate classical works then this is an album that you'll fall in love with. A joy from start to finish.


Darren Rea

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Digital album
Digital album