Thomas Wilson - Symphonies 3 & 4, Carillon | Linn CKD616

Thomas Wilson - Symphonies 3 & 4, Carillon


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Label: Linn

Cat No: CKD616

Barcode: 0691062061629

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 8th February 2019



Royal Scottish National Orchestra


Rory Macdonald


Wilson, Thomas

Symphony no.3
Symphony no.4 'Passeleth Tapestry'


Royal Scottish National Orchestra


Rory Macdonald


Rory Macdonald conducts the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in the premiere recording of three orchestral works by ‘the father of Scottish music’, composer Thomas Wilson (1927-2001). Wilson was an important figure in Scotland’s musical renaissance, whose exceptional output established him as a composer of particular significance. Wilson completed five symphonies of which two are recorded here: Symphony No.3 and Symphony No.4 ‘Passeleth Tapestry’, both of which were premiered by the RSNO.

The Third Symphony, a RSNO commission, was described in The Guardian as “one of most impressive works written by a Scottish composer in recent years”. The Fourth Symphony, written to mark Paisley’s 500th anniversary, features masterly orchestration throughout and Wilson’s treatment of the strings is especially fresh and inventive. Carillon was commissioned by Glasgow city council in 1990 as part of its European City of Culture celebrations, as the inaugural work to celebrate the opening of the city's new Royal Concert Hall, where the RSNO is now based.

This recording is a fitting tribute to the leading Scottish composer of his generation by an orchestra who inspired and premiered his work.

Rory Macdonald stands out as one of the most interesting British conductors of his generation. He has conducted the premieres of works by notable composers such as Sir James MacMillan, Sally Beamish and Geoffrey Gordon.

The RSNO plays an integral part in Scotland’s musical life and many renowned conductors have contributed to its success, including George Szell, Sir John Barbirolli, Walter Susskind, Sir Alexander Gibson, Neeme Järvi, Walter Weller, Alexander Lazarev and Stéphane Denève. The orchestra’s artistic team is led by Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård, who was appointed RSNO Music Director in 2018.

“A major work…one of Wilson’s most vital and sustained large-scale statements.” – Ian Robertson

“[Wilson’s] prodigious output transcended national boundaries, and his legacy established him as a composer of the first magnitude.” – The Guardian

“Carillon was characteristically exciting and tension-ridden; and neatly complemented by the more poignant reflection of the inner section of the piece.” – The Herald


“Passeleth Tapestry” is masterfully scored, fuelled by blistering energy at one extreme, intense beauty at the other. The Third is elemental, from the opening to the magical restfulness of the final bars. In these, and in his 1990 work Carillon, Wilson’s artistry comes dramatically to life in powerful, often highly sensitised RSNO performances.  Ken Walton
The Scotsman 16 February 2019
Wilson’s is a big, eclectic style, and the performances are arresting.
The Sunday Times 17 February 2019

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