- Symphony No. 4 (Sinfonia concertante), Op. 105
- Symphony No. 3 in A major, Op. 62
- Symphony No. 2 in F major, Op. 53
- Symphony No. 1 in D major, Op. 30
These are not new recordings, but instead are reissues of performances of the four symphonies of Austrian composer Hans Gál; they originally appeared paired with the four symphonies of Robert Schumann. That might be a preferable way to listen to them; the slightly odd combination of overall sunny mood and dense motivic work in Gál's pieces fits well with Schumann. The Orchestra of the Swan's performances of this neglected symphonist under conductor Kenneth Woods, however, are solid. The four symphonies were composed between 1927 and 1974, but although they differ in orchestration and flavor, they're recognizably consistent in style, with even the trauma of having his aunt, sister, and son commit suicide due to the Nazi threat not showing up directly in the music. Gál's style doesn't sound much like anyone else's and is a bit hard to sum up, for Gál was neither an atonalist nor a Romantic conservative. Think of Mahler, perhaps, boiled down to more conventional forms. That linkage is especially evident in the "Symphony No. 4, Op. 105," which Gál designated a sinfonia concertante; it has a solo group of violin, cello, flute, and clarinet that is woven around the orchestral instruments. There is nothing instantly crowd-pleasing about these pieces, but they will grow on listeners with multiple hearings because of the unique world they create, and for those interested in the revival of this unusual composer this set is certainly worth the time.