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Described by The Herald as Scotland’s leading modern symphonist, composer Thomas Wilson (1927–2001) was central to the renaissance of 20th-century music in Scotland. Wilson’s music was championed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra throughout his life, so it is fitting that the RSNO has recorded a second volume of his symphonies to showcase the strength and inventiveness of his orchestral writing. Wilson’s Second Symphony reveals him to be a mature composer, full of intent and confident in his own style. Premiered in 1965 it is a tautly conceived work, darkly powerful in parts but full of colour and lyricism. The Fifth Symphony was commissioned by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra for their 25th-anniversary season in 1998 and was to be Wilson’s final work. Inspired by the challenge of writing for smaller symphonic forces, Wilson created a piece full of dramatic energy contrasted with moments of breathtaking tranquillity that stands apart from his other symphonies. Rory Macdonald returns to conduct the RSNO following the critical success of their recording of Wilson’s Third and Fourth Symphonies.

"No 2 is in three movements; it is music of exalted rhetoric, edgy intensity and the solidest craftsmanship. No 5, his last completed work, is a superb single span that embraces a luminous excursion for strings. Splendid, devoted performances. "
Sunday Times
"The performances from Rory MacDonald and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra are terrific, in both works they capture the concentrated element of Wilson's writing, but also bring out the many incidental beauties of his instrumental writing and ear for orchestral colour."
Planet Hugill
"Rory Macdonald and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra commit themselves wholeheartedly, and do these often beautiful works full justice. The recording and production are excellent on all counts. This is definitely a very fine release that deserves whole-hearted acclaim."
MusicWeb International
"This, too, is an invaluable CD for lovers of modern symphonic music."
The Arts Music Lounge
"The performances from Rory MacDonald and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra are terrific, in both works they capture the concentrated element of Wilson's writing, but also bring out the many incidental beauties of his instrumental writing and ear for orchestral colour."
Planet Hugill
"… this disc offers a degree of detail one rarely encounters in such music, and which will likely convince those coming afresh to Wilson's canon that he was indeed a master.' "
The Art Music Lounge
"… this disc offers a degree of detail one rarely encounters in such music, and which will likely convince those coming afresh to Wilson's canon that he was indeed a master."
MusicWeb International
"(On Wilson Fifth) It's as enjoyable as it is impressive."
BBC Music Magazine