C0058. ANTHONY COLLINS Cond. London S.O.: Symphony #4 in a; Symphony #5 in E-flat (both Sibelius). (England) Beulah 4PD8, 1954/'55, resp. Very long out-of-print, Final Copy!
“These discs were issued to some acclaim but their shelf-life was limited by the onset of stereo. The original Decca LXTs held their place in the catalogue for some years but then disappeared and reappeared on LP in the late 50s on [inferior reissues].
Anthony Collins plays the tension and relaxation of these symphonies like a big game fisherman in Arctic 'waste of seas'.
No. 5 is an epic symphony, not in duration (less than 30 mins in Collins' hands), but in spirit. A lively muscularity blends the lighter emotions (sometimes the lighter Sibelius seems to peak through the thicket) with threatening and unpredictable elemental forces. Collins does not strive to darken this symphony but very little of its natural power escapes his gimlet eyes. The ticking strings accompanying the bell-theme on the woodwind (4.40) in the finale are simply glorious and the sound quality is out of Ken Wilkinson's top-drawer. The final hammer-chords are securely and satisfyingly captured.”
- Patrick C. Waller