KOPPEL: Symphony No. 5 / Piano Concerto No. 3 (Aalborg Symphony Orchestra/ Henrik Sleiborg/ Moshe Atzmon/ Nina Kavtaradze) (Dacapo Classical: 8.226027)
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Herman D. Koppel's best-loved and most frequently played orchestral works are now being released on the fourth and last CD in Dacapo Records' acclaimed Koppel series. This release features the Fifth Symphony and the virtuoso Third Piano Concerto, both serene, outward-looking post-war works.
Koppel's Fifth Symphony took on symbolic significance during the post-war rebuilding of Copenhagen: the old Tivoli Concert Hall had been blown up in reprisals against the Danish resistance movement, and for the inauguration of the new hall a composers' competition was held. Herman D. Koppel won with his Fifth Symphony which was to become the most frequently played of Koppel's orchestral works. The style is more serene, both tonally and contrapuntally, than that of the works from the war years, and the strong fronts that are drawn up in the work meet and are reconciled in a final apotheosis. From the beginning, the Third Piano Concerto enjoyed a great success in the Danish concert halls. The music has flashes of Neoclassical and 'mechanical' elements from Stravinsky and Prokofiev, Slavic melody as in Bartók and freethinking as in Carl Nielsen. The Concerto presents many daunting technical challenges to which the Russian-trained but Danish-based pianist Nina Kavtaradze is more than equal. This recording is her debut on Dacapo.
The Aalborg Symphony Orchestra under Moshe Atzmon makes a triumphant return for this disc, having received many plaudits for previous volumes in this series:\Moshe Atzmon and the Aalborg Symphony provide brilliantly executed and highly persuasive performances of both scores ... If you've yet to experience any of Koppel's music, this disc offers a great place to start."
(9/9 Classics Today on Vol. 3)"