Halvorsen: Orchestral Works 2

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Neeme Jarvi is back conducting the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, with the violinist Marianne Thorsen, in this second volume of Chandos' series devoted to the orchestral works of Johan Halvorsen. This Norwegian composer, conductor, and violinist was a highly prominent figure in his country's musical life during the first decades of the twentieth century. The works on this CD are all performed by the orchestra that Halvorsen himself conducted in the 1890s. As in the first volume of the series, they represent Nordic folk-based music at its very best: light and airy compositions with the strings firmly at centre stage. Air norvegien was described by Halvorsen's contemporary, Edvard Grieg, as 'a folk-tune medley, but so well done that the result is a piece of art'. Because Halvorsen spent more than thirty-six years working at the theatres in Bergen and Oslo, a large proportion of his compositional output is music for the stage. The movements of Suite ancienne were originally composed for the play The Lying-in Room by Ludvig Holberg in 1911. The first two movements, Intrata and Air con variazioni, are in the style of late-eighteenth-century serenades, whereas the Gigue, Sarabande, and Bourree were modelled after baroque dances. Halvorsen himself counted Suite ancienne as one of his finest compositions. Halvorsen also composed in more prestigious genres and his Second Symphony is commonly regarded as the best of his three symphonies. Nicknamed Fatum, the Second Symphony is inspired by the work's opening motif which, in the manner of the 'fate' symphonies of Beethoven and Tchaikovsky, is heard in all four movements. In the second movement, Romance, a beautiful oboe cantilena is followed by a dramatic development that draws on the 'fate' motif, and the brisk main motif of the cheerful third movement, Intermezzo - the fate motif cleverly altered in rhythm - belongs among the most successful, and at the same time most personal, that Halvorsen ever wrote.
Item number CHAN 10614
Barcode 095115161425
Release date 27/09/2010
Category Romantic
Label Chandos Records
Media type CD
Number of units 1
Artists Thorsen, Marianne
Composers Halvorsen, Johan
Conductors Järvi, Neeme
Orchestras Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
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