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Jón Leifs: Edda II, The Lives of the Gods



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Leifs’ magnum opus is the Edda oratorio, a massive (although incomplete) work in three large parts which occupied him on and off for most of his composing career –from around 1930 to his death in 1968. A partial performance of Edda I – The Creation of the World – met with incomprehension, and Leifs only resumed work on his great project a decade later, completing the second part – The Lives of the Gods – in 1966. He immediately started on the third part of the oratorio, and was still working on it at the time of his death. Neither of the two finished parts were performed in his lifetime, Edda I receiving its first complete performance in 2006 and Edda II in 2018, in conjunction with the recording of the present disc. Leifs’ music is as ruggedly grandiose as its subject matter and the score calls for vocal soloists, choir and large orchestra, making huge demands on the performers. Once again the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the intrepid Schola Cantorum join forces under the baton of conductor Hermann Bäumer, following up on their acclaimed recording of Edda I, which was described by reviewers as ‘one of the recording events of the year’ (Gramophone).
Facts
Item number BIS2420
Barcode 7318599924205
Release date 28/06/2019
Category Ecopak
Label BIS Records
Media type SACD (Ecopak)
Number of units 1
Performers
Artists Sigmundsson, Kristinn
Cantorum, Schola
Gilbertsson, Elmar
Composers Leifs, Jón
Conductors Bäumer, Hermann
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