Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


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Harald SÆVERUD (1897-1992)
Bassoon Concerto Op. 44 (1964) [23.32]
Lucretia-Suite Op.10 (1935) [17.43]
Symphony No. 7 in one movement Salme Op. 27 (1964) [18.08]
Robert Rønnes (bassoon)
Stavanger Symphony Orchestra/Alexander Dmitriev
rec. Jan 1997, Stavanger, DDD
Volume 2 Bis Sæverud Series
BIS BIS-CD-822 [60.32]

The Bassoon Concerto is given here in its 1980s revision. First completed in 1964 it was premiered by Jan Høye in Bergen on 16 April 1964. It then sank from view until the fleet-tongued bassoonist Robert Rønnes took a reinvigorated interest in the work. Rønnes even wrote a cadenza for the work and it is this cadenza that is used in the present recording. The three movement concerto is in Sæverud's aerated lyrico-atonal idiom in which the bassoon plays a serenading, cheery and smiling role rather than the bumbling fool or the prophet of doom although it does chart some subdued realms during the middle movement.

The Lucretia-Suite is from three decades earlier. It is drawn from his music for the first production of André Obey's play The Rape of Lucretia. This was Sæverud's first attempt at writing for the theatre. The suite is more closely attuned to Shakespeare's tragic poem than to Obey's version of it. After the sour Moderato (tr. 5), comes a Prokofiev-like gentle 'dance' portraying Lucrece spinning and a contented woodwind serenade showing her asleep. A doom-heavy Allegro deciso (tr.8) intimates the people's rebellion and Lucrece's suicide is suggested. The music would work just as well for a production of King Lear.

The Seventh Symphony is from the same year as the Bassoon Concerto. This is the Salme or Hymn symphony. It is in one movement and five sections. The chorale theme is the most melodically approachable on the disc. While fed through some elliptical processes the theme has the indomitable power and emotional charge of a Miaskovsky melody (tr.11). It is accorded some very Russian treatment including bell transformation as in tr.12 ingeniously woven with some gypsy fiddle playing. After a fugal episode comes the Glorification. The Seventh Symphony was written in 1945 when the end of the war was in sight. The composer dedicated it to his mother and father and gave it the subtitle: "Symphony of strain, of struggle, of faith and of gratitude." The hymn of praise rises in epiphanic power in the towering blaze of the Glorification; once heard not to be forgotten.

Rob Barnett

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