separate movements for violin and guitar might seem a bit of
a challenge but itís nothing of the sort when the music is as
enjoyable and varied as it is in these four works.
Hanibal met when students at the Royal Conservatory of Music
in Ňrhus and from 1980 to 1994 performed
as Duo Concertante, giving over 1,000 concerts and making recordings
and radio and TV appearances. All the works on this disk were
commissioned by them so they have the authority of composer-supervised
Palle Mikkelborg is a major figure in jazz, having played with the
Gil Evans Big Band, George Russel Big Band as well as with Jan
Gabarek and Gary Peacock. His output is varied, to say the least,
ranging from works for orchestra and choir to Aura, which
was recorded by Miles Davis in 1984. Everything Matters
is a nine movements set of pieces which range from the serious
to the humorous. Thereís the smallest, and quite discreet, use
of electronics and pre-recorded sounds - this latter of children
playing - which add to the atmosphere of the music. It sounds
as if the duo is actually performing directly to the children.
At nearly half an hour this work doesnít seem a moment too long
and itís very inventive, with its varied moods and sonorities.
Herman D Koppel was a pupil of Carl Nielsen who wrote in all genres,
and as a performer was a passionate advocate for Nielsenís piano
music; he made two valuable recordings of the complete works.
His Duo is a serious work in three short movements. The
language is terse and aphoristic, so fleeting are some of the
ideas, and this is, probably, the most thought-provoking of
all the works on this disk.
Jersild studied with, amongst others, Albert Roussel and the
French influence can be seen in some of his works. His output
wasnít large but we should be grateful for what there is. These
10 Impromptu are true miniatures - half of them play for less
than 60 seconds - and they are serious and fun, by turns, and
Itís always good to welcome any music by Vagn Holmboe, not
just because he was a fine composer, but because he was a friend
of mine. It has been said that Holmboe never wrote any light
music, and this is true - thereís no Tam OíShanter Overture,
for instance - but some of his works are lighter than others.
This Duo Concertato is a case in point. Although the
outward appearance is of a serious composition in three movements,
the outer, fast, ones are filled with fun and they surround
a heart of gold. Truly a portrait of the man himself. I loved
him and miss him.
Although it is not so stated, this must be a re-issue of a
Danish EMI LP (7496791) which was issued
in about 1989. The sound on that LP was excellent and the re-mastering
for this CD is superb. There is a feeling of space in the acoustic
and the two players are well balanced. The notes donít tell
us anything about the works heard, but do give a potted biography
of each composer and performer, complete with photograph, and
thereís lots of photographs of dancers in soft focus.
super disk and well worth investigating.