Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Mahler symphony 6 Nott


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 


REVIEW


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 



Availability:
AmazonUK AmazonUS


Lasse THORESEN (b. 1949)
To the Brother Peoples (En Broderfolkskonsert) for hardanger fiddle, nyckelharpa and orchestra op. 37 (2005) [35:24]
Emergence (Luohti Boađe!) op. 28 (1998 rev. 2004) [14:02]
The Sun of Justice (Rettferdighetens Sol) op. 12 (1982) [15:50]
Arvid Engegård (hardanger fiddle); Hans Björkroth (nyckelharpa)
Rune Hannisdal and John Arild Suther (trombones in Op 28)
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra/Ingar Bergby
rec. Grieghallen, Bergen, 11-14, 18-19 June 2007. DDD
AURORA ACD5058 [65:31]
Experience Classicsonline


Here is a very welcome disc which fills an important gap in the catalogue and in our - or at least my - knowledge of Scandinavian composers.

Lasse Thoresen is a native of Oslo who studied with Finn Mortensen at the Norwegian Academy of Music where he himself became a professor of composition in 1988. He has received awards from the Norwegian Society of Composer for the “Work of the Year” three times. All the works on this disc have extra-musical connections, which is hardly surprising when, as the booklet notes, the composer believes that “the purpose of music is first and foremost to relate to human expression. It is not meant simply to investigate sonorous possibilities - it should also make use of the possibilities for expressing the human condition”.

The Concerto was written to mark the centenary of the dissolution of the Swedish-Norwegian union. The two solo instruments represent the most typical folk instruments of the two countries. All three movements make use of existing material, the first a Norwegian folk tune, the last a Swedish religious folk tune, and the central movement the Boccherini Minuet, but this is by way of commenting on them rather than mere pastiche or nostalgia. There are indeed many changes of musical character and much imaginative use of a very wide variety of tone colour and manner. It is clear from the excellent notes by Stig Jacobson that all three works on the disc are packed full of extra-musical references that may well be lost on the non-Scandinavian listener. It was by no means obvious to me, for instance, why part of the final movement is said to conjure images of the fall of man, or what the significance is of references to the national birds of the two countries. Nonetheless the sheer sonic imagination at work carries the listener through the passage of the music and ensures that there is so much to intrigue and delight that any lack of a full understanding of all the specifically Norwegian and Swedish references becomes irrelevant.

“Rettferdighetens Sol/The Sun of Justice” also has strong extra-musical associations. Jacobson explains that “the work is a musical reflection of the founder of the Bahá’i religion, Bahá’u’lláh (1817-1892) and his prophecy that life on earth will become harder before the true sun of justice rises”. Again it draws on disparate elements, including a melody of South American descent, “Also sprach Zarathustra” and Bruckner’s Te Deum, but again they are melded into a musical whole which does not depend upon the programme to make sense. “Emergence - Luohti Boađe!” is inspired by and partly based on the musical traditions of the Sami people, and in particular the “joik”. Two solo trombones were an inspired choice to imitate the structure and sound of the latter, including their typical slides.

All three works are colourful and approachable, and, as far as I could tell without a score, well and convincingly played by the Bergen Philharmonic and the various soloists. With clear and full recording and good notes this disc is very enjoyable in itself and whets the appetite for more of Thoresen’s music.

John Sheppard 

And a further review - from Rob Barnett

The Norwegian composer and academic Lasse Thoresen has taught composition, electro-acoustic music, and sonology at the Norwegian State Academy of Music since 1975.

This is not the first CD of his music to feature on this site. There have been discs from Simax, Aurora and Bis. The most notable is the Aurora CD of Chases, Cattle Calls and Charts which evidently weaves together folk voices and contemporary classical dissonance. The music on this disc takes a similar line.

Thoresen’s works have been numerous. The piano trio Bird of the Heart was premiered at the Bergen Festival in 1982. The Symphonic concerto for Violin and Orchestra (1984) has had its share of radio broadcasts. Warsaw in 1998 saw the first performance of a cantata Fire and Light. As the Waves of One Sea for 230 performers was his hour-long piece written in 1999 to mark the new millennium. His oratorio Terraces of Light was premiered in Haifa for the inauguration of the Bahá’í Terraces. In May 2003 St Petersburg was the site of the performance of his triple concerto Transfigurations as a salutation from the Norwegian State on the occasion of St Petersburg’s 300 years jubilee.

We are told that Thoresen is influenced by Norwegian ethno-musical voices, French spectral music and Harry Partch’s “Just Intonation”. He has employed microtonal principles in a number of his works since 1985.

To the Brother Peoples links the Scandinavian nations in an extravagant kaleidoscopic folk-modernist phantasmagoria of musical invention, mythology and allusive material. Some of the writing is Stravinskian with touches of tangy dissonance. Yet you are also confronted with music that seems to relate to Berlioz’s witches. Folk dances appear but one is left disorientated or challenged when these are juxtaposed with woody percussive noises, scrapes and knockings. The second movement is decorated with Mozartian sprigs and graftings.

The finale works as both a magical spell and a refraction: a Graingerian melting pot. Some of the episodes are quite breathtaking as in the delicate spray and scatter of slow fall-floating motes of harpsichord pinpoints. The folk dance/song material is galvanic and reedy-toned. confident folk voices march out of the texture with scrape of Stravinsky and the wild resin of the autochthonous highlands of every country across Europe and beyond. The work ends in a tornado of chaos and drumming and a long-blown uproarious whistle.

This is the sort of music Grainger would have been writing had he been born in the 1950s. Be warned though: this is no easily palatable eclectic folk fusion piece.

Emergence (1997) was commissioned by the Oslo Philharmonic and its conductor Mariss Jansons for a concert tour to European capitals. This tone poem has the chisel-edged keenness of a score influenced by Stravinsky's Les Noces and the Symphonies of Wind Instruments. There are warm smiling sighs from the strings and the trombones roll and roar. This music at times recalls Malcolm Arnold and at others the Rite of Spring yet ends with a Bernstein-like rhythmic flourish.

The Sun of Justice contains disorientating references to Berlioz’s Requiem, Strauss's Also Sprach Zarathustra and Bruckner's Te Deum. It is a patteringly active score with brassy expostulations groaning and furious or at least feral. Again we experience a wheeling ferment of sound. We are told that it is a musical reflection of the founder of the Bahá'i religion's prophecy that life on earth will become harder before the true sun of justice rises. The Bahá'i faith has been a constant source of inspiration to Thoresen.

Thoresen’s website is at http://www.lassethoresen.com/profile.htm

Rob Barnett

 
 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools




Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.