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Danish Masterworks
Aarhus Symphony Orchestra/Aarhus Chamber Choir cond Bo Holten,
Henriette Bonde-Hansen (sop), Johann Reuter (bar)
Danacord DACOCD 536 [70.26]

En Arabesk (1911) [12:42]
An Arabesque for baritone, chorus and orchestra
(Jens Peter Jacobsen) (Dedicated to Halfdan Jebe)
Five Danish Songs (Orchestrated by Bo Holten)
     Pagen højt paa Taarnet sad [1:18]
     The Page sat in the lofty Tower
     (Jens Peter Jacobsen)
     Vi lo jo for saa længe [2:47]
     In Bliss we walked with Laughter
     (Holger Drachmann)
     To brune Øjne [1:25]
     Two Brown Eyes
     (Hans Christian Andersen)
     Jeg hører i Natten [1:54]
     I Hear in the Night
     (Holger Drachmann)
     Far, hvor flyver Svanerne hen (1900) [3:36]
     (Ludvig Holstein)
Seven Danish Songs (1897)
     Silkesko over gylden Læst [1:44]
     Silken Shoes
     (Jens Peter Jacobsen)
     Irmelin Rose [3:33]
     (Jens Peter Jacobsen)
     Lyse Nætter [2:49]
     Summer Nights
     (Holger Drachmann)
     I Seraillets Have [3:32]
     In the Seraglio Garden
     (Jens Peter Jacobsen)
     Løft de klingre Glaspokaler [2.30]
     Wine Roses
     (Jens Peter Jacobsen)
     Det bødes der for [1:51]
     Through Long, Long Years
     (Jens Peter Jacobsen)
     Lad Vaaren komme [1:57]
     Let Springtime Come
     (Jens Peter Jacobsen)
Intermezzo from the opera Fennimore and Gerda (1908/13) [5:18]
(Preludes to Scenes 10 & 12 arranged 1936 by Eric Fenby)
Two Danish Songs (1897)
     Viol (1900) [1:50]
     The Violet
     (Ludvig Holstein)
     Sommer i Gurre (1902/03) [3:13]
     Summer Landscape
     (Holger Drachmann)
 Sakuntala (1889) [4:58]      
(Holger Drachmann)     
Lebenstanz (1899/1912)  [13:19]     
Life's Dance      
(Holger Drachmann)

This is a first recording in Danish of Delius's orchestral songs, arising from an Anglo-Danish Festival in 1998 'Delius & Friends in Denmark', but not recorded until March 2000. Frederick Delius (1862-1934) lived in Denmark for various periods and there was a flow of songs in the original Danish from 1891. Five of those with piano accompaniments have been newly orchestrated by Bo Holten, and they sound thoroughly idiomatic. The orchestra alone gives Life's Dance (1912) and the Intermezzo from Fennimore & Gerda . The choir comes into action in the 1911 extended Jacobsen setting, En Arabesq, originally composed in German.

It is a very enjoyable CD of sensuous music to wallow in. These are all excellent performances, conducted by Bo Holten, a specialist in Renaissance polyphony and 20th Century music and a frequent UK visitor. They are all well recorded and will be essential purchases for Delius collectors. The recording was made with the assistance of the Delius Trust and is lavishly produced with a full essay by Lionel Carley, complete texts and translations, and a tacky Danish cover picture (chosen probably to illustrate the poem of En Arabesq) which I could spare!


Peter Grahame Woolf

See also review by Ian Lace


Peter Grahame Woolf

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