was a student of Holmboe at the Royal Danish Academy of Music
in Copenhagen. By the end of the 1950s he had written a stream
of lyrical Nordic works in a style built around the music of Nielsen.
He left this style behind from the 1960s onwards as he embraced
influences fom the Darmstadt avant-garde. However in the Violin
Concerto he avoids doctrinaire isolationism. Instead we have a
romantically lyrical dissonant violin concerto rather similar
to the Berg, at times to the Frankel concerto and at other times
to the Korngold! It is lightened by delicate half-lights from
the percussion section and by music box interludes such as the
sweetened innocence of the episode at 9.50 in the first movement.
It is derived from his score for a TV opera based on a Nabokov
novel and particularly for the music associated with the main
character Cincinnatus. The solo violin in that first production
was played by Leo Hansen (b. 1911) for many years first violin
of the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Hansen was rtaught by
Peder Møller who in 1912 premiered the Nielsen Violin Concerto.
Hansen premiered the Nørholm concerto on 27 November 1975
with the DRSO conducted by Herbert Blomstedt. A lovely work which
you should try if you have been looking for something with which
to follow the Berg. Certainly it is a contrast with the adamantine
rockface of the Fifth Symphony featured on another Kontrapunkt
Cello Concerto is very much later. It is in three movements entitled
With Open Eyes; Echoes; Reflections on Simplicity.
It is played by one of the leading cellists of his generation
and was in fact written for Bengtsson. There is less of the wide-eyed
utopian fantasy in this work than in the Violin Concerto of fifteen
years earlier. Fragments of the Elgar concerto are quoted in the
Echoes middle movement. The final movement has some moment
of brutality but on the whole tenderness is once again in the
ascendant. Bengtsson premiered the concerto on 9 February 1990
with the DRSO conducted by Richard Duffallo.
is a pity that the individual movements are not separately tracked
rather than with index points.
helpful liner notes are by Knud Ketting.
are two challenging concertos by Ib Nørholm. Tough they
may be but the humanity of this music never falters. Superb performances
by Suzumi and Bengtsson