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  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    




Hans Christian LUMBYE (1810-1874)
Complete Orchestral Works Vol. 6

5th of June, March (Entry March) (1853)
Little Prince Christian Carl's Waltz (1871)
The Dream of the Warrior, Fantasy (1856)
Regards to the Fredericians, Galop (1861)
Harvest Flower, Polka, Op. 208 (1856)
Sadness Waltz (La résignation) (1844)
Echo from the Old Gods at Tivoli Island, Galop (1844)
Princess Thyra Polka (1871)
A Festive Night at Tivoli, Musical Entertainment (1861)
Senora Ysabel Cuba's Polka (1861)
Pomona Waltz (1853)
Tivoli Gondola Galop (1843)
Pepita Polka (1858)
Nordic Sworn Brother Galop (1862)
Tivoli Symphony Orchestra/Tamas Vetö
Rec. Concert Hall, Tivoli 2000
MARCO POLO 8.225223 [66.04]



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This is yet another disc in the Marco Polo Lumbye series and offers a further selection of waltzes, polkas and galops that were popular in the heyday of Danish 19th century dances held at the Tivoli amusement garden ballroom. One lovely piece makes a departure from the numerous dances on the disc. It is a delightful fantasy tone poem called Dream of the Warrior.

Hans Christian Lumbye was born in Copenhagen and from the age of 14 was a military trumpeter. We know that he studied music in Randers but no qualification is known. In 1839 he was deeply impressed by a visit of an Austrian band to Copenhagen, playing Strauss and Lanner. He formed an orchestra and performed their works. Lumbye was a composer with no particular formal training yet this did not detract from collaborating with the Danish ballet master Bournonville to provide dances and ballet music for theatre productions. His fame grew with the opening of the Tivoli Gardens (1843) where he served as orchestra director until 1872, two years before his death. He was not a man with ambition yet was one who brought great pleasure with bright dance tunes of much variety.

The music here cover a period from 1844 to 1871 and include dances that may well have found their way from the Tivoli Ballroom to every corner of Vienna and Austria to compete with those of Johann Strauss. Today they are rarely played apart from the Vienna New Year Day’s concert, yet despite this they hold a distinctive brightness and charm. They display the diversity of imagination that Lumbye reveals in his compositions.

The 5th of June, March is as rousing as a Sousa equivalent, written to mark the celebrations surrounding the birth of a new Danish Constitution when a festival dance was held.

The jaunty and delicate Little Prince Christian Carl's Waltz is a suite of four waltzes with an opening simplistic charm added where glockenspiel and flute punctuate the ends of phrases. Christian Carl became King Christian X of Denmark.

The Dream of the Warrior is a sort of marching military tone poem. The music is engaging and provides an extremely pleasant orchestral interlude. The CD notes outline the Warrior story that gave Lumbye his inspiration.

The Sadness Waltz is anything but: a suite of gliding waltzes, strongly balletic in style that could have been written by Tchaikovsky in one of his lighter moments.

In the Tivoli park was a lake with island, on which ‘Greek gods’ were tended by ‘Muses and Graces’. Echo from the Old Gods at Tivoli Island is a galop that attempts to depict the atmosphere of the island.

The notes fail to mention that the opening to A Festive Night at Tivoli is the rousing opening to Zampa overture (Hérold), rarely heard nowadays. It then moves on to incorporate Giselle (Adam) and a finale of Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld. Here I would have preferred Lumbye to be referred to more as an arranger than be inferred as the composer.

The Pomona Waltz is an extended piece with a softly focused waltz and prominent clarinet figure. Its title relates to the Roman goddess of gardens, trees and flora. The music carries elements of birdsong in between the more robust elements of the waltz.

As with the other discs in this series, the music is well played under Vetö's direction. The Tivoli Gondola includes some fine solo violin playing. Orchestral detail is clearly defined and the Tivoli Concert Hall’s acoustics suit the music. Interesting background notes by Knud Arne Jürgensen on each of the pieces is included.

Those who enjoy the atmosphere of the Vienna New Year’s Day broadcasts will enjoy this volume. The Tivoli orchestra is full of life and the players obviously enjoyed the recording session. Another good recording from Marco Polo.


Raymond Walker

 

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