Fanfare and Hymn was written to a commission from
the City of Bergen. It is one of his most immediately melodic
pieces. Despite its late date it shares the same soundworld as
the Psalme and Dolorosa.
to the composer's satisfaction the Piano Concerto was taken
up by none other than Andor Földes although dedicated to
the Norwegian pianist Robert Riefling. By the time he had completed
it he had written seven symphonies (only two more to be written).
The Salme-Symphony, Sinfonia Dolorosa and the Kjempevise-Slåtten
had made his name in musical circles. By contrast the concerto
has the brittle, clarified and stripped down sound of the Williamson
and Berkeley piano concertos as well as the convulsive acerbities
of the Britten. It is neither neo-classical nor atonal. It is
a lithe work yet one not aiming for charm punchily despatched
by Bis regular, Noriko Ogawa.
Ninth Symphony like its predecessor is in four movements.
It was premiered at the Bergen Festival conducted by Karsten Andersen.
After a conflict-ridden allegro appassionata comes a fractured
dance which when it finds itself whole appears in Prokofiev-like
avian finery. Such singable melodies borne high on flute and clarinet
return for the finale in which there is some mild dissonance amid
an energy that is almost Beethovenian - how often does LvB put
in an appearance in the twentieth century symphonies - listen
to those by Fernstrom and Martinu. The orchestral piano is a prominent
presence in the first and last movements.