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The Romantic Trombone
Vagn HOLMBOE (1909-1996)
Concerto No. 12, op. 52 (1950) (Allegro moderato; Andante tranquillo; Allegro molto) [14:04]
Søren HYLDGAARD (b. 1962)
Concerto Borealis (2000, rev. 2005) (Allegro ritmico; Rubato - Andante con moto; Andante con moto; Molto allegro) [16:55]
Axel JØRGENSEN (1881-1947)
Romance, op. 21 (1916) [5:42]
Suite for Trombone and Orchestra, op. 22 (1926) (I Triomphale; II Menuet giocoso; III Ballade; Polonaise (Tema con variazione)) [14:30]
Launy GRØNDAHL (1886-1960)
Concerto pour trombone et orchestre (1924) first version (I Moderato assai ma molto maestoso; II Quasi una leggenda. Andante grave; III Finale: Maestoso - Rondo) [15:52]
Jesper Juul (trombone)
Danish National Symphony Orchestra DR/Henrik Vagn Christensen; Thomas Dausgaard
rec. Danish Radio Concert Hall, January 2001 (Grøndahl); February 2006
with financial support from The Danish Conductors Association.
in cooperation with the Danish Broadcasting Cooperation.
DACAPO 6.220526 [69:43]



Despite the wide spread of dates this collection lives up to its romantic epithet.
 
The Holmboe is gruffly rhythmic and manly yet allows Juul's splendid trombone the serenading role. It's earlyish Holmboe and is instantly likeable across its three tight little movements. Easily avoiding buffoonery it put me in mind of the Gipps and Jacob horn concertos on the recent Lyrita collection.

Soren Hyldgaard
is a new name to me. His zestful Concerto Borealis is in four movements full of new worldly syncopation and sanguine energy. Juul musters a slight vibrato for the singing Rubato movement which recalls the lyric centrepiece of the RVW Tuba Concerto mixed with intimations of vernal Copland. Best known for his film music no wonder this atmospheric music comes across with such instantly captivating quality. It's all very approachable and yet not bland. The singing cantilena of the andante is redolent of Rodrigo, grace notes and all. This is gracious and honeyed writing with all the hallmarks of sincerity. It ends in majesty with a sweeping golden gesture. It was first written in 1997 as a piece for Juul and concert band.

Axel Jorgensen
's little Romance is a bonne bouche – a miniature in the sweetened Saint-Saëns-Elgar mould - sentimental but not perilously so. The same composer's four movement suite from 1926 starts with an impatient Nielsen-like flourish but soon settles for a pleasing rumbustious quality with relaxation for smiling serenading which for me recalls the more energetic music of Miaskovsky. There's some Tchaikovsky in there as well - a redolence of the second movement of Tchaikovsky 5. The final Polonaise has a Coatesian mien which then looks towards Elgarian nobility and confidence.

Grøndahl
is well known as conductor but he composed as well as we know from his Archaeopteryx and Violin Concerto. The Trombone Concerto has kept his name at the surface for many years and no wonder for it is a work of defiant confidence and singing Rimskian quality. In this work and the others, Juul and the orchestra are recorded with forthright power letting us close to every detail - a real Decca FFSS quality job. This fine collection adds pleasingly to our knowledge and is decently tricked out with notes from Juul and Valdemar Lønsted.
 
I heard this in CD format rather than SACD.
 
Buffoon no longer, the romancer at the gate joins the horn and the tuba.
 
Rob Barnett
 


 


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