One of the most grown-up review sites around


2019
51,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

TROUBADISC

colourful imaginative harmony
Renate Eggebrecht violin


Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti


Bax Piano Music


Guillaume LEKEU


Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website



Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases


Superior performance


Shostakovich 6&7 Nelsons
Notable


Verdi Requiem Thielemann


Marianna Henriksson
An outstanding recital


Arnold Bax
Be converted


this terrific disc


John Buckley
one of my major discoveries


François-Xavier Roth
A game-changing Mahler 3

........................................

Bryden Thomson


Symphonies


Vaughan Williams Concertos


RVW Orchestral

 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Scandinavian Classics - Volume 5
rec. 1933-55
DANACORD DACOCD757-758 [73:43 + 74:16]

With a mix as varied as this an overall r ecommendation is hard. Assuming historic performances from Denmark are your thing, then this has enough good material to justify the very moderate cost. In purely musical terms there is one significant rarity and a handful of notable performances. The transfers are perfectly adequate and nowhere does the music disappear below the noise levels. More often than not the results are good. The extended note is carefully researched and an interesting read.

The significant rarity is the Sixth Symphony of Asger Hamerik which is first on CD 1. Hamerik had an unusual career, the most important period of which was in the United States. From 1871 until 1898 he was Director of the Conservatoire in Baltimore, Maryland, the Peabody Institute, and raised it to world fame, attracting praise from, among others, Tchaikovsky and Sir Arthur Sullivan. He resigned in protest over budget cuts and returned to Denmark for the remainder of his life. He rapidly sank into almost total obscurity because he was essentially a conservative figure. At home the major composer was Carl Nielsen and through the rest of Europe countless masters were active. Despite composing seven symphonies (see Dacapo set) and four operas plus vocal and chamber music, he has been ignored since at least in terms of concert life. Regrettably the music of the Sinfonie Spirituelle, though attractive, is conventional and perhaps its neglect is not surprising. The Boyd Neel Orchestra give a well drilled performance which is worth hearing nonetheless. The rest of CD1 is taken up with Sibelius, the Fifth Symphony and the Karelia Suite. The former is a worthy enough performance but the Danish Radio Orchestra sound more at home in Karelia with Thomas Jensen directing a particularly lively Intermezzo.

CD 2 starts with J.P.E. Hartmann's Overture to Hakon Jarl which is tuneful and very appealing. Its neglect is hard to justify. Svendsen's Polonaise is fun but a touch relentless. The next 30 minutes or so is devoted to Carl Nielsen, five extracts from his music for Aladdin. This is charming music, a reminder of his skill at light music and indeed his willingness to create so much of it on demand, even at the height of his career. The Tivoli Orchestra could probably play this in their sleep, the Negro Dance sounds a bit as if they did, though they must have concentrated a bit more on the Marketplace in Isphahan to negotiate the multiple tunes played all together, Ives style. The final Nielsen item, the Cockerel's Dance from Maskarade, is a short but very fine piece well directed by Thomas Jensen.

The wonderfully named Knudåge Riisager — try that on a non-Danish speaker — is the first of four light-classical composers, all of whom could easily have written the quality film music of the 1940s and 1950s at which Hollywood excelled. They are also the equals of Eric Coates, Robert Farnon and Ronald Binge from the UK side of the North Sea. All have managed total obscurity for no very good reason. I have to highlight one piece: the Tango Jalousie by Jacob Gade (no relation of Niels Gade). Jealousy turns out to be one of those amazingly famous tunes which everyone recognises. Apparently it still earns significant income. Finally on CD2 are two pieces by the Johann Strauss of the North, H.C. Lumbye. His Copenhagen Steam-Railway Galop is the earliest recording in the set, 1933. It sounds just fine and the Tivoli Orchestra gives easily the best performance of this marvellous piece I have heard. It takes only 3:10 to get from station to station, proving that the railways have slowed significantly in the intervening years. The Danish Radio orchestra and Rozhdestvensky took 30% longer to do the same journey in 1993 for Chandos. The final Champagne Galop is also great fun. Why don't we hear more Lumbye? He is a wonderful composer of dance music, often the equal of his Viennese contemporaries.

Dave Billinge

Previous review: John France

Reviews of other releases in this series
Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3
Volume 4

Contents
CD 1 [73:43]
Asger HAMERIK (1843-1923)
Symphony No.6 in G major Symphonie Spirituelle Op.38 (1897) [29:07]
Boyd Neel String Orchestra/Boyd Neel
rec. 1945
Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957)
Symphony No. 5 (1914-15) [30:27]
The Danish State Broadcasting Orchestra/Erik Tuxen
rec. 1952
Karelia Suite (1893) [14:09]
Danish State Broadcasting Orchestra/Thomas Jensen
rec. 1952
CD 2 [74:16]
J. P. E. HARTMANN (1805-1900)
Overture to Hakon Jarl (1844) [9:31]
Danish State Broadcasting Orchestra/John Frandsen
rec. 1955
Johan SVENDSEN (1840-1911)
Festival Polonaise (1873) [8:12]
Danish State Broadcasting Orchestra/Erik Tuxen
rec. 1953
Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931)
Aladdin (1920):-
Oriental Festival March [3:05]
Aladdin's Dream - Dance of The Morning Mists [2:58]
Hindu Dance [2:36]
The Marketplace in Isphahan [3:38]
Negro Dance [4:07]
Tivoli Symphony Orchestra/Svend Christian Felumb
rec. 1936
Introduction to 7. Picture (The Mother) (1920) [2:45]
Cockerel's Dance (Maskarade) (1904-6) [3:49]
Tivoli Symphony Orchestra/Thomas Jensen
rec. 1942
Knudåge RIISAGER (1897-1974)
Introduction to Niels Ebbesen (1948) [4:35]
Royal Orchestra/Johan Hye-Knudsen
rec. 1951
Svend Erik TARP (1908-1994)
Comedy Overture (1942) [5:50]
Tivoli Symphony Orchestra/Svend Christian Felumb
rec. 1948
Emil REESEN (1887-1964)
Himmerland, Danish Rhapsody (1926) [12:12]
Danish State Broadcasting Orchestra/Emil Reesen
rec. 1953
Jacob GADE (1879-1963)
Tango Jalousie (1925) [3.22]
Wandy Tworek (violin)
Danish State Broadcasting Orchestra/Emil Reesen
rec. 1946
H. C. LUMBYE (1810-1874)
Copenhagen Railway Steam-galop (1847) [3:10]
Tivoli Symphony Orchestra/Carlo Andersen
rec. 1933
Champagne-Galop (1845) [2:04]
Royal Orchestra/Georg Høeberg
rec. 1946
All MONO

 

 



We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger