MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2023
Approaching 60,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs
 

Presto Music CD retailer
 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews


All HDTT reviews


Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World


all Nimbus reviews



all tudor reviews


Follow us on Twitter


Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing
this through MusicWeb
for 12 postage paid world-wide.

Ole OLSEN (1850-1927)
Asgaardsreien - symphonic tone-picture op.10 (1878) [11:16]
Symphony in G op.5 (1878) [39:43]
Suite for string orchestra, Op.60 (1890) [17:15]
Latvian National Symphony Orchestra/Terje Mikkelsen
rec. Reforma Baznika Riga, Latvia, 28-29 July 2009
STERLING CDS1086-2 SACD [68:31]

This all-Olsen disc bumps up against a BIS hybrid SACD (review). Although the Sterling is also a hybrid SACD, it's not entirely a case of like-for-like. Both discs present Olsen's Symphony and Asgaardsreien. The difference is that Sterling's coupling is the latish Suite for string orchestra while the Bis has Olsen's Trombone Concerto.

Asgaardsreien (The Ride of Asgaard) is like an apocalyptic Rouet d'Omphale or a ramblingly varied Ride of the Valkyries. The wild-eyed facade slips once or twice, making room for the sort of cool pastoral associated with Grieg's Holberg. Olsen's sole Symphony has a first movement in the form of an affably bustling Allegro maestoso; think in terms of Beethoven's Pastoral. An amiably fly-away Allegro makes way for a sentimental Andante with a melody that moves between anthem and what sounds at first like middle-eastern exotic of the sort embraced in Godard's symphonies. Unusually the finale is another Andante, here marked 'quasi adagio', but with Allegro episodes and a final bacchanal. This is a good-natured symphony which would keep suitable company alongside the symphonies of Mhul. Bizet and early Saint-Sans. The Suite for string orchestra owes its substance to the composer's 1890 incidental music for Johan Nordahl Brun Rolfsen's comedy Svein Urd. There are seven movements which include a pensive moonlit Song, a delicate Sibelian Northern Lights and Ice Field, Spring and Dream (both Grieg-like), a skittering and vigorous Among the Gypsies, a Gynt-inflected country-dance in Dwarves and Elves and a final smiling Sunset. In the fifty opus numbers and twelve years that separate the Suite from the other two works Olsen clearly gained plangent depth and individuality.

Mikkelsen and his Latvian orchestra seem confident and well up the tasks sets by Olsen. The programme is recorded in a warm space, delivering an open sound that caresses the ear. As for the fulsome liner-notes they are by Audun Jonassen. They are given in English and Swedish. It's a shame to have to choose but two things swing in favour of the Sterling: the capacious and warm acoustic and the often striking Suite.

Rob Barnett


 

 



Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews



all Bridge reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews


All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing