Friday, April 28, 2017

Gram, Peder. (1881-1956) Orchestral Works, Vol II.

From my collection.
Bought in 2011.
First listen: 5-2-2011.
Second listen: 28-4-2017.
Label: Dacapo.
Recording dates: 2007.
Recording venue: Musikhuset, Sønderborg, Danmark.
Recording engineer: Claus Byrith.
Running time: 64:58.
Classical relevance to me: Essential.

Works performed:

Avalon, opus 16. (1917) for Soprano and Orchestra.
Symphony No. 2, opus 25. (1925)
Symphony No. 3 in E minor, opus 35. (1954)

Performed by:

Andrea Pellegrini, Soprano.
Danish PO, Matthias Aeschbacher.

Although Peder Gram was in his time a huge influence in the Danish musical scene as a composer and active participant in musical affairs, he is now forgotten in both capacities, as many I might add. Time is never fair, even to the greatest of talents, and what was once huge, is now dust, as in life, so in music. Peder Gram is a very interesting composer, which you will notice quite clearly in his second Symphony for small orchestra. The work as a whole is an all embracing and warm work, but within the structure there is a fully functioning micro cosmos that harbours in itself a lot of melody lines, functioning harmonically in the total structure of the work. There are so many things going on at the same time, with so many intricate details, that before you know it, you missed the passage altogether. And even though the notes are all very clearly in front of you, and even though it sounds simple, it nevertheless will let you sink away into forgetfulness if you do not pay close attention on what is going on. Gram needs careful listening. And what a fine filigree mastery comes from his hands, one micro cosmos after another, as a juggler that keeps many balls in the air, without apparent effort. He is a melodious composer, but one that does it different from all the others. His style is late romantic, with some modernity in it, be it marginally. I consider both works as essential to have, and thereby understanding his place in the heritage from Danish music much better. . This orchestra and conductor, brings out the very nature of the music in a clear vision.

As a side note I must mention, that I did not care much for the opus 16, with a soprano who made me shudder. And the third movement in the second Symphony gives us again 2;34 of unnecessary vocal contributions. My personal opinion of course. I simply think that the soprano is not adding anything, rather spoiling the composition. Thank God its short.





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