Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Halvorsen, Johan. (1864-1935) Orchestral Works, Volume III.

From my collection.
Bought in 2011.
First listen: 22-4-2011.
Second listen: 4-4-2017.
Label: Chandos.
Recording dates:  2009-2010.
Recording venue: Grieghallen, Bergen, Norway.
Recording engineer: Ralph Couzens.
Running time: 79:53.
Classical relevance to me: Essential.

Works performed:
Symphony No. 3 in C major.
Black Swans. (Premiere recording)
Wedding march, opus 32 No. 1.
Wedding of Ravens in the Grove of the Crows. Norwegian Folk melody, arranged for String orchestra.
Fossegrimen, opus 21, dramatic suite for orchestra.
Bergensiana, Roccoco variations on a old Melody from Bergen.

Works performed by:
Ragnhild Hemsing, Hardanger Fiddle.
Marianne Thorsen, Violin.
Melina Mandozzi, Violin.
Bergen PO, Neeme Järvi.

Symphony No. 3 is certainly milder in structure as No. 2. It is more pastoral, and less aggressive. There is no urgency in the work, but rather a mild more Norwegian approach in which nature unfolds gradually, in perfect harmony. Järvi reinserted the glockenspiel in the last movement that Halvorsen took out, with no apparent reason. It fits perfectly into the total harmony of the work. 
Fossegrimen features the Hardanger Fiddle, a folksy instrument with a sound that makes you sit up. If well played the sound can be good, and in this case Hemsing knows exactly how to do that.
All the works on this CD have a high level of entertainment in them. The music is constantly moving from one idea to another, without breaking the flow of the harmony. You get what you bargain for. Halvorsen does not disappoint in any way.
The recording is good, but Couzens does not repeat the State of the Art sound of the first and second volume. 




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