Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Reesen, Emil. (1887-1964) Orchestral Works.

From my collection.
Bought in 2011.
First listen: 24-1-2011.
Second listen: 24-2-2011.
Third listen: 26-4-2017.
Label: Dacapo.
Recording dates: June 2006.
Recording venue: Symfonien, Aalborg, Denmark.
Recording engineer: Claus Byrith.
Running time: 67:29.
Classical relevance to me: Well worth having.

Works performed:

Grønlandsk Folketone.
Polkina fra Gudindernes Strid.
Trianon, Suite I gammel stil.
Variationer over et tema af Fr Schubert.
Agnethe og havmanden.
Jeg gik mig ud en sommerdag.
Gaucho-Suite.
Himmerland.
Festmarch.

Works performed by:
Aalborg SO, Bo Holten.

Reesen was a very versatile composer, who had a perfect command of all genres in his time. And I mean that in the broadest sense. Still on this CD modernity is hardly an issue, for all the compositions on this disc are perfectly adaptable to all lovers of tonal Danish music. Nothing to upset you, but the chance to hear a composer that adapts well in the given circumstances. He was not much appreciated in his own country, but as so many before him and after got a huge following in Germany. There was an enormous appetite for Scandinavian music, and certainly when it came in quality/quantity as with Reesen. Orchestrating came easily and quickly at his aid when necessary, or to help his friend Carl Nielsen orchestrating for him. He could call Knudåge Riisager for 2 hours and fight with him, and orchestrate at the same time a complicated piece!  The outcome in both cases was phenomenal.
It's a mix of light classical music and more ambitious pieces, but they all share the high quality of scoring. Reesen makes everything sound as if they were masterpieces in their own right, and many of them are. I was quite impressed by Himmerland, a perfect example of what he was capable of.
Anyways he was much respected by his fellow composers, and a large group of loyal followers in his lifetime, but that did not stop people to forget him totally. Electronic music made its first steps into the world at 1964, and so his music was seen as obsolete. But, let that not deter you from sampling his music, you might be pleasantly surprised.
The recording is pretty good as is the performance.


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