Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Halvorsen, Johan. (1864-1935) Orchestral Works, Volume 4.

From my collection.
Bought in 2012.
First listen: 26-2-2014.
Second listen: 3-5-2017.
Label: Chandos.
Recording dates: September 2010 and August 2011.
Recording venue: Grieghallen, Bergen Norway.
Recording engineer: Ralph Couzens.
Running time:: 72:53.
Relevance to me: Essential.

Works.
Norwegian Rhapsody No. 1 and 2.
Norwegian Bridal procession. 
Passacaglia, opus 20, No. 2, Duo for Violin and Viola.
Dance Scene from Queen Tamara, Oriental Character Piece for Orchestra.
Symphonic intermezzo from The King, from the music, opus 19, to the play Kongen.
Norwegian Festival overture, opus 16, for orchestra.
Norwegian Fairy Tale Pictures.

Performers.
Melina Mandozzi, Violin.
Olze Klava, Viola.
Bergen PO, Neeme Jarvi.

This CD is certainly filled with some of Halvorsen's best compositions. Especially the Norwegian Fairy Tale Pictures. It is so rich in orchestral detail, that it dazzled me, just comprehending all what was going on. Scoring like this is not often on my musical plate. Being confronted with such irresistible and creative power of this composer is a brilliant experience. The Passacaglia scored for Violin and Viola, creates a perfect balance, oozing sensuousness, and is almost a vivid flirtation with each other. The Symphonic Intermezzo from the King, has a particular strength in it's expression, creating a fine picturesque imaginary spectacle, so well defined by some deft writing in the strings. I love both Norwegian Dances, expressive, with a natural exuberance and freedom defining the very essence of folk dance music. There is not a piece on this disc which is not charismatic. The performances are radiant and display some swift shimmering string writing, that is so typical of Halvorsen's compositions. Energetic and expressive performances, recorded in State of the Art sound. Nothing more to wish for.



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