Friday, May 26, 2017

Norman, Ludvig. (1831-1885) Symphony No. 1 & 3. World Premiere recordings.

From my collection.
Bought in 2012.
First listen: 12-12-2012.
Second listen: 26-5-2017.
Label: Sterling.
Recording dates: September 1999.
Recording venue: Studio M la SABC, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Recording engineer: Evert de Munnik.
Running time: 59:43.
Relevance to me: Mildly interesting.

Works performed:
Symphony No. 1 in F major, opus 22. (1857-59)
Symphony No. 3 in D minor, opus 58. (1881)

Works performed by:
National SO of South Africa, Mika Eichenholz.

A South African orchestra playing music of a Swedish composer, sounded like an interesting adventure. It is the only recording I have with this orchestra and conductor, and this composer is also a first for me, but that may be caused by the fact that he is totally forgotten and hardly recorded or mentioned in the musical history of Sweden. It is claimed in the booklet that he was one of the leading figures in 19th century Swedish music. That may be, but all his work and activity did not keep him in the musical minds of the public. And on the basis of both symphonies I am inclined to think this is only natural. His music is to a certain extent melodious, albeit not very inventive. Noteworthy are the Finale of the first symphony that seems to have a concentration of many creative ideas, and the third movement of No. 3 that starts very promising, but loses itself into a freefall of mediocrity. If you want a musical bearings, it has to be Niels Gade ( 1817-1890), or Franz Berwald (1796-1868). There is in the first Symphony a touch of Robert Schumann, but that is about all. Norman has his own voice, be it quite feeble. I liked his music, but it did not make an impression. The orchestra plays the music admirably, well drilled by Mika Eichenholz, but it cannot lift the music any further as the quality allows. The recording is good, but at times a bit cavernous.
As an interesting side note I should mention that he was a one time married to Wilma Neruda, who after the death of Norman in 1888, married Sir Charles Hallé. She was a famous violinist,  and inspired a whole lot of girls to take up violin playing. She was a professional musician in a time, when it was not normal for women to be.





Graupner, Christoph. (1683-1760. Partitas for Harpsichord, Volume 4.

New acquisition. Date of purchase: July 2017. First listen: 21-7-2017. Label: Analekta. Recording dates: June 2004 Recording venue: ...