Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Irgens Jensen, Ludvig. (1894-1969) Symphonic Works. Top recommendation.

New acquisition.
Bought in June 2017.
First listen: 27-6-2017.
Label: CPO
CD 2 from 2.
Recording dates: August 2009.
Recording venue: Olavshallen, Trondheim, Norway.
Recording engineer: Stephan Reh.
Running time: 64:32.
Relevance to me: Essential.

Works performed:
Sinfonia in d.
Rondo Marziale (third movement of the Symphony)
Passacaglia.

Works performed by:
Trondheim SO, Eivind Aadland.

The performances on the second disc are as impressive as the first disc. As an interpretation and recording this release goes further in all points as the Naxos disc, of which I spoke in an earlier review. And while the Bournemouth SO under Bjarte Engeset give a good account of the Sinfonie and Passacaglia, Aadland finds more passion and drive in these works, and has the bonus of the Rondo Marziale, which is a very impressive movement. As a added bonus it is better recorded too. Irgen-Jensen is a recent discovery for me, and I am still amazed what a fine composer he is. The intricate textures Jensen weaves has a luminosity beyond what I ever expected. I find it to be spellbounding in every aspect. He conjures and maintains an atmosphere of a magical spectral quality, with an intense expressivity and quite an emotional directness that grabs you immediately. There is an passionate vitality creating a tonal bloom which gives you a feeling of oneness with the music, highly engaging. Especially the Passacaglia is a powerhouse of forceful emotion which has its dark sides, but is outreaching to communicate. This considerable intensity makes for a deeply felt experience.  The Rondo marziale came as a welcome surprise, so well it is composed, that it remains a mystery why he took it out of the context of the Symphony. There is a visionary and daunting quality, disquieting even with its unnerving shifts of perspective. The Sinfonia in d minor is in every aspect a masterwork in two movements. It deploys a huge range of colours with many spiritualized elements. There is always a quiet sustained tension, but also bold gestures in both movements. The energy and variety is almost palpable. Illuminative, fascinating, superbly responsive music. 
The recording and performance are superb.



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