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Johan Halvorsen: Orchestral Works, Vol. 1 / Neeme Järvi

Album Summary

>Halvorsen, Johan : Entry March of the Boyars (Bojarernes Indtogsmarsch), for orchestra
>Halvorsen, Johan : Andante Religioso for violin & orchestra
>Halvorsen, Johan : Mascarade Suite
>Halvorsen, Johan : La Melancolie, for string orchestra (after Ole Bull's "Lament")
>Halvorsen, Johan : Symphony no 1 in C minor
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Halvorsen's music is one of the best kept secrets of Norway; he was not only an accomplished violinist and conductor, (he was in fact conductor of Bergen Philharmonic in 1885-1886) he was also among the most prominent Norwegian composers in the generation following Edvard Grieg. His compositions develop the national Romantic tradition of his friends Grieg and Svendsen, but his was a distinctive style marked by brilliant orchestration inspired by the French Romantic composers.

"It's good to see Neeme Jarvi back on Chandos, working in top form, and it's even better to see the label starting a new project that promises to be delightfully worthy of collectors' attention and true to its roots in interesting Romantic repertoire. As a composer, Johan Halvorsen (1864-1935) is seriously underestimated...If you enjoy, say, Borodin's Second, then you're going to love this immaculately crafted, tuneful, and melodically memorable piece [Symphony No. 1]... Jarvi is back to his old exciting, vigorous self, and the orchestra plays with total commitment and enthusiasm. Great sound too. A terrific release." - Classics Today (10/10)

"Järvi has Beecham's gift in making the merely worthy sound exceptional and so it proves with the symphony, written for Halvorsen's own pleasure...The performances throughout are top-notch and Chandos's sound is of demonstration quality." -Gramophone Magazine

"This disc is a winner, and demonstrates that Halvorsen deserves much better than to be known only as the composer of a good march. As a tunesmith he is close to Grieg and deserves wider recognition outside Norway. Neeme Järvi is one of the best conductors around and the Bergen Philharmonic responds magnificently to his baton. A most enjoyable disc." -MusicWeb-International

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Grieghallen, Bergen, Norway (08/24/2009-09/02/2009).



Reviews

2nd tier Norwegian composer
A great violin virtuoso, Johan Halvorsen has been pretty much overshadowed by his countryman Edward Grieg in the pantheon of Norwegian composers. In his day Halvorsen was acclaimed for his skills as a violinist and made a name for himself as a composer of theater music. There’s a generous sampling of his theater music as well as a symphony and two pieces for violin and orchestra on this recording. One of Halvorsen’s most famous works, the Entry March of the Boyars, opens the recording. It’s a fun bit of fluff that boasts some colorful orchestration and features a particularly effusive triangle part. If you like splashy orchestral vulgarity, this is the piece for you. The Andante religoso and La Mélancolie are works for violin and orchestra that are little puffs of air that don’t make a case for Halvorsen’s skills as a fiddle virtuoso, but do mark him as a purveyor of top-drawer schmaltz. The extended theater work is a Suite from Mascarade (a comedy by Holberg). Once again, Halvorsen’s vivid orchestral palette is highlighted and there are a couple of pleasant tunes, but it mostly reminded me of second-rate 19th century ballet music. On the other hand, the Symphony No. 1 in C minor is quite good. Halvorsen muzzles his vulgar tendencies and delivers a warmly Romantic work that really deserves wider recognition. Fans of Tchaikovsky and Dvorak will love it. Neeme Järvi leads the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in outstanding performances that honor the music much than it deserves.
Submitted on 05/10/10 by Craig Zeichner 
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Works Details

>Halvorsen, Johan : Entry March of the Boyars (Bojarernes Indtogsmarsch), for orchestra
  • Conductor: Neeme Järvi
  • Ensemble: Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Grieghallen, Bergen, Norway (08/24/2009-09/02/2009)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: March
  • Written: 1895

>Halvorsen, Johan : Andante Religioso for violin & orchestra
  • Performer: Marianne Thorsen (Violin)
  • Conductor: Neeme Järvi
  • Ensemble: Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Grieghallen, Bergen, Norway (08/24/2009-09/02/2009)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Concerto

>Halvorsen, Johan : Mascarade Suite
  • Conductor: Neeme Järvi
  • Ensemble: Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Grieghallen, Bergen, Norway (08/24/2009-09/02/2009)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Halvorsen, Johan : La Mélancolie, for string orchestra (after Ole Bull's "Lament")
  • Performer: Melina Mandozzi (Violin)
  • Conductor: Neeme Järvi
  • Ensemble: Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Grieghallen, Bergen, Norway (08/24/2009-09/02/2009)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Halvorsen, Johan : Symphony no 1 in C minor
  • Conductor: Neeme Järvi
  • Ensemble: Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Grieghallen, Bergen, Norway (08/24/2009-09/02/2009)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 55 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral