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Vagn Holmboe: Chamber Symphonies nos 1 - 3 / Lapland CO

Audio Samples

>Holmboe, Vagn : Chamber Symphony no 1, Op. 53
>Holmboe, Vagn : Chamber Symphony no 2 ("Elegy"), Op. 100
>Holmboe, Vagn : Chamber Symphony no 3 ("Frise", "Frieze"), Op. 103a

Album Summary

>Holmboe, Vagn : Chamber Symphony no 1, Op. 53
>Holmboe, Vagn : Chamber Symphony no 2 ("Elegy"), Op. 100
>Holmboe, Vagn : Chamber Symphony no 3 ("Frise", "Frieze"), Op. 103a
Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

World Premiere Recordings! Vagn Holmboe's three chamber symphonies span the period when the Danish composer immersed himself in symphonic works; they are a fine demonstration of his preoccupation with the processes of nature and the idea of musical metamorphosis. Lapland Chamber Orchestra and its conductor John Storgårds focus on Vagn Holmboe's clear musical expression in three major works that have never been recorded.

American Record Guide, November/December 2012
The sound is clear but not dry; the playing is intense and emphatic, just a shade too serious sometimes. Notes in English and Danish.

Expedition Audio Recommended
... The performances sound perfectly natural and the first-rate musicians of the Lapland Chamber Orchestra under conductor John Storgards clearly make technical as well as artistic sense of these works. Is the music challenging to listen to? Only so much as, say, Bartok's Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, and if you enjoy this, there's plenty more of Vagn Holmboe's music on CD for you to explore. ... read more ...

National Public Radio
... energetic performances of [Holmboe's] three chamber symphonies with Jan Storgårds leading the agile Lapland Chamber Orchestra. Holmboe's music can be austere with melancholy or buoyant with color, but is always expertly crafted.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Rovaniemi Church (03/31/2011/04/01/2011).



Reviews

Essential Holmboe
Among its many other attributes, Danish composer Vagn Holmboe’s music is distinguished by its inherent dualities. It’s neo-classical, yet imparts a modern sensibility. It’s structured, yet doesn’t feel rigid. It’s cool and detached, but harbors deep emotional resonance. All these internal tensions contribute to a singular voice that in my estimation makes Holmboe one of the 20th century’s greatest composers. His three chamber symphonies, making their first recorded appearance on this CD, offer compelling testament to the consistency and clarity of his vision. Much has been written about Holmboe’s use of metamorphosis as a guiding compositional principle. The intriguing development of his various themes and motifs, expressed in attractively rounded melodic contours, has the effect of sweeping the listener along a fluid narrative stream of considerable beauty. The first chamber symphony, written in 1951, is robust and straightforward, expressive and lyrical. The second and third, written some two decades later, are more complex, more restless, more elegiac. The allegro movements are marked by a remarkably controlled rhythmic drive and beguiling polyphony, while the slower passages are infused with a kind of ascendant intensity that is at once spiritual and organic. The Lapland Chamber Orchestra evokes the essential character of Holmboe’s music in brilliantly nuanced, emotionally expressive performances. This should be a compulsory addition to every classical music lover’s library.
Submitted on 07/03/12 by Dean Brierly 
Miniature Gems
I wasn’t that familiar with Vagn Holmboe’s music before I received this collection of his chamber symphonies. But after listening to them for a while, I would definitely like to explore the repertoire of this Danish composer further.

Written in 1951, the first of Holmboe’s three chamber symphonies shows a composer in full command of his material. 1 somewhat spare and lean at the beginning, building inexorably as it moves towards its big climax at near the end of the work, before finishing quietly with a reappearance of material from the opening movement.

The second chamber symphony is subtitled “Elegy.” Overall it’s a quiet, atmospheric work. Holmboe makes effective use of mallet percussion instruments, especially the vibraphone, which brings a hint of unearthliness to the mix. Holmboe was a conservative composer, using a primarily tonal language, but the somber harmonies and downward-turning chromatic melodic motifs almost sound atonal.

Holbmoe’s third chamber symphony, “Frise” is actually an orchestration of a choral work of the same name. Both were written to commemorate the unveiling a new frieze at a school. Although technically an occasional work, it’s much more substantial than just a “grand opening” fanfare. Holmboe digs deep into the ensemble, bringing instruments to the fore in groups of two and three to spotlight a melody. It’s a kaleidoscope of instrumental timbres changing in slow motion. The work has six movements, which, with a playing time of about 20 minutes, gives it a somewhat episodic quality and sounding very different in character than the first two works on the disc.

John Storgards leads the Lapland Chamber Orchestra in a compelling reading of these works. The performances sound fresh and engaging – even more so when played on an SACD player.
Submitted on 08/01/12 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>Holmboe, Vagn : Chamber Symphony no 1, Op. 53
  • Conductor: John Storgårds
  • Ensemble: Lapland Chamber Orchestra
  • Notes: Rovaniemi Church (03/31/2011/04/01/2011)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1951

>Holmboe, Vagn : Chamber Symphony no 2 ("Elegy"), Op. 100
  • Conductor: John Storgårds
  • Notes: Rovaniemi Church (03/31/2011/04/01/2011)
  • Running Time: 28 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1968

>Holmboe, Vagn : Chamber Symphony no 3 ("Frise", "Frieze"), Op. 103a
  • Conductor: John Storgårds
  • Notes: Rovaniemi Church (03/31/2011/04/01/2011)
  • Running Time: 22 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1969-1970