Notes & Reviews:
Conductor Neeme Ja¨rvi and the Bergen Philharmonic have lifted the lid on one of Norway's best-kept musical secrets with their series devoted to the orchestral works of Johan Halvorsen (1864-1935); this four-disc set brings their recordings together for the first time. Johan Halvorsen was among the most prominent Norwegian musical figures of his day, not only as one of his generation's leading composers but also as violinist and conductor. His compositions further the national Norwegian romantic tradition of his friends Grieg and Svendsen, but his was a distinctive style marked by brilliant orchestration that the French romantic composers of the time found inspiration in. Many of the works in the series reflect Halvorsen's long association with the theatre, which also includes his output in more traditional genres. Halvorsen composed his three symphonies late in his career, the first coming at age fifty-nine (!); they are strongly in the mould of late romantic composers such as Tchaikovsky, Dvor?ak and Svendsen.
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Zemlinsky: Die Seejungfrau, Psalm 13 / Chailly, RSO Berlin
Gordon Getty: Plump Jack / Melody Moore; Susanne Mentzer, Nikolai Schukoff, Lester Lynch
Frank Bridge: Orchestral Works - The Collector's Edition / Connolly, Langridge, Gerhardt, Hickox
Prokofiev: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6 / Sakari Oramo, Finnish Radio SO
Gordon Getty: Piano Pieces / Conrad Tao, piano
Verdi at the Met, classic live performances from 1935 - 1967 [20 CDs]
Tuomas Kantelinen (b.1969): Lumikuningatar; The Snow Queen, ballet suite / Tuomas Kantelinen
Alexander Zemlinsky: The Chalk Circle, opera / Renate Behle, Gabriele Schreckenbach, Roland Hermann, Siegfried Lorenz. Berlin RSO, Soltesz
Franz Schmidt: Works for piano left hand & orchestra / Karl-Andreas Kolly, piano