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Anders Koppel: Marimba Concertos / Marianna Bednarska, marimba; Anders Koppel, composer; Aalborg Symphony Orchestra; Christensen

Album Summary

>Koppel, Anders : Concerto no 1 for marimba & orchestra
>Koppel, Anders : Concerto for marimba & string orchestra no 2
>Koppel, Anders : Concerto for marimba & orchestra no 3 ("Linzer")
>Koppel, Anders : Concerto for marimba & orchestra no 4 ("In Memory of Things Transient")
>Koppel, Anders : P.S. to a Concerto, for marimba
Performer Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

With his four concertos for marimba the Danish composer Anders Koppel (b. 1947) has played a crucial role in the development of a concert repertoire for this distinctive sounding instrument. His concertos have been performed by virtuoso percussionists all over the world, but for this premiere recording the composer has personally selected a special soloist - here making her CD debut - the young Polish marimba player Marianna Bednarska, who finds herself accompanied by the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra an conductor Henrik Vagn Christensen. The young Ms. Bednarska is already a well-recognized percussionist. She has won 19 first prizes in national and international percussion competitions, the most important the marimba competitions in Paris (2009), Fermo (Italy 2008) and the Percussion Competition in Plovdiv (Bulgaria 2007), where she also received a Special Prize, and in several percussion competitions in Poland. In 2013 Ms. Bednarska was awarded the ‘Polish-Danish Friendship Prize’ for her close connection with Danish musical life, culminating in the CD recording presently under consideration.

American Record Guide, March/April 2015
The concertos are constantly appealing; even if most people get their expressive kicks from the violin, cello, and piano mainstays. The last movement of the Third has Koppel sounding much more comfortable and confident. The playing is unimpeachable, and the sound is spacious. Notes are in English and Danish.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Aalborg Symfonien, Aalborg, Denmark (2013-06-24_2013-06-28&2012-).



Reviews

Welcome additions to the repertoire

The marimba is often an instrument of cliché, primarily because of its close association with Latino pop music (think: Baja Marimba Band). Danish composer Anders Koppel approaches the instrument from a slightly different direction. Some if it may be due to his nationality, some because of his background as a successful rock instrumentalist and jazz performer.

Whatever the reason, Koppel's four marimba concertos sound fresh, exciting, and accessible. And that makes them welcome additions to the repertoire. Although each work has its own characteristics, there are some stylistic similarities that bind them together. In all of them the soloist and ensemble are equal partners, sharing center stage throughout the work.

Koppel's concertos all have a strong rhythmic element. Sometimes it's rock-inspired, sometimes jazzy, but always strongly centered in the classical realm. The soloist (Marianna Bednarska) is always challenged. The music skips across the marimba's keyboard, making great demands on the speed, accuracy and musicality of the performer. Bednarska delivers on all counts.

For me, it's a treat to hear these through an SACD player. A marimba with rosewood keys has a very rich sound, and (in the lower register) notes have a long decay. Some of the expressive nature of music is in those very subtle musical details -- details that I could only hear from the SACD version.
Submitted on 06/12/15 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>Koppel, Anders : Concerto no 1 for marimba & orchestra
  • Performer: Marianna Bednarska (Marimba)
  • Conductor: Henrik Christensen
  • Ensemble: Aalborg Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Aalborg Symfonien, Aalborg, Denmark (2013-06-24_2013-06-28&2012-)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1995

>Koppel, Anders : Concerto for marimba & string orchestra no 2
  • Performer: Marianna Bednarska (Marimba)
  • Conductor: Henrik Christensen
  • Notes: Aalborg Symfonien, Aalborg, Denmark (2013-06-24_2013-06-28&2012-)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 2000

>Koppel, Anders : Concerto for marimba & orchestra no 3 ("Linzer")
  • Performer: Marianna Bednarska (Marimba)
  • Conductor: Henrik Christensen
  • Notes: Aalborg Symfonien, Aalborg, Denmark (2013-06-24_2013-06-28&2012-)
  • Running Time: 18 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 2002

>Koppel, Anders : Concerto for marimba & orchestra no 4 ("In Memory of Things Transient")
  • Performer: Marianna Bednarska (Marimba)
  • Conductor: Henrik Christensen
  • Notes: Aalborg Symfonien, Aalborg, Denmark (2013-06-24_2013-06-28&2012-)
  • Running Time: 22 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 2006

>Koppel, Anders : P.S. to a Concerto, for marimba
  • Performer: Marianna Bednarska (Marimba)
  • Notes: Aalborg Symfonien, Aalborg, Denmark (2013-06-24_2013-06-28&2012-)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1995