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Leifs: Dettifoss, Organ Concerto, etc / Shao, Iceland SO

Album Summary

>Leifs, Jón : Concerto for organ & orchestra, Op. 7
>Leifs, Jón : Variations on a Theme by Ludwig van Beethoven, Op. 8
>Leifs, Jón : Fine II, Op. 56
>Leifs, Jón : Dettifoss, for orchestra, mixed choir and baritone, Op. 57
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Received at its 1935 premiere in a Naziarranged Nordic music festival, Leifs' Organ Concerto was execrated later once the Jewish connections of Leifs's wife had become known. A piece long heard-of but unheard, this performance reveals the concerto to be a truly original utterance. Björn Steinar Sólbergsson gives a consummate rendition of what sounds like a monstrously difficult solo part. The orchestra is given music of unusual delicacy (for this composer) in the Variazioni pastorale (on a theme from Beethoven's Serenade, also Op 8), though the pastoralism is more redolent of Roy Harris than Beethoven. In this work, also completed in 1930, Leifs's real voice again emerges gradually, and the return of Beethoven's theme at the close is wonderfully surreal - though the tonal framework remains more conventional than in the later works. Fine II (1963) is one of two orchestral endings Leifs penned for his unfinished Edda oratorio, Twilight of the Gods. Dettifoss (1964) is the third of Leifs's tone paintings (the others are Geysir and Hekla) of Icelandic natural wonders, though here he conceived of a dialogue between poet Einar Benediktsson and the huge waterfall rather than straight depiction. Thumpingly good performances from all concerned, captured in spectacular sound to match the landscape.



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Works Details

>Jón Leifs (1899 - 1968) : Concerto for organ & orchestra, Op. 7
  • Conductor: En Shao
  • Ensemble: Iceland Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 2 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 07/1930

>Jón Leifs (1899 - 1968) : Variations on a Theme by Ludwig van Beethoven, Op. 8
  • Conductor: En Shao
  • Ensemble: Iceland Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 1 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Jón Leifs (1899 - 1968) : Fine II, Op. 56
  • Conductor: En Shao
  • Ensemble: Iceland Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 6 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Jón Leifs (1899 - 1968) : Dettifoss, for orchestra, mixed choir and baritone, Op. 57
  • Conductor: En Shao
  • Ensemble: Iceland Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 17 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern