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Hallgrimsson: Cello Concerto, Herma / Truls Otterbech Mork, John Storgårds, Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Album Summary

>Hallgrímsson, Haflidi : Concerto for Cello, Op. 30
>Hallgrímsson, Haflidi : Herma for Cello and String Orchestra, Op. 17
Performer Conductor Ensemble
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Notes & Reviews:

The celebrated Norwegian cellist Truls Mork is known as a tireless champion of the best contemporary music. On this release, he portrays the Icelandic composer Haflioi Hallgrimsson - himself a professional cellist - with his two works for cello and orchestra, and is joined by the forces of the remarkable Scottish Chamber Orchestra under the direction of John Storgards. This CD includes the first commercial recording of the Cello Concerto, which Hallgrimsson dedicated to Mork in 2003. He has championed the work in a number of performances across Europe to great acclaim. The Times calls it, "a remarkable new addition to the cello repertoire... one of [Hallgrimsson's] finest work to date."

Haflidi Hallgrímsson was himself a cellist, and these two works reflect his utter confidence in writing for the instrument. The Cello Concerto is a major addition to the modern repertoire; it is wholly modern in style, full of beautiful writing for both soloist and orchestra, and it never sounds as if the tonal or more approachable bits have been tossed in as a sop to conservative listeners. It's all of a piece, a seamless flow half an hour long full of contrast and color. My only reservation, a small one, both here and in Herma, concerns the fact that there's a lot of slow music here. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, except that you have to accept that the traditional dramatic dialog typical of the solo concerto doesn't seem to be a major aspect of Hallgrímsson's design. Forewarned is forearmed: this is good music.

Sunday Times
Mork revels in the lavish solo writing, while Storgards elicits from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra playing of the highest order.

The Telegraph
What might a cello concerto by an Icelandic composer be like? Melancholy and brooding, with flecks of light like sun on a cold sea? If that's your expectation, this CD will not disappoint...Mørk's cello playing, delicate yet forceful, is a treat in itself.

Gramophone Magazine
The Mørk projects the close-knit solo writing with his customary finesse, and he is no less insightful in the Cello Concerto (2003) dedicated to him. ... the Scottish Chamber Orchestra... respond with alacrity to the assured direction of John Storgårds. Excellent sound and decent notes help make this a disc worth investigating by those who have enjoyed Halgrímsson's understated individuality.


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Works Details

>Haflidi Hallgrímsson (1941 - ) : Concerto for Cello, Op. 30
  • Performer: Truls Truls Mork (Cello)
  • Conductor: John Storgårds
  • Notes: Edinburgh, Greyfriars Church (04/12/2007-04/14/2007)
  • Running Time: 29 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2003

>Haflidi Hallgrímsson (1941 - ) : Herma for Cello and String Orchestra, Op. 17
  • Performer: Truls Truls Mork (Cello)
  • Conductor: John Storgårds
  • Notes: Edinburgh, Greyfriars Church (04/12/2007-04/14/2007)
  • Running Time: 28 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary