1 800 222 6872

Knudage Riisager: Symphonic Edition, Vol. 1 / Bo Holten

> Erasmus Montanus, Op. 1, "Danish Pictures No. 1" - Erasmus Montanus, Op. 1, "Danish Pictures No. 1"
> Klods Hans (Jack the Dullard), Op. 18, "Danish Pictures No. 2" - Klods Hans (Jack the Dullard), Op. 18, "Danish Pictures No. 2"
> Symphony No. 1, Op. 8 - I. Allegro ritmico e con brio
> Symphony No. 1, Op. 8 - II. Andante recitativo
> Symphony No. 1, Op. 8 - III. Allegro focoso
> Comoedie, Op. 21, "Danish Pictures No. 4" - Comoedie, Op. 21, "Danish Pictures No. 4"
> Fastelavn (Carnival), Op. 20, "Danish Pictures No. 3" - Fastelavn (Carnival), Op. 20, "Danish Pictures No. 3"

Album Summary

>Riisager, Knudåge : Erasmus Montanus, overture for orchestra, Op. 1 (Danish Pictures no 1)
>Riisager, Knudåge : Klods Hans, for orchestra, Op. 18 (Danish Pictures no 2)
>Riisager, Knudåge : Symphony no 1, Op. 8
>Riisager, Knudåge : Comoedie, for orchestra, Op. 21 (Danish Pictures no 4)
>Riisager, Knudåge : Fastelavn, for orchestra, Op. 20 (Danish Pictures no 3)
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

For my money, Riisager is Denmark's finest composer after Nielsen ... This release does Riisager proud. DISC OF THE MONTH (ClassicsToday.com on 8.226022) This is a brilliantly orchestrated and balanced music - moving forward in a disciplined blizzard of detail... add Riisager to your 'to be investigated' list. (MusicWeb International on 8.226022) The music is a kick. (Audiophile Audition on 6.220527)

"Knudage Riisager was a born orchestral composer, and he seemed to understand exactly what kind of writing best suited his natural proclivities. The occasional sudden dissonance, sardonic brass commentary, bright woodwinds, and high-lying violin ostinatos all suggest comedy, and in the four overtures, especially Klods Hans (translated here as "Jack the Dullard") that's exactly what we get. You might think of Riisager as the Danish Malcolm Arnold, without the bitterness and melodrama. The music is rhythmically vivacious, full of good tunes, and wonderfully scored, even without special coloristic effects. Right from Riisager's Op. 1, the overture Erasmus Montanus, you can hear in the brass chording his splendid feel for sonority. The First Symphony is a perky, three-movement piece that contemporary critics described as Stravinsky mixed with Puccini, but to modern ears it sounds like neither. It is indeed cast clearly in a neo-classical mode, and there's not a shred of obvious Scandinavian sound--amazing for the date of composition (1925), when Nielsen's influence was strongest in Danish music. It's not perfect--the outer movements could be better sustained--but the sheer charm of the work's ideas carries the day. The performances in this first volume of a projected series of Riisager's symphonic works are first-rate, and so is the engineering. Bo Holten and his players clearly relish the music's color and energy, and I can only welcome this release with great enthusiasm and high hopes for the series as a whole." -Classics Today (10/10)

Gramophone
None of these pieces is exactly easy to play, the more so since none is in any orchestra's repertoire... The +arhus Symphony Orchestra acquits itself bravely under Bo Holten's firm direction and, as usual from this source, recording quality and documentation are first-rate.

MusicWeb International
This is a pleasing collection and bodes well for the later volumes.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Symphonic Hall, Musikhuset Aarhus (02/21/2011); Symphonic Hall, Musikhuset Aarhus (09/14/2010-09/18/2010).



Reviews

Riisager Symphonic Edition vol. 1
The Estonian-born Danish composer Knudage Riisager (1897-1974) was a pioneer of the Neo-Classicist style in his native country, yet he is probably unkown to most concert-goers outside Denmark. His music seems virtually never to be programmed in England or the USA, but perhaps concerts in the Scandinavian and Baltic countries feature his works. For those interested in exploring beyond the neoclassical world of Busoni, Francaix, Hindemith, Prokofiev, Satie, and Stravinsky, this CD music offers an opportunity to sample some of Riisager's early works; all were composed between 1918 and 1930. His First Symphony (1925) is described as virtuosic, and his "Four Danish Pictures," published as four separate works, each with its own opus number, are both lively and humorous. This CD is billed as "The Symphonic Edition, Volume 1," implies that further volumes will follow. Conductor Bo Holten coaxes sympathetic, detailed playing from the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra members, and the recorded sound is excellent.
Recommended for adventurous neoclassical-period lovers! For those wishing to sample the music of Riisager before buying this CD, examples of a few of his compositions are available on the Internet.
Ted Wilks
Submitted on 11/20/11 by Ted Wilks 
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Works Details

>Knudåge Riisager (1897 - 1974) : Erasmus Montanus, overture for orchestra, Op. 1 (Danish Pictures no 1)
  • Conductor: Bo Holten
  • Ensemble: Aarhus Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Symphonic Hall, Musikhuset Aarhus (09/14/2010-09/18/2010)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1920

>Knudåge Riisager (1897 - 1974) : Klods Hans, for orchestra, Op. 18 (Danish Pictures no 2)
  • Conductor: Bo Holten
  • Ensemble: Aarhus Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Symphonic Hall, Musikhuset Aarhus (09/14/2010-09/18/2010)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1929

>Knudåge Riisager (1897 - 1974) : Symphony no 1, Op. 8
  • Conductor: Bo Holten
  • Ensemble: Aarhus Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Symphonic Hall, Musikhuset Aarhus (09/14/2010-09/18/2010)
  • Running Time: 24 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1925

>Knudåge Riisager (1897 - 1974) : Comoedie, for orchestra, Op. 21 (Danish Pictures no 4)
  • Conductor: Bo Holten
  • Ensemble: Aarhus Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 9 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1930

>Knudåge Riisager (1897 - 1974) : Fastelavn, for orchestra, Op. 20 (Danish Pictures no 3)
  • Conductor: Bo Holten
  • Ensemble: Aarhus Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Symphonic Hall, Musikhuset Aarhus (09/14/2010-09/18/2010)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1930