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Ole Schmidt
Symphony No. 1, Op. 14a
1. Allegro moderato
2. Allegro molto
3. Allegro

Vagn Holmboe
4. Monolith, Op. 76

Gunnar Berg
5. Hymnos for string orchestra

Niels Viggo Bentzon
6. Symphonic Variations, Op. 92

Carl Nielsen
Flute Concerto
7. Allegro moderato
8. Andante –
9. Allegretto

Hans Werner Henze
Nachtstücke und Arien
1. Nachtstück I
2. Aria I. Wohin wir uns wenden im Gewitter der Rosen
3. Nachtstück II
4. Aria II. Mit schlaftrunkenen Vögln
5. Nachtstück III

Arthur Honegger
Symphony No. 5 ‘Di tre re’
6. Grave
7. Allegretto – Adagio – Allegretto – Adagio – Allegretto
8. Allegro marcato

Carl Nielsen
Saul and David
9. Prelude, Act 2

Moderen (The Mother, 1920)
10. Prelude, Scene 7

11. Hanedans (Dance of the Cockerel)

Sergei Prokofiev
Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 63
12. Allegro moderato
13. Andante assai
14. Allegro, ben marcato

Thomas Jensen Legacy, Vol. 14 ©
By Martin Granau/Peter Quantrill

This album features Jensen conducting contemporary and recently composed works from previously unreleased live concerts. CD 1 begins with the premiere of the Symphony by Ole Schmidt (1928-2010), which took place within the annual Danish Ballet and Music Festival in 1957. Schmidt was born in Copenhagen and studied at the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music, where he was taught composition by Vagn Holmboe. He made his debut as a composer and conductor in 1955 and in due course became known both at home and abroad as one of Denmark’s most talented conductors. He held positions with the Aarhus City Orchestra, the Symphoniker Hamburg, Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and the LSO, with whom he recorded the first complete set of Nielsen’s symphonies a few months before Herbert Blomstedt recorded them with the DRSO.

Schmidt composed over 200 works, including a good deal for stage, film and TV. Much later in his career he was co-commissioned with the Swedish composer Gunnar Jansson to write a symphony inspired by the straits of Øresund between Denmark and Sweden, but this Symphony of 1956 – all his own work, as it were belongs to the chronologically brief but significant lineage of three-movement symphonies which sprang up across Europe and the US during the middle of the last century. Stravinsky, Britten, Honegger, Martinů and others found the form congenial at a time when the symphony as an abstract summation of human experience was undergoing a period of renewal.

Accordingly, Schmidt’s own language at the time looked towards the rest of Europe rather than inwards to a post-Nielsen tradition. In its oscillation between quiet and sensual passages and large and violent outbursts, the Symphony corresponds to several pieces by Niels Viggo Bentzon (1919-2000) such as the First Violin Concerto (presented in Volume 10 of this series) and the Symphonic Variations Op 92 (1953). Bentzon was an outstanding pianist and improviser, a fluent ‘producer’ of music, and these qualities manifest themselves in the angular Molto moderato theme and 10 variations which unfold with a Brahmsian handling of counterpoint and contrast, cast in wind-saturated textures reminiscent of Hindemith.

Vagn Holmboe was born in Horsens and graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Music at a time when Nielsen’s shadow still loomed large over Danish music. In his life and work he occupies a transitory phase between Nielsen and the innovative modernists of the 60s and 70s such as Per Nørgård and Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen. Monolith is the second orchestral work later compiled by Holmboe within a quartet of ‘Symphonic Metamorphoses’, in demonstration of a technique distinct from both Bentzon’s ‘metamorphoses’ and Nørgård’s ‘infinity series’. He explained it thus: ‘The metamorphic element is based on a process of development which transforms the musical material into something different without it losing its identity, its fundamental characteristics. Metamorphic music is, therefore, by its very nature characterized by a unity which, inter olla, expresses the fact that conflicts, however powerful they may be, are always built of the same material and that contrasts can very well be complementary though not dualistic. Taking its point of departure in a complex of motifs, rhythms and sonorities, or in a series in which simple elements are musically recognizable, the transformation that takes place can be recognized and understood as a metamorphosis.’

RELEASE DATE:  July 2022


EAN: 5709499924006