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Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Violin Concerto in D, Op. 35
1. I. Allegro moderato
2. II. Canzonetta, Andante
3. III. Finale: Allegro vivacissimo

Johannes Brahms
Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98
4. I. Allegro non troppo
5. II. Andante moderato
6. III. Allegro giocoso – poco meno presto Tempo I
7. IV. Allegro energico e passionato – Più allegro

CD 2

Johannes Brahms
Ein deutsches Requiem, Op 45
1. I. Selig sind, die da Leid tragen
2. II. Denn alles Fleisch es ist wie Gras
3. III. Herr, lehre doch mich
4. IV. Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen
5. V. Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit
6. VI. Denn wir haben hie keine bleibende Statt
7. VII. Selig sind die Toten

Thomas Jensen Legacy, Vol. 3
By Martin Granau/Peter Quantrill

Volume 3 of this Thomas Jensen series presents the DRSO in three cornerstones of the central Romantic repertoire. Holm had regarded the performance of such works as essential in building a strong identity for the orchestra and establishing a native culture of excellence to the benefit of both the musicians and their audiences. From his formation of the orchestra in 1925 until his retirement in 1937, he worked purposefully according to this plan, and his belief that the technical challenges of radio transmission would be solved in line with his development of the orchestra gave him faith in the whole project. The administration and the members of the orchestra continued his work over the course of the following decades so that the DRSO gained an international reputation, with Holm still privately working the levers and exercising influence over the orchestra’s chairman, Waldemar Wolsing. By 1948 the orchestra could boast a full strength of 92 musicians and a new radio concert hall, inaugurated shortly after the war.

The hiring of conductors was one artistic sphere in which the DRSO moved on from Holm’s tight directorial rein. His policy of horses for courses had assigned regular guests such as Fritz Busch and Nikolai Malko to direct the music of their own countries, while Danish repertoire was left in the hands of native conductors such as Grøndahl and Jensen. This situation frustrated everyone concerned, and left the local conductors preparing standard repertoire in rehearsal before their foreign colleagues arrived to take the limelight in concert.

Primarily under Malko’s baton, the DRSO had often played Tchaikovsky’s music during the 1930s and 40s: the Fifth and Sixth Symphonies, the First Piano Concerto and selections from the operas. The Violin Concerto of 1878 had been comparatively neglected before the orchestra went into the studio for the Danish Tono label in October 1949 to record it with Jensen and the Hungarian-born violinist Endre Wolf (1913-2011). The sessions took place on 19 and 21 October; it says something for the orchestra’s industry and eagerness to make records that during the same week they were also rehearsing and giving a concert in the regular Thursday series, conducted by Busch, of Beethoven’s Eighth Symphony and the Violin Concerto of Brahms (with Isaac Stern the soloist).

However, there is no sign of haste in either the playing or the patient, cantabile approach to the concerto. Tono issued the recording on a set of four 78s in conjunction with two other albums of Wolf playing Bach and Beethoven, and Lionel Salter’s Gramophone review found the violinist equally at home in all three contrasting idioms: ‘It is gratifying to find a concerto player with sufficient emotional feeling for the Tchaikovsky without letting it become slushy: Mr Wolf’s taste seems infallible. In the finale his Hungarian blood takes command to give us a really sparkling performance.’ He concluded with a complaint that such excellent recordings were presently so difficult to obtain outside Scandinavia; and he looked forward to the orchestra’s visit to the Edinburgh Festival later that summer, which would indeed become a red-letter day in its history.

It was Busch who tended to direct the DRSO in Brahms. Holm, the musicians and audience held him in both esteem and affection, and Busch returned their feelings to such a degree that he seriously contemplated moving to Denmark. He gave the Fourth Symphony with the orchestra at a Thursday concert in February 1935, and on several subsequent occasions during the 30s and 40s. The present recording is taken from the DRSO’s visit to Paris in 1955, when Jensen and Tuxen each conducted a concert. This concert was not beset by the administrative and artistic woes that befell the orchestra’s return visit seven years later (the tale told and recorded in Volume 2 of this series) and Jensen’s hearing was still in good order. His interpretation of the Fourth is less austere than was customary at the time, yielding to fluctuations of tempo and dynamics that we now associate with a flexible approach common to both older and newer performing traditions from Max Fiedler to Thomas Dausgaard.

RELEASE DATE: August 2021


EAN: 5709499913000