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Holmboe: Chamber Symphonies Hybrid SACD, SACD

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Product details

  • Conductor: John Storgards
  • Composer: Vagn Holmboe
  • Audio CD (30 July 2012)
  • Please Note: Requires SACD-compatible hardware
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD, SACD
  • Label: Dacapo
  • ASIN: B0081UG17M
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 234,209 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Chamber Symphony No. 1, Op. 53: I. Andante assaiLapland Chamber Orchestra 2:55£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Chamber Symphony No. 1, Op. 53: II. AnimatoLapland Chamber Orchestra 3:25£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Chamber Symphony No. 1, Op. 53: III. AdagioLapland Chamber Orchestra 4:54£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Chamber Symphony No. 1, Op. 53: IV. Allegro assaiLapland Chamber Orchestra 5:48£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Chamber Symphony No. 2, Op. 100, "Elegy": I. Andante fluenteLapland Chamber Orchestra 8:37Album Only
Listen  6. Chamber Symphony No. 2, Op. 100, "Elegy": II. PrestoLapland Chamber Orchestra 3:47£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Chamber Symphony No. 2, Op. 100, "Elegy": III. AdagioLapland Chamber Orchestra 8:04Album Only
Listen  8. Chamber Symphony No. 2, Op. 100, "Elegy": IV. Allegro con brioLapland Chamber Orchestra 8:40Album Only
Listen  9. Chamber Symphony No. 3, Op. 103a, "Frise" (Frieze): I. Tempo giusto - Sereno con variazioniLapland Chamber Orchestra 4:12£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Chamber Symphony No. 3, Op. 103a, "Frise" (Frieze): II. Allegro vivaceLapland Chamber Orchestra 2:22£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Chamber Symphony No. 3, Op. 103a, "Frise" (Frieze): III. Lento e tranquilloLapland Chamber Orchestra 3:49£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Chamber Symphony No. 3, Op. 103a, "Frise" (Frieze): IV. Grave con metamorfosiLapland Chamber Orchestra 5:46£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Chamber Symphony No. 3, Op. 103a, "Frise" (Frieze): V. Intermezzo: ChiaroLapland Chamber Orchestra 1:39£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Chamber Symphony No. 3, Op. 103a, "Frise" (Frieze): VI. Allegro con forzaLapland Chamber Orchestra 5:01£0.59  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

Symphonies de chambre n°1 à n°3 / Lapland Chamber Orchestra - John Storgards, direction


'Long a favourite score of mine, John Storgards and the Lapland Chamber Orchestra do it full justice... Excellent performances, superb sound: you will not hear a finer disc this year.' --Guy Rickards, Gramophone Awards 2012 Issue

'The linking characteristics of the man and his music is an essential honesty, a complete lack of falsehood, and that comes across in these tough but invigorating works. I hope that Dacapo will continue to look to the large legacy of unrecorded Holmboe for future releases; in the meantime I commend this one to your attention.' --Martin Anderson, International Record Review Nov '12

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Sillitoe on 5 Feb. 2013
Format: Audio CD
The Danish composer, Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996), composed his Chamber Symphonies between 1951 and 1970, a period which also saw his 8th and 9th Symphonies, some of his finest concertos and his magnificent Symphonic Metamorphosis, a work, along with his Chamber Concertos, which these three smaller scale symphonies can be seen to be linked.
Whilst calling for a smaller orchestra all three of these works pack quite a punch, their intense structure and musicality belying the smaller nature. Although Holmboe mainly composed in the neo-classical style, his compositions tend to be more successful than most composers who adopted this style, including Stravinsky. This is clearly represented in the first of the symphonies presented here, at just over 17 minutes this is the shortest of the three, with its four movements showing its affinity with the classical idiom. This is strong fascinating music, as are the following two works, it is a wonder why after the successful recordings of Holmboe's symphonies and concertos it has taken so long to record these fine works.
The Lapland Chamber Orchestra, founded in 1972 they are the most northerly professional orchestra in the European Union, are new to me, but they are no provincial orchestra, with their playing is strong and committed with the Finnish conductor John Storgårds certainly getting the best out of them. There excellent playing is aided by a sympathetic acoustic and a well balanced recording which is brought to us in crystal clear hybrid Super Audio sound. The notes which accompany this recording, as with all those for the Holmboe recordings are truly excellent and serve as a valuable aid the listeners enjoyment to this highly recommendable disc.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Dacapo presents excellent world premiere recordings of Holmboe's overlooked metamorphoses for chamber orchestra 1 Feb. 2013
By Christopher Culver - Published on
Format: Audio CD
The Danish composer Vagn Holmboe has won considerable acclaim for his fourteen symphonies (hear them on a BIS box set), but beyond that mighty cycle for symphony orchestra, he also wrote three symphonic works for chamber orchestra in the 1950s and 1960s. Only with this 2012 Dacapo release have the Chamber Symphonies finally been recorded. John Storgårds leads the Chamber Orchestra of Lapland.

While Holmboe can be categorized as a neo-classicist, from the late Forties he drew inspiration from the organic writing of Sibelius and other Nordic forebears. One of the key concepts behind Holmboe's mature output is "metamorphosis", the unstoppable elaboration of material, even a small cell consisting of only three or four notes. In the Chamber Symphony No. 1 op. 53 (1951), for example, as the three notes stated by the French horn at the beginning form the basis for all four movements. However, in spite of some lovely moments, this doesn't quite rise to the same level as his symphonies for symphony orchestra of the same years.

Almost two decades pass before Holmboe's next works in this vein. The opening measures of the Chamber Concerto No. 2 (1968), subtitled "Elegy", features a new element of his orchestration, eerie use of pitched percussion at low dynamic. The oboe carries much of the movement, something unusual in his output. With the second movement -- well, I don't want to spoil some dramatic twists that should come as a surprise to the listener. Suffice it to say that in its epic scope, effortless application of the metamorphosis principle, and its overcoming of the chamber orchestra scoring to suggest something massive, this ranks among Holmboe's finest works, competing even with the high points of his cycle for symphony orchestra.

The Chamber Symphony No. 3 "Frieze" (1969-70) was written to accompany sculptures by Arne L. Hansen. Its six movements are less unified than in the previous two chamber symphonies, and it sometimes reflects the austere mood that Holmboe's music was taking on at this time. Holmboe again uses pitched percussion in a spooky way, while a couple of movements serve as intermezzi, a structural choice that interested the composer much at the time.

I feel that only the Chamber Concerto No. 2 is Holmboe at his very best, but fans of the composer will enjoy this disc very much. The sound is excellent (and I've heard only the CD layer, not the SACD), and the liner notes by Jens Cornelius and artwork are excellent.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Minature Gems 1 Aug. 2012
By Digital Chips - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I wasn't that familiar with Vagn Holmboe's music before I received this collection of his chamber symphonies. But after listening to them for a while, I would definitely like to explore the repertoire of this Danish composer further.

Written in 1951, the first of Holmboe's three chamber symphonies shows a composer in full command of his material. 1 somewhat spare and lean at the beginning, building inexorably as it moves towards its big climax at near the end of the work, before finishing quietly with a reappearance of material from the opening movement.

The second chamber symphony is subtitled "Elegy." Overall it's a quiet, atmospheric work. Holmboe makes effective use of mallet percussion instruments, especially the vibraphone, which brings a hint of unearthliness to the mix. Holmboe was a conservative composer, using a primarily tonal language, but the somber harmonies and downward-turning chromatic melodic motifs almost sound atonal.

Holbmoe's third chamber symphony, "Frise" is actually an orchestration of a choral work of the same name. Both were written to commemorate the unveiling a new frieze at a school. Although technically an occasional work, it's much more substantial than just a "grand opening" fanfare. Holmboe digs deep into the ensemble, bringing instruments to the fore in groups of two and three to spotlight a melody. It's a kaleidoscope of instrumental timbres changing in slow motion. The work has six movements, which, with a playing time of about 20 minutes, gives it a somewhat episodic quality and sounding very different in character than the first two works on the disc.

John Storgards leads the Lapland Chamber Orchestra in a compelling reading of these works. The performances sound fresh and engaging - even more so when played on an SACD player.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A chance to hear good works that should be better known 31 July 2012
By Daniel R. Coombs - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Vagn Holmboe, not exactly a household name, is often considered to be the most important Danish symphony composer since Carl Nielsen. His music is characteristically tonal and quite accessible. This recording of his Chamber Symphonies #1-4 offers a wonderful chance to get to know his symphonic output. Holmboe's works written largely between 1950 -1970 (of which these are prime examples) show a use of small motives and thematic fragments as the basis for larger scale construction (similar to what Sibelius did). It is said that his earlier works show the influence of composers such as Bartók and a little bit of Carl Nielsen and Dmitri Shostakovich. I think listening carefully to these very nice and dramatic works will reveal some of this but, in many ways, Holmboe's music is its own style and has a unique flavor. Interestingly, some of Holmboe's students are fairly well known in the contemporary European music scene, including the works of Per Norgard and Bent Sorensen.

Each of these works is a very fine piece deserving to be heard more often. The Chamber Symphony #1, dating from 1951, is the most "classical" sounding with a most attractive and tension filled Adagio that does bear more than a passing resemblance to Bartok and a driving, propulsive Allegro assai. The Chamber Symphony #2 has a very different feel to it. Subtitled "Elegy", Holmboe wrote this during a period of self-doubt (1968), during which he was at odds with some of his most talented young pupils (including Norgard and Ib Norholm). The actual controversies as well as the tone in the music is a near "battle" between some of the traditional sounds for which Holmboe became known and the modernism espoused by the younger generation.

The Chamber Symphony #3 is another captivating and very unique work with an interesting history. Written as a work to celebrate the installation of a sculpture by the artist, and friend of Holmboe's, Arne Hansen, the artist's work was actually modeled after the titles and feel of the individual movements of the musical work. This unique collaboration also resulted in Holmboe later writing a choral version of the piece and, later, the two men collaborated on a multi-media work, Music for Birds and Frogs. This piece, of the three has the most unusual structure (six movements) and a sense of thematic writing to it that exudes the visual. This recording by the amazing Laplands Chamber Orchestra under the most talented John Storgards is brilliant, lively and spacious (in the SACD format, the acoustics and presence are terrific!) I think this is an important release that most people would truly enjoy. Highly recommended!
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