Vagn Holmboe's "Requiem for Nietzsche" op. 84 for tenor, baritone, choir and orchestra (1963-64) is an ambitious setting of sonnets by Thorkild Bjørnvig, a Danish poet with whom Holmboe struck up a deep friendship. On this Dacapo disc from 2002, Michael Schønwandt conducts the Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir, with vocal soloists Helge Rønning (tenor) and Johan Reuter (baritone).
The liner notes explain that while the poems do not tell Nietzsche's life story, they allude to his creative struggles. Sadly, I am not familiar with Nietzsche's thought, so I can appreciate only the musical side of this. Holmboe's setting is rather more adventurous than the balanced neo-classical and Nordic music he made his name with. At the beginning of the 1960s the composer, challenged by the radical departures of some of his students, briefly flirted with mid-century modernism. Some of the choral writing is aleatoric, that is, pitches and rhythms are left undefined. The orchestral writing is more "angular" than his work to date.
While this piece may have a greater impact on Danish speakers and those familiar with Nietzsche, I think it will seem something of a curiosity to Holmboe fans. And besides being a document of a stylistic attempt that Holmboe was quickly dissatisfied with, it is a pretty weak recording: everyone besides the two vocal soloist sound pretty distant. (Maybe I'm just spoiled by hearing most of Holmboe's orchestral music from the sonically astute BIS label.)
This CD is out of print and new copies are exorbitantly priced. However, Dacapo has reissued the recording in its box set Holmboe: The Key Masterpieces (a very mistitled collection: these are Holmboe odds and ends from the label's back catalogue, not the composer's "masterpieces", let alone "key" ones).