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Svendsen: Orchestral Works Vol. 3: Neeme Järvi, Marianne Thorsen

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Frequently Bought Together

Svendsen: Orchestral Works Vol. 3: Neeme Järvi, Marianne Thorsen + Svendsen: Orchestral Works Vol. 2 (Cello Concerto/ Symphony No.2) (Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra; Neeme Järvi) (Chandos: CHAN 10711) + Svendsen: Orchestral Works Volume 1 (Chandos: CHAN 10693)
Price For All Three: £41.03

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Product Description

Product Description

Neeme Järvi brings us Vol. 3 in his survey of orchestral works by the Norwegian composer Johan Svendsen. This series has received great reviews for its idiomatic performances by the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and the violinist Marianne Thorsen. Gramophone wrote of Vol. 2: ‘Järvi and his Norwegian forces are on scintillating form… to be treasured.’

This volume takes us to the second half of the 1860s, when Svendsen was in his twenties and had just graduated from the Leipzig Conservatory. At this time the composer found himself captivated by new trends in European music, and in the orchestration of Symphony No. 1 he went in the French direction with a sound full of contrasts. Especially the woodwinds, often placed in their high registers, make a sparkling character in this work. The symphony is dedicated to Carl F. Leche, the Swedish-Norwegian consul in Lübeck ‘in deepest gratitude and reverence’. Back in 1863 Svendsen had been stranded in that city without the funds necessary for getting to Leipzig to enter the conservatory. He went to Leche to ask for economic support to go home to Norway, but the consul saw his potential and instead succeeded in getting him an all-important scholarship from the Swedish-Norwegian King.

Also on this disc are Two Icelandic Melodies, on tunes that were likely taken down by Svendsen on a journey to Iceland and the Faroe Islands in the summer of 1867, and the Violin Concerto (1870), which Svendsen himself saw as being new and original, several critics at the time agreeing with him. In this piece, the composer’s focus is on the contrast in timbre between soloist and orchestra, rather than the soloist’s virtuosic battle against it. His model for the work may well have been Berlioz’s Harold en Italie for orchestra and viola.

In 1874 Svendsen had settled down with his family in Christiania. Norwegian Artists’ Carnival was composed for the yearly carnival in Christiania’s Artists’ Association, the intention being to reconcile the cold North and the warm-blooded South. To that end, the work consists of three main themes: a Norwegian folk tune, an Italian folk tune, and a popular Norwegian Wedding Dance. It is one of Svendsen’s most acclaimed works, and one that remains a part of the standard orchestral repertoire in Scandinavia.


Volume 3 shares the strengths of its predecessors-specifically, a generous supply of charm and fine craftmanship in the work themselves, and capable, sensitive performances from maestro Jarvi, his orchestra and soloists. --IRR, Apr'13

Jarvi and his Bergen players sound most happy together, playing with fluency suggestive of more joint live performances than they could possibly have had. The engineering supports them at every turn. --Gramophone, July'13

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Yes, It Is Volume #3! 12 Jun. 2013
By skobru - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am sure the classical music snobs will have a go at my tongue-in-cheek review of this. 5 stars because Neemi Jarvi can do no wrong. He is THE MAN! When it comes to conductors. He truly has a feel for Svendsen's material. The Bergen Philharmonic are a fine bunch of musicians truly in synch with Jarvi's conducting and the material. Marianne Thorsen... baby... you truly are a fine solo violinist! As for the title of this review, yes if you bought the first 2 volumes you have to get #3. It is a good collection. Really. I got it and listened to it a few times. VERY nice stuff. Svendsen's first symphony was well played but .... well... hey it's a ... first symphony. Almost like a practice work but still very good and listenable. After we buy a CD we wonder, "hey was I ripped off by buying this thing?" to be honest ... no. The Neemi Jarvi Svendsen collection is all good. No regrets going more in debt to buy this CD. I read a lot of reviews of people pontificating about how great and cool Chandos is for getting so many lesser known composers recorded. I agree. Chandos IS great and cool for enlarging the offerings of so many more 2nd tier composers. IS Svendsen "2nd tier"? Go argue it in your own reviews. Svendsen ... RAWKED! Yeah he is very good. I think that the difference between a first big big name in lights composer and a secondary composer often had more to do with who they knew and how their creations got promoted. Chandos is helping us experience the lesser promoted (perhaps) composers. Thanks dudes. As for this CD... get it. Oh and get the 1st and 2nd volumes too ;-) In this case... it's all good. THEY ARE.
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