11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
SONG OF NORWAY,
This review is from: Svendsen - Symphonies 1 & 2 (Audio CD)
Svendsen's first symphony impressed Grieg so much that he withdrew his own symphony. It's a fairly lightweight effort, but thoroughly professional in every way, and it shows a melodic gift that seems to me natural, genuine and spontaneous. I find nothing particularly Norwegian about it, which is not surprising as Svendsen had been trained in Leipzig. The second is much more attention-catching, with greater distinctiveness in both the themes and the scoring. This time there does seem to be a Norwegian flavour in the intermezzo, at least as I would understand 'Norwegian' from Grieg. The liner-note claims to detect some influence of Wagner in it, but frankly I doubt that. Like the earlier work, it is easy listening in a major key, cheerful and outgoing in expression for the most part but with a greater sense of depth in its first movement. Neither piece makes any great demands on the listener, and both make a thoroughly welcome change from the familiar repertory of late-romantic symphonies.
The performances strike me as admirable in every way, with accomplished orchestral playing and well-judged speeds throughout. The recording is faithful and clear. It would have benefited from being a little more 'forward', I felt, but there is no real problem with it. There is a helpful and informative liner-note with a useful potted biography of the composer and brief notes on both orchestra and conductor.
I take the opportunity, not for the first time, to thank Naxos for the enterprise they are showing in making such unfamiliar music available to us at such modest cost. I like to support projects like this and I hope they receive the backing they deserve from the musical public. This is music to be enjoyed, with no caveats or complications.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Jun 2010 03:47:04 BDT
Rob Pollock says:
What a pleasure, to read such a detailed, positive and helpful review, encouraged by which I have ordered a copy of this CD.
Many thanks to the reviewer and to the budget label of Naxos.
In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jun 2010 10:50:27 BDT
DAVID BRYSON says:
That's very kind of you indeed. I'm confident you won't regret your purchase.
Posted on 25 Jul 2010 19:47:34 BDT
JJA Kiefte says:
What a pity the two of you did not consider CPO's three-disc release of Svendsen's symphonic works which, also at budget price, would have given you considerable listenig pleasure.
In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jul 2010 20:17:39 BDT
DAVID BRYSON says:
Oh I'm sure you're right, but speaking for myself it's simply that there are more things in the world to devote this short life to than Svendsen, much as I like the version that has come my way.
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