Exciting and beautiful works played with the appropriate excitement and beauty. Imagine being born a mere seven years after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and living until 1974! Atterberg's music, to my mind, is a superb demonstration of the transitions this composer lived through.To my ear (played on a Cambridge Azur 650C and an Integra DTR 80-3) this is a more "balanced" recording than the Sterling recording but the two CDs offer a dual capture of this rewarding composer.
CPO has done it again and succeeded in bringing another relatively unknown composer to the attention of otherwise unsuspecting music-lovers like myself. Kurt Atterberg's brand of Romanticism has quite a modern take on it, with some occasional "jazzy" harmonies and sounds, but is otherwise very conservative in it's structure and melodies. My favorite work on this disc is the Piano Concerto, which contains all you could want from a piano concerto. As with all the music on this disc it is full of melody and great ideas; the slow movement being particularly beautiful. The Rhapsody and the Concerto are quite accessible and I certainly loved them on the first listen, while the last work, the Passacaglia, may take a few more listens to truly appreciate its worth. As always with CPO the performers are lesser-known but unquestionably superb and really bring the music to life. The recording quality is also excellent. I would highly recommend this disc to any music lover, especially with a soft-spot for the late-romantic period in general.
I'm now off to start the CPO Atterberg Symphony cycle...!