As I've been trying to convince Dundonnel about Sessions, it might seem strange that I've had problems with Holmboe/Simpson! eh what???
And it's difficult for me to separate these two composers.
Maybe it's just the overwhelming intensity these two convey (especially Simpson). Symphony "borealis" and Simpson's cosmic 9th aside, and leaving Simpson out of the argument for the purposes of the thread, let me just say that I know I supposed to like Holmboe, and I certainly respect him for the towering figure he is, but when I listened to his music I found myself liking Aulis Sallinen better, and I believe this is due just to my own stylistic taste and nothing more. So Holmboe for me is a composer I respect...ah, "cup of tea."
Of course being Mr. String Quartet I was obliged to hunt down the dacapo discs and I got 7, 8, 9 on ebay, and...I was reminded of Simpson's first three quartets @1951, and my only comment would be, yes, craftsmanship, yes, interesting ideas and rhythmic drive, but something didn't reaaallly touch me, like when I first heard Bartok's 3rd.
I then tried 10, 11, 12, and I was yet again frustrated. Yes, he changes the number of movements a lot, and yes, there's a LOT there, but this time I was really ticked off. I knew there had to be a masterpiece somewhere in there. Would I have to go back to 1-6 to find an early charmer, or head into the great unknown where I feared I would only find unyielding intensity a la Simpson. I read in the Penguin G that 13, 14, 15 IS the one to go for first, but since selling the ones I had, I have yet to return to Holmboe country.
I do actually have a LOT of Scandanavian quartets, for various reasons, so I can tell you that it really bugged me that I didn't warm up to Holmboe (and I HAVE tried other music other than the quartets). The Cello Cto was getting good marks on this thread. That might be a place for me to start.
Rosenberg comes way before Holmboe, so it's not fair to compare, but for me, Rosenberg has a bit more of the earth in his quartets, the actual air of Sweden, ( though not .in a nationalistic way, more nature). Rosenberg wrote 6 quartets in 1957, so it IS interesting to see the crossroads between these two.
so, besides symphony "Borealis", what IS the Holmboe masterpiece? Many say it's the 4 Symphonic movements.
btw- BIS cds are always VERRRY expensive$$$!!! Wouldn't it be great that if you lived in a socialist country, they would automatically send you state sponsored entertainment??? yea, right! I forgot ABBA!!!!!haha