Author Topic: Einar Englund 1916-1999  (Read 9360 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Einar Englund 1916-1999
« on: March 25, 2009, 12:15:26 AM »
I have just been listening to Englund's Symphony No 2 (Estonian SO/Peeter Lilie) on the Ondine label. What a great work - especially the beautiful second movement which, to me at least, reflects the healing power of nature. I have a few of his symphonies (there is a Naxos CD) but No 2 is probably my favourite. I also like his 'Great Wall of China'. Any other admirers?
« Last Edit: May 20, 2019, 06:00:23 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Christo

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Re: Einar Englund 1916-1999
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2009, 01:23:28 AM »
I have just been listening to Englund's Symphony No 2 (Estonian SO/Peeter Lilie) on the Ondine label. What a great work - especially the beautiful second movement which, to me at least, reflects the healing power of nature. I have a few of his symphonies (there is a Naxos CD) but No 2 is probably my favourite. I also like his 'Great Wall of China'. Any other admirers?

Pas étonné de se trouver ensemble, here! :D

I love both the Fourth `Nostalgic' (1976) and Fifth `Fennica' (1977) even more than the Second `Blackbird' (1948). So I really look forward to the remaining Third, Sixth and Seventh symphonies to explore. But I lack time to play much music, these years, and these three symphonies are only available on Ondine and a bit expensive.  :-\

Did you play them?  ::)
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Einar Englund 1916-1999
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2009, 02:10:06 AM »
Pas étonné de se trouver ensemble, here! :D

I love both the Fourth `Nostalgic' (1976) and Fifth `Fennica' (1977) even more than the Second `Blackbird' (1948). So I really look forward to the remaining Third, Sixth and Seventh symphonies to explore. But I lack time to play much music, these years, and these three symphonies are only available on Ondine and a bit expensive.  :-\

Did you play them?  ::)

 :) I am playing my CD with symphonies 4 and 5 on at the moment - it also has the fine 'The Great Wall of China'. Do you like that? The Overture is fun.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Moldyoldie

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Re: Einar Englund 1916-1999
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2009, 05:51:43 AM »
[Previously posted in "What Are You Listening To?"]

On a virgin voyage with Finnish composer Einar Englund...

Englund: Symphony No. 4 "Nostalgic"; Symphony No. 5 "Fennica"; The Great Wall of China
Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra
Eri Klas, cond.
ONDINE

Englund's Symphony No. 4 (1976) is in four movements, only one of which can be described as uptempo, which takes the listener on an emotional ride on orchestral strings with occasional respites emanating from a colorful plethora of percussion.  This one presents some fascinating sounds and aural "pictures" evocative of time and remembrance.  Englund quotes Sibelius's Tapiola in the movement labeled "Nostalgia" whence the symphony derives its sobriquet.

 The single-movement Symphony No. 5 (1977) utilizes a full orchestra in evoking the composer's terrible WWII experiences in an alternating fast/slow/fast/slow sequence which is very reminiscent of Shostakovich's most harrowing and powerful symphonic utterances.

The eight-part The Great Wall of China (1949) is music for an obviously parodistic play which includes a rumba, a tango, jazz, a gong, and a "March a la Shostakovich" -- great fun! :D

The 24-bit recording is incredibly vivid and one can't imagine performances more committed or convincing.  This is a composer I'm definitely going to explore further!
"I think the problem with technology is that people use it because it’s around.  That is disgusting and stupid!  Please quote me."
 - Steve Reich

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Einar Englund 1916-1999
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2009, 08:05:02 AM »
There was quite a lot of discussion about Englund in July of last year(around page 16) of the Scandinavian Composers' thread and I expressed my huge admiration for this very fine(if very Shostakovichian) composer then. I need to go back to refresh my memory of Symphonies Nos. 3 and 7 but there is a good review of No.6- and a review with which I am in total agreement- here:

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2000/sept00/englund.htm

Offline Guido

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Re: Einar Englund 1916-1999
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2009, 11:43:52 AM »
The cello concerto is one of the hidden gems of the repertoire, and in my opinion one of the very finest for the instrument. It contains many extremely arresting ideas, perhaps almost too many, but it's all so beautifully clear and well thought out, with a poise and elegance that is quite unique. The first movement is by turns angular and forceful, and pensive and focussed, with a partiularly memorable lilting dancelike theme that appears before the Cadenza. The second movement is really very beautiful and subtle, and the finale a dazzling and almost scary presto. I really don't understand why it hasn't been siezed and put in the repertoire, but my guess is that the stature of Englund's corpus as a whole (or rather the public's perception (or non perception!)) has held back his very best works.

The other music of his that I have tried, I haven't warmed to as much, as it has generally been rather harsher in character and less welcoming, but I will need to try some of these symphonies at some point.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2009, 08:13:46 AM by Guido »
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Einar Englund 1916-1999
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2009, 08:11:32 AM »
The cello concerto is one of the hidden gems of the repertoire, and in my opinion one of the very finest for the instrument. It contains many extremely arresting ideas, perhaps almost too many, but it's all so beautifully clear and well thought out, with a poise and elegance that is quite unique. The first movement is by turns angular and forceful, and pensive and focusses, with a partiularly memorable lilting dancelike theme that appears before the Cadenza. The second movement is really very beautiful and subtle, and the finale a dazzling and almost scary presto. I really don't understand why it hasn't been siezed and put in the repertoire, but my guess is that the stature of Englund's corpus as a whole (or rather the public's perception (or non perception!)) has held back his very best works.

The other music of his that I have tried, I haven't warmed to as much, as it has generally been rather harsher in character and less welcoming, but I will need to try some of these symphonies at some point.

I was delighted to find that I have a CD of the Cello Concerto (with Symphony No 6 on Ondine).  You are right - it is an excellent work. I'm not sure that I had ever listened to it before. Thanks for alerting me to yet another exciting discovery.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Guido

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Re: Einar Englund 1916-1999
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2009, 08:14:54 AM »
You are very welcome - glad to bring it to your attention!
Geologist.

The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Einar Englund 1916-1999
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2009, 08:21:32 AM »
You are very welcome - glad to bring it to your attention!

In fact the whole CD is really good. I am currently enjoying 'Aphorisms' but the Cello Concerto is special - I have played it several times today (on the CD player, sadly not on the cello!) Actually, an accomplished Korean student/cellist at the school I teach at, once played me the opening bars of Miaskovsky's Cello Concerto as a birthday gift - perhaps the most touching present I have ever received.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Einar Englund 1916-1999
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2009, 09:13:28 AM »
In fact the whole CD is really good. I am currently enjoying 'Aphorisms' but the Cello Concerto is special - I have played it several times today (on the CD player, sadly not on the cello!) Actually, an accomplished Korean student/cellist at the school I teach at, once played me the opening bars of Miaskovsky's Cello Concerto as a birthday gift - perhaps the most touching present I have ever received.

That tells us something about the school at which you have the honour to teach, doesn't it :)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Einar Englund 1916-1999
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2009, 03:25:35 PM »
That tells us something about the school at which you have the honour to teach, doesn't it :)

OT

Yes it does Colin, although at the moment I am feeling rather less charitable towards the place.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

snyprrr

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Re: Einar Englund 1916-1999
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2009, 09:28:36 AM »
I just got Englund Piano Qnt. and SQ (BIS) in the mail. Looking forward to a midnight listen! Will most certainly be back with impressions.

Offline Christo

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Re: Einar Englund 1916-1999
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2009, 10:25:20 AM »
I was delighted to find that I have a CD of the Cello Concerto (with Symphony No 6 on Ondine).  

 ;) Yes, that's a function of this forum that has become ever more prominent: alerting us that we actually own a specific cd. ::)

Indeed, some of use - you and I included, I'm afraid - often plan to buy a cd, only to discover that we own it already. Though we're often only reminded of the fact after we put a new acquisition on our shelves next to an identical copy.  8)  ::)

So far, I couldn't find my copy of Englund's Sixth coupled with the Cello Concerto, but I may be overlooking it.  ::) 0:)
« Last Edit: June 20, 2009, 12:07:26 PM by Christo »
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Einar Englund 1916-1999
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2009, 11:16:37 AM »
;) Yes, that's a function of this forum that has become ever more prominent: alerting us that we actually own a specific cd. ::)

Indeed, some of use - you and I included, I'm afraid - often plan to buy a cd, only to discover that we own it already. Though we're often only reminded of the fact after we put a new acquisition on our shelves next to an identic copy.  8)  ::)

So far, I couldn't find my copy of Englund's Sixth coupled with the Cello Concerto, but I may be overlooking it.  ::) 0:)

Database, Johan, database ;D ;D

Offline Christo

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Re: Einar Englund 1916-1999
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2009, 11:56:12 AM »
Database, Johan, database ;D ;D

 :P A typical post-retirement word we, the working class, proudly defy.  0:) 0:)
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Einar Englund 1916-1999
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2009, 01:59:22 PM »
:P A typical post-retirement word we, the working class, proudly defy.  0:) 0:)

 ;D

I do tend to forget that those with many more commitments than I do have less time to devote to organizing their lives :)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Einar Englund 1916-1999
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2009, 06:31:13 AM »
;) Yes, that's a function of this forum that has become ever more prominent: alerting us that we actually own a specific cd. ::)

Indeed, some of use - you and I included, I'm afraid - often plan to buy a cd, only to discover that we own it already. Though we're often only reminded of the fact after we put a new acquisition on our shelves next to an identical copy.  8)  ::)

So far, I couldn't find my copy of Englund's Sixth coupled with the Cello Concerto, but I may be overlooking it.  ::) 0:)

Just re-order it Johan and smuggle it into the house - this saves so much hassle  ;D
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline springrite

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Re: Einar Englund 1916-1999
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2009, 06:35:20 AM »
[Previously posted in "What Are You Listening To?"]

On a virgin voyage with Finnish composer Einar Englund...

Englund: Symphony No. 4 "Nostalgic"; Symphony No. 5 "Fennica"; The Great Wall of China
Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra
Eri Klas, cond.
ONDINE

Englund's Symphony No. 4 (1976) is in four movements, only one of which can be described as uptempo, which takes the listener on an emotional ride on orchestral strings with occasional respites emanating from a colorful plethora of percussion.  This one presents some fascinating sounds and aural "pictures" evocative of time and remembrance.  Englund quotes Sibelius's Tapiola in the movement labeled "Nostalgia" whence the symphony derives its sobriquet.

 The single-movement Symphony No. 5 (1977) utilizes a full orchestra in evoking the composer's terrible WWII experiences in an alternating fast/slow/fast/slow sequence which is very reminiscent of Shostakovich's most harrowing and powerful symphonic utterances.

The eight-part The Great Wall of China (1949) is music for an obviously parodistic play which includes a rumba, a tango, jazz, a gong, and a "March a la Shostakovich" -- great fun! :D

The 24-bit recording is incredibly vivid and one can't imagine performances more committed or convincing.  This is a composer I'm definitely going to explore further!

Now, this is one CD I should get! I do not have the two symphonies, and I live only a few miles from The Great Wall!
Do what I must do, and let what must happen happen.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Einar Englund 1916-1999
« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2009, 01:58:23 PM »
Now, this is one CD I should get! I do not have the two symphonies, and I live only a few miles from The Great Wall!

It's a very good CD - I especially like the Overture from 'The Great Wall of China' (a bit like Nielsen's 'Aladdin') - great fun)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

snyprrr

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Re: Einar Englund 1916-1999
« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2009, 09:22:26 AM »
Englund Piano Quintet/String Quartet-BIS

I was hoping for a dark and stormy night to inaugurate this cd, but that didn't happen, so I just cranked up the a.c. and pitched a tent under my covers (no, not that kind of tent!).

I came at the SQ (1985) as the long awaited answer to Sibelius' SQ (1909), as the modern nordic SQ. High expectations, yes, but hey, why not? One thing I can say is that this SQ sounded just like (?) I imagined a 1985 SQ by Englund would sound (though I've not heard note one from this composer). Does that mean it's Shosty's nephew? No, not really, though there are reminders of Bloch. Like I said, the SQ sounded just as would have imagined (though, thankfully, there were surprises). Perhaps I should say that it exceeded my expectations (which, like I said, were high). Perhaps I can't give these pieces my "instant, unqualified masterpiece" certificate, but perhaps, that is a good thing and a testament to the elusive quality of Englund's inspiration.

It is in the four regular mvmts. It opens in enigmatic fashion, with wisps of chromatic melody gathering energy for a wintery Moderato (reminders of Grieg string music; late Bartok). This is followed by a more energetic Valse. allegro moderato, an Adagio, and a Tema con variazioni. allegretto.

The whole SQ flies by (25min). Dark green/light grey was the color I saw most: a snowless wintery landscape, quiet, with that "long ago" feeling (though not quite Myaskovskian nostalgia). Even the "summer" moments had a cloudy day feel to them. Perhaps the strange tree collage on the cd cover (very difficult to make out) perfectly illustrates the mood contained here. I am finding it difficult to put into words the exact "mood" this SQ exudes, but I suppose if Brahms was 88 and lived in the tundra... the emotions here are subdued, every note chosen. In a way, it reminds me of DSCH No.8, but without the violence and utter darkness. I was surprised how intimate this SQ is. I have a feeling I will be listening to this a lot come those deep winter nights with a pale moon.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2009, 09:45:07 AM by snyprrr »