The Music Room > Composer Discussion

Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)

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No thread for this fine composer yet. I have long adored his cello concerto which seems both very modern (post modern) and very traditional simultaneously - it is beautifully written for cello and orchestra, imaginative, lyrical and powerful.

He is very highly regarded as a symphonist ('the greatest Danish symphonist after Nielsen') I think and I was just wondering if we had any fans of his symphonies here (Colin? :)). Where does one start?

Also I remember being profoundly moved when I heard his Requiem for Nietzsche - one of the most powerful 20th century choral works.

Big Holmboe fan here, as confessed many times before, often in less suitable places.

No time at this moment to tell exactly what and why. Enough for now to say that I even met the great man in person and spent a long Summer afternoon with him in his home in the countryside in the North of Sjaelland, some 25 miles from Copenhagen, in August 1995.

A great composer and an impressive man, too. He died a year later. I'm always moved again when I play his music, especially the symphonies, but also the concertos and the pieces you mention.

Well if you feel you have time to post more of your thoughts here, I would be most interested to read them. Which are the finest symphonies in your opinion?

Yeh, I will join in here later tonight :)

I always find his symphonies worth a listen. However for me the 8th "Sinfonia Boreale" stands out and is the one I tend to listen to the most. Compact, dramatic, organic, powerful and not a note wasted or out of place.


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