Author Topic: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)  (Read 125580 times)

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Offline Madiel

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #680 on: October 10, 2020, 05:30:19 PM »
Labels right now have to space out their releases, because COVID is preventing them from making new recordings. So, this new Holmboe SQ recording is finished and can go out to the reviewers already, but Dacapo feels January would be the best month to release it. (And ordinarily review copies are sent out 1.5–3 months in advance of release anyway.)

The last part I didn't know. But the original release date for this was some months ago, so I knew it was coming eventually.
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #681 on: October 11, 2020, 05:48:46 AM »
And of course I personally find the music pretty fascinating but that's just me!

No, not just you.
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Offline krummholz

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #682 on: October 11, 2020, 04:07:07 PM »

Offline Madiel

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #683 on: October 24, 2020, 06:18:43 PM »
I'm in the process of trying to make a proper database out of the mess of material on my blog.

The last full Da Capo album before the upcoming string quartets release was in 2013.  The last BIS recording was in 2009. This is rather disappointing.

There was a real steady stream of activity from both companies from 1992, but that stream has rather dried up.
I am now working on a discography of the works of Vagn Holmboe. Please visit and also contribute!

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #684 on: November 21, 2020, 09:30:16 PM »
I found this interview with Holmboe in what seems like a TV program, and someone playing one of his piano works:

<a href="https://youtube.com/v/WYWRhUGPYe4" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://youtube.com/v/WYWRhUGPYe4</a>
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Offline Madiel

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #685 on: November 22, 2020, 12:53:42 AM »
I found this interview with Holmboe in what seems like a TV program, and someone playing one of his piano works:

<a href="https://youtube.com/v/WYWRhUGPYe4" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://youtube.com/v/WYWRhUGPYe4</a>

Cool! Although he's mostly talking too fast for my tired brain and my lack of recent Danish practice. The other TV footage I've seen he's older and slower.  ;D

The Romanian Suite is on this album:



Also, I see the Youtube upload is by Jens Cornelius. He's written many of the Da Capo liner notes.
I am now working on a discography of the works of Vagn Holmboe. Please visit and also contribute!

Offline MusicTurner

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #686 on: November 22, 2020, 01:09:01 AM »
Nice video clip, and interesting. Tells a lot about the man and his personality, the reflective, bookish intellect, and apparently a happy, equal marriage. So he learned Romanian too ...
« Last Edit: November 22, 2020, 01:11:01 AM by MusicTurner »

Offline Camphy

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #687 on: December 19, 2020, 08:01:12 AM »
<a href="https://youtube.com/v/ccGfDP28hrk" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://youtube.com/v/ccGfDP28hrk</a>

Offline MusicTurner

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #688 on: December 19, 2020, 08:16:46 AM »
Thank you, lovely. I didn't make a direct comparison with the Kontra4, but this seems better to me: a good bass line, melodical sense, 'breathing'...

The sequences are from Holmens Kirke church in Copenhagen, and the Arresø lake near Holmboe's home; they could probably have made the latter ones more visually fascinating. But: definitely seems to be an interesting release, and quite essential Holmboe.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2020, 08:34:21 AM by MusicTurner »

Offline krummholz

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #689 on: December 19, 2020, 09:53:49 AM »
Indeed, beautifully played! I didn't do a direct comparison with Kontra either, but from memory, my impression is that this one is even more expressive, with beautiful phrasing, impeccable dynamics, and as MT said, they really let the music "breathe".

And for those not familiar with this particular movement (and since I didn't see it specifically identified), this is the Andante quasi giacona from Holmboe's 3rd SQ.

Thanks, MT, for identifying the locale... I would have wondered if that was Arresø.

Offline krummholz

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #690 on: December 19, 2020, 10:15:15 AM »
Some more info: according to their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/nightingalestringquartet/), they're holding a release event for the new CD on 7 January at Holmens Kirke. They claim you can also pre-order a CD at their website, and I filled out the form, expecting to be prompted for payment info, but instead my form seems to have vanished into the aether. No auto-acknowledgement at the email address I supplied. So maybe the website is broken, not sure.

In any case, from that sample movement, I really want to hear the rest of their Holmboe, and will be ordering a copy as soon as it's possible.

Offline MusicTurner

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #691 on: December 19, 2020, 10:22:12 AM »
Some more info: according to their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/nightingalestringquartet/), they're holding a release event for the new CD on 7 January at Holmens Kirke. They claim you can also pre-order a CD at their website, and I filled out the form, expecting to be prompted for payment info, but instead my form seems to have vanished into the aether. No auto-acknowledgement at the email address I supplied. So maybe the website is broken, not sure.

In any case, from that sample movement, I really want to hear the rest of their Holmboe, and will be ordering a copy as soon as it's possible.

The release event is probably hit by the recent virus restrictions, running at least until January 3rd, and highly likely later too, prohibiting meetings of more than 10 people. I don't know if they'll maybe try some virtual or limited event, but we'll see.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2020, 10:27:48 AM by MusicTurner »

Offline krummholz

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #692 on: December 19, 2020, 10:39:46 AM »
And since this thread's been revived, I thought I'd rave for a bit... I've been listening again to some of Hughes recordings of the Holmboe symphonies, and this one really stands out to me. Especially the 9th, which seems to just keep getting better and better. The work is unlike anything else Holmboe wrote, and indeed, is like no other music. The orchestral palette has been described as "impressionistic", but expressively this is about as far from the world of Ravel and Debussy as you can get. The first movement is one of the best examples I know of "organic growth", in the sense of something that grows naturally out of a few germinal cells. The second movement, for side drum and strings alone, is almost inaudibly quiet and attenuated, almost Webernesque. I think Rob Barnett wrote that Holmboe seemed to be evoking the "shimmer and ripple of eternity", and IMO that's spot on. There is elemental power in the third movement; a very wistful mood in the fourth, this time for strings alone, and full of Holmboe's wonderful polyphony; and the fifth takes up motifs from the third movement and concludes in an atmosphere of tragedy.

Of the two works on the CD, the 8th makes the more immediate first impression as it's powerful and stirring and quite approachable. The 9th takes repeated listenings to penetrate into its unique sound world -- at least it did for me -- but IMO it's well worth it if you like tonal 20th century music.


Offline krummholz

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #693 on: December 19, 2020, 10:44:20 AM »
The release event is probably hit by the recent virus restrictions, running at least until January 3rd, and highly likely later too, prohibiting meetings of more than 10 people. I don't know if they'll maybe try some virtual or limited event, but we'll see.

Their FB page mentions the virus restrictions, and implies that seating will be limited (you have to reserve a seat online). So my guess is, it will take place in person... whether they'll also have a virtual event, we'll just have to wait and see.

Offline MusicTurner

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #694 on: December 19, 2020, 11:34:15 AM »
The concept with concert ticket reservations predates the latest restrictions, ensuring a minimum space for each guest, with empty seats between them. The only exception from the 10 persons rule are church services, weddings & funerals "etc.", where 50 people are allowed, but in groups of 10. A concert with the Nightingale Quartet in the same church on the 5th of January was cancelled due to the virus (https://sogn.dk/holmen/kalender/ ; "aflyst" meaning cancelled, "udskudt" meaning postponed).

But it's like they're hoping for restrictions to perhaps be loosened after January 3rd, or, much less likely, that it somehow could count as a ~church event at the time.

Not so nice for them; I can think of more esoteric recording projects though, and there must be some international interest for the series, also promoted by the success of the Langgaard series (likewise better than the Kontra4 Langgaard set, IMO).
« Last Edit: December 19, 2020, 11:41:47 AM by MusicTurner »

Offline Madiel

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #695 on: December 19, 2020, 12:09:40 PM »
I get the Da Capo newsletter so I knew the Nightingale disc was officially back on after a delay. But that video sample is very promising.

As for the symphonies, I agree that the 8/9 combination is a highlight. The 9th is one of the hardest symphonies to crack but well worth it (and indeed comes from a period with, in my opinion, some of Holmboe’s most difficult but most rewarding music).
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Offline Christo

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #696 on: December 19, 2020, 12:20:41 PM »
And since this thread's been revived, I thought I'd rave for a bit... I've been listening again to some of Hughes recordings of the Holmboe symphonies, and this one really stands out to me. Especially the 9th, which seems to just keep getting better and better. The work is unlike anything else Holmboe wrote, and indeed, is like no other music. The orchestral palette has been described as "impressionistic", but expressively this is about as far from the world of Ravel and Debussy as you can get. The first movement is one of the best examples I know of "organic growth", in the sense of something that grows naturally out of a few germinal cells. The second movement, for side drum and strings alone, is almost inaudibly quiet and attenuated, almost Webernesque. I think Rob Barnett wrote that Holmboe seemed to be evoking the "shimmer and ripple of eternity", and IMO that's spot on. There is elemental power in the third movement; a very wistful mood in the fourth, this time for strings alone, and full of Holmboe's wonderful polyphony; and the fifth takes up motifs from the third movement and concludes in an atmosphere of tragedy.

Of the two works on the CD, the 8th makes the more immediate first impression as it's powerful and stirring and quite approachable. The 9th takes repeated listenings to penetrate into its unique sound world -- at least it did for me -- but IMO it's well worth it if you like tonal 20th century music.



It's my favourite Holmboe cd, too, and for very similar reasons. At first, it's the Eight that draws all attention, but slowly the Ninth took over.
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Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #697 on: December 19, 2020, 01:28:52 PM »
“Sigh” I’m so much of a completist I want the nightingale4 to have already recorded all the 4tets so i can order the big box.

Offline krummholz

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #698 on: December 20, 2020, 04:57:58 AM »
As for the symphonies, I agree that the 8/9 combination is a highlight. The 9th is one of the hardest symphonies to crack but well worth it (and indeed comes from a period with, in my opinion, some of Holmboe’s most difficult but most rewarding music).

Very much agreed... thinking especially of the Op. 90 Quartet (string trio plus flute) and the Chamber Symphony No. 2, plus the slightly later 10th String Quartet. There is so much from this period, though (late 1960s) that has never been recorded (such as the Op. 97 Trio for flute, cello, piano) that one wonders what other gems are in there as well, waiting to be discovered.

Offline krummholz

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #699 on: December 20, 2020, 04:59:09 AM »
“Sigh” I’m so much of a completist I want the nightingale4 to have already recorded all the 4tets so i can order the big box.

Patience, grasshopper...  ;)