Author Topic: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)  (Read 125652 times)

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Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #700 on: December 20, 2020, 08:24:13 AM »
Happy birthday, Vagn! I was revisiting his Sinfonía boreale. I don't like to seem repetitive, but this is an utterly extraordinary composition. A desert-island symphony for me.
«Music is liquid architecture; architecture is frozen music.»

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Offline krummholz

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #701 on: December 20, 2020, 08:29:22 AM »
Happy birthday, Vagn! I was revisiting his Sinfonía boreale. I don't like to seem repetitive, but this is an utterly extraordinary composition. A desert-island symphony for me.

Indeed, he turns eleventy-one today. Here's hoping his star continues to rise!

Offline krummholz

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #702 on: December 20, 2020, 12:47:22 PM »
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.

Update: my order didn't vanish! I just received an email from "NSQ Sales" giving the available payment options, and just sent mine via Paypal. So apparently it IS possible to pre-order, and hopefully everything will go through smoothly.

Offline MusicTurner

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #703 on: December 21, 2020, 11:43:02 AM »
Good that things function here ... The mentioned CD release event at Holmens Kirke on January 7th is however now characterized as 'udskudt' /postponed.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2020, 11:44:48 AM by MusicTurner »

Offline krummholz

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #704 on: December 21, 2020, 12:46:28 PM »
Good that things function here ... The mentioned CD release event at Holmens Kirke on January 7th is however now characterized as 'udskudt' /postponed.

That was probably inevitable... but it's odd that this information hasn't been posted yet to their Facebook page, and they are still advertising tickets to the event. Out of curiosity, where did you find it?

Offline MusicTurner

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #705 on: December 21, 2020, 01:02:32 PM »
On the church's calendar
https://sogn.dk/holmen/kalender/

February might be an option, but this intensified virus wave isn't expected to die out very quickly.

Offline krummholz

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #706 on: December 21, 2020, 01:09:37 PM »
Thanks. Yes, I would not expect it to abate much until spring or even summer... unless the pace of vaccinations quickens greatly (which is unlikely given the reported supply problems of even the current two).

Offline MusicTurner

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #707 on: December 21, 2020, 01:14:14 PM »
Yes, as a side remark, current estimates here are that just the vaccines for the first group, comprising the fragile people and health workers etc., might take up to 6 months from now. So that things could be more normal at the end of 2021.
But then, the vaccines actually came earlier than expected, and they even cut a bit of the time here in the last few days. And more vaccine types are coming too. So perhaps that is just the 'safest' estimate.

Offline Madiel

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #708 on: December 21, 2020, 01:22:05 PM »
Samples from the new album are up in various places (I’ve spotted them on iTunes and the Presto site). I do like the sound of what I’m hearing. It seems richer than the Kontra.
I am now working on a discography of the works of Vagn Holmboe. Please visit and also contribute!

Offline Madiel

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #709 on: January 11, 2021, 03:59:36 AM »
Thanks to the wonders of streaming I've compared the Nightingale first volume to the Kontra in the same works (quartets 1, 3 and 15).

It's been an interesting exercise. I wouldn't say there are many enormous interpretative differences. My impression are the Kontra are a little sharper edged, and the Nightingale have a slightly warmer and more varied palette.

Certainly there were moments where I thought that the Nightingale were allowing me to hear the music a bit differently, with just a fraction more colour and shape (helped of course by being very nicely recorded), and I guess a lyric quality. Against that are certain moments where I just wasn't as convinced by what they were doing. So, for example, while I found the Nightingale to have lots of nice moments in the first 2 movements of SQ no.1, their finale was a bit disappointing. It's a sort of perpetual motion whereas the Kontra make it a much more pointed 5/4 dance. This was one of the most specific differences between the two ensembles and it's one where I definitely came down on the Kontra side.

Similarly in SQ no.15, there are some really nice moments from the Nightingale, but somehow the 2nd movement just sort of passed me by. As for SQ no.3, well, I guess this exercise demonstrated to me that it's not one of my favourite works anyway, as neither performance enthused me more than the other.

So I'm not feeling a clear 'winner' here. Are the Kontra good? Yes, I generally think so. Are the Nightingale good? Yes, so far I think they're generally pretty good. Not better, just different. Some definite strengths, but sometimes not preferable.
I am now working on a discography of the works of Vagn Holmboe. Please visit and also contribute!

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #710 on: January 11, 2021, 07:46:15 AM »
Thanks to the wonders of streaming I've compared the Nightingale first volume to the Kontra in the same works (quartets 1, 3 and 15).

It's been an interesting exercise. I wouldn't say there are many enormous interpretative differences. My impression are the Kontra are a little sharper edged, and the Nightingale have a slightly warmer and more varied palette.

Certainly there were moments where I thought that the Nightingale were allowing me to hear the music a bit differently, with just a fraction more colour and shape (helped of course by being very nicely recorded), and I guess a lyric quality. Against that are certain moments where I just wasn't as convinced by what they were doing. So, for example, while I found the Nightingale to have lots of nice moments in the first 2 movements of SQ no.1, their finale was a bit disappointing. It's a sort of perpetual motion whereas the Kontra make it a much more pointed 5/4 dance. This was one of the most specific differences between the two ensembles and it's one where I definitely came down on the Kontra side.

Similarly in SQ no.15, there are some really nice moments from the Nightingale, but somehow the 2nd movement just sort of passed me by. As for SQ no.3, well, I guess this exercise demonstrated to me that it's not one of my favourite works anyway, as neither performance enthused me more than the other.

So I'm not feeling a clear 'winner' here. Are the Kontra good? Yes, I generally think so. Are the Nightingale good? Yes, so far I think they're generally pretty good. Not better, just different. Some definite strengths, but sometimes not preferable.

I’ll probably end up just sticking with the Kontras in these SQs. I really like their set and the performances so far have been top-drawer. I need to become more familiar with these SQs.
"I believe that Strauss will remain one of the characteristic and outstanding figures in musical history. Works like Salome, Elektra and Intermezzo, and others will not perish.” - Arnold Schoenberg on Richard Strauss

Offline krummholz

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Re: Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
« Reply #711 on: January 11, 2021, 09:20:02 AM »
Thanks to the wonders of streaming I've compared the Nightingale first volume to the Kontra in the same works (quartets 1, 3 and 15).

Interesting comments, thanks. I've pre-ordered the CD, but I don't expect it to be delivered until maybe March. Tried streaming the album on Spotify, but blaringly loud ads burst in at random times and basically ruined the experience, so I'll have to wait to deliver my judgment.

It doesn't surprise me to hear you say they're not better, just different. I'm still happy for the opportunity to hear different interpretations of these works.  I do love the quartets as performed by the Kontras, but have never assumed that they were the last word in this music.