Author Topic: Hilding Rosenberg  (Read 26702 times)

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Offline The new erato

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Re: Hilding Rosenberg
« Reply #100 on: October 21, 2016, 12:00:14 AM »
I like the stained-glass window analogy - particularly with Symphony 4. I have Rosenberg conducting Symphony 5 in a boxed set of him conducting his own work - I must listen to it again although I'm sure that 2 and 3 will remain my favourites:


This box set used to be incredibly expensive but now you can pick it up relatively cheaply on Amazon UK.
Ordered!

Offline Androcles

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Re: Hilding Rosenberg
« Reply #101 on: October 22, 2016, 03:56:22 AM »
Rummaging around on the internet, I came across this article.

http://dvm.nu/periodical/ns/ns_1992/ns_1992_03/hilding-rosenberg-centenary/

It gives quite a good idea of his music and stylistic concerns in different periods - and a few ideas as to what pieces to look out for.  :)
And, moreover, it is art in its most general and comprehensive form that is here discussed, for the dialogue embraces everything connected with it, from its greatest object, the state, to its least, the embellishment of sensuous existence.

Offline Androcles

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Re: Hilding Rosenberg
« Reply #102 on: October 22, 2016, 03:57:37 PM »
Today I listened again to the disc of Symphony No.4. It strikes me that this work is an oratorio rather than a symphony, and works better thought of in that way. Symphony No. 5 feels more symphonic and a better work overall.

When I manage to quash all feelings of guilt about ordering another CD (I buy a lot of books too...), I might buy the disc of Symphony No. 5.
And, moreover, it is art in its most general and comprehensive form that is here discussed, for the dialogue embraces everything connected with it, from its greatest object, the state, to its least, the embellishment of sensuous existence.

Offline André

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Re: Hilding Rosenberg
« Reply #103 on: October 22, 2016, 06:32:32 PM »
I like the stained-glass window analogy - particularly with Symphony 4. I have Rosenberg conducting Symphony 5 in a boxed set of him conducting his own work - I must listen to it again although I'm sure that 2 and 3 will remain my favourites:


This box set used to be incredibly expensive but now you can pick it up relatively cheaply on Amazon UK.

Hi Jeffrey !

How could the second disc comprise the 3rd and 4th symphonies ? The 4th is almost 80 minutes long...?

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Hilding Rosenberg
« Reply #104 on: October 23, 2016, 08:06:02 AM »
Hi Jeffrey !

How could the second disc comprise the 3rd and 4th symphonies ? The 4th is almost 80 minutes long...?
I'm in a pub having been away for the weekend so this is off the top of my head but I'll check when I get home Andre. It must be excerts from Symphony 4./ :)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline André

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Re: Hilding Rosenberg
« Reply #105 on: October 23, 2016, 01:21:16 PM »
A weekend away at the pub...  :D

Anyone heard the 2 piano concertos ? Superb works, surprisingly romantic.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Hilding Rosenberg
« Reply #106 on: October 23, 2016, 02:29:43 PM »
A weekend away at the pub...  :D

Anyone heard the 2 piano concertos ? Superb works, surprisingly romantic.
Actually I was away for the weekend in a different pub to the one I posted my message from.  8)
It was actually a walking in the countryside weekend and not a 'pub crawl' in case anyone got the wrong idea. I do have the piano concertos and must listen again.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

cilgwyn

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Re: Hilding Rosenberg
« Reply #107 on: October 24, 2016, 12:47:50 AM »
Now why would anyone have the audacity to think it was a pub crawl?!! ;D
If it had been me......even IF I had something I could post a message from a pub with:I doubt if I'd have been able to find the door..........let alone the right button to press!!!
(The bar yes.....but heaven forbid the door!!!! ???)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Hilding Rosenberg
« Reply #108 on: October 24, 2016, 10:44:48 AM »
Hi Jeffrey !

How could the second disc comprise the 3rd and 4th symphonies ? The 4th is almost 80 minutes long...?
Andre!
I have Disc two in front of me now it is titled 'Hilding Rosenberg interprets the first version of his Third and Fourth Symphonies' (total time 75.31 mins.) Symphony 3 features spoken extracts before each movement from Romain Rolland read by the composer itself. This is a bit like the original version of Sinfonia Antartica by Vaughan Williams which featured spoken extracts which were later dropped on the basis, I think, that they broke up the continuity of the music. Still, it is fun to hear Rosenberg's voice although I've no idea what he is saying. As for Symphony 4 'The Revelation of St. John' it features 36.41 minutes of music and is designated as 'Fragments from the original version'. The recordings are from 1948 (Symphony 3 and 1940/44 for Symphony 4). It is a great CD set with an accompanying booklet of 114 pages.
Hope this helps!  :)
Jeffrey
PS I find Rosenberg's performance of Symphony 3 very moving - especially the slow movement which sounds more Siberian than ever here - it is a live performance and more engaged than any other version.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2016, 10:55:28 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline André

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Re: Hilding Rosenberg
« Reply #109 on: October 24, 2016, 12:38:05 PM »
Thanks, Jeffrey, you're the man !  :D

What about the 5th symphony ?  From what I read I'm not sure if it's a "classical" symphonic work or some kind of oratorio ? I hesitate to plunge... I concur with your assessment of the 3rd. I have Andrew Davis' disc.

If I may add a recommendation: his string quartets are very interesting works, actually just as good as his symphonic ones. Any of the Caprice cds issued is worth exploring. They had the good sense to program them intelligently to make up satisfying musical programmes instead of slavishly following the chronological order (1-12 plus the unnumbered 1942 work).
« Last Edit: October 24, 2016, 12:40:01 PM by André »

Offline The new erato

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Re: Hilding Rosenberg
« Reply #110 on: October 24, 2016, 10:21:21 PM »


If I may add a recommendation: his string quartets are very interesting works, actually just as good as his symphonic ones. Any of the Caprice cds issued is worth exploring. They had the good sense to program them intelligently to make up satisfying musical programmes instead of slavishly following the chronological order (1-12 plus the unnumbered 1942 work).
I love them, particularly no 4, the most unashamedly romantic of them.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Hilding Rosenberg
« Reply #111 on: October 25, 2016, 12:29:20 AM »
Thanks, Jeffrey, you're the man !  :D

What about the 5th symphony ?  From what I read I'm not sure if it's a "classical" symphonic work or some kind of oratorio ? I hesitate to plunge... I concur with your assessment of the 3rd. I have Andrew Davis' disc.

If I may add a recommendation: his string quartets are very interesting works, actually just as good as his symphonic ones. Any of the Caprice cds issued is worth exploring. They had the good sense to program them intelligently to make up satisfying musical programmes instead of slavishly following the chronological order (1-12 plus the unnumbered 1942 work).
Thanks Andre. I meant sibelian and not Siberian by the way in my comment on Symphony 3   ::). I will look out for the string quartets. Some think that Symphony 5 is Rosenberg's masterpiece but I recall, on the basis on one or two listens only not to enjoy it as much as symphonies 2 and 3. I think No.3 is the 'masterpiece'. But I will listen to No.5 again as it is ages since I heard it and my opinion might be different now.  :)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Hilding Rosenberg
« Reply #112 on: October 25, 2016, 12:29:57 AM »
I love them, particularly no 4, the most unashamedly romantic of them.
Thanks - look forward to hearing your views on the boxed set.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline DaveF

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Re: Hilding Rosenberg
« Reply #113 on: October 25, 2016, 02:10:38 AM »
Some think that Symphony 5 is Rosenberg's masterpiece

This: http://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/rosenberg-the-revelation-of-st-john-symphony-no-4 was the review I was thinking of in which Robert Layton does indeed make that claim - and yes, please, record companies, let's have the modern recording that he calls for in his last sentence.

It's strange how, to my ears, the beginning of no.5 is so close, both in notes and atmosphere, to the Alcotts movement of the Concord Sonata - two composers whom you can't imagine had even heard of one another, much less know one another's work.
"All the world is birthday cake" - George Harrison

Offline Rons_talking

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Re: Hilding Rosenberg
« Reply #114 on: October 25, 2016, 03:57:07 AM »
This: http://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/rosenberg-the-revelation-of-st-john-symphony-no-4 was the review I was thinking of in which Robert Layton does indeed make that claim - and yes, please, record companies, let's have the modern recording that he calls for in his last sentence.

It's strange how, to my ears, the beginning of no.5 is so close, both in notes and atmosphere, to the Alcotts movement of the Concord Sonata - two composers whom you can't imagine had even heard of one another, much less know one another's work.

I like no.4 and 5. They are my favorites upon limited  listening :)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Hilding Rosenberg
« Reply #115 on: October 25, 2016, 05:50:55 AM »
Thanks, Jeffrey, you're the man !  :D

What about the 5th symphony ?  From what I read I'm not sure if it's a "classical" symphonic work or some kind of oratorio ? I hesitate to plunge... I concur with your assessment of the 3rd. I have Andrew Davis' disc.

If I may add a recommendation: his string quartets are very interesting works, actually just as good as his symphonic ones. Any of the Caprice cds issued is worth exploring. They had the good sense to program them intelligently to make up satisfying musical programmes instead of slavishly following the chronological order (1-12 plus the unnumbered 1942 work).
Andre,
OK I hadn't realised that the individual CDs have their own detailed booklet notes too! It really is a superbly presented package. The booklet tells us that: 'only four fragments remain from the first performance in 1940' (Symphony 4) which is what we have here. Apparently Rosenberg composed a sung rather than recited version of Symphony 4 because at the first performance in English in Chicago in 1948 the actor read all the biblical extracts in one go ignoring the pause marks. Rosenberg wished for this fiasco not to be repeated in the future!

The Robert Layton article is interesting. I remember reading it ages ago.

Rosenberg's own reading of the original Romain Rolland passages which were included in the original 1939 version of Symphony 3 were recorded in 1977. Also this early recording includes a fugue in the third movement which was later excised. The plot thickens!
« Last Edit: October 25, 2016, 05:56:37 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Hilding Rosenberg
« Reply #116 on: October 26, 2016, 02:19:36 AM »
I listened to the CD with symphonies 3 and extracts from No.4 yesterday (from the boxed set above). Despite the age of the recording I thought that Rosenberg conducting his Third Symphony is the greatest recorded performance of this work. It has an urgency, intensity and unique visionary quality, especially in the slow movement and inspiriting last movement. It is one of my favourite symphonies and I also have versions conducted by Blomstedt (Phono Suecia) Andrew Davis (Finlandia) and Venzano (BIS) - they are all good (and I'm delighted that the British conductor Andrew Davis recorded this great score) but the Rosenberg version has a unique quality like Beecham's recording of Sibelius's Fourth Symphony or Koussevitsky's recording of Howard Hanson's Third Symphony. If you want a single CD version of a modern recording I would opt for the BIS or Phono Suecia release They are coupled with the very fine Symphony 6 'Sinfonia Semplice'. Blomstedt's version of Symphony 6 conveys a greater intensity but it is an older recording. The Andrew Davis version is also a fine performance of Symphony 3.

Also the extracts from Symphony 4 (spoken narration version) includes my favourite section (track 11) - a poetic passage which always makes me think of the stars twinkling in the night sky.
On to Symphony 5.
 :)

Added later:
Symphony 5 is a majestic score but the problem here is the 1944 recording - there is a great deal of surface noise. One gets a sense of the symphony's power and profundity but the impact is blunted by the distortion on the recording. Also, unlike symphonies 2,3,4,6 and 8, as far as I know, there is no other recording. It desperately cries out for a new recording.

Added even later:
After Symphony 5 comes 'The Holy Night' - a beautiful Christmas Oratorio for narrator, mixed-choir, soloists and orchestra. The recording from 1949 is so much better than that provided for Symphony 5. The work shows the influence of folk-song, Gregorian chant and Bach.

And here is a modern recording of the lovely 'Holy Night' (around £5.00 on Amazon UK). I like the Lars-Erik Larsson work too:


Apparently it (Holy Night) regularly features on the radio in Sweden at Christmas. I expect that it might appeal to admirers of the choral works of Vaughan Williams or Finzi. The touching final section 'Song of the Star' also reminded me of the moving ending of Delius's underrated 'Requiem'.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2016, 05:00:06 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline André

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Re: Hilding Rosenberg
« Reply #117 on: October 26, 2016, 01:26:28 PM »
Jeffrey, thanks! As always you are the most objective critic around.

With all the "supply" (Amazon) around it's important for us to separate the good (loads our visa account) from the indispensable (gladdens our heart and enriches our collection :D).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Hilding Rosenberg
« Reply #118 on: October 27, 2016, 05:01:57 AM »
Jeffrey, thanks! As always you are the most objective critic around.

With all the "supply" (Amazon) around it's important for us to separate the good (loads our visa account) from the indispensable (gladdens our heart and enriches our collection :D).
Thank you my friend!  :)
Actually I don't think I'm that objective as I tend to react emotionally to most things. 8)
You are so right about separating the 'good' from the indispensable. Being semi-retired now I have to follow this advice. However the Rosenberg symphonies discussed above and the 'Holy Night' count as indespinsible, inspiriting and heart-warming. I certainly indend to listen to Holy Night at Christmas this year.
Now, back to Amazon UK hahaha.  :)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

SymphonicAddict

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Re: Hilding Rosenberg
« Reply #119 on: September 11, 2018, 12:38:01 PM »
Count me as other fan of this awesome composer. I'm listening to the symphonies (something rare on me, isn't it?  ;) ) and I'm really impressed. I've played the first 3 of them (the 1st and 2nd on YouTube). This is absolutely wonderful stuff. As I'm not a musician, I can't speak about them on musical terms, just I can say they have great power, a sort of seriousness which I find engaging, and a strong sense of transcendence. His style is something like Nielsen meets Hindemith. I'm not meaning he's derivative, it's just how I perceive the music. Where has Rosenberg been all my life?

Now I intend to hear the 4th Symphony (The Revelation of St. John).