Author Topic: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.  (Read 157854 times)

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Offline Alex Bozman

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Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
« Reply #760 on: September 19, 2020, 12:31:17 PM »
Surely you haven't heard Rawsthorne's piano concerti then! ;) They're delightful works, full of wit. His later works, though (e.g. Symphony no. 3 and Cello Concerto) are indeed devoid of any light or positive emotions.
I liked the 3rd Symphony, it sounds like nothing else he wrote and didn't register with me as a particularly dark piece.. Don't know the Cello Concerto. To my mind, many of Rawsthorne's pieces seem to have a very similar sound-world to them, you could identify the composer fairly easily on hearing a few bars   

Offline Alex Bozman

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Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
« Reply #761 on: September 20, 2020, 04:48:40 AM »
Back OT, finding the Eklund 5th Symphony a tough nut to crack. I can only find a copy of the painting online for Richard Bergh's The Girl and Death which inspired the first movement and that is unsettling with a young woman being followed by the Grim reaper.

Offline J

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Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
« Reply #762 on: September 20, 2020, 08:02:04 AM »
I do recommend to try Eklund at some point. The CPO disc is impressive, the performances are first-class. By judging those works I can imagine he was a very troubled man. There are no traces of 'happiness' in them.

Eklund rather reminds me of the Norwegian Halvor Haug. There's the same penchant for creating dark, gloomy, and mostly slow moving atmospherics, without any particular thematic distinction.  It's "mood music" more than anything, falling within a pretty narrow range of expression.

I've heard a fair number of Eklund's Symphonies, and (I think) all of Haug's, and in both cases feel they never did better than their very first efforts, - each of their respective Symphony No.1's, - with the successors being mostly less cogent repetitions that don't offer anything new, albeit fine for listening to if you're drawn to the sound world. But for the "essence" of Eklund & Haug acquire their 1st Symphonies, and you can leave the rest.


Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
« Reply #763 on: September 20, 2020, 08:16:54 AM »
Back OT, finding the Eklund 5th Symphony a tough nut to crack. I can only find a copy of the painting online for Richard Bergh's The Girl and Death which inspired the first movement and that is unsettling with a young woman being followed by the Grim reaper.

Curiously that was the symphony I found more gripping on the CD. I loved those militaristic-like passages. The use of percussion there is stunning. A very exciting piece.
«Music is liquid architecture; architecture is frozen music.»

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Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
« Reply #764 on: September 20, 2020, 08:27:10 AM »
Eklund rather reminds me of the Norwegian Halvor Haug. There's the same penchant for creating dark, gloomy, and mostly slow moving atmospherics, without any particular thematic distinction.  It's "mood music" more than anything, falling within a pretty narrow range of expression.

I've heard a fair number of Eklund's Symphonies, and (I think) all of Haug's, and in both cases feel they never did better than their very first efforts, - each of their respective Symphony No.1's, - with the successors being mostly less cogent repetitions that don't offer anything new, albeit fine for listening to if you're drawn to the sound world. But for the "essence" of Eklund & Haug acquire their 1st Symphonies, and you can leave the rest.

I haven't heard Eklund's first symphony yet, but I have tried the Haug and it's a quite serious piece evoking a raw atmosphere. The difference I've been able to notice on what I've heard is that Eklund prints more rhytmic vitality than Haug, and that is a good plus IMO.
«Music is liquid architecture; architecture is frozen music.»

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Offline Alex Bozman

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Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
« Reply #765 on: September 21, 2020, 01:07:31 PM »
The Haug cd with the Symphony 1 was one of the first I bought and an impressive piece. the 2nd occupied a different sound-world, so I wouldn't accept the premise J puts forward for him. Eklund does seem to have a distinctive sound world, haven't caught his 1st yet, but both the 3rd and 6th are striking pieces, while I'm still getting to grips with his 5th.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
« Reply #766 on: September 22, 2020, 08:34:57 AM »
Eklund made a greater initial impression on me than did Haug's 1st Symphony.
"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 J

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Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
« Reply #767 on: September 22, 2020, 04:40:37 PM »
The Haug cd with the Symphony 1 was one of the first I bought and an impressive piece. the 2nd occupied a different sound-world, so I wouldn't accept the premise J puts forward for him. Eklund does seem to have a distinctive sound world, haven't caught his 1st yet, but both the 3rd and 6th are striking pieces, while I'm still getting to grips with his 5th.

I'd fully admit that my statements are arguable, - vis-à-vis both family resemblances between Eklund & Haug, and the claim each of their 1st Symphonies are paradigmatic.
Still, I think there's merit enough for consideration, in the process of which we can hone our perceptions.  I could now agree with "the Addict" that Eklund's sound world can be
noticeably more hard-edged and agitated than Haug at times.

Eklund's 1st Symphony is easily heard on YouTube, and for me holds together better and grips me more decisively than the others I've heard, - perhaps eight of them, all told.
Would like some other commenters here to give it a listen and offer their evaluations.

Offline Alex Bozman

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Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
« Reply #768 on: October 01, 2020, 10:43:51 AM »


Eklund's 1st Symphony is easily heard on YouTube, and for me holds together better and grips me more decisively than the others I've heard, - perhaps eight of them, all told.
Would like some other commenters here to give it a listen and offer their evaluations.

Sadly nobody else has taken you up on that (yet). I have found and listened to Eklund's symphony no 1, Sinfonia Seria, on YouTube a couple of times now. There's some great writing for timpani and reminders of his later works in this piece, but for me, not as coherent as some of the later symphonies, like the 6th posted earlier in this thread.

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
« Reply #769 on: November 04, 2020, 08:51:32 AM »
Has anyone here mentioned this composer?  Copied over from current listening thread.


Next up:  Väinö Raitio's tone poem Joutsenet (The Swans).  New work and new composer to me...quite enjoyed it!  The work's motto is a poem by Otto Manninen.  The work was first performed by Kajanus in 1921.

Wondering how well he is known in Finland and what works of his might be popular?  I'll try posting this also in the Finnish thread.

PD

Offline MusicTurner

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Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
« Reply #770 on: November 04, 2020, 09:24:28 AM »
Has anyone here mentioned this composer?  Copied over from current listening thread.


Next up:  Väinö Raitio's tone poem Joutsenet (The Swans).  New work and new composer to me...quite enjoyed it!  The work's motto is a poem by Otto Manninen.  The work was first performed by Kajanus in 1921.

Wondering how well he is known in Finland and what works of his might be popular?  I'll try posting this also in the Finnish thread.

PD

There's also his symphonic poem 'Moonlight on Jupiter´;)

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
« Reply #771 on: November 04, 2020, 10:46:04 AM »
There's also his symphonic poem 'Moonlight on Jupiter´;)
Thanks.  I did insert his name into youtube and found some more of his works.  According to Wiki, his music was apparently too modern for current tastes and the only work of his that was published during his lifetime was "The Swans".

PD

Offline pjme

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Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
« Reply #772 on: November 04, 2020, 10:55:53 AM »
PD, you'll like tis:

Väinö Raitio loved cats and even dedicated one of his finest orchestral works, Kuutamo Jupiterissa [Moonlight on Jupiter], to his cat: “I dedicate this tone poem to my cat, who came from Korso. I sent him to Jupiter in October 1922.” This dedication has been read as misanthropic disdain towards the people around him or a declaration of eccentric independence. Raitio himself, however, said he simply wished to honour the memory of a beloved family member.

To his wife Hildur, Raitio explained that Kuutamo Jupiterissa was based on a strange dream in which he had travelled in space and seen seven of the moons of Jupiter. Hildur Raitio also recalled that the work was Raitio’s favourite in his output.

Read more at : https://fmq.fi/articles/the-bourgeois-modernist/

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
« Reply #773 on: November 05, 2020, 02:14:06 AM »
Raitio and his cat (possibly the dedicatee of 'Moonlight on Jupiter'):
« Last Edit: November 05, 2020, 02:18:52 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 Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
« Reply #774 on: November 05, 2020, 06:01:48 AM »
PD, you'll like tis:

Väinö Raitio loved cats and even dedicated one of his finest orchestral works, Kuutamo Jupiterissa [Moonlight on Jupiter], to his cat: “I dedicate this tone poem to my cat, who came from Korso. I sent him to Jupiter in October 1922.” This dedication has been read as misanthropic disdain towards the people around him or a declaration of eccentric independence. Raitio himself, however, said he simply wished to honour the memory of a beloved family member.

To his wife Hildur, Raitio explained that Kuutamo Jupiterissa was based on a strange dream in which he had travelled in space and seen seven of the moons of Jupiter. Hildur Raitio also recalled that the work was Raitio’s favourite in his output.

Read more at : https://fmq.fi/articles/the-bourgeois-modernist/


Raitio and his cat (possibly the dedicatee of 'Moonlight on Jupiter'):

Thank you for that background and for the photo (amazing how happy/content/peaceful composers look when they are holding their beloved pets).

Hope to visit Jupiter myself this afternoon or evening.  :D  ;)

Best wishes,

PD


Offline 71 dB

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Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
« Reply #775 on: December 07, 2020, 04:46:32 AM »
There was this independence day concert of Finnish composers and I saw a glimpse of it on TV, the latter half or so of the Piano Concerto, Op 7 by Helvi Leiviskä (1902-1982) who I had never heard before. It seemed like a nice work with strong Rachmaninovian influences. Apparently this was the first performance of the original version.

https://core.musicfinland.fi/composers/helvi-leiviska
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Offline Scots John

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Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
« Reply #776 on: December 11, 2020, 05:40:33 AM »


I've been listening to Borresen for the first time recently.  There is something in the style of the more 'Northern' sound that appeals to me very much, and Borresen has it in abundance.  If I'm listening to Romantic or Late Romantic by certain composers, I can hear the 'sound of Vienna' in many pieces.  As I am a huge fan of Atterberg, Sibelius, Rangstrom, Nielsen, et al, something rests there for me, I can hear a more brassy sound, a more urgent sound, and legions of beautiful melodies and adagio from the North. 
Going to read through much of this topic, see what other composers from the North I can discover...

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Offline kyjo

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Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
« Reply #777 on: December 13, 2020, 10:11:12 AM »


I've been listening to Borresen for the first time recently.  There is something in the style of the more 'Northern' sound that appeals to me very much, and Borresen has it in abundance.  If I'm listening to Romantic or Late Romantic by certain composers, I can hear the 'sound of Vienna' in many pieces.  As I am a huge fan of Atterberg, Sibelius, Rangstrom, Nielsen, et al, something rests there for me, I can hear a more brassy sound, a more urgent sound, and legions of beautiful melodies and adagio from the North. 
Going to read through much of this topic, see what other composers from the North I can discover...

I wouldn’t quite place Børresen in the same league as the “Swedish Five” (Alfvén, Atterberg, Peterson-Berger, Rangström, Stenhammar) or even his lesser-known Danish contemporaries Louis Glass and Ludolf Nielsen (in their best works), but he still wrote some really enjoyable, well-crafted music. His three symphonies, while staunchly conservative (and not particularly Nordic-sounding) works, are tuneful, energetic, and well worth hearing.

I totally agree with you about the special allure of that “Nordic sound”. It resonates strongly with me and compels me to return to these composers’ music with especially great frequency.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
« Reply #778 on: December 18, 2020, 05:11:42 AM »
Currently listening to an interesting podcast on Scandinavian and Finnish composers.  I stumbled across it due to a link elsewhere to a conversation between David Hurwitz and one of the folks from PrestoClassical.

This one is a discussion between Andrew Mellor and Matt Groom.  I remember Mellor's obsession (in a good way) with Scandinavia and Finland from my days of reading Gramophone.  Found out that he actually moved to Copenhagen in 2015.  The podcast is a combo of cultural and historical insights on the various countries and regions and how this has impacted the musical developments and their sound worlds.  Discovered some new composers.  :)

https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/articles/3448--presto-music-podcast-episode-3-a-scandinavian-sojourn-with-andrew-mellor

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
« Reply #779 on: December 18, 2020, 05:44:09 AM »
Anyone explored Lars Petter Hagen’s music?
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