GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: Harry on April 13, 2007, 04:33:51 AM

Title: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 13, 2007, 04:33:51 AM
Lets make a thread about Scandinavian composers.
I start with a few 20th century composers that I listen to now, and impress me mightily.

Rautavaara/Madetoja/Merikanto/Kokkonen/Bergman/Klami/Englund and so on.
Would love lots of input, to increase my knowledge and collection of the composers mentioned, and recommended.
Thanks
Title: Re: Scandinavian composers.
Post by: Hector on April 13, 2007, 04:38:36 AM
Er, aren't some of these Finnish?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 13, 2007, 04:45:08 AM
Er, aren't some of these Finnish?

You are right, corrected that!
Thank you!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: 71 dB on April 13, 2007, 04:50:05 AM
My favorite Finnish composer is Englund. I also liked Eero Hämeenniemi's 4th symphony when I heard it on TV (premier performance).
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 13, 2007, 05:03:52 AM
My favorite Finnish composer is Englund. I also liked Eero Hämeenniemi's 4th symphony when I heard it on TV (premier performance).

I try to get some music together from Englund, since I seem to like his music.
In what style is EH composing my friend?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: 71 dB on April 13, 2007, 05:15:37 AM
I try to get some music together from Englund, since I seem to like his music.
In what style is EH composing my friend?

I don't have much Englund so far but I am planning to buy his chamber music on BIS. Purely financial problem as you know.

Eero Hämeenniemi uses traditional style combined with new things. I understood he has studied Chinese music too. So his style is very rich and formally free. I have heard only his newest symphony but I liked it alot.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: AB68 on April 13, 2007, 06:55:50 AM
The Norwegian composer Rolf Wallin, one of my favourite contemporary composers. Worth checking out if you are not already familiar with his works.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 13, 2007, 07:15:46 AM
The Norwegian composer Rolf Wallin, one of my favourite contemporary composers. Worth checking out if you are not already familiar with his works.

The meaning of this thread is that if you introduce a composer, you give a bit more info to go on.
So if you please my friend! :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: AB68 on April 13, 2007, 07:29:06 AM
The meaning of this thread is that if you introduce a composer, you give a bit more info to go on.
So if you please my friend! :)

I suggest you take a look at his website. Very useful to get to know his music.
http://www.rolfwallin.org/ (http://www.rolfwallin.org/)

There are also some sound clips.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 13, 2007, 07:32:29 AM
I suggest you take a look at his website. Very useful to get to know his music.
http://www.rolfwallin.org/ (http://www.rolfwallin.org/)

There are also some sound clips.

Thank you very much, much delighted with this link. :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: uffeviking on April 13, 2007, 08:44:59 AM
Great idea of yours, Harry, to rummage around in the archive and discover the many threads about Scandinavian, Finnish, et al, composers. We had a multitude of lengthy, interesting, informative and challenging discussions about this group of extraordinary composers. Nice to have it back!

My first contribution is - what else? - an opera! Gunner Møller Pedersen wrote the opera Rottesken, Die Rättin, based on a novel by the Nobel Prize winner Günter Grass - Die Blechtrommel, The Tin Drum.

Rottesken is about the miracle experienced by Noah after The Flood when the dove brought him the olive twig, but also very gently, deposited a rat turd in his palm. No living creature was supposed to have survived The Flood, where did this turd come from? Anybody who is familiar with Grass is also familiar with his sense of humour, covering serious thoughts, and it's all there in Pedersen's music.

The music part I copy from the booklet: "The music of "Die Rättin" will sound familiar to most people, some of it even very familiar. The music, just like the dreaming man, is orderly organized: traditional, tonal and designed to carry the pain of the lyrics". The six member Ensemble Domino provides lovely sounds accompanying the two singers, mezzo Helle Hinz, the rat, and Ulrik Cold, bariton Noah.

Altogether a different opera, but one worth listening to.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: karlhenning on April 13, 2007, 08:46:47 AM
I'm just waiting for this to become an annexe to the Pettersson thread  ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 13, 2007, 08:50:02 AM
I'm just waiting for this to become an annexe to the Pettersson thread  ;D

I rather would like to resist that if possible! ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 13, 2007, 08:55:14 AM
Great idea of yours, Harry, to rummage around in the archive and discover the many threads about Scandinavian, Finnish, et al, composers. We had a multitude of lengthy, interesting, informative and challenging discussions about this group of extraordinary composers. Nice to have it back!

My first contribution is - what else? - an opera! Gunner Møller Pedersen wrote the opera Rottesken, Die Rättin, based on a novel by the Nobel Prize winner Günter Grass - Die Blechtrommel, The Tin Drum.

Rottesken is about the miracle experienced by Noah after The Flood when the dove brought him the olive twig, but also very gently, deposited a rat turd in his palm. No living creature was supposed to have survived The Flood, where did this turd come from? Anybody who is familiar with Grass is also familiar with his sense of humour, covering serious thoughts, and it's all there in Pedersen's music.

The music part I copy from the booklet: "The music of "Die Rättin" will sound familiar to most people, some of it even very familiar. The music, just like the dreaming man, is orderly organized: traditional, tonal and designed to carry the pain of the lyrics". The six member Ensemble Domino provides lovely sounds accompanying the two singers, mezzo Helle Hinz, the rat, and Ulrik Cold, bariton Noah.

Altogether a different opera, but one worth listening to.

Because you told this story so convincing, I will dive into this opera. I love reading Grass, so that is familiar.
A friend of mine that lives in South Africa is a opera buff, I will ask me to lend this music to me, and I am sure she will because she likes me!
Mezzo and Bariton will not hurt me I guess.
Thanks Lis for your contribution.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The Emperor on April 13, 2007, 09:04:51 AM
I'm just waiting for this to become an annexe to the Pettersson thread  ;D
I was going to mention him of course  ;)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: uffeviking on April 13, 2007, 09:06:17 AM
Make sure your friend includes the libretto, unless you are fluent in Danish!

Pedersen wrote a supreme passage for the bariton, delivered to perfection by Ulrik Cold as he contemplates the turd on his palm. It's not an outcry of surprise, loud disgust or high volume incredibility, no, he mutters, repeated twice, and utterly bewildered: "A turd?" Precious!  :D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: karlhenning on April 13, 2007, 09:13:40 AM
Pedersen wrote a supreme passage for the bariton, delivered to perfection by Ulrik Cold as he contemplates the turd on his palm.

There can never be too much of that in opera, I think.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 13, 2007, 09:17:45 AM
Make sure your friend includes the libretto, unless you are fluent in Danish!

Pedersen wrote a supreme passage for the bariton, delivered to perfection by Ulrik Cold as he contemplates the turd on his palm. It's not an outcry of surprise, loud disgust or high volume incredibility, no, he mutters, repeated twice, and utterly bewildered: "A turd?" Precious!  :D

I already emailed her, and its on the way to me! :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 13, 2007, 09:20:42 AM
O, yes before any one else does, I as a Allan Pettersson fan, yes fan, will introduce him to this thread.
You know already how much I am involved in this composer, calling him one of the greatest composer of the 20th century.
And I stand firm in this conclusion.

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://musicinwords.free.fr/images/petters/Pettersson.jpg&imgrefurl=http://musicinwords.free.fr/aplife.htm&h=198&w=197&sz=18&hl=nl&sig2=vxnG-n9A9bjgzcQZaqqEIA&start=3&tbnid=EQkR2pFLbNv-QM:&tbnh=104&tbnw=103&ei=I8ofRoWGII2k0ATR6ZH6CA&prev=/images%3Fq%3DAllan%2BPettersson%26svnum%3D50%26hl%3Dnl%26lr%3Dlang_nl%26newwindow%3D1%26sa%3DN (http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://musicinwords.free.fr/images/petters/Pettersson.jpg&imgrefurl=http://musicinwords.free.fr/aplife.htm&h=198&w=197&sz=18&hl=nl&sig2=vxnG-n9A9bjgzcQZaqqEIA&start=3&tbnid=EQkR2pFLbNv-QM:&tbnh=104&tbnw=103&ei=I8ofRoWGII2k0ATR6ZH6CA&prev=/images%3Fq%3DAllan%2BPettersson%26svnum%3D50%26hl%3Dnl%26lr%3Dlang_nl%26newwindow%3D1%26sa%3DN)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The Emperor on April 13, 2007, 09:33:28 AM
To me Pettersson is second only to Shostakovich... errr and i'm leaving Stravinsky and Bartok behind which i love.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: uffeviking on April 13, 2007, 09:50:20 AM
calling him one of the greatest composer of the 20th century.

Hurrah, there we go, it is getting interesting now, finally! We are having a difference of opinion, always so welcome at GMG. Your declaration about Pettersen is of course your judgement, your opinion.

In my opinion Rued Langgaard, 1893-1952, is the greatest composer of the 20th century! How do I know? Because I once knew a 15 year old musical genius, a child prodigy studying at a CA conservatory on a special scholarship program, told me so! Serious, I am not making this up. But after I listened to more of Langgaard, I can understand the young man's enthusiasm, without endorsing his judgement of course.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Don on April 13, 2007, 09:52:20 AM
I just acquired Langgaard's Violin Sonatas on Dacapo; looking forward to sinking my teeth into them.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 13, 2007, 09:58:32 AM
Hurrah, there we go, it is getting interesting now, finally! We are having a difference of opinion, always so welcome at GMG. Your declaration about Pettersen is of course your judgement, your opinion.

In my opinion Rued Langgaard, 1893-1952, is the greatest composer of the 20th century! How do I know? Because I once knew a 15 year old musical genius, a child prodigy studying at a CA conservatory on a special scholarship program, told me so! Serious, I am not making this up. But after I listened to more of Langgaard, I can understand the young man's enthusiasm, without endorsing his judgement of course.

Still stand firm Lis!, but Langgaard is on my order list, so to know him better you understand! ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 13, 2007, 09:59:21 AM
I just acquired Langgaard's Violin Sonatas on Dacapo; looking forward to sinking my teeth into them.

And then tell us of course if Lis is right, though be gentle! :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: uffeviking on April 13, 2007, 10:01:39 AM
I just acquired Langgaard's Violin Sonatas on Dacapo; looking forward to sinking my teeth into them.

Enjoyable and joyous chewing awaits you, Don! I have volume one with Serguei Azizian and Anne Øland on the piano.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 13, 2007, 10:04:19 AM
Is this a good start Lis? If yes I will order it! :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: karlhenning on April 13, 2007, 10:06:53 AM
Don! I think you will likely want the disc of Langgaard's organ music, as well!  Lovely stuff.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: 71 dB on April 13, 2007, 10:09:01 AM
In my opinion Rued Langgaard, 1893-1952, is the greatest composer of the 20th century!

I have his Sinfonia interna on Dacapo. Interesting music.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: uffeviking on April 13, 2007, 10:16:13 AM
Is this a good start Lis? If yes I will order it! :)

Of course you had to pick one of the works I don't have and am not familiar with. Come on, Harry, be daring, order his Music of the Spheres, if it's still available the one conducted by Gennady Rozhdestvensky I like best. Second choice is the one with John Frandsen on DACO. Be prepared for a blast of great music, and then you can go to his chamber works.

Good Luck!  :-*
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 13, 2007, 10:16:55 AM
Lis were are you when you are needed? :-*
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 13, 2007, 10:23:42 AM
Of course you had to pick one of the works I don't have and am not familiar with. Come on, Harry, be daring, order his Music of the Spheres, if it's still available the one conducted by Gennady Rozhdestvensky I like best. Second choice is the one with John Frandsen on DACO. Be prepared for a blast of great music, and then you can go to his chamber works.

Good Luck!  :-*

Right, will do.....also! :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Robert on April 13, 2007, 10:34:05 AM
Of course you had to pick one of the works I don't have and am not familiar with. Come on, Harry, be daring, order his Music of the Spheres, if it's still available the one conducted by Gennady Rozhdestvensky I like best. Second choice is the one with John Frandsen on DACO. Be prepared for a blast of great music, and then you can go to his chamber works.

Good Luck!  :-*
I believe this to be his best piece. For sure its his most popular.....I would do this first Harry, .I have all his symphonies on Danacord....I might suggest Harry try sym 4-6 on chandos with jarvi.....I prefer these to the Danacord.....Then try his Quartets......
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 13, 2007, 10:40:32 AM
I believe this to be his best piece. For sure its his most popular.....I would do this first Harry, .I have all his symphonies on Danacord....I might suggest Harry try sym 4-6 on chandos with jarvi.....I prefer these to the Danacord.....Then try his Quartets......

Actually the SQ are very cheap, so I wanted to start with those to find out if this composer is my cup of coffee so to say.
I will add the works you advise from Chandos. Why do you prefer them against the Danacord recordings?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Thom on April 13, 2007, 10:47:10 AM
I like to suggest Kurt Atterberg (from Sweden). He wrote 8 symphonies (i think) in a very romantic way. I like his 7th best.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B00000FXUI.01._SCMZZZZZZZ_V44987452_SS500_.jpg)

I quote from a review on Musicweb-International.com:

Kurt ATTERBERG (1887-1974) Symphony No. 7 - 'Sinfonia Romantica'; Symphony No. 8 Malmö Symphony Orchestra conducted by Michail Jurowski STERLING CDS-1026-2

'...my seventh symphony, Sinfonia Romantica, a name which I chose out of irritation with the antic- romantics..." as Atterberg described it, was composed in 1941-42 and revised in 1972. At an informal meeting of three contributors to this site the spontaneous response was "doesn't this sound like Bax!". Indeed, admirers of the English composer will probably have no difficulty in relating to the red-blooded romanticism and rich harmonies and orchestration of this work (and to the other symphonies of Atterberg). This is the première recording of this symphony.

The Seventh Symphony opens with a rather dour fanfare that would seem to herald some tragic drama but the mood soon lightens and the tempo quickens to embrace the sort of heroic music one associates with Errol Flynn swashbucklers. There is also some opulent and languid romantic material and a few wry comic figures. The second Semplice Andante movement is ravishingly beautiful. I am reminded of the remarks of a commentator who described Bax's Second Symphony as one long love song; that description might be applied here but the music might also suggest a still and serene, lush landscape bathed, at the climax, in brilliant sunshine. The third movement, marked Feroce. Allegro, returns to bombast and, at first, it seems as though we are in Korngold's Sherwood Forest, but this is a wild melting pot of a movement, orgiastic with heroic/chivalric film score-like music plus march and dance-like material including a bucolic clog dance. At certain points, the music sounds quite Scottish and Irish and very Baxian. Interestingly, Atterberg's own words dominate the CD notes for this album and he relates how the basis of this symphony was his opera Fanal and how he wrestled with a fourth movement which he eventually discarded so that it could become a separate work in its own right - Op. 58 Vittorioso - yet he leaves it up to conductors' own discretion whether to use this music as a fourth movement. (It can also be tacked onto the composer's Three Nocturnes from Fanal). Maestro Jurowski choses to include only the first three movements.

Atterberg's Eighth Symphony (1944-45) receives its first CD recording on this album. It is based on Swedish folk motifs but the listener will notice a very close similarity to English folk material and indeed, the music reminds one strongly of Ralph Vaughan Williams in the jolly rollicking scherzo. Of this Symphony, Atterberg commented, 'When you happen to be encumbered with an uncontrollable urge to compose symphonic music, you cannot help it if your imagination runs away with you, and takes a melancholy little tune as the framework for a great symphony...This beautiful melody came alive in my imagination: sometimes it was sorrowful and rose red; sometimes - in its major key version - playful; and sometimes it was full of pathos.' - which nicely sums up the work except to say that the usual Atterberg heroic figures are also included and the finale is an exciting orchestral tour de force. Atterberg gives full details, in these fascinating CD booklet notes, about all the tunes he uses and how he incorporated them into this symphony. Jurowski propels the music strongly forward and reveals all the beauty of the more introspective and romantic sections. Strongly recommended.

Reviewer

Ian Lace
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 13, 2007, 10:52:06 AM
There is also a great box from CPO, very good and very cheap too.
Thanks XXXPawn for this fine review, Atterberg of course is also one of my hero's. :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Robert on April 13, 2007, 11:02:18 AM
Actually the SQ are very cheap, so I wanted to start with those to find out if this composer is my cup of coffee so to say.
I will add the works you advise from Chandos. Why do you prefer them against the Danacord recordings?

sonics and performance...My problem with all danacord releases is the sonics.....sym 4 the most melodic where symphony 6 is the most dramatic....The quartets are attractive and essentially romantic....the symphonies are much grander and more glorious. I found them harder to follow then his quartets....
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 13, 2007, 11:06:34 AM
sonics and performance...My problem with all danacord releases is the sonics.....sym 4 the most melodic where symphony 6 is the most dramatic....The quartets are attractive and essentially romantic....the symphonies are much grander and more glorious. I found them harder to follow then his quartets....

Well but if I like them, the Symphonies I mean, then there is only the Danacord right, since Chandos only recorded one disc!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Robert on April 13, 2007, 11:10:24 AM
Well but if I like them, the Symphonies I mean, then there is only the Danacord right, since Chandos only recorded one disc!

I am not sure about that. At one time BRO had alot of the danacords. That where I purchased them...Don said he just received his violin sonatas so I am sure there might be other recordings. BTW I do not have the sonatas and wait for Dons word.  I hope he is drinking his hot chocolate before he listens....
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 13, 2007, 11:15:30 AM
I am not sure about that. At one time BRO had alot of the danacords. That where I purchased them...Don said he just received his violin sonatas so I am sure there might be other recordings. BTW I do not have the sonatas and wait for Dons word.  I hope he is drinking his hot chocolate before he listens....

They are still listed, all of them on JPC.
Hot chocolate is yummy, but then I love chocolate in general.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: quintett op.57 on April 13, 2007, 12:44:44 PM
My favourite are Nielsen & Pettersson
But I've got some Langgaard's symphonies on my wishlist

There's a Naxos I enjoy a lot: (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B00000143N.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: uffeviking on April 13, 2007, 01:52:37 PM
Lis were are you when you are needed? :-*

I was trotting from kitchen to studio and back while the Langgaard conversation was lively!

There is one Langgaard I listen to when the weather is dreary, or my mood is in the same shape; it's his Insektarium. Of course if you scream "Yeeeeeeks" when you see a spider, this one is not for you. It's mostly piano works about earwig, locust, dragonfly, housefly and a few more critters! Maybe this is not your cup of coffee, but on the same disc there are also two flower vignettes, closing with a charming Little Sonata for Piano. Mine is on ClassicCD240.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Catison on April 13, 2007, 08:48:33 PM
Surprisingly this thread about Scandinavian composers is not on the Composers board, but whatever.

I just picked up a Naxos disc of Alfven with his Symphony No. 2.  I can't wait to hear it actually.  Right now I am listening to some dances from his ballet The Prodigal Son.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: uffeviking on April 13, 2007, 11:07:37 PM
Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I blissfully followed Harry's start. Now it's moved!  8)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 14, 2007, 12:40:18 AM
Recently played the 5th Symphony from Affven, and Boy that was good. He is one of my favourites.
I have the complete recordings on Naxos, and are well satisfied with it!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Thom on April 14, 2007, 05:05:29 AM
I am not sure wether Finnish composers were counted in in this thread but anyway I like to mention the Finnish composer Erki Melartin who wrote 6 symphonies

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B00001W08G.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_V45092458_SS500_.jpg)

Nice works I think.

X
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 14, 2007, 05:14:25 AM
Hey, look at the title of the thread! ;D

Melartin is essential, and you brought it to the fore.
Love those symphonies huh?

Tell me some more about your impression, for I think you owe the set right?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Thom on April 14, 2007, 08:36:33 AM
Tell me some more about your impression, for I think you owe the set right?

Sorry you're right, I didn't look at the title. Anyway, indeed I own the set. It has been a while since I listened to this music. I think that I like the no. 4 the best. It is unmistakably very romantic music with the notherly touch which I find so characteristic for the scandanavian music. I know I am generalising but I think you know what I mean.

X
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 14, 2007, 08:42:34 AM
I do, thank you my friend!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on April 14, 2007, 09:11:39 AM
Alfven wrote more memorable tunes than most scandinavian composers except Sibelius. Most are found in those works that are on the fringe of his recorded output: ballets (The Mountain King, The Prodigal Son), short orchestral works (the Swedish Rhapsody # 1). And of course, the scherzo from the second symphony. When you  hear those purple patches you won't believe you didn't know who the composer was.

Another such composer was Stenhammar. I place these two at the top of the romantic scandinavian movement (Atterberg is a bit like a revamped Rachmaninoff in Symphonic Dances or Third symphony mood). Adolf Wiklund too is worth exploring if you like Stenhammar's concertos (or Grieg's for that matter).

Among the giants one should not forget Jon Leifs and Ib Norholm. Both composed extremely original music, superbly written. Leifs' musical llanguage is coruscating, explosive (an icelandic Kancheli?), whereas Norhlom's is almost surgically crafted, with myriads of small musical gestures that interlock to form a fascinating mosaic.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 14, 2007, 09:34:44 AM
Well I put in a plea for Svendsen also, and his fine Symphonies!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Siedler on April 14, 2007, 10:41:31 AM
Kalevi Aho is definitely worth to explore, I heard his wonderfully exciting Symphonic Dances at a concert.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Thom on April 14, 2007, 10:54:09 AM
Isn't it amazing but sofar the great Sibelius has been mentioned only once in this discussion, and only in comparison with someone else for that matter. Isn't he one of the greatest, if not the greatest scandinavian composer?

X
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 14, 2007, 10:56:34 AM
Kalevi Aho is definitely worth to explore, I heard his wonderfully exciting Symphonic Dances at a concert.

I bought the complete set of symphonies not to long ago, on the label BIS, but yet have to start the listening.
Thank you for including him. :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 14, 2007, 10:58:15 AM
Isn't it amazing but sofar the great Sibelius has been mentioned only once in this discussion, and only in comparison with someone else for that matter. Isn't he one of the greatest, if not the greatest scandinavian composer?

X

He is great, but there are many!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Thom on April 14, 2007, 11:01:22 AM
I happen to notice that you tend to put things into perspective but you are quite right of course. It is silly to stick labels with 'he is the best'. I am very happy that there are many.

X
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on April 14, 2007, 11:40:21 AM
Isn't it amazing but sofar the great Sibelius has been mentioned only once in this discussion, and only in comparison with someone else for that matter. Isn't he one of the greatest, if not the greatest scandinavian composer?

X

IMO it was implied that this thread should be about any scandinavian composer BUT Sibelius or Nielsen  :D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Thom on April 14, 2007, 11:44:03 AM
Didn't read that in Harry's first message of this thread.

X
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 14, 2007, 11:57:11 AM
Didn't read that in Harry's first message of this thread.

X

Sibelius and Nielsen a part of the package! :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on April 14, 2007, 10:15:09 PM
Hurrah, there we go, it is getting interesting now, finally! We are having a difference of opinion, always so welcome at GMG. Your declaration about Pettersen is of course your judgement, your opinion.

In my opinion Rued Langgaard, 1893-1952, is the greatest composer of the 20th century! How do I know? Because I once knew a 15 year old musical genius, a child prodigy studying at a CA conservatory on a special scholarship program, told me so! Serious, I am not making this up. But after I listened to more of Langgaard, I can understand the young man's enthusiasm, without endorsing his judgement of course.

I really like Langgaard, partly because he was a nutter, but symphonies 4-6 and 10 are wonderful works that I often return to (the Chandos CD has nos 4-6 on one CD).  Other Scandinavians, other than Sibelius and Nielsen, I like include Kokkonen (Symphony 4), Klauss Egge (great name, Symphony 1 and Piano Concerto), Madetoja (symphs 2 and 3), Klami (Sea Pictures), Holmboe, Rosenberg and Tubin (is Estonia still Scandinavia?); all great symphonists.  Wiren (symphs 3 and 4), Petterson-Berger (symphs 3 and 5), the great Pettersson of course (symphs 6-8+ VC No 2).
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 15, 2007, 07:30:38 AM
Love these composers from the North, and I've been meaning to reply, but I was not sure who I already owned, and I'm quite interested in obtaining more!  So, just goin' through my database & checking agains the Wikipedia lists from these countries, I've generated just a 'small' list of composers, most of whom I already have recordings of their music - two exceptions that I see right off are Englund & Melartin!

But, already in the pages of this thread is mention of other great sounding composers who I would like to explore - and there are probably more!  In fact, CLICK on each country - this will take you to an alphabetized listing of composers from each place; there are 50+ to 70 individuals listed per country -  :o  I assume many of these are not major figures or may even not be composers, but the nembers are long (and most I do not know). 

BTW - included Kraus & Tubin in Sweden because both spent most of their composing years in that country - but I'll keep a close 'eye' on others mentioned -  :)

Denmark (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Danish_composers)
 Dieterich Buxtehude (ca. 1637–1707)
 Louis Glass (1864–1936)
 Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
 Friedrich Kuhlau (1786 – 1832)
 Niels Gade (1817–1890)
 Carl Nielsen (1865–1931)
 Christopher Weyse (1774-1842)

Finland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Finnish_composers)
 Bernhard Crusell (1775-1838)
 Sven Englund (1916–1999)
 Erkki Melartin (1875–1937)
 Einojuhani Rautavaara (1928-)
 Aulis Sallinen (1935-)
 Jean Sibelius (1865–1957)
 
Norway (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Norwegian_composers)
 Edvard Grieg (1843–1907)
 Agathe Grøndahl (1847–1907)
 Christian Sinding (1856–1941)
 Rolf Wallin (1957-)

Sweden (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Swedish_composers)
 Kurt Atterberg (1887–1974)
 Franz Berwald (1796-1868)
 Joseph Martin Kraus (1756-1792; born Germany)
 Gustav Allan Pettersson (1911–1980)
 Ture Rangström (1884–1947)
 Eduard Tubin (1905-1982; born Estonia)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on April 15, 2007, 09:08:41 AM
More support here for Atterberg Symphony 7 and 8 (especially the slow movement).
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 15, 2007, 09:14:09 AM
Love these composers from the North, and I've been meaning to reply, but I was not sure who I already owned, and I'm quite interested in obtaining more!  So, just goin' through my database & checking agains the Wikipedia lists from these countries, I've generated just a 'small' list of composers, most of whom I already have recordings of their music - two exceptions that I see right off are Englund & Melartin!

But, already in the pages of this thread is mention of other great sounding composers who I would like to explore - and there are probably more!  In fact, CLICK on each country - this will take you to an alphabetized listing of composers from each place; there are 50+ to 70 individuals listed per country -  :o  I assume many of these are not major figures or may even not be composers, but the nembers are long (and most I do not know). 

BTW - included Kraus & Tubin in Sweden because both spent most of their composing years in that country - but I'll keep a close 'eye' on others mentioned -  :)

Denmark (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Danish_composers)
 Dieterich Buxtehude (ca. 1637–1707)
 Louis Glass (1864–1936)
 Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
 Friedrich Kuhlau (1786 – 1832)
 Niels Gade (1817–1890)
 Carl Nielsen (1865–1931)
 Christopher Weyse (1774-1842)

Finland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Finnish_composers)
 Bernhard Crusell (1775-1838)
 Sven Englund (1916–1999)
 Erkki Melartin (1875–1937)
 Einojuhani Rautavaara (1928-)
 Aulis Sallinen (1935-)
 Jean Sibelius (1865–1957)
 
Norway (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Norwegian_composers)
 Edvard Grieg (1843–1907)
 Agathe Grøndahl (1847–1907)
 Christian Sinding (1856–1941)
 Rolf Wallin (1957-)

Sweden (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Swedish_composers)
 Kurt Atterberg (1887–1974)
 Franz Berwald (1796-1868)
 Joseph Martin Kraus (1756-1792; born Germany)
 Gustav Allan Pettersson (1911–1980)
 Ture Rangström (1884–1947)
 Eduard Tubin (1905-1982; born Estonia)


Congrats Dave for this most excellent post, I enjoyed it quite a bit.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 15, 2007, 09:15:23 AM
More support here for Atterberg Symphony 7 and 8 (especially the slow movement).

Every symphony from Atterberg is a peach, absolutely beautiful music, and not a note from him will ever disappoint. :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Robert on April 15, 2007, 09:19:07 AM
Every symphony from Atterberg is a peach, absolutely beautiful music, and not a note from him will ever disappoint. :)
Hi Harry,

What are your feelings about his ninth??

Robert
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Don on April 15, 2007, 09:30:11 AM
Every symphony from Atterberg is a peach, absolutely beautiful music, and not a note from him will ever disappoint. :)

Agreed.  I was listening the other day to some Atterberg along with some Alfven.  For me, Atterberg sounds much better.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 15, 2007, 09:35:18 AM
And then as C Haddock also mentioned Tubin, I will add my firm recommendation to this composer also, great music.
Petterson Berger is also a good addition and of course Rosenberg.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 15, 2007, 09:37:00 AM
Hi Harry,

What are your feelings about his ninth??

Robert

I really think its wonderful Robert, and not at all difficult to grasp, as some posters said.
Its Atterberg as I know him from the previous symphonies.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 15, 2007, 09:37:46 AM
Agreed.  I was listening the other day to some Atterberg along with some Alfven.  For me, Atterberg sounds much better.

My feelings exactly! :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 15, 2007, 10:07:54 AM
Every symphony from Atterberg is a peach, absolutely beautiful music, and not a note from him will ever disappoint. :)

Thanks, Harry - need to start making a 'wish list' of some of those composers not in my collection!

But in the mean time, I thoroughly endorse the recommendation of the Atterberg Symphonies - had a couple of the discs, and went ahead and bought the entire box set not too long ago; all of these works are enjoyable, well conducted, and recording magnificiently; plus, the CPO box is a bargin!  Excellent review on Music Web (http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2005/Feb05/atterberg_symphonies_7771182.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2005/Sep05/Atterberg_symphonies_7771182.htm&h=264&w=300&sz=21&hl=en&start=3&um=1&tbnid=tG2R4Krcj_cDpM:&tbnh=102&tbnw=116&prev=/images%3Fq%3Datterberg%2Bcpo%26svnum%3D10%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DX) -  :D

(http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2005/Feb05/atterberg_symphonies_7771182.jpg)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Robert on April 15, 2007, 10:22:04 AM
More support here for Atterberg Symphony 7 and 8 (especially the slow movement).

which slow movement captain.....
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: tjguitar on April 16, 2007, 07:24:19 AM
Harry, do you have this CD from Klami? It looks like a decent overview for fairly cheap:

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000LC4WV0.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 16, 2007, 07:42:00 AM
Harry, do you have this CD from Klami? It looks like a decent overview for fairly cheap:

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000LC4WV0.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg)

It is a decent overview!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Robert on April 16, 2007, 10:33:40 AM
Harry, do you have this CD from Klami? It looks like a decent overview for fairly cheap:

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000LC4WV0.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg)

I think this disc is a similar disc from naxos....
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 16, 2007, 10:37:15 AM
True!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: btpaul674 on April 16, 2007, 01:44:58 PM
Per Nørgård, anyone?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Robert on April 16, 2007, 02:10:57 PM
Per Nørgård, anyone?

How about his THIRD for openers....
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 16, 2007, 09:35:36 PM
Per Nørgård, anyone?

Well he is in the pipeline with me.
But thanks to this thread of my own making, I have a want list as long as the road from Groningen to Rome.! :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 16, 2007, 09:36:09 PM
How about his THIRD for openers....

Explain yourself and the third! ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Siedler on April 18, 2007, 12:18:07 PM
About Uuno Klami, I'm very interested to hear his ballet Whirls (only first act and parts of second act exist), especially after listening to the wonderful Symphonic Dances by Aho (which were first intented as third act for Klami's ballet).
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Robert on April 18, 2007, 12:52:24 PM
Explain yourself and the third! ;D
Harry,
If you are not familiar with Norgard I would start with his third symphony (da capo  224041 Veto, or Segerstam chandos 9491) and then listen to his piano concerto (also on the Segerstam disc with Sym 3)that should be a wonderful beginning..but I would not overlook his violin concerto (Helle nacht) Kontra, EMI 749869, Happy listening.....
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 18, 2007, 01:25:21 PM
Harry,
If you are not familiar with Norgard I would start with his third symphony (da capo  224041 Veto, or Segerstam chandos 9491) and then listen to his piano concerto (also on the Segerstam disc with Sym 3)that should be a wonderful beginning..but I would not overlook his violin concerto (Helle nacht) Kontra, EMI 749869, Happy listening.....


O my dear, another one hits the list!
Thanks Robert, I will write that down and order in due course.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 23, 2007, 11:22:34 AM
Louis Glass (1864-1936) - String Sextet, Op. 15 & Piano Quintet, Op. 22 w/ a group of Danish string players; performances & CPO sound are excellent - prefer the latter work w/ piano - 4/5* review from Scott Morrison (http://www.amazon.com/Louis-Glass-String-Sextet-Piano/dp/B0009JVOJS/ref=sr_1_3/103-4191504-6570256?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1177354112&sr=1-3) on Amazon.

Just getting into this composer - an exact contemporary of Carl Nielsen, who seemed to better escape the older Romantic traditions & enter the 20th century w/ much 'fresher' ideas - short bio of Glass before the pics (from the Naxos web site); the only other work that I own of this composer includes the Violin & Cello Sonatas, on the CPO label and enjoyable - I would like to explore his Symphonies, which seem to be his most respected orchestral works - any recommendations?  :D

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/613MXYGGN1L._AA240_.jpg)  (http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/318RR225V6L._AA130_.jpg)  (http://www.dacapo-records.dk/images/artists/artist_1415.jpg)

Quote
Louis Glass was an exact contemporary of Carl Nielsen, and was one of the most important and consistent Late Romantic composers in Denmark. His artistic integrity was highly esteemed, but his reflective idiom did not win him general popularity. From his studies abroad Louis Glass brought home inspiration from Bruckner, Wagner and César Franck, and especially after his personal immersion in Theosophy produced a series of large-scale independent works. In his six symphonies we find an unusually sure grasp of the technical and intellectual aspects of music. The Third and Fourth Symphonies are monumental, the Fifth Symphony is a high point of Danish Symbolism, while the Sixth was a vain attempt to revive National Romanticism. To these we can add many other orchestral works, including a Fantasia for piano and orchestra, and the Theosophical ballet Artemis. Glass was both a pianist and a cellist, and his chamber works are very well-written. After the deaths of Glass and Nielsen, Glass' music was ousted from the musical milieu by the standard-bearers of Nielsen, and only in recent years have we re-discovered how he complements the Danish culture of the turn of the century in a very personal way.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 23, 2007, 11:29:09 AM
Great piece Dave, interesting composer too. Will of course dive into this one too.
Are there any symphonies recorded?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 23, 2007, 01:12:37 PM
Great piece Dave, interesting composer too. Will of course dive into this one too.
Are there any symphonies recorded?

Harry - thanks - check this link to Arkiv Music (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/albumList.jsp?name_id1=4474&name_role1=1&bcorder=1) - Todorov (not sure who he is?) appears to have recorded much of Glass's orchestral works, not sure 'how much' is in print; also, I believe Naxos is 'picking up the baton' on this composer - he seems to be re-emerging from obscurity! Something, I think, we both like to see!  ;D  Also, notice some String Quartets et al; hopefully, others might 'chime in' w/ some personal experience w/ available recordings of Glass.  Dave
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 23, 2007, 02:36:08 PM
Well, a large order arrived in the mail today, mostly composers related to this thread -  :D

Niels Gade (1817-1890) - Octet, Op. 17 & Sextet, Op. 44 - Schumann & Mendelssohn were early 'champions' of Gade's works, the former writing articles in his famous periodical of the time & the latter performing Gade's first symphony; Gade apparently 'adored' Mendelssohn, and his early death in 1847 was likely a devasatating blow for Gade, who shortly in 1848 composed the Octet on this disc in memory of his friend - the work is delightful, played well, and recorded superbly (can't praise that MDG label enough!).

Gade's Symphonies w/ Christopher Hogwood & the Danish National Radio SO - picked up 3 volumes, and listening to Vol. 1 (Symphonies Nos. 2 & 8*); also purchased Vols. 2 & 4 - will need to reserve comments until later, although the reviews read seemed to be excellent - although a little surprising for me to see 'Hog' in this repertoire?  ::)  If interested, a short bio below the pics from the Naxos web site - enjoy -  :)

(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ANJMNNCGL._AA240_.jpg)  (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/516FRPPF87L._AA240_.jpg)

(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/51CN9P9RDFL._AA240_.jpg)  (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41XR8XK612L._AA240_.jpg)

Quote
The Danish composer Niels Gade started his musical career as a violinist in the Danish Royal Orchestra. His first success as a composer came in 1840 with his overture Echoes of Ossian. His First Symphony was accepted by Mendelssohn and performed by the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig, where the composer met Mendelssohn and Schumann, succeeding the former as conductor of the Gewandhaus Orchestra in 1847. The following year he returned to Denmark, where he came to assume a leading position in the musical life of the country, writing music in a style greatly influenced by Mendelssohn and Schumann.

Orchestral Music

Gade's orchestral music includes eight symphonies, a Violin Concerto and several concert overtures, with an evocative A Summer's Day in the Country, five pieces for orchestra.

Chamber Music

Gade's chamber music includes one mature String Quartet and two String Quintets, a String Sextet and String Octet, Fantasiestücke for clarinet and piano and three Violin Sonatas.

Piano Music

Piano music by Gade, items of which once formed a general part of popular amateur repertoire, includes a Piano Sonata, Fantasy Pieces and Akvareller (Water-Colours), attractive brief sketches.

Vocal and Choral Music

Gade's vocal and choral music ranges from the Wagnerian Baldur's Dream. The cantatas Zion and Psyche were written for the Birmingham Festival, testimony to the international reputation of Gade, while the earlier Comala reflects his interest in Ossian and Elverskud (Elf-King's Daughter) is Scandinavian in choice of subject and treatment. In his later music Gade's nationalism was subsumed in the German musical idiom that he had experienced in Leipzig.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 23, 2007, 09:42:09 PM
Harry - thanks - check this link to Arkiv Music (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/albumList.jsp?name_id1=4474&name_role1=1&bcorder=1) - Todorov (not sure who he is?) appears to have recorded much of Glass's orchestral works, not sure 'how much' is in print; also, I believe Naxos is 'picking up the baton' on this composer - he seems to be re-emerging from obscurity! Something, I think, we both like to see!  ;D  Also, notice some String Quartets et al; hopefully, others might 'chime in' w/ some personal experience w/ available recordings of Glass.  Dave

I ordered a few of his SQ on Da Capo, just to sample what he is about.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 23, 2007, 09:44:29 PM
Niels Gade (1817-1890) - Octet, Op. 17 & Sextet, Op. 44 - Schumann & Mendelssohn were early 'champions' of Gade's works, the former writing articles in his famous periodical of the time & the latter performing Gade's first symphony; Gade apparently 'adored' Mendelssohn, and his early death in 1847 was likely a devasatating blow for Gade, who shortly in 1848 composed the Octet on this disc in memory of his friend - the work is delightful, played well, and recorded superbly (can't praise that MDG label enough!).

 


This MDG I have, and indeed it is wonderful, the music and recording! :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: 71 dB on April 24, 2007, 01:22:03 AM
I have one Gade discs:

(http://img246.imageshack.us/img246/9708/21rta5bxdvlaa130uz9.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)

String Quartet in F major, Allegro in A minor, Andante and Allegro molto in F minor & Octet in F major, Op. 17 - The Kontra Quartet - BIS.

It's good in my opinion. energetic and well recorded.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 24, 2007, 01:33:55 AM
That's absolutely a very fine disc.
In my listening notes from years ago, I was very enthusiastic. :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Hector on April 24, 2007, 05:08:25 AM
Well, a large order arrived in the mail today, mostly composers related to this thread -  :D

Niels Gade (1817-1890) - Octet, Op. 17 & Sextet, Op. 44 - Schumann & Mendelssohn were early 'champions' of Gade's works, the former writing articles in his famous periodical of the time & the latter performing Gade's first symphony; Gade apparently 'adored' Mendelssohn, and his early death in 1847 was likely a devasatating blow for Gade, who shortly in 1848 composed the Octet on this disc in memory of his friend - the work is delightful, played well, and recorded superbly (can't praise that MDG label enough!).

Gade's Symphonies w/ Christopher Hogwood & the Danish National Radio SO - picked up 3 volumes, and listening to Vol. 1 (Symphonies Nos. 2 & 8*); also purchased Vols. 2 & 4 - will need to reserve comments until later, although the reviews read seemed to be excellent - although a little surprising for me to see 'Hog' in this repertoire?  ::)  If interested, a short bio below the pics from the Naxos web site - enjoy -  :)

(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ANJMNNCGL._AA240_.jpg)  (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/516FRPPF87L._AA240_.jpg)

(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/51CN9P9RDFL._AA240_.jpg)  (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41XR8XK612L._AA240_.jpg)


His name adorns the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

How times and tastes change.

The 1st Symphony is a pleasant piece of Menelssohniana and no harm in that.

However, I am reluctant to dip my toe further into the composers symphonies as, I am reliably informed, he hardly developed over a long life.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 24, 2007, 07:16:38 AM
Well, just getting into listening to the Gade Symphonies w/ Hogwood, but for those who may want some more concrete comments, CLICK on the images below from Classics Today - all of these volumes received 9/9 to 10/10 ratings - I've listened to only one of the volumes, so far:

(http://www.classicstoday.com/images/coverpics/6756_coverpic.jpg) (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=6756)  (http://www.classicstoday.com/images/coverpics/4105_coverpic.jpg) (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=4105)  (http://www.classicstoday.com/images/coverpics/6039_coverpic.jpg) (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=6039)  (http://www.classicstoday.com/images/coverpics/6041_coverpic.jpg) (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=6041)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Haffner on April 24, 2007, 07:18:46 AM
I seriously doubt that you forgot the magnificent Grieg, Harry!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 24, 2007, 07:20:18 AM
Well, just getting into listening to the Gade Symphonies w/ Hogwood, but for those who may want some more concrete comments, CLICK on the images below from Classics Today - all of these volumes received 9/9 to 10/10 ratings - I've listened to only one of the volumes, so far:

(http://www.classicstoday.com/images/coverpics/6756_coverpic.jpg) (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=6756)  (http://www.classicstoday.com/images/coverpics/4105_coverpic.jpg) (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=4105)  (http://www.classicstoday.com/images/coverpics/6039_coverpic.jpg) (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=6039)  (http://www.classicstoday.com/images/coverpics/6041_coverpic.jpg) (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=6041)

I am certainly very interested of what you think of these full priced Chandos recordings. Paying it, means that you are convinced of its quality, right.
Don't forget dear friend! :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 24, 2007, 07:24:21 AM
I seriously doubt that you forgot the magnificent Grieg, Harry!

Well I did not, but I did not mention him either.
Fie against my self, and hail to Andy for calling out loud, Grieg.
His wonderful Symphony, and piano works, not to forget the SQ, and other chambermusic.
And what about the piano concerto, or Peer Gynt.......

Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 24, 2007, 07:30:38 AM
I am certainly very interested of what you think of these full priced Chandos recordings. Paying it, means that you are convinced of its quality, right.
Don't forget dear friend! :)

Harry - picked up 3 of these Gade discs via the Amazon Marketplace (about $12 each, so 2/3 price?  ;)) - doubt that these will be popular, so I suspect to see them showing up on BRO in the near future or packaged a twofers by Chandos!    :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Haffner on April 24, 2007, 07:30:56 AM
Well I did not, but I did not mention him either.
Fie against my self, and hail to Andy for calling out loud, Grieg.
His wonderful Symphony, and piano works, not to forget the SQ, and other chambermusic.
And what about the piano concerto, or Peer Gynt.......





Probably my girl's favorite composer. She just adores the piano/violin works, as well as his chamber music in general. I always looked upon Grieg as having been the composer whom pushed Robert Schumann's goals further...
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 24, 2007, 07:39:02 AM
Harry - picked up 3 of these Gade discs via the Amazon Marketplace (about $12 each, so 2/3 price?  ;)) - doubt that these will be popular, so I suspect to see them showing up on BRO in the near future or packaged a twofers by Chandos!    :)

Well if you like them, I hope so, could buy them cheaper huh? ;D
But seriously, I really am curious to how you will find them! :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 24, 2007, 07:41:51 AM


Probably my girl's favorite composer. She just adores the piano/violin works, as well as his chamber music in general. I always looked upon Grieg as having been the composer whom pushed Robert Schumann's goals further...

But not so anymore now Andy?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Haffner on April 24, 2007, 07:45:24 AM
But not so anymore now Andy?



Edvard Grieg is an incredible composer. I love to listen to Schumann's Piano Concerto in A minor, and then contrast it with Grieg's in the same key. The great majority of Grieg's chamber music is some of the finest in history, in my humble opinion.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 24, 2007, 07:48:17 AM


Edvard Grieg is an incredible composer. I love to listen to Schumann's Piano Concerto in A minor, and then contrast it with Grieg's in the same key. The great majority of Grieg's chamber music is some of the finest in history, in my humble opinion.

Well I agree with you!
Are there any favourite recordings from the piano concerto for you?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Haffner on April 24, 2007, 07:52:25 AM
Well I agree with you!
Are there any favourite recordings from the piano concerto for you?



I play this one most, but of course I also have a couple of nice box sets (one you reccomended) which are excellent as well.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 24, 2007, 08:11:12 AM


I play this one most, but of course I also have a couple of nice box sets (one you reccomended) which are excellent as well.

Well I never heard that one Andy, I have I believe a recording on the lable BIS with Derwinger on the piano, but I am not sure.
Comes with a big collection like mine. :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Haffner on April 24, 2007, 08:20:55 AM
Well I never heard that one Andy, I have I believe a recording on the lable BIS with Derwinger on the piano, but I am not sure.
Comes with a big collection like mine. :)




Excellent playing and the recording isn't too bad either. Considering your collection, Harry, it wouldn't surprise me if you had this...or similar...buried somewhere  ;) :).
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 24, 2007, 08:25:33 AM



Excellent playing and the recording isn't too bad either. Considering your collection, Harry, it wouldn't surprise me if you had this...or similar...buried somewhere  ;) :).

Well I have a data base of course, but sometimes I forget to write it down, and then I end up not knowing that I have it.
It so happens that I suddenly have two copies of recordings.
Last time was recently! I bought a extra copy of the Reger SQ, on CPO, simply because I forgot to write that down.
Took it to the office with me.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Haffner on April 24, 2007, 08:27:32 AM
Well I have a data base of course, but sometimes I forget to write it down, and then I end up not knowing that I have it.
It so happens that I suddenly have two copies of recordings.
Last time was recently! I bought a extra copy of the Reger SQ, on CPO, simply because I forgot to write that down.
Took it to the office with me.
\


But, it's better to accidentally have two of the same great recording, than none at all, nicht wahr mein Freund?


Harry, I reccomend the above recording. I'm pretty sure you'll play it plenty.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 24, 2007, 08:29:57 AM
\


But, it's better to accidentally have two of the same great recording, than none at all, nicht wahr mein Freund?


Harry, I reccomend the above recording. I'm pretty sure you'll play it plenty.

Well if I can get it, I can try, let me see on JPC, if it is there! :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 26, 2007, 08:16:35 AM
I am not sure wether Finnish composers were counted in in this thread but anyway I like to mention the Finnish composer Erki Melartin who wrote 6 symphonies

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B00001W08G.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_V45092458_SS500_.jpg)

Erkki Melartin (1875-1937) - Six Symphonies - just received this 'box set' in the mail & listened to the first disc last night (Nos. 1 & 3) - superb review on MusicWeb (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2004/Jan04/Melartin.htm) - one encompassing quote "don't expect Sibelius. Instead, picture Mahler/Bruckner on a northern vacation, perhaps borrowing a few tricks from Sibelius......".   Apparently, Melartin's First Symphony was only the fourth symphony written in Finland, so he was there w/ Sibelius (who had written two by then) - this is glorious music - looking forward to hearing the other four!  :D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 26, 2007, 08:24:13 AM
Erkki Melartin (1875-1937) - Six Symphonies - just received this 'box set' in the mail & listened to the first disc last night (Nos. 1 & 3) - superb review on MusicWeb (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2004/Jan04/Melartin.htm) - one encompassing quote "don't expect Sibelius. Instead, picture Mahler/Bruckner on a northern vacation, perhaps borrowing a few tricks from Sibelius......".   Apparently, Melartin's First Symphony was only the fourth symphony written in Finland, so he was there w/ Sibelius (who had written two by then) - this is glorious music - looking forward to hearing the other four!  :D

I moi, envy you!
Simple as that! :)
Title: A Finnish Concerto series...
Post by: Benji on April 26, 2007, 01:12:09 PM
...though I am tempted to widen the net just so I can talk about the Nielsen concertos sometime, but no, not now.

But yes, Finnish Concertos; turns out there's a lot of the buggers and, with the exception of the most famous of them, surely being Sibelius' for violin, they don't get an awful lot of coverage here. So, i'm going to start the ball rolling. All contributions/opinions welcome of course.

To begin, the inspiration for this thread and one of my major discoveries of the year so far:


Magnus Lindberg's Concerto for Clarinet.

I must say, this piece is a kick up the bum to anyone who has convinced themselves that music written in a contemporary language cannot be at all beautiful. Here we have a work full of modern sonorities and extended techniques, pushing the boundaries of every player and instrument. Of course, such writing can lead to some very intellectual, even interesting music but Lindberg, clearly a master of orchestration,  has created something far more engaging: a work of astonishingly sensuous and lyrical beauty, which, to me at least, has been most affecting. I find there is more than a touch of the oriental in this work; often it occurred to me that in Lindberg we perhaps have a Finnish equivalent of Takemitsu, and it certainly seems to me that Lindberg has an ear for impressionist harmonies/sonorities. That said, in this piece at least, Lindberg doesn't have the restraint of a Takemitsu and, indeed, we are treated (and it really is a treat) to a climax at the end of near-romantic proportions.

I can't praise this concerto highly enough: it really is a 21st Century classic and deserves to be peformed and live on forever.

(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/41JS215P6WL._AA240_.jpg)

Some highlights:

[0:00] A gripping start: emerging from the silence a series of clarinet figures, which strung together make up something of an indistinct melody, fragments of which will reappear throughout the work.

[1:00] Listen for the woodwind/string interjection which is surely a nod and a wink to Charles Ives!

[3:40] Fragments of the theme, this time on strings and percussion

[5:20] Jittering clarinet, reminiscent of Rautavaara in the bird song mode. Did we forget Lindberg is a Fin?!

[7:30+] By now, the piece has descended into a more predominantly minor mode (the slow movement), but there is no let up for the soloist, with what sounds to be highly demanding passages.

[9:30] Fragments of the theme return fleetingly on the clarinet

[11:30] Strings dominate as the clarinet figures at last finds its theme from the fragments we have heard before, together at last in a flowing melody, before ending on a high sustained, eardrum-piercing high note from our soloist. From here, the music descends into a period of wildness. At this point we have some really guttural sonorities coming from the clarinet, which I can only describe as being similar in sound to a didjeridu.

[19:10] Wow, listen to this high note from the soloist, for a moment it could be mistaken for violin harmonics! Now into a virtuosic cadenza, which really must be pushing the instrument to its limits.

[21:00] Return of the orchestra, with string-led passages, clarinet in gasping, almost John Adams-esque repetitions of fragments, building to a glorious and spine-tingling final climax with the clarinet singing the theme in its full guise.

In conclusion, a completely satisfying lyrical and dynamic new clarinet concerto for the 21st Century, written in very contemporary musical language but challenging any notion that classical music in the new century cannot be approachable, even lovable (i'm on my 6th hearing in 2 days now!)
Title: Re: A Finnish Concerto series...
Post by: Brewski on April 26, 2007, 01:16:56 PM
Thanks for posting this.  You are not the first who has praised this recording to the skies!  I haven't yet heard it.  (And I was just discussing Lindberg the other night at a concert of Kimmo Hakola's music.  We liked Lindberg a bit better.)

And I love it that you've listened to it six times in two days.  Isn't it great when you discover a new piece (preferably, one under four hours  ;D) and can do that? 

Have to get this recording...

--Bruce
Title: Re: A Finnish Concerto series...
Post by: Benji on April 26, 2007, 01:24:29 PM
Thanks for posting this.  You are not the first who has praised this recording to the skies!  I haven't yet heard it.  (And I was just discussing Lindberg the other night at a concert of Kimmo Hakola's music.  We liked Lindberg a bit better.)

And I love it that you've listened to it six times in two days.  Isn't it great when you discover a new piece (preferably, one under four hours  ;D) and can do that? 

Have to get this recording...

--Bruce

Hakola's concerto, also for clarinet, is next under the spotlight, Bruce! What piece did you hear? I don't rate Hakola's work anywhere nearly as highly as the Lindberg, but it's not without it's charms.

And yes, it is great to find a recent work that can withstand repeated listening and that even rewards it. And especially great to hear Lindberg that I love, as I absolutely hated Kraft; i'm so glad I gave him another chance.
Title: Re: A Finnish Concerto series...
Post by: Rabin_Fan on April 26, 2007, 01:26:36 PM
Agree of the Lindberg Clarinet Conc. - amazing work after hearing an extract on the G-sampler.
Title: Re: A Finnish Concerto series...
Post by: Robert on April 26, 2007, 01:31:32 PM
...though I am tempted to widen the net just so I can talk about the Nielsen concertos sometime, but no, not now.

But yes, Finnish Concertos; turns out there's a lot of the buggers and, with the exception of the most famous of them, surely being Sibelius' for violin, they don't get an awful lot of coverage here. So, i'm going to start the ball rolling. All contributions/opinions welcome of course.

To begin, the inspiration for this thread and one of my major discoveries of the year so far:


Magnus Lindberg's Concerto for Clarinet.

I must say, this piece is a kick up the bum to anyone who has convinced themselves that music written in a contemporary language cannot be at all beautiful. Here we have a work full of modern sonorities and extended techniques, pushing the boundaries of every player and instrument. Of course, such writing can lead to some very intellectual, even interesting music but Lindberg, clearly a master of orchestration,  has created something far more engaging: a work of astonishingly sensuous and lyrical beauty, which, to me at least, has been most affecting. I find there is more than a touch of the oriental in this work; often it occurred to me that in Lindberg we perhaps have a Finnish equivalent of Takemitsu, and it certainly seems to me that Lindberg has an ear for impressionist harmonies/sonorities. That said, in this piece at least, Lindberg doesn't have the restraint of a Takemitsu and, indeed, we are treated (and it really is a treat) to a climax at the end of near-romantic proportions.

I can't praise this concerto highly enough: it really is a 21st Century classic and deserves to be peformed and live on forever.

(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/41JS215P6WL._AA240_.jpg)

Some highlights:

[0:00] A gripping start: emerging from the silence a series of clarinet figures, which strung together make up something of an indistinct melody, fragments of which will reappear throughout the work.

[1:00] Listen for the woodwind/string interjection which is surely a nod and a wink to Charles Ives!

[3:40] Fragments of the theme, this time on strings and percussion

[5:20] Jittering clarinet, reminiscent of Rautavaara in the bird song mode. Did we forget Lindberg is a Fin?!

[7:30+] By now, the piece has descended into a more predominantly minor mode (the slow movement), but there is no let up for the soloist, with what sounds to be highly demanding passages.

[9:30] Fragments of the theme return fleetingly on the clarinet

[11:30] Strings dominate as the clarinet figures at last finds its theme from the fragments we have heard before, together at last in a flowing melody, before ending on a high sustained, eardrum-piercing high note from our soloist. From here, the music descends into a period of wildness. At this point we have some really guttural sonorities coming from the clarinet, which I can only describe as being similar in sound to a didjeridu.

[19:10] Wow, listen to this high note from the soloist, for a moment it could be mistaken for violin harmonics! Now into a virtuosic cadenza, which really must be pushing the instrument to its limits.

[21:00] Return of the orchestra, with string-led passages, clarinet in gasping, almost John Adams-esque repetitions of fragments, building to a glorious and spine-tingling final climax with the clarinet singing the theme in its full guise.

In conclusion, a completely satisfying lyrical and dynamic new clarinet concerto for the 21st Century, written in very contemporary musical language but challenging any notion that classical music in the new century cannot be approachable, even lovable (i'm on my 6th hearing in 2 days now!)
go to www.ondine.net you can hear abit of it.....
Title: Re: A Finnish Concerto series...
Post by: Brewski on April 26, 2007, 01:33:21 PM
Hakola's concerto, also for clarinet, is next under the spotlight, Bruce! What piece did you hear? I don't rate Hakola's work anywhere nearly as highly as the Lindberg, but it's not without it's charms.

And yes, it is great to find a recent work that can withstand repeated listening and that even rewards it. And especially great to hear Lindberg that I love, as I absolutely hated Kraft; i'm so glad I gave him another chance.

Hakola's Clarinet Concerto was the reason I was really eager to hear the program last night.  One hearing impressed me tremendously.  But as it turned out, I'm not sure that anything else we heard quite measured up to the clarinet piece.  Oh well, it happens!  :D

Of the things below, most of us liked Capriole best, for bass clarinet and cello.  All were very well played by Present Music (a new music group in Milwaukee), and equally well conducted by Kevin Stalheim.

Arara Zagrara (1995, rev. 2002)
Theme, Eleven Etudes, and a Grand Cadenza (1998)
Capriole (1991)
Chamber Concerto (2002)


Definitely check out Hakola's Clarinet Concerto, though.  I want to relisten to it now to double-check my first impressions.

--Bruce
Title: Re: A Finnish Concerto series...
Post by: uffeviking on April 26, 2007, 07:19:51 PM

May I point out that we already have a very lengthy and informative thread about Finnish and other Scandinavian composer going here:

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,256.0.html

- - or would you prefer I move this new one to the established one?  :-\
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Benji on April 27, 2007, 10:50:25 AM
What has happened? Why has my thread been merged with another? This was about Finnish Concertos, and now the mandate has been widened considerably.  :(

Can this be undone, please Liz, as I have many concertos to review.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 27, 2007, 10:56:20 AM
What has happened? Why has my thread been merged with another? This was about Finnish Concertos, and now the mandate has been widened considerably.  :(

Can this be undone, please Liz, as I have many concertos to review.

Well this thread is also about Finnish composers dear Mog. :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: karlhenning on April 27, 2007, 10:57:57 AM
Well this thread is also about Finnish composers dear Mog. :)

Sound like Coca-Cola assuring Barq's Root Beer that there's plenty of shelf space  8)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 27, 2007, 11:02:25 AM
Sound like Coca-Cola assuring Barq's Root Beer that there's plenty of shelf space  8)

Well another one, that needs explanation dear Karl, since I am not that versed into the mysteries of the USA language. ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: uffeviking on April 27, 2007, 11:19:33 AM
Dear Karl's post must have something to do with the brand name of American soft drinks but since I don't touch that stuff, I can't help you translating, Harry.

I merged the two subjects to make the 'Composer Discussion' section easier to manage, eliminate duplication, and shorten the number of topics in the identical section.  $:)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 27, 2007, 01:41:33 PM
I moi, envy you!
Simple as that! :)

Harry - just finished up the Melartin Symphony Box this afternoon -don't know if you have them yet, but all of the rumors are TRUE - quite excellent (an unexpectedly so for me - took a chance, myself, and am pleased!) - Dave  :)

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B00001W08G.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_V45092458_SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Benji on April 27, 2007, 04:43:54 PM
Well this thread is also about Finnish composers dear Mog. :)

Yes Harry, and I have much to say about many Finnish and Scandinavian composers but my project was of niché interest and i'd hoped it would have been an interesting and informative thread, but now it has been swallowed up and diluted by this much larger and vaguer thread. Think of it like this - would you be perfectly happy if you were to start a Beethoven quartets thread and it was merged with 'German composers'?

Seriously, I think this moderation was a little unfair, and i'd have appreciated at least being asked if I minded before it was done anyway. So I ask once more, will a moderator please extend me the courtesy of restoring my little thread?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: uffeviking on April 27, 2007, 04:49:23 PM
and i'd have appreciated at least being asked if I minded before it was done anyway.

Sir, I did ask and I left the question online for 24 hours. I received no reply, therefor I assumed my suggestion has met with approval.  :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 27, 2007, 11:04:14 PM
Harry - just finished up the Melartin Symphony Box this afternoon -don't know if you have them yet, but all of the rumors are TRUE - quite excellent (an unexpectedly so for me - took a chance, myself, and am pleased!) - Dave  :)

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B00001W08G.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_V45092458_SS500_.jpg)

Well then, ordered it too. Did it before, but it was not delivered, they said out of stock, lets try it again huh! ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 27, 2007, 11:07:23 PM
Yes Harry, and I have much to say about many Finnish and Scandinavian composers but my project was of niché interest and i'd hoped it would have been an interesting and informative thread, but now it has been swallowed up and diluted by this much larger and vaguer thread. Think of it like this - would you be perfectly happy if you were to start a Beethoven quartets thread and it was merged with 'German composers'?

Seriously, I think this moderation was a little unfair, and i'd have appreciated at least being asked if I minded before it was done anyway. So I ask once more, will a moderator please extend me the courtesy of restoring my little thread?

There is nothing diluted or vague about my thread my friend, and I think it is also niche quality here, and its interesting and informative.
I would not mind such a merge, well no, the more people the merrier, I would say! :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Benji on April 28, 2007, 04:55:20 AM
Ok, what happened to Choo's post that I was about to reply to?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Choo Choo on April 28, 2007, 04:58:42 AM
I deleted it because in it I made an assertion which turned out not to be true.  (I believed the results of the Search function ... silly me  :-[)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 28, 2007, 05:02:12 AM
Ok, what happened to Choo's post that I was about to reply to?

Mog, do your self a favour, and make this topic again, if you feel that strongly about it.
I will not tolerate that on my thread there will be fighting of any sort, about the decision of Lis.
Otherwise I will lock this topic, so please be a good chap, and do it. :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Choo Choo on April 28, 2007, 05:03:36 AM
However the substance of my post remains valid - which is that it's difficult to sustain a series of separate sub-threads devoted to specific interests when they're all merged together into one catch-all thread.

If the Soggy One wants to have a thread in which we can all follow a single topic - even if that is "narrow" - then why shouldn't he?  I for one was following it with interest, and would do so again.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 28, 2007, 05:06:07 AM
However the substance of my post remains valid - which is that it's difficult to sustain a series of separate sub-threads devoted to specific interests when they're all merged together into one catch-all thread.

If the Soggy One wants to have a thread in which we can all follow a single topic - even if that is "narrow" - then why shouldn't he?  I for one was following it with interest, and would do so again.

Than advise Mog like me , to start up this thread anew! :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Choo Choo on April 28, 2007, 05:07:38 AM
Absolutely, Harry!  :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Benji on April 28, 2007, 05:11:51 AM
Mog, do your self a favour, and make this topic again, if you feel that strongly about it.
I will not tolerate that on my thread there will be fighting of any sort, about the decision of Lis.
Otherwise I will lock this topic, so please be a good chap, and do it. :)

Fighting? haha But yes, I do hate to grumble at all,  but most especially on this most interesting thread. Apologies, Harry.

However the substance of my post remains valid - which is that it's difficult to sustain a series of separate sub-threads devoted to specific interests when they're all merged together into one catch-all thread.

If the Soggy One wants to have a thread in which we can all follow a single topic - even if that is "narrow" - then why shouldn't he?  I for one was following it with interest, and would do so again.

Yes, I think that is for the best. Thanks for the support.  :)

Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 28, 2007, 05:13:49 AM
Thanks, I appreciate that enormously! :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: uffeviking on April 28, 2007, 05:26:16 AM
So the palace revolt has been squashed? Good. A reminder though, next time I ask posters if it's OK to merge a thread, a simple answer of either 'yes' or 'no' would be sufficient. A refresher:

Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
« Reply #122 on: April 27, 2007, 06:49:23 PM » Quote Modify Remove Split Topic 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Quote from: The Notorious MOG on April 27, 2007, 06:43:54 PM
and i'd have appreciated at least being asked if I minded before it was done anyway.

Sir, I did ask and I left the question on line for 24 hours. I received no reply, therefor I assumed my suggestion has met with approval. 
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Choo Choo on April 28, 2007, 05:48:54 AM
So the palace revolt has been squashed? Good.

What a horrible thing to say.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 28, 2007, 05:52:35 AM
Please, last warning, no discussion about this!
Please do it in PM's
Thank you!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Benji on April 28, 2007, 06:15:12 AM
(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51A54G4BDGL._AA240_.jpg)

Has anyone heard this wonderful new symphony? I believe the 2nd is also available on disc, and wonder if anyone can offer a few comments, or on this composer in general?

p.s. How funky are Ondine's covers recently!  ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 28, 2007, 06:19:58 AM
(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51A54G4BDGL._AA240_.jpg)

Has anyone heard this wonderful new symphony? I believe the 2nd is also available on disc, and wonder if anyone can offer a few comments, or on this composer in general?

Mog, I ordered a disc in the composer series on Finlandia with some of his works, amongst it a symphony, but JPC told me its out of stock.
I heard his Cello concerto, and was truly amazed at so much novelty.
Since then I try to get some recordings together of his work, and this cd you have posted will be a good start.
Any impressions of this recording?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on April 28, 2007, 06:24:27 AM
It's always time to make a pow-wow and discuss it all while the peace pipe passes around.  ;)

A new thread could be devoted to such things as the good usage of, and rules of thread merges. I carefully read the GMG Forum Guidelines thread (aka The Gospel According To Rob 0:) ) and couldn't find any 'how to' guide about starting/managing a thread.

My 2 cents:

I don't think the initiator of a thread should be able to lock it. It deprives everybody else of the discussion - often very valuable - that has been going on. Hitting the lock button is a bit selfish IMO. There have been lengthy discussions in the past about the "ownership" of posts and threads. Many feel that once a thread is started and gets rolling, it becomes public property.

I feel the decision to merge threads should be made only after the moderator has sent a PM to the thread initiators (note the plural) and has gotten their approval. In this case, Harry finds it OK, but MOG is miffed. It could very well be the other way around... Merging/splitting threads is a decision that only aims to make things more practical for everybody. It's not a life and death matter, so it can wait a bit.

OTOH, it should be obvious that, the narrower the focus of a thread, the less people will be picking it up. If a thread is so specialized that only a handful will be following it, it doesn't benefit the larger crowd. If there's a thread about Italian Opera, a new thread about Verdi Baritone Arias might attract a much narrower following. There's a balance that should be strived for.

Suggestion: when there appears to be some overlap between threads, why not include a "Of Related Interest" post with links to the parent threads? Anybody can do that, including the initiator of a 'specialized' thread who wants to alert the community to the existence of his/her pet thread (which might otherwise fall down on page 6 of the threads list, then page 10, etc. for lack of proper exposure).
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 28, 2007, 06:31:22 AM
I agree with you Lilas, but if on my thread, and that means ownership in some sense, people start to fight, it kind of defeats the purpose of the thread, and therefore I think it not selfish to lock it, so that the minds of people cool, and I unlock the thread again. It is not a permanent close down, you see.
It is therefore oke that the starters of the thread can lock or unlock.
But please no more discussion about this on a thread that is dedicated to Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
How many times do I have to say please huh?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on April 28, 2007, 06:34:26 AM
OK, boss  $:)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Benji on April 28, 2007, 06:36:39 AM
Mog, I ordered a disc in the composer series on Finlandia with some of his works, amongst it a symphony, but JPC told me its out of stock.
I heard his Cello concerto, and was truly amazed at so much novelty.
Since then I try to get some recordings together of his work, and this cd you have posted will be a good start.
Any impressions of this recording?

After only a single spin I can tell you it's not the deepest work you'll ever hear, but it is certainly very accessible, has plenty of good ideas and did manage to hold my attention throughout. I need some more time with it though.

I will keep an eye out for his Cello concerto - that's one already that's not on my list!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 28, 2007, 06:41:55 AM
Our esteemed forum member Robert send me a long list with interesting Scandinavian composers, and my list is growing bigger and bigger.
Have some big issues with Rautavaara/Madetoja/Merikanto/Bergman/Englund, o, well I could go on forever. ;D
The list for these composers only, is long, very long.
So suggestions for preferred recordings are most welcome.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 28, 2007, 06:52:10 AM
Our esteemed forum member Robert send me a long list with interesting Scandinavian composers, and my list is growing bigger and bigger.
Have some big issues with Rautavaara/Madetoja/Merikanto/Bergman/Englund, o, well I could go on forever. ;D
The list for these composers only, is long, very long.
So suggestions for preferred recordings are most welcome.

For those interested in lists, go back to my reply (#59) on pg. 3 - click on each of the countries, which will link to a list of 50-70+ composers for each country - that should keep anyone busy, including Harry -  ;D  Dave
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 28, 2007, 07:00:19 AM
For those interested in lists, go back to my reply (#59) on pg. 3 - click on each of the countries, which will link to a list of 50-70+ composers for each country - that should keep anyone busy, including Harry -  ;D  Dave

Well I did, and that's why my list is so long, that you have done too, my illustrious friend! ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 28, 2007, 02:13:13 PM
Einar Englund (1916-1999) Orchestral Works - includes symphonies & piano concerto; of course, this is 20th century music - great comments from Amazon (CLICK on the image); I enjoyed these woks, and would certainly appreciate other recommendations from this composer - thanks.   :)

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/216N3Z1MQ2L._AA130_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Einar-Englund-Orchestral-Works/dp/B000031WHG/ref=sr_1_3/103-4191504-6570256?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1177801467&sr=1-3)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 28, 2007, 05:06:58 PM
Well, just getting into listening to the Gade Symphonies w/ Hogwood, but for those who may want some more concrete comments, CLICK on the images below from Classics Today - all of these volumes received 9/9 to 10/10 ratings - I've listened to only one of the volumes, so far:

(http://www.classicstoday.com/images/coverpics/6756_coverpic.jpg) (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=6756)  (http://www.classicstoday.com/images/coverpics/4105_coverpic.jpg) (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=4105)  (http://www.classicstoday.com/images/coverpics/6039_coverpic.jpg) (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=6039)  (http://www.classicstoday.com/images/coverpics/6041_coverpic.jpg) (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=6041)

Harry et al - finally, I've listened to 3 of the 4 Gades CDs shown above (do not have the 1 & 5 Symphony disc) - again, click on any image for comments from David Hurwitz - these are all highly rated (9/9 to 10/10) - the three CDs that I do own are quite enjoyable; although a Danish composer, he early came under the influence of Schumann & Mendelssohn - his Symphonies are basically 'early Romantic' - I find them enjoyable although not revelatory (nothing wrong w/ that impression) - Hogwood directs well, the orchestra plays superbly, and the sonics are great.  These works are certainly worth exploring as an important part of early Danish symphonic composing from the 19th century -  :D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 28, 2007, 10:21:43 PM
Einar Englund (1916-1999) Orchestral Works - includes symphonies & piano concerto; of course, this is 20th century music - great comments from Amazon (CLICK on the image); I enjoyed these woks, and would certainly appreciate other recommendations from this composer - thanks.   :)

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/216N3Z1MQ2L._AA130_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Einar-Englund-Orchestral-Works/dp/B000031WHG/ref=sr_1_3/103-4191504-6570256?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1177801467&sr=1-3)

Dave, he is on my list too, and I try to find out what is the best way around him.
Have th same Naxos cd as you, so will work from there too!
I am in for recommendations too folks. :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on April 28, 2007, 10:22:25 PM
Harry et al - finally, I've listened to 3 of the 4 Gades CDs shown above (do not have the 1 & 5 Symphony disc) - again, click on any image for comments from David Hurwitz - these are all highly rated (9/9 to 10/10) - the three CDs that I do own are quite enjoyable; although a Danish composer, he early came under the influence of Schumann & Mendelssohn - his Symphonies are basically 'early Romantic' - I find them enjoyable although not revelatory (nothing wrong w/ that impression) - Hogwood directs well, the orchestra plays superbly, and the sonics are great.  These works are certainly worth exploring as an important part of early Danish symphonic composing from the 19th century -  :D

Thanks Dave, will think this over if the price is worth the music! :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Choo Choo on May 11, 2007, 02:37:20 PM
Lovers of Danish music should be aware that MDT in the UK have a sale on Danacord titles currently.  Lots of good stuff.  Link here (http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/search/Special%20Offers/SO_Danacord/Danacord0507/).

Me, I'm looking at the 3 x 2CD volumes of Herman Koppel, Composer and Pianist.  Imagine - Stravinsky's Concerto for Piano & Wind Instruments with Koppel at the keyboard and Jensen conducting?  Or Bartok PC#1 with Malko conducting?

And then - for just 15 of our quaint British pounds - there's this:

     (http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/DACOCD351-353.jpg)

If ever there was a no-brainer purchase, this must be it.  JPC is asking 43 Euro for this currently.  I've ordered mine. :D

(Note these are not the same recordings as on Dutton.)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Greta on July 28, 2007, 10:35:04 PM
Dragging this thread from obscurity, as I was on a Finnish composer kick tonight. If you count Sibelius, which you must, it kind of amazes me what percentage Finnish composers occupy in my listening.

Quote from: bhodges
Hakola's Clarinet Concerto was the reason I was really eager to hear the program last night.  One hearing impressed me tremendously.  But as it turned out, I'm not sure that anything else we heard quite measured up to the clarinet piece.  Oh well, it happens!

So I finally heard this, and I'm well, blown away! ;D Wow, how do you describe it? Kari Kriikku is a god, first of all. I love the bit with the the very precise and unique bird chirps, in the midst of all the chaos going on. Hakola stretches the clarinet about as far as you can take it, using every awesome woodwind trick in the book, altissimo, insane portamentos, growls (where we sing and play at the same time  :D), wild runs, you have to be a monster to pull that one off.

A lot of Eastern influence, some jazz, and a totally unexpected gorgeous, haunting moment at the end of "Hidden Songs". Great party atmosphere, I guess the Finnish RSO was instructed to create the "crowd noise"?  ;) And are they ever spectacular here. They dispatch with these orchestral tour de forces by their countrymen in brilliant fashion.

The 1st mvmt, Introduzione, hooked me right off though. I love the kinetic, perpetual machinistic writing, which has striking similarities to Lindberg and Salonen's works written in the same time period (early 2000s). There's all exactly the same age too. There must have been something in the water that year. Their orchestration skills are just phenomenal.

While on concertos, I revisited Salonen's Mania (cello concerto) and  Lindberg's Concerto for Orchestra. The former, played by the awesome Anssi Karttunen (Avanti! again), is fleet and impressionistic, featuring agile and beautiful cello writing, spinning gradually alone into a frantic whirl that catches more and more orchestral sections as it goes. Nimble woodwinds, brass punctuations, and constant rhythmic shifts, build to a frantic peak, and after an eerie false respite, suddenly the cello takes off in a last fit of anger dashing the ensemble to a clever end.

The latter, exhibits this same nervous energy, but with more space around the music. I like how Lindberg spotlights different sections of the orchestra and soloists, giving all a workout. Very unsettled music, with lots of string tone clusters, sparkling percussive and wind effects punctuated by massive brass statements. Certainly impressive, if not as melodic as his counterparts. Impressionistic spaces alternate with frantic outbursts that culminate and build to a huge ruckus. It's a rainbow of colors, though few signposts along the way. His writing for the soloists is exceptional  Introspective flute and piano solos, and a very fun fiddle solo standout. Extended woodwind soli also feature prominently. The ending is great, with punchy brass chorales almost from a sci-fi movie and a frantic orchestra, which finally resolve to a triumphant and peaceful end. Both pieces I really like though not necessarily top picks for either.

Quote
And yes, it is great to find a recent work that can withstand repeated listening and that even rewards it. And especially great to hear Lindberg that I love, as I absolutely hated Kraft; i'm so glad I gave him another chance.

My favorite Lindberg is on the Philharmonia disc with the two rocks on the front, his humorous and creative Cello Concerto, and Parada, and parts of the other two pieces. I must hear that Clarinet Concerto. :)

I actually hated Kraft too, I have tried several times when armed with aspirin, but it's just a no-go for me. There is an extremely funny, and extremely horrible story about that one from its "Related Rocks" Philharmonia performance in 2001. There are players and percussion instruments and everything but the kitchen sink scattered about Royal Festival Hall, and the huge Tam-Tam placed out in the audience collapsed a few minutes in - onto a few members of the audience who were nearly knocked out, one carted out with a bleeding head wound. Salonen who was conducting, was oblivious to this as I don't think the instrument was even in his line of sight, and the piece was too dang loud anyway, to even hear that a catastrophe had happened. Oops.  ;D

TBH, I find some of Lindberg rather hard to take, his writing is brilliant no doubt, but can be awfully thorny and sometimes makes a lot of big noise on little melody.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on July 29, 2007, 06:15:05 AM
Thank you dear Greta, that you revived this thread!
Most grateful I am, I am sure! :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Marple on July 29, 2007, 07:30:11 AM
I like the music of danish Poul Ruders. :D Have anybody heard his Solar Trilogy?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on July 29, 2007, 07:52:41 AM
Anybody here know the Symphony by Finn Mortensen? Used to be available on an Aurora disc in a 60-ies performance by the OFO. Probaly the best symphonic work written by a Norwegian...close competition from the symphonic works (no symphony though) by Ludwig Irgens Jensen.

Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Thom on July 29, 2007, 08:44:31 AM
I really like to draw some attention for Aulis Sallinen, Finnish composer. There is unmistakenbly some influence of the great Janne Sibelius in his music (can't go much wrong there) but I think he is an interesting composer in his own right.

This one is a nice introduction I think:

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/515YRJV3WNL._SS500_.jpg)

BIS CD-41 (P)1987

And this one is worth mentioning also:

(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/2154KKB0MYL._SS500_.jpg)

Sorry for the small image. This is what is on this cd:

Composer: Sallinen
Director: Kamu
Ochestra: Finnish Chamber Orchestra
Label: Naxos
Cat. Number 8.553747

Complete works for String Orchestra:
- Some Aspects of Peltoniemi Hintrik's Funeral March
- Chamber Music I -
Sunrise Serenade -
Chamber Music II -
Chamber Music III
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on July 29, 2007, 09:03:13 AM
I absolutely agree with you my friend.
Sallinen is for me a very good follow up.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on July 29, 2007, 10:05:48 AM
I just saw this thread - I want to add my voice to those who like Rued Langgaard!

I have the Danacord discs of his symphonies. Apart from those - the Järvi recording of 4,5 and 6, and the Rozhdestvensky of 'Music of the Spheres' (the orchestral songs on that disc are really lovely).

I love his organ masterpiece 'Messis' but the opera 'Antikrist' is not a work I've taken to (but this can change). At the height of my fascination with Langgaard I even read Viinholt Nielsen's biography of Langgaard in Danish (which the University of Groningen has a copy of, and which I borrowed through the Royal Library in The Hague).

There is a Danish/English site about Langgaard, where you can find much information and musical fragments (www.langgaard.dk)

I wouldn't want to be without his music!

Jez
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Brewski on July 29, 2007, 10:23:00 AM
So I finally heard this, and I'm well, blown away! ;D Wow, how do you describe it? Kari Kriikku is a god, first of all. I love the bit with the the very precise and unique bird chirps, in the midst of all the chaos going on. Hakola stretches the clarinet about as far as you can take it, using every awesome woodwind trick in the book, altissimo, insane portamentos, growls (where we sing and play at the same time  :D), wild runs, you have to be a monster to pull that one off.

A lot of Eastern influence, some jazz, and a totally unexpected gorgeous, haunting moment at the end of "Hidden Songs". Great party atmosphere, I guess the Finnish RSO was instructed to create the "crowd noise"?  ;) And are they ever spectacular here. They dispatch with these orchestral tour de forces by their countrymen in brilliant fashion.

The 1st mvmt, Introduzione, hooked me right off though. I love the kinetic, perpetual machinistic writing, which has striking similarities to Lindberg and Salonen's works written in the same time period (early 2000s). There's all exactly the same age too. There must have been something in the water that year. Their orchestration skills are just phenomenal.

Totally agree about Kari Kriikku, and I'm now investigating other recordings by him.  I need to hear the piece again, since I've only heard it a few times, and would like to see the program notes, too.  But yes, I liked all the wild components of the piece you identified! 

--Bruce

Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: uffeviking on July 29, 2007, 07:01:57 PM
Jezetha: Great to meet another Langgaard fan! My nickname might give you a hint, there aren't many Danish composers I don't like, but Rued is on top of the list - if only I could come to grips with his Antikrist. If you have figured it all out, please do let me in on it. - Our fellow poster Springrite will be happy too! -

My favorite Langgaard is his Sfærernes Musik and just for fun and entertainment his Insektarium part of his piano collection.  :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: uffeviking on July 29, 2007, 07:18:11 PM
Danish Operas! Peter Heise composed this one and I love it:

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/Drilldown?name_id1=5230&name_role1=1&bcorder=1&comp_id=200314

Great tale of Danish history and sung splendidly by Poul Elming in the main role. Of course Harry would not have it in his collection because it is an opera!  ::)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: uffeviking on July 29, 2007, 07:37:43 PM
One more Danish opera: Poul Ruders The Handmaids Tale, this one too has Poul Elming.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on July 29, 2007, 10:10:29 PM
Danish Operas! Peter Heise composed this one and I love it:

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/Drilldown?name_id1=5230&name_role1=1&bcorder=1&comp_id=200314

Great tale of Danish history and sung splendidly by Poul Elming in the main role. Of course Harry would not have it in his collection because it is an opera!  ::)

Well I do my best you know, but Rome was not build in one day, now is it? :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Marple on July 29, 2007, 10:11:06 PM
I love his organ masterpiece 'Messis' but the opera 'Antikrist' is not a work I've taken to (but this can change).

Jezetha: Great to meet another Langgaard fan! My nickname might give you a hint, there aren't many Danish composers I don't like, but Rued is on top of the list - if only I could come to grips with his Antikrist. If you have figured it all out, please do let me in on it. - Our fellow poster Springrite will be happy too! -

My favorite Langgaard is his Sfærernes Musik and just for fun and entertainment his Insektarium part of his piano collection.  :)

Hello Jezetha and uffeviking! :D I'm also a Rued fan! I just love his music and especially his Antikrist! 8) I watched it on DVD from Dacapo not long ago, and it really helped me to understand this difficult piece. And now I LOVE IT! ;D
Antikrist DVD (Dacapo) with Thomas Dausgaard (conductor): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Antikrist-Rued-Langgaard/dp/B0009X24RK/ref=sr_1_1/202-5853151-8799824?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1185779222&sr=8-1 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Antikrist-Rued-Langgaard/dp/B0009X24RK/ref=sr_1_1/202-5853151-8799824?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1185779222&sr=8-1)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on July 29, 2007, 11:16:08 PM
Hello, Marple (and uffeviking)!

Great that you have 'cracked' 'Antikrist'! Could you tell us more?... I really should give the work another chance. It's been, say, ten years I listened to the first recording (borrowed from a library, but I didn't rip it...) and couldn't get into it. Now that I'm older and wiser (dream on, Jez!) it should be easier to understand. Perhaps. There was something in the use of the human voice which didn't attract me.

Ah well, I'll just have to watch the DVD then, if seeing the opera makes such a difference...  :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Marple on July 30, 2007, 01:54:03 AM
Hi Jez! :)

What would you like to know?
To me it made a big difference to watch the DVD. You should do so! $:) It's a brilliant performing!

Antikrist is a bit odd, I know! ;D It's not a 'real' opera. And what is it about? ??? I don't know if I've 'cracked' the meaning of the opera (but indeed I think so! ;)) I just love it now!

Have you heard his Symphony no. 6 "Det Himmelrivende" (The Heaven-Rending). Here he uses some of the themes from Antikrist. If not, I can recommend it! :)

Good luck!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on July 30, 2007, 02:10:31 AM
Hi, Marple!

I know 'Det Himmelrivende' well. I also have the Prelude to 'Antikrist', so I heard the similarities.

I think I'll have to order the DVD, as I said. The story, after some researching the last few hours, seems much clearer to me now than it was ten years ago. So I won't ask you to re-tell it  ;)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Marple on July 30, 2007, 02:35:20 AM
Hi, Marple!

I know 'Det Himmelrivende' well. I also have the Prelude to 'Antikrist', so I heard the similarities.

I think I'll have to order the DVD, as I said. The story, after some researching the last few hours, seems much clearer to me now than it was ten years ago. So I won't ask you to re-tell it  ;)

I appreciate it! ;)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: uffeviking on July 30, 2007, 04:55:41 AM
I don't know if I've 'cracked' the meaning of the opera (but indeed I think so! ;)) I just love it now!


'Loving' an opera does not necessarily mean one is 'understanding' it, especially a work as complicated as Antikrist with heavy religious influences, fundamental ones, and possibly dealing with religious customs in a foreign country! (I am not Danish.)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Brewski on July 30, 2007, 04:58:09 AM
One more Danish opera: Poul Ruders The Handmaids Tale, this one too has Poul Elming.

Another strong "yes" to this one, a very powerful opera (based on the Margaret Atwood novel).

--Bruce
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on August 03, 2007, 10:37:24 AM
'Loving' an opera does not necessarily mean one is 'understanding' it, especially a work as complicated as Antikrist with heavy religious influences, fundamental ones, and possibly dealing with religious customs in a foreign country! (I am not Danish.)

This is very true, but understanding dramatically increases the appreciation (which is why a libretto and translation is so important). I can't say I "understand" Antikrist (maybe only the composer did and ever will?), but I certainly love it !!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: uffeviking on August 03, 2007, 02:34:26 PM
Just one clue, please, André: Is it about a religious community, a very small private sect? An aberrant branch of a big religious denomination? Maybe I can take it from there!  ::)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on August 04, 2007, 06:56:07 AM
I think it's an allegory. Antichrist is a character that is portrayed (but not named as such) in the Book of Revelation (Apocalypse). He wreaks havoc on earth by - among other things - taking the world over and forcing everybody to bear a mark (the infamous 666). In another portion of Revelation, the Letters to 7 Churches, there's another allegory which may represent either the future of the Church through the ages, and/or the various states of sin, unbelief or even apostasy that the Church (assembly of believers) will go through. All of which boils down to a big facedown between God and the Antichrist.

I found this link (http://www.mvdaily.com/articles/2005/08/antikrist1.htm) to be quite useful. It's a no-nonsense assessment of the work and its possible significance through some of its characters. The whole thing reminds me of the way such "moral-concepts-as-literary-or-operatic-characters are portrayed in The Pilgrim's Progress.

Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Grazioso on September 16, 2007, 03:37:55 AM
An area I'm having fun exploring. One extremely useful resource is the Finnish Music Information Centre: http://www.fimic.fi/

A few exciting composers off the beaten path that I've greatly enjoyed so far:

Allan Pettersson: massive symphonies that are dark, introspective, violent, yet suffused with moments of tremendous beauty and marked, at their best, by a beautiful sense of unfolding, organic growth. Afaik, seven of the symphonies are available on the BIS label and a complete set on cpo:

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/410P69VA3EL._AA240_.jpg)

Leevi Madetoja, a contemporary of Sibelius with a notable Gallic influence and considerable melodic gift. The Alba label offers a series of his complete orchestral works. Chandos offers his symphonies and a few other works in one convenient package:

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51WDJN5V61L._AA240_.jpg)

Einojuhani Rautavaara, one of Finland's most well-known contemporary composers, who deftly blends serialism and Romanticism, bleak Nordic soundscapes with lush impressionism:

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/21otxp%2BZ7uL._AA130_.jpg)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Greta on September 18, 2007, 01:31:53 PM
Quote
An area I'm having fun exploring. One extremely useful resource is the Finnish Music Information Centre: http://www.fimic.fi/

Me too! :) Hard to put my finger on exactly why, but I am quite entranced by the music of this region, somehow I find it very easy to connect to. Abstract and introspective yet beautiful and provoking.

The FIMIC website is excellent, there is also a music player embedded there with searchable full-length tracks from many composers, right now I am enjoying Jouni Kaipainen's choral piece, Des Flusses Stimme.

Here is a list of composers with links to info on each:

http://www.fimic.fi/fimic/fimic.nsf/naviframe?readform&f=composersbyname?openview&m=1.2&ct=0
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on September 18, 2007, 02:44:25 PM
I rank many Scandinavian composers amongst my favourite composers. There is seldom any frivolity in Scandinavian music. It seems to breathe the clear air of the northern regions whilst at the same time frequently evoking in my mind the brooding intensity of the wonderful scenery of those countries-particularly the forests and the lakes. I have only once(briefly) managed to cross into Finland but have visited Sweden and Norway many times and love both countries. My father visited Finland in 1937 and had an introduction(from the future President of Finland, Marshal Mannerheim) to visit Sibelius but-for whatever reason-didn't make the visit!

Can I throw another Finn into the mix? Aaare Merikanto(1893-1958). Merikanto is a fascinating figure who has not received his due, I believe, even from the Finns themselves. He went through a 'radical' phase in the 1920s which led to his music being ignored or abused and this critical reaction had a profound impact on his future career with many of his works being destroyed by the composer(for example the Violin Concerto No.3). He also struggled with drink and drug problems. Merikanto's only opera "Juha" was rejected by the Finnish Opera and never performed in his lifetime. In the second half of his life he moved away from the earlier radicalism for reasons that are the subject of some debate.
There is an Ondine CD containing Merikanto's Piano Concerto No.2 and Piano Concerto No.3 and a very useful Finlandia CD in that label's estimable 'Meet the Composer' series which features the Violin Concerto No.2, Violin Concerto No.4 and the fascinating 'radical' scores from the 1920s: Fantasy for Orchestra, Pan, and the Symphonic Study. It would be interesting however to hear more from Merikanto's earlier, romantic period-the first and second symphonies(the third dates from 1953), the lst Violin Concerto and 1st Cello Concerto(the 2nd Cello Concerto is a later work again).
The Finns have been enormously successful at promoting their composers abroad through the medium of CD-I am thinking of Kokkonen, Rautavaara, Sallinen, Englund, Klami, Madetoja, Melartin and Aho for example. May be Merikanto deserves more exposure now?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on September 18, 2007, 05:17:21 PM
Just purchased: complete violin and piano works of Emil Sjögren. This is one of the rare corners of scandinaviana I haven't explored yet. I know and love the works of Stenhammar, Aulin, Haquinius and Olsson, all swedish composers influenced by him one way or another.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Varg on October 18, 2007, 07:53:29 AM
Has anyone mentioned Segerstam? Schnittke and Pettersson enthousiasts should definately check him out. I just listened to his 17th symphony; really powerful, untraditionnal music. Sounds like a Schnittke-Pettersson-Penderecki-Pärt blend (look for his "Segerstam Chamber Music- Leif Live In Paris" and 17th symphony CDs). Another land for you to explore, Harry!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: matti on October 18, 2007, 08:15:11 AM
Another land for you to explore, Harry!

And not a small one. He had composed 185 symphonies by August 8th this year. I'm sure there are quite a few more now, heck, it's late October!

Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Varg on October 18, 2007, 04:13:04 PM
And not a small one. He had composed 185 symphonies by August 8th this year. I'm sure there are quite a few more now, heck, it's late October!



 ;D

Fortunately (for Harry's wallet!!) most of his works hasn't been recorded yet; in fact, i know of only a few.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: rubio on June 07, 2008, 09:31:03 AM
I would like to check out the composer Hugo Alfven. I see they have the Neemi Jarvi recordings of the symphonies 1-2-4-5 at my local library. Do you have a recommendation on which symphony I should check out first? What do you think of the merits of this composer?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on June 07, 2008, 09:37:49 AM
;D

Fortunately (for Harry's wallet!!) most of his works hasn't been recorded yet; in fact, i know of only a few.

O, dear , I came late to this thread, and I will investigate the matter thoroughly! ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on June 07, 2008, 09:40:54 AM
I would like to check out the composer Hugo Alfven. I see they have the Neemi Jarvi recordings of the symphonies 1-2-4-5 at my local library. Do you have a recommendation on which symphony I should check out first? What do you think of the merits of this composer?

By all means Jarvi, is the best way to start with Alfven's music. Start with the fifth symphony if you may. The merits, well you will hear that better as I can explain it. He opens a brand new world to you in every respect. A good orchestrator, and innovator.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on June 07, 2008, 09:45:39 AM
I would like to check out the composer Hugo Alfven. I see they have the Neemi Jarvi recordings of the symphonies 1-2-4-5 at my local library. Do you have a recommendation on which symphony I should check out first? What do you think of the merits of this composer?


Hello, Rubio! I personally like the First and Third Swedish Rhapsodies (aka 'Midsommarvaka' and 'Dalarapsodie') very much. And the Funeral Music for Gustav Adolf. And the symphonic poem 'Legend of the Skerries'. And the Second, Third and Fourth symphonies are excellent, very colourful and tuneful. His Fourth symphony (subtitled 'From the Outermost Skerries', a bit confusing...) is a symphony in one movement with two soloists whose voices wind in and out of the musical fabric. Not to sound too disrespectful, but the music seems to be 'erotic' and created quite a stir at its first performance. I think it's just beautiful. Here is a link:

http://rapidshare.com/files/112530331/Alfv_n__Hugo_-_Symphony_No._4__c-minor__op._39.mp3

(Stig Westerberg - Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: rubio on June 07, 2008, 12:57:42 PM

Hello, Rubio! I personally like the First and Third Swedish Rhapsodies (aka 'Midsommarvaka' and 'Dalarapsodie') very much. And the Funeral Music for Gustav Adolf. And the symphonic poem 'Legend of the Skerries'. And the Second, Third and Fourth symphonies are excellent, very colourful and tuneful. His Fourth symphony (subtitled 'From the Outermost Skerries', a bit confusing...) is a symphony in one movement with two soloists whose voices wind in and out of the musical fabric. Not to sound too disrespectful, but the music seems to be 'erotic' and created quite a stir at its first performance. I think it's just beautiful. Here is a link:

http://rapidshare.com/files/112530331/Alfv_n__Hugo_-_Symphony_No._4__c-minor__op._39.mp3

(Stig Westerberg - Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra)

Thank you very much, Jezetha! I will listen to this work tomorrow and borrow some of the other ones from the library.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: kristopaivinen on June 08, 2008, 10:05:24 AM
These are my experiences of Finnish composers.

I think no Finnish composer deserves more attention than Toivo Kuula. I know him for his many songs which are quite popular among Finnish concertgoers. His songs, like Schubert's music, are romantic in style and filled with divine inspiration. He died tragically at the age of 35, after having stabbed a soldier in a party and being shot in the head in retaliation.

After Sibelius, I believe Leevi Madetoja was the most important among the national romantic composers. I know him best for his operas, Pohjalaisia and Juha, both of which contain some very lovely melodies.

Juha was also set to music by Aarre Merikanto, the principal Finnish modernist of the early 20th century. I haven't listened to his works a lot, so I don't know how highly to think of his music, but I regard him as a forerunner to Rautavaara. His father Oskar Merikanto composed well-known children's songs and whatnot.

Along with Sibelius, the most famous symphonist of the early 20th century was certainly Erkki Melartin, and his symphonies are distinguished from bearing little resemblance to the music of Sibelius. People describe his relationship to Mahler as similar to that of Schostakovich's, but I'm not sure what to think of him.

Joonas Kokkonen was an influential music teacher whose music bears much in common with expressionism. Personally, I've never been convinced by his music.

Aulis Sallinen is a composer I know very well. Symphonies, concertos, operas, chamber music... You name it, I've heard it. I was much interested in his music when I was younger. Nowadays I regard him as a competent composer, but none of his music really moves me much.

Then there's Rautavaara, whose 90's music I find breathtaking. You hardly find as much originality anywhere in these days except in Rautavaara's music. Although harmonically very different, he seems to write like the late Berg, and this produces very lyrical moments. I much recommend his late symphonies and his opera Aleksis Kivi. I should listen to his music more, and so should you.

Other living Finnish composers such as Magnus Lindberg, Kaija Saariaho and Esa-Pekka Salonen haven't interested me much, even though I've heard some of their works. There's the possibility that I'm too old-fashioned to appreciate them. Then there are some Finnish composers I haven't had the time to familiarize myself with. These include Fredrick Pacius, Armas Järnefelt, Robert Kajanus, Kalevi Aho and Paavo Heinonen. There is an incredible amount of Finnish composers - I would say a few too many.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on June 08, 2008, 11:17:40 AM
These are my experiences of Finnish composers.

I think no Finnish composer deserves more attention than Toivo Kuula. I know him for his many songs which are quite popular among Finnish concertgoers. His songs, like Schubert's music, are romantic in style and filled with divine inspiration. He died tragically at the age of 35, after having stabbed a soldier in a party and being shot in the head in retaliation.

After Sibelius, I believe Leevi Madetoja was the most important among the national romantic composers. I know him best for his operas, Pohjalaisia and Juha, both of which contain some very lovely melodies.

Juha was also set to music by Aarre Merikanto, the principal Finnish modernist of the early 20th century. I haven't listened to his works a lot, so I don't know how highly to think of his music, but I regard him as a forerunner to Rautavaara. His father Oskar Merikanto composed well-known children's songs and whatnot.

Along with Sibelius, the most famous symphonist of the early 20th century was certainly Erkki Melartin, and his symphonies are distinguished from bearing little resemblance to the music of Sibelius. People describe his relationship to Mahler as similar to that of Schostakovich's, but I'm not sure what to think of him.

Joonas Kokkonen was an influential music teacher whose music bears much in common with expressionism. Personally, I've never been convinced by his music.

Aulis Sallinen is a composer I know very well. Symphonies, concertos, operas, chamber music... You name it, I've heard it. I was much interested in his music when I was younger. Nowadays I regard him as a competent composer, but none of his music really moves me much.

Then there's Rautavaara, whose 90's music I find breathtaking. You hardly find as much originality anywhere in these days except in Rautavaara's music. Although harmonically very different, he seems to write like the late Berg, and this produces very lyrical moments. I much recommend his late symphonies and his opera Aleksis Kivi. I should listen to his music more, and so should you.

Other living Finnish composers such as Magnus Lindberg, Kaija Saariaho and Esa-Pekka Salonen haven't interested me much, even though I've heard some of their works. There's the possibility that I'm too old-fashioned to appreciate them. Then there are some Finnish composers I haven't had the time to familiarize myself with. These include Fredrick Pacius, Armas Järnefelt, Robert Kajanus, Kalevi Aho and Paavo Heinonen. There is an incredible amount of Finnish composers - I would say a few too many.

Aare Merikanto deserves much more exposure. I would like to hear his symphonies. Ondine ought to record more Merikanto.

Can't agree with you about Kokkonen and Sallinen. I think that both are seriously good composers. Their symphonies and concertos are works to which I often return.

There is a thread about Kalevi Aho on this forum-

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,7786.0.html

"...few too many". There can never be enough good composers :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on June 08, 2008, 10:11:35 PM
I was recently hugely impressed by Sallinens 4th symphony, stark, original (though obviously indebted to late Sibelius) and powerful.  And Kokkonens cello concerto obviously as a cello concerto that belongs in the canon of cello concertoes. Both composers are on my "to explore further" list.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Est.1965 on June 09, 2008, 01:37:45 AM
Sallinen is much more than a 'competent' composer.  Some of his stuff is responsible for my brain doing timeshifts and unworldy travels. He is a composer of considerable skill, and he must have an idea what his music can do to someone innocently trying is music out.  I don't recommend trying it - I recommend getting it, and going to hear it performed.  Sallinen is a real Scandinavian treasure.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on June 09, 2008, 01:40:18 AM
Sallinen is much more than a 'competent' composer.  Some of his stuff is responsible for my brain doing timeshifts and unworldy travels. He is a composer of considerable skill, and he must have an idea what his music can do to someone innocently trying is music out.  I don't recommend trying it - I recommend getting it, and going to hear it performed.  Sallinen is a real Scandinavian treasure.

Thumbs up, agree completely!
As a rule, I bought first all the CPO discs with much of his works on it, and I will continue venturing into the BIS recordings, and from then on, I need advice. ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on June 09, 2008, 02:20:18 AM
Sallinen is much more than a 'competent' composer.  Some of his stuff is responsible for my brain doing timeshifts and unworldy travels. He is a composer of considerable skill, and he must have an idea what his music can do to someone innocently trying is music out.  I don't recommend trying it - I recommend getting it, and going to hear it performed.  Sallinen is a real Scandinavian treasure.

Mahler10th - any Sallinen work you recommend to a newcomer? Erato mentioned the Fourth Symphony - I just listened to some excerpts on eMusic, which I liked... But what, do you think, should I listen to first?

And Harry - do you have any favourites?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Thom on June 09, 2008, 02:33:44 AM
Ì enjoyed this one very much:

(http://www.diverdi.com/files/ag/4620/BIS041_B.jpg)

Aulis Sallinen
Orchestral works and chamber music
Performers
Paavo Pohjola, violin
Frans Helmerson, cello
Voces Intimae Quartet
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Helsinki Philarmonic
Okko Kamu, conductor
Paavo Berglund, conductor


1. Sinfonia (1971) 16'42
2. Chorali (1970) 11'35
Sinfonia III (1974-75):
6. Cadenze per violino solo (1965) 4'31
7. Elegy for Sebastian Knight, Op.10 (1964) 5'54
8. String Quartet No.3, Op.19 (1969) 12'10

1 CD - DDD - TT: 74'50
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on June 09, 2008, 02:45:13 AM
Mahler10th - any Sallinen work you recommend to a newcomer? Erato mentioned the Fourth Symphony - I just listened to some excerpts on eMusic, which I liked... But what, do you think, should I listen to first?

And Harry - do you have any favourites?

Of course my friend, see below.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on June 09, 2008, 02:46:58 AM
Ì enjoyed this one very much:

(http://www.diverdi.com/files/ag/4620/BIS041_B.jpg)

Aulis Sallinen
Orchestral works and chamber music
Performers
Paavo Pohjola, violin
Frans Helmerson, cello
Voces Intimae Quartet
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Helsinki Philarmonic
Okko Kamu, conductor
Paavo Berglund, conductor


1. Sinfonia (1971) 16'42
2. Chorali (1970) 11'35
Sinfonia III (1974-75):
6. Cadenze per violino solo (1965) 4'31
7. Elegy for Sebastian Knight, Op.10 (1964) 5'54
8. String Quartet No.3, Op.19 (1969) 12'10

1 CD - DDD - TT: 74'50

That one is one my list also! :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on June 09, 2008, 03:21:26 AM
Thanks for the reactions so far. Well, Thom and Harry have reacted, but where is Dick (Mahler10th)?  ;)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Est.1965 on June 09, 2008, 03:50:57 AM
Dick is here!! :o
The thing is, I recommend what Harry has put down there because those are also what I have!!  Thom has also posted "Aulis Sallinen - Orchestral works and chamber music" and you couldn't get a much better place to start than that.  I found Sallinen first hearing him on Radio 3 (UK)...it was the second track on the album "Chorali" and I have been hooked since then.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Thom on June 09, 2008, 04:08:20 AM
I found Sallinen first hearing him on Radio 3 (UK)...it was the second track on the album "Chorali" and I have been hooked since then.

Exactly. Chorali did the thing for me also. Great composer.

Thom
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on June 09, 2008, 04:26:35 AM
Right. I know enough.  :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on June 09, 2008, 04:52:21 AM
Right. I know enough.  :)

Oh no you don't :) I haven't spent a good few minutes scanning cd sleeves in vain!

The CPO version of Symphony No.1 is coupled with the Symphony No.7 "The Dreams of Gandalf" which draws on material composed for a projected ballet based on "The Hobbit"(which did not come to fruition). The 7th is a particularly grand work.

The CPO version of Symphony No.2 is coupled with No.4 but you get Sallinen's Horn Concerto for good measure-whereas the BIS version is coupled with the dramatic Symphony No.6 "From a New Zealand Diary" inspired by the wonderful scenery of that country. The BIS No.4 is coupled with No.5 "Washington Mosaics".

I might write more.....if you are still interested!! :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on June 09, 2008, 04:54:48 AM
Right. I know enough.  :)

The "Postbank" will give you a loan with cheap rates! ;D ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on June 09, 2008, 04:55:58 AM
It is odd that CPO-a company which normally seeks to record works not previously recorded-should be duplicating the earlier BIS recordings of Sallinen's first six symphonies! Never mind-Ari Rasilainen is a good young conductor and his insights are valuable.

Oh....and I should have added-
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on June 09, 2008, 04:56:56 AM
Okay, okay Colin, I am here! And I am interested! Please go on enlightening me and all the others... I think I am going to download 'Chorali' first.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on June 09, 2008, 04:59:17 AM
The "Postbank" will give you a loan with cheap rates! ;D ;D

The whole BIS catalogue is at eMusic, and my subscription there has been refreshed last weekend (50 tracks). So I don't think I have to take out a loan this time...

Edit: they have Ondine, too.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on June 09, 2008, 05:02:11 AM
It is odd that CPO-a company which normally seeks to record works not previously recorded-should be duplicating the earlier BIS recordings of Sallinen's first six symphonies! Never mind-Ari Rasilainen is a good young conductor and his insights are valuable.

Oh....and I should have added-

In my opinion you need both CPO & BIS recordings, and a few others, they are highly complimentary.
CPO was convinced by Rasilainen, that he had something to add, that's why. :)
And to be fair he has!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on June 09, 2008, 05:03:24 AM
Okay, okay Colin, I am here! And I am interested! Please go on enlightening me and all the others... I think I am going to download 'Chorali' first.

O, after that, you will be lost, and want all, o, dear, 50 tracks you say, Hmmmm! ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on June 09, 2008, 05:06:35 AM
The whole BIS catalogue is at eMusic, and my subscription there has been refreshed last weekend (50 tracks). So I don't think I have to take out a loan this time...

Edit: they have Ondine, too.

Oops yes, I forgot, that you are in the business of downloading these days, well I like cd's, something to hold. ;D
But your method is considerably cheaper of course! Do you store it on your hard disc? I am afraid I am a novice in this respect, and frankly I rather stay that way, its all far to difficult.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on June 09, 2008, 05:07:02 AM
O, after that, you will be lost, and want all, o, dear, 50 tracks you say, Hmmmm! ;D

With several other composers 'on the go' at the same time, 50 tracks isn't a lot. I think I'll have to be very discerning and very frugal...
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on June 09, 2008, 05:10:06 AM
With several other composers 'on the go' at the same time, 50 tracks isn't a lot. I think I'll have to be very discerning and very frugal...

Good gracious, yes, absolute frugal! ;)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on June 09, 2008, 05:14:34 AM
I freely(and happily) admit to being a sucker for so much Nordic music :) I love the distinctive landscapes of the northern countries-the fjords and mountains of Norway, the forests and lakes of Sweden and Finland. Many composers from these countries seem remarkably attuned to their native landscapes and write music which has a power and eloquence which perfectly evokes both the scenery itself and the emotions experienced by those who live or travel through these countries.

Sibelius is the obvious example-and 'Tapiola' a prime case of the overpowering sense of awe which the deep forests can inspire.
Sallinen seems-to me at least-to have a comparable(though, obviously, lesser) ability to conjure up the nature-world which clearly has inspired him. There are comparisons with the inspiration Benjamin Britten drew from the bleak East Anglian coastline. Sallinen is also inspired by Shostakovich(as many other Finnish composers were too) and by Stravinsky but his music repays the listener in its sense of purpose, sense of movement and power. If one is attuned to that particular sound world one is drawn back to it again.
And...it is accessible music for those(like myself) who find much other contemporary music written by living composers hard to grasp :) :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: kristopaivinen on June 09, 2008, 05:36:01 AM
Can't agree with you about Kokkonen and Sallinen. I think that both are seriously good composers. Their symphonies and concertos are works to which I often return.

I'm sorry that I lack the ability or will to admire almost every Finnish composer, or to regard each as an universal genius. I'm not ruling out the possibility that Sallinen or Kokkonen are as great as Mozart, Brahms, or Rautavaara, but so far I haven't found many reasons to think so. When I say that Rautavaara is a far greater composer than either, that mostly shows that I appreciate Rautavaara, rather than that I dislike the former.

And sure I sometimes return to Sallinen's symphonies. I also often return to Carl Nielsen's symphonies; they're very enjoyable, but I would trade them all away for one work by Webern.

Quote from: Mahler10th
Sallinen is much more than a 'competent' composer.  Some of his stuff is responsible for my brain doing timeshifts and unworldy travels. He is a composer of considerable skill, and he must have an idea what his music can do to someone innocently trying is music out.  I don't recommend trying it - I recommend getting it, and going to hear it performed.  Sallinen is a real Scandinavian treasure.

I would say all of this about Rautavaara. I would say it about Kuula, and if I was really drunk, I would even say it about Sibelius. How many treasures do you think I expect to find in such a small country?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on June 09, 2008, 05:43:34 AM
How many treasures do you think I expect to find in such a small country?

Much, many, a enormous amount, drunk or not! :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on June 09, 2008, 07:36:48 AM
I'm sorry that I lack the ability or will to admire almost every Finnish composer, or to regard each as an universal genius. I'm not ruling out the possibility that Sallinen or Kokkonen are as great as Mozart, Brahms, or Rautavaara, but so far I haven't found many reasons to think so. When I say that Rautavaara is a far greater composer than either, that mostly shows that I appreciate Rautavaara, rather than that I dislike the former.

And sure I sometimes return to Sallinen's symphonies. I also often return to Carl Nielsen's symphonies; they're very enjoyable, but I would trade them all away for one work by Webern.

I would say all of this about Rautavaara. I would say it about Kuula, and if I was really drunk, I would even say it about Sibelius. How many treasures do you think I expect to find in such a small country?

Oh, I would never dare to equate Sallinen or Kokkonen with Mozart or Brahms! Rautavaara is a very fine composer whose works I love/admire. He is just a rather different composer from Sallinen or Kokkonen but I value all three.

"Trade away all of Carl Nielsen's symphonies for one work by Webern"? Sorry, not with you there!!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on June 09, 2008, 07:51:06 AM
Just listened to Chorali, a rather elevated and austere work, but with a terrific and very earthy brass explosion.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: kristopaivinen on June 09, 2008, 11:55:47 PM
Oh, I would never dare to equate Sallinen or Kokkonen with Mozart or Brahms!
Hence, a competent composer. A very competent composer...? An interesting, very accomplished composer...? Regardless of what term we use, the title of a 'great' composer, in my understanding, demands equivalence to that which is admired in Mozart or Brahms, for instance, and I have strong reasons to believe that Rautavaara meets that demand well.

Quote
Rautavaara is a very fine composer whose works I love/admire. He is just a rather different composer from Sallinen or Kokkonen but I value all three.
But not especially one of these composers, it seems, like I especially value Rautavaara.

Quote
"Trade away all of Carl Nielsen's symphonies for one work by Webern"? Sorry, not with you there!!
This is just an example of how I listen much to some composers and find their music enjoyable, but don't need them like I need some others. I didn't expect you to agree on Carl Nielsen.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Maciek on June 10, 2008, 10:17:57 AM
Been a long time since I've last visited this thread, and I see it has grown threefold (at least).

Glad Kriikku is getting some attention. I've seen the guy live several times and have to agree: he is a god!

For those interested, I once posted the Sallinen Cello Sonata here (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,42.msg113646.html#msg113646).
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on June 10, 2008, 11:09:05 AM
For those interested, I once posted the Sallinen Cello Sonata here (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,42.msg113646.html#msg113646).

Thanks, Maciek! This saves me a few tracks at eMusic...
Title: Aarre Merikanto
Post by: kristopaivinen on June 11, 2008, 09:06:23 AM
Aare Merikanto deserves much more exposure. I would like to hear his symphonies. Ondine ought to record more Merikanto.

He composed three. I in B minor 1916, II in A major 1918, and III 1953.

It's been about four years since I've listened to anything from Aarre Merikanto, and back then I only heard his opera Juha, so yesterday I picked up some of his works from the library. When I first heard Juha, I was too young to understand the music, and I still have some difficulties to truly admire works from the same period (the 20s) - some which seems to me like Berlioz with wrong notes. However, I was greatly impressed
by two late works: the Fourth Violin Concerto from 1954, and Genesis from 1956. If I would judge all his late works by these, I would admire him as much as I admire Rautavaara, and more than I admire Sibelius.

Finnish biographers have pointed out that it is difficult to connect Merikanto's style to any other composer. Merikanto, who had studied with Max Reger, first composed in a traditionally romantic style, and his earliest experiments in modern harmony were most strongly influenced by Scrjabin and Debussy. Schoenberg seems to have had a far smaller influence on his style than what I initially suspected. Merikanto didn't possess any sheet music of Schoenberg before 1930, when he acquired the 3rd String Quartet and in writing analyzed it in comparison to the 2nd. He described both Schoenberg and Debussy ironically as "brilliant trash-music" in the 1910s. While his attitude on Schoenberg seems to have changed while he got older, his remarks on Schoenberg were chiefly neutral but never containing praise, so any Schoenberg's potential importance on his music was at least never revealed in writing, and he never publicly acknowledged Berg or Webern. Mahler had no place in his statements, although he did acquire Mahler's 4th symphony. He found Stravinsky interesting at least, although his music doesn't betray much influence of Stravinsky and his 20s neoclassicism. Out of all living composers, Merikanto seems to have expressed most admiration for late-romantic ones, such as Max Reger and Strauss.

Merikanto's outspoken admiration for late-romantic composers does not surprise me, as his music remains rhythmically and melodically very similar to this idiom throughout his carreer. An exception is made in the late 20s works, where I find the melody, like the entire music, bears great similarity to Berg's Three Pieces for Orchestra. Otherwise, Merikanto's music is filled with romantically tonal melodies. This characteristic is strongly contrasted by the atonal harmonies, which his accompaniment mainly consists of, bearing much similarity to Schoenberg's harmonies. If this harmonic property was not produced by Merikanto's familiarity with Schoenberg's music, it must have been a coincidence. These characteristics of Merikanto's music were further brought out towards the later stages of his life. The violin part of the Fourth Violin Concerto could almost have been written by Sibelius or Nielsen, although the harmony of the accompaniment consists mainly of chords such as those found in Schoenberg's Violin Concerto. I thought this contrast sounded very strange at first experience. Imagine what Sibelius Violin Concerto would sound if the orchestra would have lots of C6-9 chords to play. This new exploration of Aarre Merikanto's music convinces me that he was much more than just an obsessive cigar-smoker who befittingly died of lung cancer - his value as a composer is expressed in his first name, which translates to "treasure" in English.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on June 11, 2008, 09:30:42 AM
Thank you for that exhaustive exposé, kristopaivinen!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on June 11, 2008, 03:31:40 PM
I have Merikanto's Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 3 and Violin Concertos Nos. 2 and 4 in my collection. That leaves the first Piano Concerto, the first Violin Concerto(No.3 was destroyed) and the two Cello Concertos-as well as the three symphonies which have not been recorded. Will listen again to Violin Concerto No.4 in particular.

Will also go back to the shorter works. I remember that the Fantasia for Orchestra, "Pan" and the Symphonic Study(all three of which are on an old Finlandia 'Meet the Composer' CD were highly rated by commentators as radical masterpieces from the 1920s.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: kristopaivinen on June 11, 2008, 11:53:25 PM
I have Merikanto's Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 3 and Violin Concertos Nos. 2 and 4 in my collection. That leaves the first Piano Concerto, the first Violin Concerto(No.3 was destroyed) and the two Cello Concertos-as well as the three symphonies which have not been recorded. Will listen again to Violin Concerto No.4 in particular.

Will also go back to the shorter works. I remember that the Fantasia for Orchestra, "Pan" and the Symphonic Study(all three of which are on an old Finlandia 'Meet the Composer' CD were highly rated by commentators as radical masterpieces from the 1920s.
I also have the 'Meet the Composer' CD. Both Violin Concertos are lovely, especially the Fourth one. I'm not familiar with the other concertos.

According to the thick biography about Merikanto I read, conductor-composer Robert Kajanus was quite a prick. Around 1910, when Aarre Merikanto had decided to follow his father's footsteps and become a composer, Kajanus, hostile towards his lowly origins, said to him "You are just a shit and will embarrass yourself next to Sibelius". Not a very encouraging beginning to a carreer. Despite this, Kajanus oddly would remain a supporter and some sort of friend with the Merikanto family.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on June 13, 2008, 04:00:05 AM
Anybody ever heard of Eero Hameenniemi(born 1951)?

I have just bought the Alba CD of his Symphony No.3 and Viola Concerto-

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2008/May08/hameenniemi_ABCD214.htm

Will report back when I have listened to the CD.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Est.1965 on June 13, 2008, 04:04:48 AM
As a result of some of the stuff in here, today I got this...
and superb it is too.  I'll report back on it properly sometime.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on June 13, 2008, 04:11:35 AM
As a result of some of the stuff in here, today I got this...
and superb it is too.  I'll report back on it properly sometime.

Absolutely agree! Kokkonen is a substantial composer of real ability. Do report back when you can!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on June 13, 2008, 05:41:18 AM
Absolutely agree! Kokkonen is a substantial composer of real ability. Do report back when you can!

Any recommendations in order here, and maybe some sort of description of the music? Where do I place his sound?
The BIS looks good, is it?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on June 13, 2008, 12:52:28 PM
Any recommendations in order here, and maybe some sort of description of the music? Where do I place his sound?
The BIS looks good, is it?

Kokkonen is essentially a neo-classicist, influenced(to an extent) by Hindemith and Bartok but sounding more like Britten or Shostakovich and distinctively Finnish. His is music of power, sincerity and integrity-certainly by no means inaccessible.

The BIS collection has the Lahti Symphony Orchestra with Ulf Soderblom in the 1st and 3rd symphonies and Osmo Vanska in Nos. 2 and 4. You also get the Requiem but not the fine Cello Concerto. These are all very sound and sensitive performances.

The only drawback is that the recordings are getting a little long in the tooth. It looks as though Ondine may be intending its own Kokkonen cycle. ODE 1098-2 was released last year and has Symphonies 3 + 4 and the Cello Concerto with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra(Sakari Oramo). I haven't heard that disc but I seem to remember that it was well reviewed.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on June 13, 2008, 09:59:44 PM


The only drawback is that the recordings are getting a little long in the tooth. It looks as though Ondine may be intending its own Kokkonen cycle. ODE 1098-2 was released last year and has Symphonies 3 + 4 and the Cello Concerto with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra(Sakari Oramo). I haven't heard that disc but I seem to remember that it was well reviewed.
I have it, and it's very fine indeed. Can't compare with the BIS though as I haven't heard them.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on June 15, 2008, 03:20:19 AM
Anybody ever heard of Eero Hameenniemi(born 1951)?

I have just bought the Alba CD of his Symphony No.3 and Viola Concerto-

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2008/May08/hameenniemi_ABCD214.htm

Will report back when I have listened to the CD.

Please do! His ballet Loviisa (Finlandia) left me unimpressed. Maybe the tighter formal structures of a concerto and symphony will bring out a more favourable impression.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on June 15, 2008, 04:21:59 AM
A performance of Kokkonen's First can be found here (I think it's with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra):

http://www.yle.fi/elavaarkisto/?s=s&g=4&ag=47&t=56&a=831
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Christo on June 22, 2008, 06:23:42 AM
My favorite Finnish composer is Englund. I also liked Eero Hämeenniemi's 4th symphony when I heard it on TV (premier performance).

seconded
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on June 22, 2008, 06:44:11 AM
seconded

Which Englund symphony should I listen to first?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Christo on June 22, 2008, 07:13:06 AM
Which Englund symphony should I listen to first?

Ha! Here my lack of knowledge is revealed.  8) I only know nos. 1, 2, 4, 5. Of these, the Fourth is my favourite - and the main reason I seconded his nomination. BTW it isn´t totally unlike Léon Orthel
s symphonic style.  ;) The Fourth is available in a fine Naxos version that might be best accessible. I myself would love to hear nos. 6 and 7, but still didn't buy them, as they're only available in expensive Ondine recordings. Ondine is a great label, but a bit costly.

                                       (http://www.niklassivelov.com/bilder/cdomslag/Einar%20Englund%20Orchestral%20works.jpg)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Grazioso on June 23, 2008, 02:02:52 AM
I have it, and it's very fine indeed. Can't compare with the BIS though as I haven't heard them.

Ditto that. And it's very interesting to compare Berglund's take on the 4th, also on Ondine:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51exJXbcHvL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Grazioso on June 23, 2008, 02:06:47 AM
After Sibelius, I believe Leevi Madetoja was the most important among the national romantic composers. I know him best for his operas, Pohjalaisia and Juha, both of which contain some very lovely melodies.

I've yet to hear his operas but rank his symphonies very highly. In fact, I think his symphonic oeuvre is woefully underrated and will, with any justice, one day be ranked among the best of the early 20th century.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on June 25, 2008, 02:36:55 PM
Which Englund symphony should I listen to first?

I am sorry that I did not reply to this question earlier.

Einar Englund is (another!) very fine Finnish composer. Again it has to be admitted that there is a good deal of Shostakovich in his music-the 4th Symphony for Strings and Percussion "Nostalgic"  is dedicated to the memory of the Russian composer-but there is also a freshness about Englund which differentiates his music to an extent from the slightly more European-sounding Kokkonen or the more solemn Sallinen. That may come from the fact that Englund was a pupil of Copland and there is therefore some echo of the lighter touch of North American music. Englund cannot escape too from the obvious influence of Sibelius. The slight generational gap-Englund was five years older than Kokkonen and nineteen years older than Sallinen-renders him a mite more conservative.

I can recommend the sad Symphony No.1 "War"(1946)-available in the Finlandia 'Meet the Composer' series- and the delightful Symphony No.2 "Blackbird"(1948)-available either in the same Finlandia series or in the cheap Naxos CD coupled with Symphony No.4 and the Piano Concerto No.1.

The other symphonies are all available from Ondine: Nos. 3 and 7(ODE-833-2), Nos. 4 and 5 "Fennica"(ODE-961-2), No. 6 "Aphorisms" coupled with the Cello Concerto(ODE 951-2). There is a further CD(ODE-1015-2) coupling the two Piano Concertos and the rousing "Epinikia"(a sort of modern 'Finlandia').

Where to start? The Naxos probably will give you a good(and cheap) introduction. If you like the idiom-as I do-you can go on from there!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on June 25, 2008, 02:43:12 PM
Which Englund symphony should I listen to first?

No 2 and then No 1 and then No 5.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on June 25, 2008, 02:50:58 PM
No 2 and then No 1 and then No 5.
A much more succinct response :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on June 25, 2008, 02:51:19 PM
Other composers I like:

Klaus Egge: Symphony 1

Madetoja: all four symphonies

Rautavaara: Symphony 7 and 8

Klami: Kalevala Suite, Sea Pictures

Kokkonen: Symphony 4

Dag Wiren: Symphony 3 and (especially) 4

Hilding Rosenberg: Symphony 2, 3 and 4.

Langaard: Symphony 4, 5, 6 and 10, Music of the Spheres.

Koppel: Symphony 2

Vagn Holmboe: all symphonies, Cello Concerto.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on June 25, 2008, 02:52:28 PM
No 2 and then No 1 and then No 5.

Yes, but much less thoughtful than yours  :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lethevich on June 25, 2008, 05:41:48 PM
I would like to slip in a good word for Pehr Henrik Nordgren (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pehr_Henrik_Nordgren), but sadly at the moment his symphonies elude even vaguely easy description. It's reasonably accessable but it sure isn't friendly sounding :D I rather like what I've heard, though.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Kullervo on June 25, 2008, 06:45:04 PM
I would like to slip in a good word for Pehr Henrik Nordgren (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pehr_Henrik_Nordgren), but sadly at the moment his symphonies elude even vaguely easy description. It's reasonably accessable but it sure isn't friendly sounding :D I rather like what I've heard, though.

Is there no shortage of interesting unknown Danish Scandinavian symphonists?  ;D Another name I've read a lot (in my search for information on Nørgård — he is also mentioned a few times in the collection of essays on Nørgård I have), but have yet to hear. It's probably a good thing I'm on a student's budget — I might end up buying the Da Capo catalogue.

There was a piece (http://www.artsjournal.com/postclassic/2008/01/beam_me_up.html) on Kyle Gann's blog a few months back about the Swedish composer Karl-Birger Blohmdahl and his opera Aniara, which is set on a space ship headed for Mars. The description sounds interesting enough, but who has heard it?

Edit: nationality fixed
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: eyeresist on June 25, 2008, 10:56:37 PM
Anyone heard of Sæverud? I enjoyed Orchestral Music Vol. 1 on Simax (2 CDs, HMV.jp incorrectly said only one). I'm no aficionado, so it sounds to me like standard mid-20th century (tonal) stuff, quite emotional and warmly orchestrated, not hugely tuneful. This set consists of one-movement symphonies and tone poems, plus the four movement 8th "Minnesota" symphony. A lot of Sæverud's stuff has been recorded for BIS.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31O1ll58bbL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Saeverud-Orchestral-Music-Vol-1/dp/B000027AKZ/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1214465885&sr=1-8)

Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on June 25, 2008, 10:59:17 PM
Anyone heard of Sæverud? I enjoyed Orchestral Music Vol. 1 on Simax (2 CDs, HMV.jp incorrectly said only one). I'm no aficionado, so it sounds to me like standard mid-20th century (tonal) stuff, quite emotional and warmly orchestrated, not hugely tuneful. This set consists of one-movement symphonies and tone poems, plus the four movement 8th "Minnesota" symphony. A lot of Sæverud's stuff has been recorded for BIS.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31O1ll58bbL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Saeverud-Orchestral-Music-Vol-1/dp/B000027AKZ/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1214465885&sr=1-8)

Erato could tell you more about Sæverud. I remember him mentioning Sæverud once.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Christo on June 25, 2008, 11:10:18 PM
Madetoja: all four symphonies

 :o ::)$:) :D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on June 25, 2008, 11:12:06 PM
:o ::)$:) :D

Actually, I think that he only wrote 3  ::)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Christo on June 25, 2008, 11:22:59 PM
Yet, I wholeheartedly agree with all of your choices - always strange & special to read ones own preferences from some-one else. :-* ;)

In Englund, I prefer 4 and 5 above 1 and 2, however. And I would perhaps add:

Hugo Alfvén, Symphony no. 4 `Fran havsbandet'

Kurt Atterberg, Symphony no. 7 (first two movements are great, but the Scherzo is horrible, imo)

Gösta Nystroem, all `Sinfonias' that I happen to know

Some Lars-Erik Larsson

Geirr Tveitt, Hundrad hardingtonar (the four suites that remain)

Some Aulis Sallinen (I only know symphonies 1-3)

and again lots more, once one starts thinking about the abundancy of Scandinavian composers!







Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on June 26, 2008, 04:41:45 AM
Did I mention Erland von Koch? Probably some pages back  ::). Well, then, he's worthy of the "exposure"  :D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on June 26, 2008, 08:51:10 AM
Pehr Nordgren-sorry, too 'advanced' for my tastes!

Karl Birger Blomdahl-haven't heard the opera 'Aniara' but the three symphonies are on BIS CD-611 and are all impressive works(the third, 'Facetter', from 1951 dark and powerful). Had a reputation as a modernist in his time but the symphonies are certainly accessible enough,

Erland von Koch-I only know him through a Musica Sveciae CD of the Symphony No.2 "Sinfonia Dalecarlia", Viola Concerto and some lighter music(it appears that he has written six symphonies and fifteen concertos and is still alive at the age of 98!). Pleasant stuff but not-I thought-particularly memorable music, influenced by Swedish folk music, but the works on that CD were all written when he was in his thirties so his style has probably evolved considerably).

Harald Saeverud-yes BIS has issued all of his symphonies(bar No.1 which he withdrew). A typically craggy Norwegian individualist. Undoubtedly the leading Norwegian symphonist and a very fine composer although-in my opinion-just slightly harder to comes to terms with than most of his Scandinavian contemporaries. Not that the music is more difficult-it isn't-but there is less 'warmth'(which is not really the right word!) than in other Scandinavians. Less of the brooding forests or dark lakes of Sweden or Finland and more of the fjords and jaggy peaks! (Will mean nothing if you don't know Scandinavia or don't associate music with landscape!)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: karlhenning on June 26, 2008, 09:02:09 AM
Vagn Holmboe?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on June 26, 2008, 09:05:14 AM
Vagn Holmboe?

Probably the greatest Scandinavian composer post Sibelius and Nielsen!! Holmboe should be recognized as among the greatest of all 20th century composers. His cycle of 13 symphonies is quite superb!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: karlhenning on June 26, 2008, 09:07:57 AM
Probably the greatest Scandinavian composer post Sibelius and Nielsen!! Holmboe should be recognized as among the greatest of all 20th century composers. His cycle of 13 symphonies is quite superb!

I've listened to the odd string quartet and chamber concerto (?) over the years, very favorable impressions.  I am pleased to find you think so highly of the symphonies, as I've gone ahead and pulled the trigger on the set!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on June 26, 2008, 09:24:31 AM
Karl Birger Blomdahl-haven't heard the opera 'Aniara' but the three symphonies are on BIS CD-611 are are all impressive works(the third, 'Facetter', from 1951 dark and powerful). Had a reputation as a modernist in his time but the symphonies are certainly accessible enough,

I found Blomdahl's 'Aniara' on Usenet, two years ago. My interest was piqued because I knew that it was based on a science fiction poem by Swedish Nobel laureate Harry Martinson. Scandinavian literature in general interested (and interests) me very much. So I downloaded it, but haven't come round to listening to it yet. If people here want to have it, I can upload it.

Here more info on the poem (not the opera):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aniara
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: pjme on June 26, 2008, 09:58:34 AM
I still have this old LP:

Turnabout TV-S 34318, LP, issued 1970: Contemporary symphonic music from Sweden.
Symphony No 6, Sinfonia semplice from 1951 played by Stockholms SO, Stig Westerberg recorded 1960-05-22.
Also includes Karl-Birger Blomdahl's third symphony, Facettes. I haven't checked if these performances are available on CD.

Excellent performances of two strong works, and Dundonnell gives all the information one needs.

I've never heard Aniara - but its dark and pessimistic theme remains up to date :

Controlled by the Mima, the space ship Aniara leaves the poisoned Earth, heading for Mars. The vessel is thrown off course, forcing a journey to the constellation Lyra which will last for the rest of the lives of crew and passengers. When the Earth is destroyed, Mima, the computer,cannot continue, and commander deals as best he can with the increased despair and moral deterioration of those aboard . The 20th anniversary of the voyage is celebrated and death is near, as the journey comes to its end.

The score is varied and makes full use of a range of musical idioms, including jazz, serial writing and an electronic tape. The narrative is sung primarily by Mimaroben, a bass-baritone, who operates the electronic tape, Mima, the computer, and by the chorus. In essence the opera (and poem) deal with the relationship between the individual and the group through time.

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aniara

P.


Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on June 26, 2008, 09:59:18 AM
I've listened to the odd string quartet and chamber concerto (?) over the years, very favorable impressions.  I am pleased to find you think so highly of the symphonies, as I've gone ahead and pulled the trigger on the set!

I'm sure that you wont regret that Karl. He was a great composer. My favourite symphonies: No 6 (beautiful opening), No 7, No 8 (my introduction to Vagn Holmboe on a Turnabout LP), No 4 (great opening)No 10, also the Cello Concerto
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on June 26, 2008, 09:59:31 AM
I've listened to the odd string quartet and chamber concerto (?) over the years, very favorable impressions.  I am pleased to find you think so highly of the symphonies, as I've gone ahead and pulled the trigger on the set!

Yes, Holmboe wrote a series of 13 remarkable Chamber Concertos for all manner of instrumental combinations. I have the complete Dacapo set with the Dannish Radio Sinfonietta(Hannu Koivula) but BIS has issued a number as well in well-received performances.

One of my favourite Holmboe CDs contains the Four Symphonic Metamorphoses(BIS CD-852)-magnificent short pieces of very considerable power and concentration.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on June 26, 2008, 10:32:45 AM
Christo met Holmboe. He is a big fan...
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Maciek on June 26, 2008, 11:05:21 AM
Who of whom? ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on June 26, 2008, 11:24:49 AM
Who of whom? ;D

Sadly, Holmboe died in 1996 aged 87 so I would imagine that the "is" would suggest that it is Christo who is the fan :) :)

I believe that Holmboe was welcoming of contacts from those who cherished his music and responded to enquiries. Jeffrey, did you not write to him once?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on June 26, 2008, 11:47:51 AM
Who of whom? ;D

Cheeky...  ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on June 26, 2008, 11:54:21 AM
Sadly, Holmboe died in 1996 aged 87 so I would imagine that the "is" would suggest that it is Christo who is the fan :) :)

I believe that Holmboe was welcoming of contacts from those who cherished his music and responded to enquiries. Jeffrey, did you not write to him once?

My letter from Vagn Holmboe:

".....Thank you very much for your letter from 8/9/93.  Unfortunately I could not write you before being in hospital for almost a half year.
Your letter has moved me, and I am grateful for your words about the symphonies.  It is difficult for me to express the pleasure your understanding and warm words has given me.
Yours sincerely
Vagn Holmboe"

Letter was dated 03/03/94. I was very touched to receive such a lovely reply to my unsolicited fan mail.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on June 26, 2008, 12:03:54 PM
Yet, I wholeheartedly agree with all of your choices - always strange & special to read ones own preferences from some-one else. :-* ;)

In Englund, I prefer 4 and 5 above 1 and 2, however. And I would perhaps add:

Hugo Alfvén, Symphony no. 4 `Fran havsbandet'

Kurt Atterberg, Symphony no. 7 (first two movements are great, but the Scherzo is horrible, imo)

Gösta Nystroem, all `Sinfonias' that I happen to know

Some Lars-Erik Larsson

Geirr Tveitt, Hundrad hardingtonar (the four suites that remain)

Some Aulis Sallinen (I only know symphonies 1-3)

and again lots more, once one starts thinking about the abundancy of Scandinavian composers!

I have just bought a Nystroem CD (The Tempest etc) which sounds v interesting. I should have added Alfven Symphony 4 to my list. With Atterberg, it is the 8th symphony which is my favourite, although I don't like the overblown last movement. I also like Nos 2,3 and7. No 9 was a disappointment.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Christo on June 26, 2008, 12:23:30 PM
One day, I should perhaps try and tell the story in full. In the short version it's something like: yes, I met Holmboe and his wife, Meta May Graf, in early August 1995, during a long afternoon meeting in his country house in the North of Sealand (some 25 miles North of Copenhagen). I taped the meeting and should play these audio recordings again in order to hear what exactly we discussed, in those 4 hours or so.

The couple kindly showed me their place and the huge tree garden they both built and planted themselves, when they bought a plot of land from the income of the price-winning Second Symphony (if I recall well) in the late 1930s. We were mostly drinking tea in the garden and enjoyed the scenery as much as our quiet talk.

It was in the time he was suffering the disease mentioned in his letter to Jeffrey. On the piano was the manuscript of his just finished Thirteenth Symphony, dedicated to conductor Orwain Arwel Hughes - in our conversation the couple payed much homage to Hughes, btw.

Yes, the man was as suggested here before: wise, extremely modest, warm, human, suffering, still searching and wondering, in short: impressive. He died a year later, as you all know. I was happy I had time to express in what I hope were sincere and sobre terms how much his music meant for me. It was quite special to be able to share thoughts on a number of symphonies, especially. Indeed, exactly the symphonies Jeffrey mentions, my own favourites as well - as those of Holmboe himself, as far as I can remember.

He revealed that some of these came to him as a revelation - he did use that specific term a couple of times - and in one specific case indeed literally in a dream. I myself would say that those `dream/revelationary' qualities in parts of e.g. the Fifth and Eight symphony are rather self-evident for some of us, here. Enough for now. I should listen to those tapes first and then write something of more substance.

Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Maciek on June 26, 2008, 12:37:56 PM
Just for the record: I'm a fan too. Know all of his symphonies save for 6 and 7. Plus a handful of other pieces (mostly concertos).
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Kullervo on June 26, 2008, 12:44:34 PM
I found Blomdahl's 'Aniara' on Usenet, two years ago. My interest was piqued because I knew that it was based on a science fiction poem by Swedish Nobel Prize laureate Harry Martinson. Scandinavian literature in general interested (and interests) me very much. So I downloaded it, but haven't come round to listening to it yet. If people here want to have it, I can upload it.

Here more info on the poem (not the opera):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aniara

I would love to hear it if it isn't too much trouble.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on June 26, 2008, 12:47:14 PM
I would love to hear it if it isn't too much trouble.

Watch this space...

Just having a listen: it's all in Swedish and I have no libretto...

http://rapidshare.com/users/8RDGKF

In this map are two movements from Gösta Nystroem's Sinfonia shakespeariana (No. 4), too.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on June 26, 2008, 02:56:32 PM
One day, I should perhaps try and tell the story in full. In the short version it's something like: yes, I met Holmboe and his wife, Meta May Graf, in early August 1995, during a long afternoon meeting in his country house in the North of Sealand (some 25 miles North of Copenhagen). I taped the meeting and should play these audio recordings again in order to hear what exactly we discussed, in those 4 hours or so.

The couple kindly showed me their place and the huge tree garden they both built and planted themselves, when they bought a plot of land from the income of the price-winning Second Symphony (if I recall well) in the late 1930s. We were mostly drinking tea in the garden and enjoyed the scenery as much as our quiet talk.

It was in the time he was suffering the disease mentioned in his letter to Jeffrey. On the piano was the manuscript of his just finished Thirteenth Symphony, dedicated to conductor Orwain Arwel Hughes - in our conversation the couple payed much homage to Hughes, btw.

Yes, the man was as suggested here before: wise, extremely modest, warm, human, suffering, still searching and wondering, in short: impressive. He died a year later, as you all know. I was happy I had time to express in what I hope were sincere and sobre terms how much his music meant for me. It was quite special to be able to share thoughts on a number of symphonies, especially. Indeed, exactly the symphonies Jeffrey mentions, my own favourites as well - as those of Holmboe himself, as far as I can remember.

He revealed that some of these came to him as a revelation - he did use that specific term a couple of times - and in one specific case indeed literally in a dream. I myself would say that those `dream/revelationary' qualities in parts of e.g. the Fifth and Eight symphony are rather self-evident for some of us, here. Enough for now. I should listen to those tapes first and then write something of more substance.



That is a most moving account! Thank you for sharing it with us!!

Whether Holmboe's time will come we must wait to see but I do share the obvious view that this was a most special composer. Perhaps if he had come from a larger country we would have heard his music more?

It is surprising that there have not been more recordings of his music. BIS is a Swedish company and one might have expected Dacapo, for example, to have provided an alternative series. In saying that, however, the BIS set of the symphonies is superbly played and Owain Arwel Hughes an inspired conductor of Holmboe's music. Hughes is a strange one. He has no great reputation in Britain. I once attended a concert conducted by him and it was no more than adequate. He records comparatively little and is probably less well known than many other conductors. He has been principal conductor of Aalborg Symphony Orchestra and the Welsh Proms. Yet in the Holmboe he rose to tremendous heights of dedication which Holmboe himself clearly acknowledged.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: karlhenning on June 26, 2008, 03:19:16 PM
How wonderful, Jeffrey & Christo!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on June 26, 2008, 03:53:53 PM
Pehr Nordgren-sorry, too 'advanced' for my tastes!

Karl Birger Blomdahl-haven't heard the opera 'Aniara' but the three symphonies are on BIS CD-611 and are all impressive works(the third, 'Facetter', from 1951 dark and powerful). Had a reputation as a modernist in his time but the symphonies are certainly accessible enough,

Erland von Koch-I only know him through a Musica Sveciae CD of the Symphony No.2 "Sinfonia Dalecarlia", Viola Concerto and some lighter music(it appears that he has written six symphonies and fifteen concertos and is still alive at the age of 98!). Pleasant stuff but not-I thought-particularly memorable music, influenced by Swedish folk music, but the works on that CD were all written when he was in his thirties so his style has probably evolved considerably).

Harald Saeverud-yes BIS has issued all of his symphonies(bar No.1 which he withdrew). A typically craggy Norwegian individualist. Undoubtedly the leading Norwegian symphonist and a very fine composer although-in my opinion-just slightly harder to comes to terms with than most of his Scandinavian contemporaries. Not that the music is more difficult-it isn't-but there is less 'warmth'(which is not really the right word!) than in other Scandinavians. Less of the brooding forests or dark lakes of Sweden or Finland and more of the fjords and jaggy peaks! (Will mean nothing if you don't know Scandinavia or don't associate music with landscape!)

I've dowloaded a lot of Saeverud's works available on BIS (about 6 cds worth in listening time) and listened to about half of them so far. He definitely rewards attention. Quite original and unlike any other composer, but still recognizably nordic in character.

Von Koch's works are sparsely represented on cd. And unfortunately I don't have those you mention!  I like his flute concerto, his guitar concerto, his Oxberg Variations and especially his orchestral trilogy Ritmi, Impulsi, Echi from the mid-sixties. It's about 36 minutes long and is a sort of symphonic suite. The Lappland Metamorfoser are great fun - the only work I have of his that is frankly folk-based.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Kullervo on June 26, 2008, 05:46:23 PM
Watch this space...

Just having a listen: it's all in Swedish and I have no libretto...

http://rapidshare.com/users/8RDGKF


As always, a million thanks. Looks like the libretto can be bought rather cheaply (I googled "Aniara libretto"). I will give this a listen and possibly order one if I like it enough.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on June 26, 2008, 09:55:13 PM
As always, a million thanks. Looks like the libretto can be bought rather cheaply (I googled "Aniara libretto"). I will give this a listen and possibly order one if I like it enough.

Look here, Corey:

http://cgi.ebay.nl/BLOMDAHL-Aniara-Swedish-Radio-Westerberg-Anderberg_W0QQitemZ310061582053QQihZ021QQcategoryZ1588QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on June 26, 2008, 10:22:23 PM
Just for the record: I'm a fan too. Know all of his symphonies save for 6 and 7. Plus a handful of other pieces (mostly concertos).

6 and 7 are two of the best, so you would enjoy them too.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on June 30, 2008, 11:53:34 AM
Just listened to Englund's Symphony No. 2 two times. Excellent piece, with raw and lovely passages in about equal measure. The opening is magical, evoking wide open spaces. Englund scores with the utmost clarity and delicacy. I like it.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: pjme on June 30, 2008, 12:42:24 PM
Seconded!  What I've heard ( Blackbird symph. /pianoconcerto nr 1 etc. Naxos) by Englund is more than "interesting" !

I really must take that CD out and give it a spin.
P.

Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on June 30, 2008, 12:49:08 PM
Seconded!  What I've heard ( Blackbird symph. /pianoconcerto nr 1 etc. Naxos) by Englund is more than "interesting" !

I really must take that CD out and give it a spin.
P.

Yes, it's the Naxos Second. Apart from Shostakovich, there are echoes of Prokofiev too. But they are not obtrusive. Englund has his own particular sound-world.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on June 30, 2008, 01:07:25 PM
Yes, it's the Naxos Second. Apart from Shostakovich, there are echoes of Prokofiev too. But they are not obtrusive. Englund has his own particular sound-world.

Listening to it too-again! You are quite right-there are echoes of Prokofiev.

I am jealous! You have all these fine symphonies to explore for the first time!

I am struck once more what an amazingly rich legacy of fine symphonic music a small country like Finland has produced this century-

Sibelius, Madetoja, Melartin, Merikanto, Klami, Englund, Kokkonen, Rautavaara, Sallinen, Aho to name only those with whom I am really familiar.
And there was a chap called Ernst Pingoud(1888-1942) who wrote three symphonies which I have never heard.

I wonder how much influence Finnish history had on some of these composers. Finland was ruled by Russia until the end of World War One, fought for and gained her independence during the Russian Civil War, fought Russia again during World War Two and then co-existed with Soviet Russia for another 45 years or so. I cannot believe that the music of Finland has not been powerfully impacted upon by the country's extraordinary myths and legends, magical landscape of forests and lakes and the bitter experience of war.

If only the Finnish language was not so unbelievably complex :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: pjme on June 30, 2008, 01:19:46 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41vnPtqMp6L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

I've had this CD for a while, but sold it.... Pingoud isn't Scriabin. Maybe the symphonies are better.These symphonic poems were ...bland.

P.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on June 30, 2008, 01:23:28 PM
(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/PSC1227.jpg)

Try this. 3 fine symphonies, playful, somewhat in the Shostakovich mold of nr 1 & 9, in very good sound as well!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on June 30, 2008, 01:41:40 PM
EDVARD FLIFLET BRAEIN - never heard of him...

(I couldn't read the name on the cover, so I looked for it on the MDT site.)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on June 30, 2008, 04:31:37 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41vnPtqMp6L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

I've had this CD for a while, but sold it.... Pingoud isn't Scriabin. Maybe the symphonies are better.These symphonic poems were ...bland.

P.

Hmm...I was just about to order that CD! Will have a second thought!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on June 30, 2008, 04:34:17 PM
(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/PSC1227.jpg)

Try this. 3 fine symphonies, playful, somewhat in the Shostakovich mold of nr 1 & 9, in very good sound as well!

Yes, I have that one though :)

"Playful" is a good word for these symphonies. Not masterpieces, though, I felt.

I wish Simax would give us a complete set of the Egge symphonies.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on June 30, 2008, 06:40:46 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41vnPtqMp6L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

I've had this CD for a while, but sold it.... Pingoud isn't Scriabin. Maybe the symphonies are better.These symphonic poems were ...bland.

P.

I like this disc!

Raitio is another composer worth exploring. But as can be seen from this discussion, artistic value is a very variable currency on the musical bourse. :D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on June 30, 2008, 08:50:41 PM

I wish Simax would give us a complete set of the Egge symphonies.
Sorely needed I think. And a new recording of Finn Mortensens op 5 symphony, widely regarded as the major modern, Norwegian symphony.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on July 01, 2008, 05:16:49 AM
Just listened to Englund's Symphony No. 2 two times. Excellent piece, with raw and lovely passages in about equal measure. The opening is magical, evoking wide open spaces. Englund scores with the utmost clarity and delicacy. I like it.

"Wide open spaces" captures it exactly. Glad you like this work Havergal  ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on July 01, 2008, 05:35:15 AM
Well, Nikolai, Havergal here is even more impressed by Myaskovsky's Sixth (Kondrashin) - that's not a piece of music, that's Russian history made audible. That last movement (with chorus) is incredibly moving.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on July 01, 2008, 06:47:51 AM
Now, now, chaps...Miaskovsky is neither Scandinavian nor Finnish, so let's keep him out of it :)

"Wide open spaces"-that was what I was trying to allude to when I mentioned Englund's study with and influences from Copland.

Regarding Norwegian music, the Norwegians seem more reticent in promoting their music than the Finns. There was(is?) a label called Aurora which issued quite a lot of interesting stuff-Klaus Egge's Symphonies Nos. 1, 2 and 4, Piano Concerto No.2 and Cello Concerto, Conrad Baden's Symphony No.6, Bjarne Brustad's Symphony No. 2, Hallvard Johnsen's Symphony No.3, and Eivind Groven's big choral 'Draumkvaedet" -but these were all issued twenty years ago.
Simax(which definitely is still going strong) has issued Groven's Symphony No.2 and Piano Concerto, Olav Kielland's Symphony No.1 and Ludvig Irgens Jensen's huge choral 'Heimferd', Symphony, Tema con variazioni and Japanischer Fruhling(Jensen's Passacaglia and Partita Sinfonica-both fine works-were also on a twenty-year old CD) but, again, these were issued over 15 years ago. Apart from the new Braein CD discussed above I can't think of much else.

In the last decade BIS has seemed to take over with its Saeverud cycle, CDs of music by Geirr Tveitt, Groven's Symphony No. 1 and the new Fartein Valen cycle. Even the indefatigable CPO seems to have restricted its output to the Christian Sinding symphonies.

Two very fine living Norwegian composers-Halvor Haug and Ragnar Soderlind-are under-represented in the catalogues. (Arne Nordheim lies outside my area of taste!). On a visit to Oslo a couple of years ago or so I was disappointed to find little recently recorded music by Norwegian composers.

Contrast this with the efforts of Ondine in Finland or Dacapo in Denmark(although Ondine is branching out into music from other countries).

Of these composers-apart from Saeverud-the most interesting I think are Klaus Egge and Ludvig Irgens Jensen. As I remarked above it is sad that there has not been a modern set of the Egge symphonies. Egge was a composer of considerable musical craftsmanship and his music is at least interesting. The four purely orchestral works of Jensen I have heard(I am not sure that he wrote much else?) certainly deserve modern recordings and I am sure that Saraste intended to record some with the Oslo Philharmonic.

Oh..stop..I do have a tendency to write overly long posts here and I apologise :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on July 01, 2008, 07:45:53 AM
The post didn't outstay its welcome, Colin. It's all new(s) to me. The symphonic world is getting bigger and bigger.  :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on July 01, 2008, 08:04:45 AM


Oh..stop..I do have a tendency to write overly long posts here and I apologise :)
You could perhaps have mentioned Terje Rypdals (also  a major jazz guitarist) 5 Mahlerian symphonies.  The BIS issue of the two Groven symphonies is very fine BTW. But Norway haven't promoted their classical heritage as efficiently as the Finns and Danes, though we haven't as strong a tradition. Irgens Jensen is a major orchestral composer, but typically with no symphonies to his generally limited worklist, he was active as a conductor.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Christo on July 01, 2008, 08:40:23 AM
Two very fine living Norwegian composers-Halvor Haug and Ragnar Soderlind-are under-represented in the catalogues.

Great post, Dundonnell, and you won't bore me with even much longer stories of this kind.

As to Ragnar Söderlind: at least three of his symphonies are in the Aurora catalogue. I myself happen to own an Aurora CD with his Fourth Symphony and a Cello Concerto - bought after I read an interview with Söderlind in the Gramophone. And in the Internet I found another Aurora with his Second and Third symphonies:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51iSGQpsEKL._SS500_.jpg)
(http://wma.phonofile.com/cover/26169_XL.jpg)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 01, 2008, 08:51:39 AM
When you think you've heard it all... Halvor Haug and Söderlind are TOTALLY new names to me. Any comments about these discs??

Fernström is not totally unknown, but little of his output is on records (have two discs). Anyone likes him?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on July 01, 2008, 09:01:19 AM
Halvor Haug:

http://www.ballade.no/mic.nsf/doc/art2002101119365043956511 (http://www.ballade.no/mic.nsf/doc/art2002101119365043956511)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 01, 2008, 09:22:41 AM
Thanks, that definitely looks like my kind of stuff - if one can discount the occasional exaggeration (his orchestration is "revered").

Another scandinavian composer I like a lot is the Swede Anders Eliasson. I have his first symphony and some other stuff. Anybody knows if he wrote other symphonies, and if they're available on disc ?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on July 01, 2008, 09:57:21 AM
Jezetha(Johan)-thank you!

Erato-I had never heard of Terje Rypdals. Five Mahlerian symphonies, you say? A Google search seemed to reveal that he wrote some(all?) of the music for the film 'Heat'(must admit that is one of my favourite films-it has an almost operatic sweep and tragic grandeur) but refers to at least one of his symphonies(No.2) as a fusion of rock and symphonic music: that sort of thing always makes me a bit sceptical!
I think that BIS only issued Groven's 1st symphony while it was Simax which did the 2nd(just for the sake of absolute accuracy :) )
You are obviously Norwegian yourself and I see that you do agree that your country has not promoted its music as efficiently as the Finns or the Danes. Btw I have spent holidays in Norway every couple of years for the last decade and will be flying to Tromso and visiting Vesteralen and the Lofotens again in August. Can't wait to be in such spectacular landscape again soon :)

Christo(Johan)-thank you also! I have these 2 Soderlind CDs also and bought them for exactly the same reasons as you! There is also an old Aurora CD which has Soderlind's short orchestral pieces 'Polaris' and Trauermusik, 'Il Poema Battuto' for percussion ensemble and Elegia I for cello, coupled with Haug's Symphonic Picture and Poema Patetica. Yes-with three of his symphonies on CD-Soderlind has fared better than most but I would like to hear more of his work. He does seem to be a composer of substance, working within an essentially tonal idiom.

Halvor Haug is a composer whose music does really appeal to me(at least what I have heard of it!). I became intrigued by him when I read that he had studied with Robert Simpson and that Simpson esteemed Haug's music. Simax reissued his Symphony No.3 "The Inscrutable Life" coupled with short tone poems "Silence", "Insignia" and "Song of the Pines". These are all works of great power and demonstrate Haug's great love for his native landscape and his despair at damage to the natural environment.
The lst Symphony used to be available but I have never been able to lay my hands on it. Robert Layton refers to it in terms which make me long to hear it-"great concentration of atmosphere", "breadth that is almost Sibelian", "recalls Reger or Bruckner", "brooding intensity that betokens a kinship to the great symphonic adagios that open Shostakovich 6 or 8". Sounds just up my street!!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on July 01, 2008, 10:06:22 AM
I think that BIS only issued Groven's 1st symphony while it was Simax which did the 2nd(just for the sake of absolute accuracy :) )



You are absolutely right, and I have them both...

I have spent holidays in Norway every couple of years for the last decade and will be flying to Tromso and visiting Vesteralen and the Lofotens again in August. Can't wait to be in such spectacular landscape again soon :)

My father actually is from Vesterålen - a couple of pictures from where he spent his first 18 years (Bleik on Andøya - and I've visited lots of times):

(http://www.kiteforum.no/desk_files_uploaded/converted/constrainmax_420x420_spot_bleik_juli_2006.jpg)

(http://www.andoyturist.no/images/topbilder/bleik.jpg)

And Lofoten - a few miles further south is even more spectacular!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on July 01, 2008, 10:12:39 AM
Re Rypdal:


http://www.furious.com/Perfect/terjerypdal.html (http://www.furious.com/Perfect/terjerypdal.html)

I'll quote the following: "He's placed within the pantheon through accomplishments as an extremely iconoclastic musician who spent two decades constantly polishing and extending a niche all his own, excelling within it like few have anywhere, even in much more familiar derivative milieus. Only the tiniest fraction of players can claim to have produced as unique a sound as Terje Rypdal: Holdsworth, Fripp, Hendrix, and not many others beyond".

AFAIK his symponies does not mix rock/electronics with the orchestra, but are purely orchestral. His 2nd was much lauded in its time.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Christo on July 01, 2008, 10:38:21 AM
The lst Symphony used to be available but I have never been able to lay my hands on it. Robert Layton refers to it in terms which make me long to hear it-"great concentration of atmosphere", "breadth that is almost Sibelian", "recalls Reger or Bruckner", "brooding intensity that betokens a kinship to the great symphonic adagios that open Shostakovich 6 or 8". Sounds just up my street!!

Haug's First Symphony, another Aurora CD that I happen to own, used to be, for a long time, the only contemporary Norwegian symphony that I knew of. I never heard the other two, and left it there. :-\ Now, your description makes me turn off Söderlind's Fourth and play Haug's First first again:

                                  (http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/9c/d1/e79ec060ada0025d95e8a110._AA240_.L.jpg)

I think I remember ??? I Robert Layton mentioned Haug's First as a promising recent composition in his chapter about `Holmboe and the Scandinavians' in Robert Simson's (ed.) book The Symphony which used to be my guide into the modern symphony in the early 1980s. (This book, btw, being a major incentive for me to find out more about this Vagn Holmboe, a name I wouldn't have know without this vivid description of his symphonies.)

Anyhow, in Robert Layton's own (ed.) Guide to the Symphony, I read in his own chapter on the Scandinavian symphony after Nielsen and Sibelius, these words on Haug's First you are referring at. Great to hear this impressive music afresh, after more than a decade! And time to play the Sinfonietta too. Lots of work to do. now: first Haug, than Söderlind again, Egge, Saeverud again, then explore the complete Aho cycle ...  ;)


Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on July 01, 2008, 02:37:28 PM

You are absolutely right, and I have them both...

My father actually are from Vesterålen - a couple of pictures from where he spent his first 18 years (Bleik on Andøya - and I've visited lots of times):

(http://www.kiteforum.no/desk_files_uploaded/converted/constrainmax_420x420_spot_bleik_juli_2006.jpg)

(http://www.andoyturist.no/images/topbilder/bleik.jpg)

And Lofoten - a few miles further south is even more spectacular!

Amazing! It is a small world indeed! I have certainly been to Andoya before-in 2003-but probably not Bleik(which I can see on my map). Langoya I have explored more-Langenes, Nyksund-and this holiday I shall be staying in Stokmarknes for a few days.. The Lofotens are truly amazing but I also do like Langoya, Hinnoya and, to the north, the magical island of Senja.

Ok...nothing to do with composers I know but I could not resist replying :) :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on July 01, 2008, 02:43:19 PM
Thanks, that definitely looks like my kind of stuff - if one can discount the occasional exaggeration (his orchestration is "revered").

Another scandinavian composer I like a lot is the Swede Anders Eliasson. I have his first symphony and some other stuff. Anybody knows if he wrote other symphonies, and if they're available on disc ?

Sorry, never heard of him but here is a good link-

http://www.musikmph.de/rare_music/composers/a_e/eliasson_anders/1.html

Apparently he has composed four symphonies, the most recent of which was premiered in 2007.

John Fernstrom composed twelve symphonies and, as you know, BIS recorded Nos. 6 and 12. I too would like to hear more of his music!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 01, 2008, 03:52:06 PM
Thanks for the link !

I have these two BIS discs. Fernström's Songs of the Sea are a real find (on the Symphony 12 disc). I also have his Miniatures for string orchestra. I'm not aware of other discs out there.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on July 01, 2008, 09:37:37 PM
Thanks for the link !

I have these two BIS discs. Fernström's Songs of the Sea are a real find (on the Symphony 12 disc). I also have his Miniatures for string orchestra. I'm not aware of other discs out there.
There is a disc of string quartets on Naxos that I like quite a bit.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on July 02, 2008, 12:10:28 AM
I nearly got a student job working on a farm on the Lofoten Islands. Looking at the amazing photos of the place I am sorry that the plans fell through.

Johan (Jezetha/Havergal), yes, Miaskovsky's 6th, especially in that Kondrashin recording is wonderful-best CD version. Highlights are the trio of the scherzo (flute passage), possibly my favourite moment in all music and the darkly moving chorale finale.

Now, back to the scandinavians: Egge's First Symphony is a favourite. Decades ago I discovered it on an LP taken out from my local music library in London. It was not the same recording as later appeared on a Phillips LP and is now on an Aurora CD (Karsten Andersen and the Bergen Phil.) The Andersen recording is very boxed in and distorts at the climax of the first movement. I wish that the earlier recording would appear on CD but it is unlikely. There is, incidentally, a very beautiful string quartet by Egge on Naxos ("Norwegian string quartets"...or similar title). It is one of the very few pieces which my wife also enjoys (surprisingly she does not share my taste for Havergal Brian, Miaskovsky etc). Jon Leifs is an interesting composer although one of my colleagues suggested that his music sounded like someone inflating a paper bag and then bursting it!

I also discovered Halvar Haug through Robert Layton's recommendation in that useful "The Symphony" book.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Harry on July 02, 2008, 01:20:45 AM
I am really happy that this thread which I started long ago, is so successful!
I learned so much about new composers, that my to order list gets longer and longer.
Thank you all for keeping the quality of this thread sky high!


(http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb79/walboi/1214924269622.gif)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: karlhenning on July 02, 2008, 02:51:41 AM
Well, I get word that my Holmboe symphonies have shipped, but won't land until after the holiday weekend.

No doubt these minor reverses are sent to us for an improving purpose  8)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on July 02, 2008, 05:15:05 AM
Well, I get word that my Holmboe symphonies have shipped, but won't land until after the holiday weekend.

No doubt these minor reverses are sent to us for an improving purpose  8)

You will enjoy them all the more when they arrive Karl!

Try the beautiful opening of No 6 for starters, the compulsive choral opening of No 4 (written during the Nazi occupation-Holmboe's brother died in the war) or the whole of no 7, 8 or 10. Those are my favourites.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on July 02, 2008, 05:40:47 AM
I have downloaded Englund's Fourth Symphony (Christo's favourite). I'll listen to it later today. You'll be hearing from me...
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Christo on July 02, 2008, 06:01:12 AM
Try the beautiful opening of No 6 for starters, the compulsive choral opening of No 4 (written during the Nazi occupation-Holmboe's brother died in the war) or the whole of no 7, 8 or 10. Those are my favourites.

As always, completely agreed. But in your case, try no. 9 (coupled with 8, but separated by a long time interval) just as well, as its more modern language offers a completer picture. And once you're that busy, you could add the Fifth too, with it's strong Stravinskian overtones, especially in its opening material.

(To sum up: If you can, try nos. 4-10 first, and then change to nos. 1-3 and 11-13 for a more complete understanding of his unique symphonic language. I simply love them all, dearly.  :-*)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on July 02, 2008, 07:18:46 AM
I have downloaded Englund's Fourth Symphony (Christo's favourite). I'll listen to it later today. You'll be hearing from me...

Very Shostakovichian!

Don't want to spoil your enjoyment but comparing the Naxos version(Turku Philharmonic/Panula) with the Ondine(Tampere Philharmonic/Eri Klas) I am struck by how much more immediate is the Ondine recording and the extra degree of feeling Klas seems to bring to the work-odd I suppose given Panula's huge reputation as a teacher of conducting(well maybe not-some of the finest teachers of conducting were not especially great conductors themselves!). Haven't compared Klas to my third version(!) of Englund's 4th-the Espoo Chamber Orchestra(Paavo Pohjola).
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on July 02, 2008, 07:27:45 AM
As always, completely agreed. But in your case, try no. 9 (coupled with 8, but separated by a long time interval) just as well, as its more modern language offers a completer picture. And once you're that busy, you could add the Fifth too, with it's strong Stravinskian overtones, especially in its opening material.

(To sum up: If you can, try nos. 4-10 first, and then change to nos. 1-3 and 11-13 for a more complete understanding of his unique symphonic language. I simply love them all, dearly.  :-*)

I agree too! The earlier symphonies do show Holmboe finding his symphonic feet(I sometimes wonder about using unique English linguistic usage like this on an international form :)) but Nos. 4-10 do show Holmboe at the height of his compositional mastery and Nos. 11 and 13 are quite remarkable shorter late works. His later works remind me of Edmund Rubbra in terms of a visionary quality which I find utterly compelling. Not that Holmboe and Rubbra sound similar but they were both composers who knew exactly what they wanted to say and were determined to say it regardless of contemporary trends.

Don't forget too the Sinfonia in memoriam, op.65 which should be added to the Holmboe symphonic canon.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on July 02, 2008, 07:42:50 AM
Very Shostakovichian!

Don't want to spoil your enjoyment but comparing the Naxos version(Turku Philharmonic/Panula) with the Ondine(Tampere Philharmonic/Eri Klas) I am struck by how much more immediate is the Ondine recording and the extra degree of feeling Klas seems to bring to the work

I am a Brianite like you, Colin, with decades of listening to imperfect performances and/or recordings. I think I can manage!  ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: karlhenning on July 02, 2008, 07:47:25 AM
I think I've seen office buildings faced with brianite . . . .
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: karlhenning on July 02, 2008, 07:52:09 AM
Mais, sérieusement . . . I've meant to thank you for putting Englund on the radar.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on July 02, 2008, 07:53:21 AM
I am a Brianite like you, Colin, with decades of listening to imperfect performances and/or recordings. I think I can manage!  ;D
Of course you can :)

Just listening again to Englund's Symphony No.5 "Fennica" which Jeffrey rated highly. It really is a splendid work!! Much more appropriately Englund's 'War Symphony' than No.1. An 18 minute long powerhouse of grim anger. I like the description on Musicweb-"battering sidedrums, barrages of percussion, frozen snowy landscapes, wheezy ghostly woodwind, mercilessly exciting fanfares all stalk throughout the symphony".
Strongly recommended! (Oh, and "Fennica" means Finnish btw. You would never guess how long that took me to figure out! duh!)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on July 02, 2008, 08:26:42 AM
Of course you can :)

Just listening again to Englund's Symphony No.5 "Fennica" which Jeffrey rated highly. It really is a splendid work!! Much more appropriately Englund's 'War Symphony' than No.1. An 18 minute long powerhouse of grim anger. I like the description on Musicweb-"battering sidedrums, barrages of percussion, frozen snowy landscapes, wheezy ghostly woodwind, mercilessly exciting fanfares all stalk throughout the symphony".
Strongly recommended! (Oh, and "Fennica" means Finnish btw. You would never guess how long that took me to figure out! duh!)

I just discovered the Ondine recording of the 4th is available on eMusic too... I'll download that and the 5th.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on July 02, 2008, 08:34:08 AM
I think I've seen office buildings faced with brianite . . . .

If I could be so lucky...
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on July 02, 2008, 01:36:03 PM
If I could be so lucky...

Oh no...you are not quoting Kylie Minogue now are you? Didn't she sing that song?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on July 02, 2008, 01:42:22 PM
Oh no...you are not quoting Kylie Minogue now are you? Didn't she sing that song?

I Should Be So Lucky is the name of that unforgettable classic, Colin... So - no, not quoting. Only slightly alluding, perhaps.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on July 02, 2008, 02:04:55 PM
I Should Be So Lucky is the name of that unforgettable classic, Colin... So - no, not quoting. Only slightly alluding, perhaps.

I stand corrected :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on July 03, 2008, 10:44:42 AM
I Should Be So Lucky is the name of that unforgettable classic, Colin... So - no, not quoting. Only slightly alluding, perhaps.


Since she received the OBE today, I too thinks that it's about time that we had a Kylie thread  ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: kristopaivinen on July 03, 2008, 10:58:01 AM
Despite Rautavaara's popularity on this forum, I imagine few people have heard many of his operas, which are in the Finnish-language. I especially admire his Aleksis Kivi, with its incredible thematical richness. It's a shame that the only recording I have is ruined by one of the sopranos - Eeva-Liisa Saarinen, who fails to meet the standards of the rest of the cast. Yes, surely she has accomplished many studies and worked as a teacher, but she is horrible and serves to show that such a small country can only produce so many great singers. Having an excellent dynamic range is not a sufficient excuse; her vibrato sounds like the bleating of a goat, to use the words of a favorite composer of mine, and her pitch accuracy isn't great, either. I'm sorry to ruin the positive mood of this thread, but there needs to be better recordings of Rautavaara's works.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on July 03, 2008, 11:00:23 AM

Since she received the OBE today, I too thinks that it's about time that we had a Kylie thread  ;D

An OBE ?!? (http://smileyjungle.com/smilies/confused0.gif)

Dame Kylie can't be too far off.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on July 03, 2008, 11:04:05 AM
Despite Rautavaara's popularity on this forum, I imagine few people have heard many of his operas, which are in the Finnish-language. I especially admire his Aleksis Kivi, with its incredible thematical richness. It's a shame that the only recording I have is ruined by one of the sopranos - Eeva-Liisa Saarinen, who fails to meet the standards of the rest of the cast. Yes, surely she has accomplished many studies and worked as a teacher, but she is horrible and serves to show that such a small country can only produce so many great singers. Having an excellent dynamic range is not a sufficient excuse; her vibrato sounds like the bleating of a goat, to use the words of a favorite composer of mine, and her pitch accuracy isn't great, either. I'm sorry to ruin the positive mood of this thread, but there needs to be better recordings of Rautavaara's works.

Is Kivi, one of the fathers of Finnish literature, still read today? Is he still a living writer and poet?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: kristopaivinen on July 03, 2008, 01:22:19 PM
Is Kivi, one of the fathers of Finnish literature, still read today? Is he still a living writer and poet?
I bet Finns read him more and know him better than any other Finnish writer, with the possible exception of Johan Ludwig Runeberg, who wrote in Swedish, though. All Finnish people are at least expected to know him and some of the books he has written, which is not often the case with the more modern writers like Juhani Aho (birth name Johannes Brofeldt) and Mika Waltari. I read his plays and poems alot when I was younger. It was almost a magical experience. And he had had such a hard life. I imagine some of these experiences would get lost in translation.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on July 03, 2008, 01:35:46 PM
I bet Finns read him more and know him better than any other Finnish writer, with the possible exception of Johan Ludwig Runeberg, who wrote in Swedish, though. All Finnish people are at least expected to know him and some of the books he has written, which is not often the case with the more modern writers like Juhani Aho (birth name Johannes Brofeldt) and Mika Waltari. I read his plays and poems alot when I was younger. It was almost a magical experience. And he had had such a hard life. I imagine some of these experiences would get lost in translation.

Very interesting! For a nineteenth-century author to be still speaking so strongly to someone in the 21st century is quite exceptional. Only the really great writers can retain their appeal.

[Sorry to be slightly OT, Colin. But I HAD to ask...]
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on July 03, 2008, 03:57:49 PM
Very interesting! For a nineteenth-century author to be still speaking so strongly to someone in the 21st century is quite exceptional. Only the really great writers can retain their appeal.

[Sorry to be slightly OT, Colin. But I HAD to ask...]

Please don't apologise! Yours is a far more elevated tangent than my mention of MISS Minogue :)

Can I mention another Norwegian composer- Knut Nystedt(born 1915 and still alive aged 92). Nystedt is an organist and has mainly produced a very great deal of sacred choral music, as I understand it. I first came across his music on an old LP of Norwegian music which included his "The Burnt Sacrifice" for narrator, chorus and orchestra. This short piece impressed me with its granitic splendour in rendering the Old Testament account. Since then I have acquired a couple of Simax discs of Nystedt's music-the first has the huge Symphony "Apocalypsis Joannis" for soprano, tenor, chorus and orchestra, while the second couples 'Kristnikvede'(Canticles of Praise) for chorus and orchestra(commemorating the 1000th anniversary of Norway's conversion to Christianity) with 'A Song as in the Night" for soprano, baritone, chorus and strings(a setting of Isaiah).
There are, however, also three symphonies and a horn concerto listed in the very detailed Wikipedia article(in Norwegian)-
http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knut_Nystedt

Although the CD booklets refer to Nystedt's success outside Norway I suspect that is a comparative term. He may, however, be better known in choir circles and he must certainly now be the grand old man of Norwegian music. Like Englund in Finland, he studied with Aaron Copland in the USA but is said to have been influenced by Ligeti and Penderecki in the 60s before returning to a basically Romantic idiom in the 1970s.

So...another composer probably unfamiliar to most but one, I suspect, who would appeal to some here :)

erato...are you familiar with his music?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on July 03, 2008, 07:29:26 PM
With Atterberg, it is the 8th symphony which is my favourite, although I don't like the overblown last movement. I also like Nos 2,3 and7. No 9 was a disappointment.
Agree with #8. Everybody likes #3, and 5 has the incredibly sad Lento, which means a lot to me. I have the CPO recordings, I only wish to listen to another #5 recording one day. I'm not sure if it's the work or the recording, but #5/2 Lento has overstrong treble and no bass in the ppp climax in the end, very sharp and biting my ears.

I don't know the most composers mentioned in this thread. Only Sibelius, Petterson, Grieg, Atterberg, a bit Rautavaara and... I have a Sallinen CD here, but even forgot which one. I remember the music was too modern for me ;)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on July 03, 2008, 11:19:25 PM
Agree with #8. Everybody likes #3, and 5 has the incredibly sad Lento, which means a lot to me. I have the CPO recordings, I only wish to listen to another #5 recording one day. I'm not sure if it's the work or the recording, but #5/2 Lento has overstrong treble and no bass in the ppp climax in the end, very sharp and biting my ears.

I don't know the most composers mentioned in this thread. Only Sibelius, Petterson, Grieg, Atterberg, a bit Rautavaara and... I have a Sallinen CD here, but even forgot which one. I remember the music was too modern for me ;)

Although we have veered away from our main topic of coversation; Kylie and different recordings of "I should be so lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky etc" I am prepared to get back to discussing Scandinavian composers. Thanks for the recommendation for Atterberg Symphony No 5. Somehow this has passed me by although I do have a recording of it. I shall listen to it over the weekend if I get the chance. Lundquist is another composer of interest whom I don't think we have discussed yet.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on July 04, 2008, 04:37:58 AM
What an attractive composer Atterberg was! An unabashed romantic with little time for 'advanced music'. I love the fact that the Swede carried on his day job(like Charles Ives) while composing. He did not actually retire from his senior post in the Swedish Registration and Patent Office until he was 80. I cannot quite forgive him for winning the 1928 Columbia prize with his 6th Symphony defeating Havergal Brian's Gothic! How HB could have used the $10,000(a fortune in 1928!). Still, the blame really lies with Glazunov forhis casting vote in favour of Atterberg.

I built up a collection of Atterberg symphonies before CPO embarked on its cycle so the only symphony I have on that label is the choral 9th("Sinfonia Visionaria")-which I admit didn't really live up to expectations.
For the others, I have Stig Westerberg for No.1(Sterling), No.2(Swedish Society) and No.5(Musica Sveciae), Sixten Ehrling for No.3(Caprice),Sten Frykberg for No.4(Sterling), Junichi Hirokami for No. 6(BIS) and Michail Jurowski for Nos. 7 and 8(Sterling). I suppose several of these are rather long in the tooth recordings but I like them all both as music and as performances. I think that I shall stick with them rather than invest/waste money by buying another set!

Oh..and yes, the finale of No.8 is bombastic but I can live with a good deal of bombast :)

Sadly, I found the concertos-piano, violin, cello- rather weak though9the Horn Concerto is better). Would like to hear more of Atterberg's Suites(only know No.3 for violin, viola and strings).
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: DavidRoss on July 04, 2008, 04:46:14 AM
Ah, yes, just seeing this thread title pop up oin the index reminds me that it's been too long since hearing Stenhammar's 2nd Symphony.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on July 04, 2008, 07:43:54 AM
I cannot quite forgive him for winning the 1928 Columbia prize with his 6th Symphony defeating Havergal Brian's Gothic! How HB could have used the $10,000(a fortune in 1928!).

Neither can I. On the other hand - the Sixth is now nicknamed 'the Dollar Symphony', which albatross I'd not have eternally round my neck as a composer...
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on July 04, 2008, 10:31:18 AM
Neither can I. On the other hand - the Sixth is now nicknamed 'the Dollar Symphony', which albatross I'd not have eternally round my neck as a composer...

True...and it is not even one of Atterberg's better symphonies, in my opinion.

However..I had better set the record straight after my reference to Havergal Brian's Gothic Symphony and Glazunov's casting vote-

Atterberg's 6th won lst place in the Nordic section of the 1928 International Columbia Gramophone Competition(Ludvig Ingens Jensen's Passacaglia came second). The judges for that section included Carl Nielsen and Ture Rangstrom. In the final in Vienna in June the judges were Glazunov(as chairman), Nielsen, Guido Adler, Franco Alfano, Alfred Bruneau, Walter Damrosch, Emil Mylnarski, Adolfo Salazar, Franz Schalk,Max von Schillings and Sir Donald Tovey.

Sir Donald Tovey certainly appears to have pressed the claims of the Gothic and it was probably considered by the jury in their final discussions but there does not appear to be any firm evidence that Glazunov's casting vote-which was used-prevented the Gothic from winning. The fact that there were honorable mentions for Franz Schmidt's 3rd Symphony and Czeslaw Marek's Sinfonia suggest that they were probably the runners-up.
In any case what the judges were actually assessing were the first three movements of the Gothic without the chorale finale. The Gothic had come third in the British section of the competition-behind Frank Merrick's completion of Schubert's Unfinished Symphony and John St. Anthony Johnson's 'Pax Vobiscum'.

The 6th may have made Atterberg a lot of money but the first prize brought down upon his head a cascade of international opprobrium with the press denouncing the symphony as a pastiche and outrageous plagiarism(which is grotesquely unfair!) and accusing him and the organizers/judges of financial corruption.

There is a fascinating article about all this-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1928_International_Columbia_Graphophone_Competition
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on July 08, 2008, 07:05:56 AM
Haug's First Symphony, another Aurora CD that I happen to own, used to be, for a long time, the only contemporary Norwegian symphony that I knew of. I never heard the other two, and left it there. :-\ Now, your description makes me turn off Söderlind's Fourth and play Haug's First first again:

                                  (http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/9c/d1/e79ec060ada0025d95e8a110._AA240_.L.jpg)

I think I remember ??? I Robert Layton mentioned Haug's First as a promising recent composition in his chapter about `Holmboe and the Scandinavians' in Robert Simson's (ed.) book The Symphony which used to be my guide into the modern symphony in the early 1980s. (This book, btw, being a major incentive for me to find out more about this Vagn Holmboe, a name I wouldn't have know without this vivid description of his symphonies.)

Anyhow, in Robert Layton's own (ed.) Guide to the Symphony, I read in his own chapter on the Scandinavian symphony after Nielsen and Sibelius, these words on Haug's First you are referring at. Great to hear this impressive music afresh, after more than a decade! And time to play the Sinfonietta too. Lots of work to do. now: first Haug, than Söderlind again, Egge, Saeverud again, then explore the complete Aho cycle ...  ;)




I managed to find a copy of Haug's 1st Symphony through an Amazon marketplace dealer-an ex-library copy for $34. Not cheap with postage from the USA added on but it arrived in 7 days across the Atlantic and is in perfect playing condition. Considering that other used copies were going for from $50-75
I think that I did reasonably well. AND it is indeed a superb work-as Chisto, Robert simpson and Robert Layton all agreed :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on July 11, 2008, 08:36:48 AM
Have just been listening to Bo Linde's Violin concerto (Naxos); a very attractive work. Sadly he died very young (37).

Review:

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2006/Feb06/Linde_8557855.htm
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on July 11, 2008, 08:43:46 AM

Listened this morning to two performances of the same work - Louis Glass, Symphony No. 5 Sinfonia Svastica. One is historic (Grondahl), the other recent:

(http://www.emusic.com/img/album/110/356/11035639_155_155.jpeg)            (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2001/dec01/lglass.jpg)

A sometimes fiery, sometimes deliciously Delian work. A real treat. (Btw - 'svastica' is used in its original sense of 'renewal'. So this is no symphony celebrating AH... It dates from 1919-1920.)

Edit: let's add a review, too:

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2001/dec01/Louis_Glass.htm
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Henk on July 11, 2008, 09:41:08 AM
Great thread, inspired me to increase my wish list with some recordings of Langgaard, Lindberg, Kokkonen, Englund, Atterberg, Stenhammer, Pettersson, Leifs.

Go checking out samples these days. If this is all as good as the Rautavaara I'm listening now...
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on July 11, 2008, 10:29:26 AM
Great thread, inspired me to increase my wish list with some recordings of Langgaard, Lindberg, Kokkonen, Englund, Atterberg, Stenhammer, Pettersson, Leifs.

Go checking out samples these days. If this is all as good as the Rautavaara I'm listening now...

Don't forget Hilding Rosenberg, especially his great 3rd Symphony  :)

Review with contribution from me (including getting Rubbra's first name wrong)  ;D

http://www.musicweb.uk.net/classrev/2003/Jan03/Rosenberg3.htm
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on July 11, 2008, 12:40:42 PM
Don't forget Hilding Rosenberg, especially his great 3rd Symphony  :)

Review with contribution from me (including getting Rubbra's first name wrong)  ;D

http://www.musicweb.uk.net/classrev/2003/Jan03/Rosenberg3.htm

I was going to write something like-"Don't get me started on Hilding Rosenberg, Jeffrey.." before remembering that we had been there before-

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,2523.0.html

Sadly, nothing has changed since that post last year and Robert von Bahr's response was pretty unequivocal-BIS has no plans to record Rosenberg. 'Tis odd-Rosenberg was the Grand Old Man of Swedish music but is now the neglected member of his generation. BIS recorded cycles of the symphonies of Wilhelm Stenhammer, Hugo Alfven, Gosta Nystroem, Lars-Erik Larsson and Karl-Birger Blomdahl. CPO did the same for Wilhelm Peterson-Berger, Ture Rangstrom, Kurt Atterberg, Dag Wiren and Allan Pettersson.

That's pretty well the complete sweep of the principal Swedish symphonists of the 20th Century but no Rosenberg cycle. We subsist on the (mostly) aged recorded performances mentioned in the Musicweb review of No.3.

I would remind those interested of the interesting Rosenberg website(details in the old thread linked above).
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 11, 2008, 06:46:33 PM
Rosenberg's symphony no. 4 (St-John's Revelation) is impressive too. I love the one string quartet I own - an uncompleted work. He left it almost finished, only the coda of IV remaining to be composed. He found it in his drawers when he was clearing his house to move into a senior's home :'(, but at over 90 he didn't feel he could finish it. He commissioned three younger swedish composers (including Sven-Erik Back and Ingvar Lidholm) to provide the last minute or so that was missing. That's how it's been recorded on a single (27 minutes) cd on Caprice, with each of the codas interlocking on the preceding one to make for an organically complete work.

His piano concertos are sensational and heartily recommended. The ballet Orpheus in Town is also great stuff, but it demands to be heard in its integral version, not the much abridged suite recorded by Andrew Davis. This excises all the wonderful recurrent quotations form Gluck's own Orfeo (the aria Che Faro senza Euridice). Given that that opera is at the center of the ballet plot, excluding the many musical references to this famous tune is a baffling decision. Was Rosenberg responsible for that butchery?

Johan, thanks for that Louis Glass post. I have the Marco Polo disc of 5 and 6. Am I missing something?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on July 11, 2008, 10:18:39 PM
Johan, thanks for that Louis Glass post. I have the Marco Polo disc of 5 and 6. Am I missing something?

The 5th is the only one I have listened to so far, André. Because Rob Barnett of Musicweb wrote about it in such glowing terms (as usual), I got infected (as usual) and simply had to hear it... From what I gather the Sinfonia Svastica is the best of the lot, though.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on July 11, 2008, 11:57:43 PM
I'd forgotten about the old Rosenberg thread. I read my old posts there and have no memory of writing them! (either advanced age or the work of a doppelganger  :o)

The Rosenberg Finlandia CD with Andrew Davis and the Stockholm PO was clearly just a bonus and not the start of a Rosenberg revival. Naxos should record all the symphs. The end of no 2, all of No 3 and 6 and parts of No 4 are great music. I don't know the others but have an LP of No 8.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on July 12, 2008, 02:59:31 AM
I suppose part of the problem of committing to a Rosenberg cycle will be that both Nos. 4 and 5 are big choral works and CPO, for example, might want to record a Swedish radio performance rather than hiring an orchestra, choir and soloists. There may be no prospect of this for the company. Maybe someone should write to them?

I know the Louis Glass symphonies through the Danacord series with the Plovdiv orchestra. Regret to say that I found them rather pedestrian but perhaps I ought to give them another go? Dacapo may, of course, give us a set with a Danish orchestra. Having recorded Langgaard, Peder Gram, Hermann Koppel, Ludolf Neilsen and Leif Kayser they should be looking for something new :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Henk on July 12, 2008, 03:16:40 AM
Don't forget Hilding Rosenberg, especially his great 3rd Symphony  :)

Review with contribution from me (including getting Rubbra's first name wrong)  ;D

http://www.musicweb.uk.net/classrev/2003/Jan03/Rosenberg3.htm

Thanks for the recommendation. I will investigate.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on July 12, 2008, 03:41:33 AM
Great thread, inspired me to increase my wish list with some recordings of Langgaard, Lindberg, Kokkonen, Englund, Atterberg, Stenhammer, Pettersson, Leifs.

Go checking out samples these days. If this is all as good as the Rautavaara I'm listening now...

Henk, be careful with Langgaard. I have noticed you like modern music best, so if you try Langgaard, begin with his most advanced piece - 'Music of the Spheres'. Most of the symphonies will be too romantic for you (or are you into late Romantic music?!)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 12, 2008, 03:43:22 AM
If one is to be clued by his avatar, I think Henk is a versatile listener  :D.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on July 12, 2008, 03:45:28 AM
If one is to be clued by his avatar, I think Henk is a versatile listener  :D.

Erm... you're right!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Henk on July 12, 2008, 03:51:24 AM
Henk, be careful with Langgaard. I have noticed you like modern music best, so if you try Langgaard, begin with his most advanced piece - 'Music of the Spheres'. Most of the symphonies will be too romantic for you (or are you into late Romantic music?!)

I have heard Music of the Spheres already one time. Yes I'm into late Romantic music now, there's really much to explore in this genre, as you did before me.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Henk on July 12, 2008, 03:54:26 AM
If one is to be clued by his avatar, I think Henk is a versatile listener  :D.

Yes I dig nearly everything. Only Mozart is one of those composers I'm not really fond of..
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 12, 2008, 03:55:50 AM
Who are the others? :D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on July 12, 2008, 04:10:50 AM
I have heard Music of the Spheres already one time. Yes I'm into late Romantic music now, there's really much to explore in this genre, as you did before me.

Excellent! My Langgaard recommendations (if you can get them) -

4, 5 and 6 under Järvi (Chandos)

10 under Stupel (Danacord, together with 11 - crazy piece! - and 12 - short but sweet)

13 and 16 (Stupel)

and 14 (Stupel, with 8 and 15, of which the first movement is terrific)

For one reason or another, I can't like Dausgaard in this repertoire. You must have a visionary streak to do this music justice, which he lacks, IMO.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Henk on July 12, 2008, 06:25:14 AM
Who are the others? :D

Brahms, Schnittke and Shostkovich. Schnittke and Shostakovich sound so aggressive, but I'll try again later.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Varg on July 12, 2008, 08:32:16 PM
Brahms, Schnittke and Shostkovich. Schnittke and Shostakovich sound so aggressive, but I'll try again later.

 Did you try his German Requiem?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: rubio on August 02, 2008, 09:56:32 AM
I listened to these two accounts of the 4th symphony, Järvi and Westerberg, both with Stockholm PO. This is my favourite Alfven work - atmospheric and seductive. You could think about a beautiful summer day in the ocean of Sweden. Westerberg is a bit more dramatic and maybe I prefer it slightly over Järvi. I also get associations with painting when I listen to this kind of music.

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/7318590005057.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/11BC5H20K2L._SL500_AA130_.jpg)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on August 03, 2008, 09:30:27 AM
I listened to these two accounts of the 4th symphony, Järvi and Westerberg, both with Stockholm PO. This is my favourite Alfven work - atmospheric and seductive. You could think about a beautiful summer day in the ocean of Sweden. Westerberg is a bit more dramatic and maybe I prefer it slightly over Järvi. I also get associations with painting when I listen to this kind of music.

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/7318590005057.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/11BC5H20K2L._SL500_AA130_.jpg)

My favourite Alfven too + I have a recording on Russian Disc.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on August 07, 2008, 03:40:34 PM
Hmm...I was just about to order that CD! Will have a second thought!

I did finally order this CD from Arkiv and I have to say that I am favourably impressed by Pingoud's tone poems!

There is obviously a very considerable Russian romantic influence and fin de siecle intensity but not the Scriabinesque neuroticism I was perhaps anticipating :)

'Le prophete', ' Le fetich' and 'Le chant de l'espace' are each really rather grand and I am-at times-reminded of the music of Sir Arnold Bax, oddly enough :) The last two end with quite splendid dramatic climaxes!

I must confess that I had been in no great hurry to play this CD after it arrived but now I want to hear these works again and that is always a good sign ;)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: rubio on September 20, 2008, 11:58:45 AM
Stenhammar's 2nd performed by Stig Westerberg/Stockholm PO. I love some of these Scandinavian symphonic composers and their clear inspirations from the majestic nature. I'm not sure if I prefer this one or the Neeme Järvi reading. I have to check how they compare in this work.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/512CVHW992L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on September 20, 2008, 02:34:33 PM
A lovely work. Just about everything I've heard from Stenhammar sounds lovely.

Piano? Lovely. Violin and orchestra? Loverrrly. Voice and piano? Purrrrfectly lovely. Orchestra? Expansively lovely. I yet have to find a Stenhammar work that doesn't sound lovely. By which I don't mean the music may sound undramatic or lacking structure. A Viking Mendelssohn.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on September 20, 2008, 03:25:44 PM
Brahms, Schnittke and Shostkovich. Schnittke and Shostakovich sound so aggressive, but I'll try again later.
You can call Brahms a lot of things, aggressive is probably not one of them.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on September 20, 2008, 11:07:18 PM
A lovely work. Just about everything I've heard from Stenhammar sounds lovely.

Piano? Lovely. Violin and orchestra? Loverrrly. Voice and piano? Purrrrfectly lovely. Orchestra? Expansively lovely. I yet have to find a Stenhammar work that doesn't sound lovely. By which I don't mean the music may sound undramatic or lacking structure. A Viking Mendelssohn.
You forgot the 6 string quartets. THE major cycle of romantic quartets in Scandinavia/Finland. Gorgeous works.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on September 21, 2008, 06:25:34 AM
That's because I've never heard them, so I could not comment. It's the only Stenhammar I don't have. I just never came across them :-\.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on September 22, 2008, 05:47:54 AM
Stenhammar's 2nd performed by Stig Westerberg/Stockholm PO. I love some of these Scandinavian symphonic composers and their clear inspirations from the majestic nature. I'm not sure if I prefer this one or the Neeme Järvi reading. I have to check how they compare in this work.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/512CVHW992L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Westerberg 'wins', IMO. I really miss this performance (i.e. listened to it many many years ago, borrowed from the library). Järvi is too rushed. Westerberg invests the last movement with the Brucknerian grandeur it deserves.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on September 22, 2008, 05:57:12 AM
Have you returned for keeps, Johan? Or is this just another "window of opportunity"...technically speaking, that is :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Ugh! on September 22, 2008, 11:00:21 AM

Regarding Norwegian music, the Norwegians seem more reticent in promoting their music than the Finns. There was(is?) a label called Aurora which issued quite a lot of interesting stuff-Klaus Egge's Symphonies Nos. 1, 2 and 4, Piano Concerto No.2 and Cello Concerto, Conrad Baden's Symphony No.6, Bjarne Brustad's Symphony No. 2, Hallvard Johnsen's Symphony No.3, and Eivind Groven's big choral 'Draumkvaedet" -but these were all issued twenty years ago.
Simax(which definitely is still going strong) has issued Groven's Symphony No.2 and Piano Concerto, Olav Kielland's Symphony No.1 and Ludvig Irgens Jensen's huge choral 'Heimferd', Symphony, Tema con variazioni and Japanischer Fruhling(Jensen's Passacaglia and Partita Sinfonica-both fine works-were also on a twenty-year old CD) but, again, these were issued over 15 years ago. Apart from the new Braein CD discussed above I can't think of much else.

In the last decade BIS has seemed to take over with its Saeverud cycle, CDs of music by Geirr Tveitt, Groven's Symphony No. 1 and the new Fartein Valen cycle. Even the indefatigable CPO seems to have restricted its output to the Christian Sinding symphonies.

Two very fine living Norwegian composers-Halvor Haug and Ragnar Soderlind-are under-represented in the catalogues. (Arne Nordheim lies outside my area of taste!). On a visit to Oslo a couple of years ago or so I was disappointed to find little recently recorded music by Norwegian composers.

Contrast this with the efforts of Ondine in Finland or Dacapo in Denmark(although Ondine is branching out into music from other countries).

Of these composers-apart from Saeverud-the most interesting I think are Klaus Egge and Ludvig Irgens Jensen. As I remarked above it is sad that there has not been a modern set of the Egge symphonies. Egge was a composer of considerable musical craftsmanship and his music is at least interesting. The four purely orchestral works of Jensen I have heard(I am not sure that he wrote much else?) certainly deserve modern recordings and I am sure that Saraste intended to record some with the Oslo Philharmonic.


You are absolutely right that recently recorded music by Norwegian composers tend to be hard to find.  And as you mention, Aurora is a good place to start: http://www.musikkonline.no/shop/displayLabel.asp?id=1205 (http://www.musikkonline.no/shop/displayLabel.asp?id=1205). It is actually the record company of the Norwegian Composer's Guild. The series "Contemporary Music from Norway" (in cooperation between the Norwegian Composer's Guild and Polygram) during the 80's is highly recommended.

Two very exciting young Norwegian composer are Maja Ratkje and Lene Grenager. They are both part of various constellations and groups and compose idiosyncratic works mixing genres and often emphasizing improvisation. They have released music on various experimental labels around the world. The former is also an experimental vocalist, the latter a cellist and conductor, performing together in the group "Spunk"....  8)
http://www.ratkje.com/ (http://www.ratkje.com/)
http://www.grenager.no/ (http://www.grenager.no/)



Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on September 22, 2008, 12:27:45 PM
Cripes! Pretty wayout stuff there :)

There was me talking about conservative, mainstream Norwegian composers of the mid 20th century ;)

When i was on holiday in the little town of Stokmarknes on Hadseloya in the Vesteralen I discovered that it was the home town of a Norwegian rock band called Madrugada. Seemed incongruous somehow :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Ugh! on September 23, 2008, 12:08:07 AM
Cripes! Pretty wayout stuff there :)

There was me talking about conservative, mainstream Norwegian composers of the mid 20th century ;)

When i was on holiday in the little town of Stokmarknes on Hadseloya in the Vesteralen I discovered that it was the home town of a Norwegian rock band called Madrugada. Seemed incongruous somehow :)

Ha ha, rural Norway is also the hot spot for Black Metal bands.  >:D

If however you are looking for something a little more mainstream, I would like to recommend:

Antonio Bibalo http://www.musikkonline.no/shop/displayAlbum.asp?id=25645 (http://www.musikkonline.no/shop/displayAlbum.asp?id=25645) 
http://www.mic.no/mic.nsf/doc/art2002092514495660498054
The most prominent Norwegian opera composer, who died this year. But also wonderful piano works.

Jon Øyvind Ness http://www.musikkonline.no/shop/displayAlbum.asp?id=18560 (http://www.musikkonline.no/shop/displayAlbum.asp?id=18560)
With titles not far from our own Greg's: Wet Blubber Soup (2002), One Tooth Clapping (2001), Half Pint Pygmy (2001)....

Olav Anton Thommesen http://www.musikkonline.no/shop/displayAlbum.asp?id=28493 (http://www.musikkonline.no/shop/displayAlbum.asp?id=28493)
Postmodern composer who is fond of incorporating and recomposing existing works, not least Griegs...

Ketil Hvoslef http://www.musikkonline.no/shop/displayAlbum.asp?id=25740 (http://www.musikkonline.no/shop/displayAlbum.asp?id=25740)
Composer Harald Sæverud's son, but IMO much more interesting as a composer than his father.

Gunnar Sønstevold http://www.mic.no/mic.nsf/doc/art2002100719403142618905 (http://www.mic.no/mic.nsf/doc/art2002100719403142618905)
Mixed influences including jazz and twelve-tone music as well as a wish to combine amateur and professional musicians. His Litany in Atlanta, in memoriam Louis Armstrong is a remarkable work for orchestra, jazz orchestra, mixed (amateur) choir, and female reciter. Based on WEB Du Bois’s poetic response to the 1906 Atlanta race riot. He was also the first Norwegian to use electronics in a composition (1958, The Tempest).

Arne Nordheim http://www.arnenordheim.com/ (http://www.arnenordheim.com/)
THE Norwegian contemporary composer who has become a symbol of modernism in Norway, in both positive and negative terms. Highly associated with his electroacoustic compositions (realized at Studio Eksperymentalne in Poland). For instance, his Poly-Poly for the Scandinavian pavillion at Expo in Osaka, Japan (1979) contains several tape loops that interact in a way that makes the piece last 302 years or so before the loops repeat. However, IMO his orchestral works that also make limited use of tape parts remain his most interesting compositions, including the ballet The Tempest (1979) and Epitaffio for orchestra and magnetic tape.

Sadly, the public interest for Norwegian contemporary music is rather abysmal and there are seldom reviews of premiere performances etc...
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on September 23, 2008, 04:21:14 AM
"..rural Norway is also the hot spot for Black Metal bands"

So I understand :(

Madness, absolute madness! When I drive through the breathtakingly wonderful scenery of northern and western Norway the last thing in this universe I would want to hear is hideous death metal crap >:(

Now....Richard Strauss's Alpine Symphony, Bruckner undoubtedly, music that elevates the soul, that makes one look upwards in awe-struck admiration at the glories of the natural environment..........

I turned on the radio once in the Lofoten Islands and heard some singer in some god-awful band spouting obscenities masquerading as music >:( I nearly drove into the sea :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on September 24, 2008, 03:01:06 AM
As if my magic a new CD of Norwegian music is announced for release by Simax next month-

http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product/NR_November08/PSC1234.htm

This includes 'Pan' by David Monrad-Johansen a piece I have on an old Phillips LP dating back to goodness knows when(coupled with Saeverud's Sinfonia Dolorosa') and the Piano Concerto of Johan Kvandal-who turns out to be Monrad Johansen's son.

It is interesting to discover another Norwegian composer who, with genuine Scandinavian modesty, eschewed his father's surname in order to try to make a name for himself. Saeverud's son, Ketil Hvoslef, did the same thing(as Ugh! pointed out above).

Maybe Siegfried Wagner should have tried the same tactic!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on September 24, 2008, 06:51:52 AM
As if my magic a new CD of Norwegian music is announced for release by Simax next month-

http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product/NR_November08/PSC1234.htm

This includes 'Pan' by David Monrad-Johansen a piece I have on an old Phillips LP dating back to goodness knows when(coupled with Saeverud's Sinfonia Dolorosa') and the Piano Concerto of Johan Kvandal-who turns out to be Monrad Johansen's son.


It also includes Monrad Johansens noteworthy Piano Concerto.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: some guy on September 24, 2008, 12:58:26 PM

If however you are looking for something a little more mainstream

Interesting view of what constitutes "mainstream," Ugh! (Reminds me of my favorite label name--MAINSTREAM.)

Anyway, time for other perspectives of what constitutes good music than Dundonnell's, time and past time, indeed!

And thanks for the links for Radkje and Grenager. Very listenable stuff to be sure.

More. Give us more!!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on September 24, 2008, 01:29:31 PM
Interesting view of what constitutes "mainstream," Ugh! (Reminds me of my favorite label name--MAINSTREAM.)

Anyway, time for other perspectives of what constitutes good music than Dundonnell's, time and past time, indeed!

And thanks for the links for Radkje and Grenager. Very listenable stuff to be sure.

More. Give us more!!

I am not exactly sure what you are getting at here but I can assure you that I very much welcome reading other people's perspectives on "what constitutes good music"!

I have absolutely no right to claim-and never would so do-that my particular taste in music is any other than a purely personal perspective which I shall continue to express as appropriate :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: some guy on September 24, 2008, 03:45:06 PM
I am not exactly sure what you are getting at here but I can assure you that I very much welcome reading other people's perspectives on "what constitutes good music"!

Glad to hear it!

(I had just misspent a few sad minutes a couple of days ago scrolling through this entire thread looking for something other than the tonal/orchestral/neo-romantic type of folks that were predominating. Finding Ugh!s post was genuinely heartening. Listening to the two folks he mentioned was genuinely enjoyable. I should probably have given more effort to making my post express more the joy at finding some mention of some truly new and interesting music than sorrow at the perspective you are of course more than welcome to continue to express. I may strongly deprecate the folks you and your colleagues promote, but I don't really deprecate the promoting, ya understand!)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Ugh! on September 25, 2008, 02:00:00 AM
More. Give us more!!

Have a listen to the track "Assemblages 2" here:
http://www.myspace.com/eugeneguribye (http://www.myspace.com/eugeneguribye)

Let me know if you like it, I may be able to send you the entire work on a CD before it is released anywhere ;)
Eugene.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on September 25, 2008, 06:22:48 AM
Glad to hear it!

(I had just misspent a few sad minutes a couple of days ago scrolling through this entire thread looking for something other than the tonal/orchestral/neo-romantic type of folks that were predominating. Finding Ugh!s post was genuinely heartening. Listening to the two folks he mentioned was genuinely enjoyable. I should probably have given more effort to making my post express more the joy at finding some mention of some truly new and interesting music than sorrow at the perspective you are of course more than welcome to continue to express. I may strongly deprecate the folks you and your colleagues promote, but I don't really deprecate the promoting, ya understand!)


I quite understand :)

Having read through many of your own postings on this site over the last year I appreciate that you clearly have a more adventurous taste in music than do I :)  I freely admit that my own personal tastes have not changed(developed?) much over the years, although I can appreciate, say, Schoenberg, in a way that I couldn't forty years ago I am still at a loss in the sort of music which you obviously embrace.

I have to say though that I don't "deprecate the folks" who produce such music. I don't understand it; I don't appreciate it; I plain don't like it but that is not the fault of the composers who write such music. They have the total artistic freedom to write what they wish/feel and you have the absolute right to listen/enjoy/promote their music :) I know that you will, equally, allow me the right to continue to promote the sort of "tonal/orchestral/neo-romantic" music I enjoy :)

Oh, and by the way...I am the same person who enjoys the music of Humphrey Searle, Benjamin Frankel and Alun Hoddinott among modern British composers! Ok, I suppose it is their orchestral music which most attracts me but "neo-romantic"? .....No!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: some guy on September 25, 2008, 08:29:55 AM
I quite understand :)

[...]

Oh, and by the way...I am the same person who enjoys the music of Humphrey Searle, Benjamin Frankel and Alun Hoddinott among modern British composers! Ok, I suppose it is their orchestral music which most attracts me but "neo-romantic"? .....No!

Indeed.

Frankel's not someone I've heard, yet. I have Hoddinott's 2nd, 3rd, and 5th symphonies, but couldn't stomach the sixth. Searle, well, very nice!! You should be perfectly able to enjoy the Norwegians Eugene listed for you then. And once you've a belly full of Nordheim, you should be able to enjoy people like Bodin and Bock and Grippe and Enström and maybe even Rozmann. (Yes, I know, but I know the Swedes better than I know the Norwegians. That's why I was so keen for Eugene to continue naming names.)

Speaking of whom, the answer is "yes." And I've sent you a PM with details.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on September 25, 2008, 04:21:22 PM
Indeed.

Frankel's not someone I've heard, yet. I have Hoddinott's 2nd, 3rd, and 5th symphonies, but couldn't stomach the sixth. Searle, well, very nice!! You should be perfectly able to enjoy the Norwegians Eugene listed for you then. And once you've a belly full of Nordheim, you should be able to enjoy people like Bodin and Bock and Grippe and Enström and maybe even Rozmann. (Yes, I know, but I know the Swedes better than I know the Norwegians. That's why I was so keen for Eugene to continue naming names.)

Speaking of whom, the answer is "yes." And I've sent you a PM with details.

Haven't received the PM to which you refer!

I can see that you would not like Hoddinott's 6th but would prefer Nos. 2, 3 and 5 :)

I also like the symphonies of the Schoenberg pupil, Egon Wellesz btw and plan to start a thread on him shortly :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: some guy on September 25, 2008, 06:11:15 PM
Dundonnell, the PM was for Ugh!, though rereading my post, I see that I am clearly referring to "Dondonnell" when I say "you." And me a writer. Pffft.

And I don't see that PM to him in my outbox, either. So I don't know even if he's gotten it.

Wellesz is a lot of fun. I thought he was a rather sad figure at first, Bruckner manque then Schoenberg manque. But however much that may be true, he managed to write some very interesting pieces that can be listened to over and over again.

I find that people like Krenek and Searle and Sessions are easier to listen to repeatedly, but all one has to do with the Welleszes and the Schumans and such like is just leave longer times between listens. Simple.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Ugh! on September 25, 2008, 11:03:54 PM
I've received the PM and replied ;) Speaking of Swedes, anyone familiar with Karl Birger Blomdahl (1916-68)? One of the most interesting Swedish modernists IMO, I am particularly taken with Forma Ferritonans (1961). This orchestral work was commissioned for the opening of a steel factory, and the composition was partly based on physical formulas associated with the steel-making process. It starts the most pianissimo imaginable, barely audible, starting to boil, buzz and exhume gasses (portrayed by the winds), gradually building into a "climax like a swirling cauldron of molten ore" as one observer noted.

It was thoroughly reviewed in Notes, Second Series, Vol. 26, No. 3, Mar., 1970, for those who have access to JSTOR...

Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on September 26, 2008, 03:03:09 AM
Yes, I know Karl-Birger Blomdahl's symphonies! I like all three(BIS-611: swedish radio Symphony Orchestra, Leif Segerstam). The 3rd, Facetter, is the most admired. Blomdahl died far too you(aged 52) :(
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: pjme on September 26, 2008, 05:57:04 AM
I discovered Blomdahl's third symfony on a Turnabout LP

TV-S 34318, LP, issued 1970: Contemporary symphonic music from Sweden.
Rosenberg Symphony No 6, Sinfonia semplice from 1951 played by Stockholms SO, Stig Westerberg recorded 1960-05-22.
Also includes Karl-Birger Blomdahl's third symphony, Facettes.

Two very strong works.

P.


Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on September 26, 2008, 06:37:21 AM
I discovered Blomdahl's third symfony on a Turnabout LP

TV-S 34318, LP, issued 1970: Contemporary symphonic music from Sweden.
Rosenberg Symphony No 6, Sinfonia semplice from 1951 played by Stockholms SO, Stig Westerberg recorded 1960-05-22.
Also includes Karl-Birger Blomdahl's third symphony, Facettes.

Two very strong works.

P.




Like Holmboe's 8th Symphony, also on Turnabout, that was a great LP.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on September 26, 2008, 06:55:36 AM
Like Holmboe's 8th Symphony, also on Turnabout, that was a great LP.

That's going back a bit, isn't it :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on September 26, 2008, 07:34:21 AM
That's going back a bit, isn't it :)

Yes, but I'm a History teacher after all  ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on September 26, 2008, 08:08:18 AM
I discovered Blomdahl's third symfony on a Turnabout LP

TV-S 34318, LP, issued 1970: Contemporary symphonic music from Sweden.
Rosenberg Symphony No 6, Sinfonia semplice from 1951 played by Stockholms SO, Stig Westerberg recorded 1960-05-22.
Also includes Karl-Birger Blomdahl's third symphony, Facettes.

Two very strong works.

P.



I have that LP. Somewhere. The Rosenberg nr 5 here is also reissued on Phono Suecia PSCD 100, coupled with Rosenbergs 6th under Blomstedt. I have that as well. Wonderful music.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on September 26, 2008, 08:48:39 AM
I have that LP. Somewhere. The Rosenberg nr 5 here is also reissued on Phono Suecia PSCD 100, coupled with Rosenbergs 6th under Blomstedt. I have that as well. Wonderful music.

No...it is the Rosenberg No.3 which is on that CD coupled with No.6.

No. 5, unfortunately, is only available in an ancient(1940s) recording conducted by the composer.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on September 26, 2008, 10:21:09 AM
No...it is the Rosenberg No.3 which is on that CD coupled with No.6.

No. 5, unfortunately, is only available in an ancient(1940s) recording conducted by the composer.

How could I screw that up with the CD in front of me. No 6 (the semplice) from Turnabout and nr 3 with Blomstedt. Rumour has it that BIS once upon the time were ready for a Rosenberg symphony cycle, but that it was screwed up because of some disagreeement with some conductor. Some of his symphonies are real beasts. The 5th in particular is in need of a modern recording, I agree.   
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on September 26, 2008, 12:01:24 PM
The Scandinavian composers most in need of urgent attention in the recording studios are imo-

Norway-Klaus Egge
Sweden-Hilding Rosenberg
Finland-Aare Merikanto
Denmark-Niels Viggo Bentzon

There are significant gaps in their recorded output. Bentzon is the most difficult to tackle since he wrote so much(24 symphonies, for example).
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on September 29, 2008, 07:33:06 AM
The Scandinavian composers most in need of urgent attention in the recording studios are imo-

Norway-Klaus Egge
Sweden-Hilding Rosenberg
Finland-Aare Merikanto
Denmark-Niels Viggo Bentzon

There are significant gaps in their recorded output. Bentzon is the most difficult to tackle since he wrote so much(24 symphonies, for example).

Yes, we definitely need a Rosenberg cycle. Nos 2 and 3 are wonderfully inspiriting works. I'd also like too see a new recording of Klaus Egge's First Symphony. The Karsten Andersen, Bergen SO recording (Phillips) has a very "boxed in" sound.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: springrite on September 29, 2008, 07:38:05 AM
The Scandinavian composers most in need of urgent attention in the recording studios are imo-

Norway-Klaus Egge
Sweden-Hilding Rosenberg
Finland-Aare Merikanto
Denmark-Niels Viggo Bentzon

There are significant gaps in their recorded output. Bentzon is the most difficult to tackle since he wrote so much(24 symphonies, for example).

Bentzon reminds me of Martinu. Both composers composed a lot of music (several hundred!). Both composers can be very creative, original and inspirational, while at the same time the quality of their works are uneven. In a way, the unevenness almost add to the attraction.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on September 29, 2008, 07:51:44 AM
Bentzon reminds me of Martinu. Both composers composed a lot of music (several hundred!). Both composers can be very creative, original and inspirational, while at the same time the quality of their works are uneven. In a way, the unevenness almost add to the attraction.

No doubt true but I don't know enough to be sure :(

I do have the cds coupling Symphonies 3 + 4 and 5 + 7(both Dacapo) , and the 8th(Classico) coupled with the Symphonic Variations. The Classico cd is performed by a student orchestra, the Gothenburg-Aarhus Philharmonic. The 3rd and 4th symphonies are both very impressive works from the 1940s-shades of Hindemith, Copland, Stravinsky-but enough to suggest a Danish composer to rival Holmboe as the natural successor to Carl Nielsen.

I am surprised that Dacapo should not have gone on to record more Bentzon. He strikes me as a deeper and more interesting composer than others whose music they have recorded!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Ugh! on September 29, 2008, 11:41:31 PM
Returning not the Swedes, I cannot but recommend at least two experimental electro-acoustic composers.

Sten Hanson was involved with the Fylkingen language group's studies in electronic text-sound, often combined with visual images and intense performances (other composers include Lars-Gunnar Bodin, Åke Hodell and Bengt Emil Johnson, but IMO Hanson is the most interesting). His work Che (1968) for instance revolves around a recitation in Spanish of one of Che Guevara's texts, while other voices start joining in shouting "Che", all the more rapidly until by tape manipulation and ring modulation, the name has been transformed into the sound of a machine gun.
http://www.ubu.com/sound/hanson.html (http://www.ubu.com/sound/hanson.html)

Rune Lindblad was an interesting pioneer and outsider who independently, unaware of the developments in musique concrete in France and Germany developed his own equivalent of it during the early 1950's. His Attack series for instance consists of manipulated recordings of insects trapped inside glass jars, violently trying to escape.


Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Senta on October 14, 2008, 09:44:50 PM
I know nothing of Ernest Pingoud, but am listening to "Extinguished Torches" right now on our classical radio from this disc. :D

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41vnPtqMp6L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

This sounds sort of like...minimalistic Debussy....with undulating scales and fluttery bird metaphors, much double reed goodness...lovely and interesting music. Reminiscent of La Mer in its crescendos at times. Short piece...I'd like to hear more... 
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: some guy on October 14, 2008, 10:56:08 PM
Hey Eugene, I just met Sten this past spring. Very charming man. Indeed, he it was who came up to me to ask me how I was doing!!

Took me totally off guard! I was pretty sure we'd not met before, anyway. Whew. (This was at Bourges, which is crawling with composers late spring/early summer. One could easily meet people and forget, especially if you go several years in a row and have a bad memory....)

Anyway, I've been very happy with the Fylkingen folks. I have their three "Five composers" CDs.

And they're international as well. I first heard Denis Smalley (New Zealand) and Beatriz Ferreyra (Argentina/France) on a Fylkingen LP.

There's a very nice three CD EMS set, I'm sure you know about it, probably have it, called Bits & Pieces, which has many tasty treats, including the Hungarian expat Akos Rózmann.

And let's add Rolf Enström to the mix, for sure.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on October 16, 2008, 06:31:01 AM
I know nothing of Ernest Pingoud, but am listening to "Extinguished Torches" right now on our classical radio from this disc. :D

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41vnPtqMp6L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

This sounds sort of like...minimalistic Debussy....with undulating scales and fluttery bird metaphors, much double reed goodness...lovely and interesting music. Reminiscent of La Mer in its crescendos at times. Short piece...I'd like to hear more... 

Agreed. A more interesting composer than I had been led to expect! Sadly, he committed suicide in 1942 by throwing himself in front of a train in Helsinki. He was only 54 years old.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on November 28, 2008, 09:46:42 AM
CPO has embarked on one of their comprehensive composer surveys- this time of the music of Edvin Kallstenius(1881-1967), the almost forgotten Swedish composer. The Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra will be conducted by Frank Beermann.

I will go off to listen to my Musica Sveciae recording of Kallstenius's 2nd Symphony(he wrote five) and report back!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on November 28, 2008, 02:15:36 PM
Well, there is no doubt that the people at CPO do have good taste!

I have listened again to Kallstenius's 2nd Symphony and his Dalarapsodi and am astonished that this music did not make more impact on me the first time I heard it.

The Swedes certainly keep many of their composers to themselves ;D Kallstenius comes from the same generation as Hilding Rosenberg but received far less attention. He studied in Leipzig and was influenced by the music of Strauss, Reger, Debussy and Franz Schrecker.
Regarded as something of a modernist at first but a conservative by later generations, Kallstenius did actually employ 12-tone techniques in his last works. He wrote five symphonies and four sinfoniettas and worked as music librarian for Swedish radio.

The thing is that the music does not sound much like any other Swedish music I have ever heard-with the possible exception of Gosta Nystroem. There is a quiet dignity and clean-lined precision which is almost Mahlerian at times but really escapes more accurate description. It does not jump out and grab the listener but this is a composer who definitely wrote music of integrity and purpose.

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2001/June01/Kallstenius.htm

http://www.classical-composers.org/comp/kallstenius

The CPO series could turn out to be an interesting one!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on November 28, 2008, 08:35:10 PM
Phono Suecia discs are hard to find  :'(. 

The only Kallstenius I ever heard is his winsome Midsummer Serenade (on (Musica Sveciae). The Music Web review mentions one Hambraeus as a composer more in vogue than Kallstenius. Well, I've never heard of him, and I'm a swedish music enthusiast. That must put Kallstenius way down the ladder indeed :P
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on November 29, 2008, 09:08:54 AM
I am listening to Kallstenius's Dalarapsodi, thanks to Him Who Must Not Be Named - lovely rustic music, with a crispness and bite to it that saves it from being blandly beautiful. Nice solos, lovely woodwind writing, and a tasteful use of percussion. I love it. Clear as a Scandinavian sky.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on November 29, 2008, 10:27:19 AM
I am listening to Kallstenius's Dalarapsodi, thanks to Him Who Must Not Be Named - lovely rustic music, with a crispness and bite to it that saves it from being blandly beautiful. Nice solos, lovely woodwind writing, and a tasteful use of percussion. I love it. Clear as a Scandinavian sky.

Yes, I too have been enjoying this work today. The Dalarapsodi gets better and better as it progresses; an interesting discovery. I can already detect the first tentative signs of a group of 'so-called Kallstenius experts' in the making.  ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on November 29, 2008, 11:22:16 AM
Yes, I too have been enjoying this work today. The Dalarapsodi gets better and better as it progresses; an interesting discovery. I can already detect the first tentative signs of a group of 'so-called Kallstenius experts' in the making.  ;D

God forbid!  ;D

But - I have listened to the Dalarapsodi three times already - excellent piece! I'm saving the 2nd Symphony for later (tomorrow).  I like Kallstenius a lot!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on November 29, 2008, 11:32:16 AM
I know that I should really go back to listening to more music by the great mainstream composers-Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Dvorak etc etc.-but I am (irresistibly) drawn to continually explore the outer fringes of the symphonic world ;D
One does encounter quite a few 'turkeys' on the journey but when composers like Braga Santos and-possibly-now Kallstenius are discovered and their music turns out to be at least interesting, and often a great deal more than that.......well that just is so plain exciting :) :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on November 29, 2008, 12:21:21 PM
I know that I should really go back to listening to more music by the great mainstream composers-Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Dvorak etc etc.-but I am (irresistibly) drawn to continually explore the outer fringes of the symphonic world ;D
One does encounter quite a few 'turkeys' on the journey but when composers like Braga Santos and-possibly-now Kallstenius are discovered and their music turns out to be at least interesting, and often a great deal more than that.......well that just is so plain exciting :) :)

Totally agree. Am just listening to the Ernest Pingoud CD mentioned above. A very rewarding experience, there is a lot to this music and I am gradually getting to grips with it. Interesting that Stokowski performed Pingoud's 'Prophet'. Very sad that he chose to end his life under a train.

Long live Pingoud, Egge, Braga Santos, Ippolitov-Ivanov, Popov, Cyril Scott etcetcetc.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on November 29, 2008, 02:09:43 PM
I have listened to the Dalarapsodi yet another time. It's in four sections - 1 and 3 are slow and dominated by the horn, with 1 having a rather serious introductory character and 3 a wonderfully lyrical one, with melodic/harmonic twists that sound... American; 2 and 4 are pastoral and lively, infused with a John Ireland-like acerbity.

Marvellous piece!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on November 29, 2008, 02:31:39 PM
I have listened to the Dalarapsodi yet another time. It's in four sections - 1 and 3 are slow and dominated by the horn, with 1 having a rather serious introductory character and 3 a wonderfully lyrical one, with melodic/harmonic twists that sound... American; 2 and 4 are pastoral and lively, infused with a John Ireland-like acerbity.

Marvellous piece!

Oh....very well...I had better send you some more Kallstenius then ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on November 29, 2008, 02:39:35 PM
Oh....very well...I had better send you some more Kallstenius then ;D ;D ;D

Yes, please!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: 71 dB on December 06, 2008, 03:19:43 AM
Today it is the independence day of Finland so it's a good day to listen to Finnish composers.  :)

(http://img218.imageshack.us/img218/9365/flagsq8.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: springrite on December 06, 2008, 03:33:17 AM
Today it is the independence day of Finland so it's a good day to listen to Finnish composers.  :)

(http://img218.imageshack.us/img218/9365/flagsq8.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)

I will oblige with some Esa-Pekka Salonen and some Sallinen quartets.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on December 06, 2008, 06:30:38 AM
Every day is a good day for Finnish music :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on December 06, 2008, 02:14:23 PM
I have listened to the Dalarapsodi yet another time. It's in four sections - 1 and 3 are slow and dominated by the horn, with 1 having a rather serious introductory character and 3 a wonderfully lyrical one, with melodic/harmonic twists that sound... American; 2 and 4 are pastoral and lively, infused with a John Ireland-like acerbity.

Marvellous piece!

I have listened several times to Kallstenius's 'Dalarapsodie' again today; a wonderful work which I can't recommend strongly enough. A great discovery. Even my wife said: "This is not as bad as usual"  ::)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Christo on December 06, 2008, 02:22:42 PM
Even my wife said: "This is not as bad as usual"  ::)

Finally, a convincing argument for me!  ;) Now, even I will spoil my time with yet another Swede. The CD still costs GBP 12, but I'll order for it.  :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on December 06, 2008, 02:31:46 PM
I have listened several times to Kallstenius's 'Dalarapsodie' again today; a wonderful work which I can't recommend strongly enough. A great discovery. Even my wife said: "This is not as bad as usual"  ::)

Never in my entire life have I conceived of myself as the instigator of improved marital harmony :o :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on December 06, 2008, 02:54:08 PM
Never in my entire life have I conceived of myself as the instigator of improved marital harmony :o :)

 :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on December 06, 2008, 03:21:40 PM
Glad to see Kallstenius and the Davises are doing well...  ;) The Dalarapsodi is the kind of piece which, once heard, you seem to have known all your life.

[I have been absent from GMG lately, as some will have noticed, for all the right reasons (writing)]
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on December 06, 2008, 03:38:27 PM
Glad to see Kallstenius and the Davises are doing well...  ;) The Dalarapsodi is the kind of piece which, once heard, you seem to have known all your life.

[I have been absent from GMG lately, as some will have noticed, for all the right reasons (writing)]

Your absence is always noticed, Johan :) While you were away I lost my temper over our unwanted new 'member' and his/her/its insane posts :-[
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on December 06, 2008, 06:54:43 PM
I raided a couple of second-hand store and among my purchases there's this utterly unknown (to me) composer:
 
Edvard Fliflet Braein (Norway, 1924-1976): symphonies 1 - 3 . On Simax Anybody knows him ?

Also in the haul is Langgard's Sinfonia interna (Dacapo).
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on December 06, 2008, 07:36:16 PM
Very, very quickly before I finally go to bed!

Braein? Yes, I bought that cd when it came out. Pleasant enough works but certainly not a patch on the far greater Norwegian composers like Saeverud, Egge, Valen(though he is not to my own particular taste), Jensen, Groven, Soderlind or Haug. I thought all three symphonies rather lightweight to be honest :(
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on December 06, 2008, 10:06:27 PM
That's what the liner notes say. But I was curious. I held off to a Hamerik disc (symphony 7 IIRC), as well as one by Norgärd and another composer, with works based on Andersen tales. Should I go back ? It's a clearance sale. My favourite second hand store is going out of business - after some 35 years...  :'(
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: CRCulver on December 06, 2008, 11:23:55 PM
That's what the liner notes say. But I was curious. I held off to a Hamerik disc (symphony 7 IIRC), as well as one by Norgärd and another composer, with works based on Andersen tales. Should I go back ? It's a clearance sale. My favourite second hand store is going out of business - after some 35 years...  :'(

If you like Norgard, then I'd suggest getting the disc with the Andersen cantata. It isn't as cheap as all Dacapo discs, but you can nonetheless find copies for around US$10 plus shipping. See my review (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FGGKDK?ie=UTF8&tag=3636363-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B000FGGKDK) at Amazon. "The Will of the Wisps Go to Town" is not one of Norgard's best works, but it has some good moments and possibly gives us a hint of what his Symphony No. 7, to be premiered next month, will sound like.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on December 07, 2008, 01:14:17 AM
Very, very quickly before I finally go to bed!

Braein? Yes, I bought that cd when it came out. Pleasant enough works but certainly not a patch on the far greater Norwegian composers like Saeverud, Egge, Valen(though he is not to my own particular taste), Jensen, Groven, Soderlind or Haug. I thought all three symphonies rather lightweight to be honest :(
Se my comments in the purchases thread where you didn't comment. So you know him afterall!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on December 07, 2008, 01:23:58 AM
Glad to see Kallstenius and the Davises are doing well...  ;) The Dalarapsodi is the kind of piece which, once heard, you seem to have known all your life.

[I have been absent from GMG lately, as some will have noticed, for all the right reasons (writing)]

Pleased to hear it Johan (about the writing).

Musicweb review of the Kallstenius CD recommended by Colin. You may note the reference to Havergal Brian!

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2001/June01/Kallstenius.htm
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on December 07, 2008, 06:01:50 PM
If you like Norgard, then I'd suggest getting the disc with the Andersen cantata. It isn't as cheap as all Dacapo discs, but you can nonetheless find copies for around US$10 plus shipping. See my review (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FGGKDK?ie=UTF8&tag=3636363-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B000FGGKDK) at Amazon. "The Will of the Wisps Go to Town" is not one of Norgard's best works, but it has some good moments and possibly gives us a hint of what his Symphony No. 7, to be premiered next month, will sound like.

Well, all I have to do is go back to the store and buy it. It's coupled with another Andersen inspired work (can't recall the composer's name). So far I have mixed feelings about Norgärd's music. Hope I like that one ! :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Sef on December 09, 2008, 09:27:44 AM
I have listened several times to Kallstenius's 'Dalarapsodie' again today; a wonderful work which I can't recommend strongly enough. A great discovery. Even my wife said: "This is not as bad as usual"  ::)
Your recommendations have historically proved very fruitful for me. Just downloaded this from Amazon for 0.89c. Now that's what I call value for money.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on December 09, 2008, 10:09:31 AM
Your recommendations have historically proved very fruitful for me. Just downloaded this from Amazon for 0.89c. Now that's what I call value for money.

I am so sorry! You could have saved yourself the money! Jeffrey got the Dalarapsodi from me for nothing ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Sef on December 09, 2008, 10:32:26 AM
I am so sorry! You could have saved yourself the money! Jeffrey got the Dalarapsodi from me for nothing ;D
That's alright. My 89c has pushed me over the $25 limit and I got a free $5 download voucher! In the spirit of recommendations (and this particular thread) lets have some suggestions on what Scandinavian and Finnish composers work I should spend the money on.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on December 09, 2008, 10:52:18 AM
That's alright. My 89c has pushed me over the $25 limit and I got a free $5 download voucher! In the spirit of recommendations (and this particular thread) lets have some suggestions on what Scandinavian and Finnish composers work I should spend the money on.

Difficult question to answer without knowing what you are already familiar with. From your previous posts I see that you are a Pettersson admirer and you also have mentioned Atterberg and Rangstrom.

Have you explored the five symphonies of Wilhelm Peterson-Berger or the five of Hugo Alfven? If you like Atterberg and Rangstrom then these should appeal as well-lush, romantic, nationalist Swedish music.

Amongst the (slightly) more modern Swedish composers I like Gosta Nystroem, Dag Wiren and Karl-Biger Blomdahl.

Finns? Kokkonen, Englund and Sallinen. If you like Shostakovich then these composers would be riight up your street ;D
Norwegians-Saeverud(craggy, individualistic)
Danes-Holmboe(one of the greatest of all 20th century composers in my opinion).
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on December 09, 2008, 11:33:31 AM
Your recommendations have historically proved very fruitful for me. Just downloaded this from Amazon for 0.89c. Now that's what I call value for money.

I am very pleased. The middle section is a very beautiful heart-felt piece which I hope you enjoy as much as I do.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on December 09, 2008, 11:36:15 AM
Difficult question to answer without knowing what you are already familiar with. From your previous posts I see that you are a Pettersson admirer and you also have mentioned Atterberg and Rangstrom.

Have you explored the five symphonies of Wilhelm Peterson-Berger or the five of Hugo Alfven? If you like Atterberg and Rangstrom then these should appeal as well-lush, romantic, nationalist Swedish music.

Amongst the (slightly) more modern Swedish composers I like Gosta Nystroem, Dag Wiren and Karl-Biger Blomdahl.

Finns? Kokkonen, Englund and Sallinen. If you like Shostakovich then these composers would be riight up your street ;D
Norwegians-Saeverud(craggy, individualistic)
Danes-Holmboe(one of the greatest of all 20th century composers in my opinion).

I'd very much agree with Colin's recommendations. Although not exactly scandinavian do you know the first two symphonies by the New Zealand composer Douglas Lilburn?  A strong recommendation.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on December 09, 2008, 11:40:58 AM
Let me plug the string quartets of Wiren again. Very fine and entertaining works.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on December 09, 2008, 11:57:05 AM
Let me plug the string quartets of Wiren again. Very fine and entertaining works.

Thanks for this. I enjoy the Wiren symphonies, especially 3 and 4 and will look out for the SQs.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on December 09, 2008, 12:06:09 PM
I was going to say..."How could I forget Hilding Rosenberg?"

and then I remembered that almost everybody else has as well! :( :(
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on December 09, 2008, 12:15:10 PM
I was going to say..."How could I forget Hilding Rosenberg?"

and then I remembered that almost everybody else has as well! :( :(

His Third and Second Symphony are two favourites of mine. They both have wonderfully inspiriting and moving endings; strongly recommended.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Sef on December 09, 2008, 01:48:10 PM
I'd very much agree with Colin's recommendations. Although not exactly scandinavian do you know the first two symphonies by the New Zealand composer Douglas Lilburn?  A strong recommendation.
What do you mean - "Not exactly Scandinavian"? Not Scandinavian at all! Hey I'm open to all suggestions, just thought I'd limit it to our Northern friends for the sake of this thread. For information I loved the Atterberg box set (particularly 2, 3-who doesn't- and 6), and the Rangstrom box - and yes, "lush" is a great description. Sibelius of course, particularly 2, 4, 5, Lemminkainen. Pettersson 6,7 and 8 wrench at your guts. Recently been listening to Chavez complete symphonies (particularly 2 and 4), Saygun (love 1 and 3). Shostakovich or course (4's my favourite, and the SQs). Only heard Alfven 4. Quite liked Langgaard 4,5 and 6. Is this enough?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on December 09, 2008, 02:50:33 PM
What do you mean - "Not exactly Scandinavian"? Not Scandinavian at all! Hey I'm open to all suggestions, just thought I'd limit it to our Northern friends for the sake of this thread. For information I loved the Atterberg box set (particularly 2, 3-who doesn't- and 6), and the Rangstrom box - and yes, "lush" is a great description. Sibelius of course, particularly 2, 4, 5, Lemminkainen. Pettersson 6,7 and 8 wrench at your guts. Recently been listening to Chavez complete symphonies (particularly 2 and 4), Saygun (love 1 and 3). Shostakovich or course (4's my favourite, and the SQs). Only heard Alfven 4. Quite liked Langgaard 4,5 and 6. Is this enough?
No. Nielsen is necessary.Just listened to the Naxos/Schønwandt disc of his 3rd symphony. Totally awesome.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Christo on December 10, 2008, 12:48:02 AM
What do you mean - "Not exactly Scandinavian"? Not Scandinavian at all! Hey I'm open to all suggestions, just thought I'd limit it to our Northern friends for the sake of this thread. For information I loved the Atterberg box set (particularly 2, 3-who doesn't- and 6), and the Rangstrom box - and yes, "lush" is a great description. Sibelius of course, particularly 2, 4, 5, Lemminkainen. Pettersson 6,7 and 8 wrench at your guts. Recently been listening to Chavez complete symphonies (particularly 2 and 4), Saygun (love 1 and 3). Shostakovich or course (4's my favourite, and the SQs). Only heard Alfven 4. Quite liked Langgaard 4,5 and 6. Is this enough?

Not enough, but just great! Anyhow: if you don't accept Lilburn in this row (but I agree with Jeffrey that both he and e.g. Hanson could be considered ''''Scandinavians'''' as well), you would perhaps accept Estonians and Latvians. Do you happen to know Tubin's cycle? His ten symphonies are one of the best symphonic cycles that I know and would nicely fit in your list.  :)

As far as I'm concerned, the same applies to Vagn Holmboe. Personally, I would prefer both to all these Swedish symphonists (Rangstroem, Alfvén, Nystroem, Wirén, Rosenberg, Petterson including). And there's a (Swedish) Finn too that I prefer above most of these: Einar Englund.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on December 10, 2008, 01:48:10 AM
What do you mean - "Not exactly Scandinavian"? Not Scandinavian at all! Hey I'm open to all suggestions, just thought I'd limit it to our Northern friends for the sake of this thread. For information I loved the Atterberg box set (particularly 2, 3-who doesn't- and 6), and the Rangstrom box - and yes, "lush" is a great description. Sibelius of course, particularly 2, 4, 5, Lemminkainen. Pettersson 6,7 and 8 wrench at your guts. Recently been listening to Chavez complete symphonies (particularly 2 and 4), Saygun (love 1 and 3). Shostakovich or course (4's my favourite, and the SQs). Only heard Alfven 4. Quite liked Langgaard 4,5 and 6. Is this enough?

You mean to tell me that New Zealand is not part of Scandinavia? ;D

I like your choices very much and agree with Christo if you don't know the Tubin symphonies try 1,2,4,5 and 10 (but they are all great). As for a genuine scandinavian try Klaus Egge Symphony 1, Piano Concerto No 2 (Naxos) and String Quartet (Naxos too).
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Sef on December 10, 2008, 09:57:53 AM
Thanks for all the great suggestions - let's see how far that $5 voucher gets me!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Christo on December 10, 2008, 10:32:22 AM
if you don't know the Tubin symphonies try 1,2,4,5 and 10 (but they are all great)

Exactly. A proof might be, that my Tubin favourites are: nos. 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.  ;) Which means, that the two of us combined are in favour of all ten symphonies - enough proof for me of a really special symphonic cycle.  :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on December 10, 2008, 01:56:47 PM
All that suggestive Tubin talk inspires me to listen to his symphonies again...
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on December 10, 2008, 08:18:00 PM
Not enough, but just great! Anyhow: if you don't accept Lilburn in this row (but I agree with Jeffrey that both he and e.g. Hanson could be considered ''''Scandinavians'''' as well), you would perhaps accept Estonians and Latvians. Do you happen to know Tubin's cycle? His ten symphonies are one of the best symphonic cycles that I know and would nicely fit in your list.  :)

As far as I'm concerned, the same applies to Vagn Holmboe. Personally, I would prefer both to all these Swedish symphonists (Rangstroem, Alfvén, Nystroem, Wirén, Rosenberg, Petterson including). And there's a (Swedish) Finn too that I prefer above most of these: Einar Englund.

I'm a great fan of scandinavian symphonists, and, apart from Finland, only Sweden and Denmark can be talked to in the same breath in terms of being hailed as fertile symphonic ground. Although I agree about Holmboe's status, I'd add Langgaard and Koppel as main proponents of the 'classic' ('nielsenesque') school of symphony. BUT - it's my firm belief that "all those swedish symphonists" present a very different and just as valuable musical language as the Danes'. For one thing, there is a striking difference between the slightly angular, direct language of the Danes vs the more oblique, discursive, curvaceous one of the Swedes.  I don't think one can be termed better, although the distinction between the two is not a fiction. Preferring one to the other is perfectly legitimate, though !
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on December 10, 2008, 11:32:35 PM
I'm a great fan of scandinavian symphonists, and, apart from Finland, only Sweden and Denmark can be talked to in the same breath in terms of being hailed as fertile symphonic ground. Although I agree about Holmboe's status, I'd add Langgaard and Koppel as main proponents of the 'classic' ('nielsenesque') school of symphony. BUT - it's my firm belief that "all those swedish symphonists" present a very different and just as valuable musical language as the Danes'. For one thing, there is a striking difference between the slightly angular, direct language of the Danes vs the more oblique, discursive, curvaceous one of the Swedes.  I don't think one can be termed better, although the distinction between the two is not a fiction. Preferring one to the other is perfectly legitimate, though !
Yes, Koppel has been on my "to explore" list for far too long. Particular works recommended as starting points? Anyone?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on December 11, 2008, 03:58:32 AM
Yes, Koppel has been on my "to explore" list for far too long. Particular works recommended as starting points? Anyone?

Yes, Symphony No 2. Great work.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on December 11, 2008, 07:26:54 AM
I'm a great fan of scandinavian symphonists, and, apart from Finland, only Sweden and Denmark can be talked to in the same breath in terms of being hailed as fertile symphonic ground. Although I agree about Holmboe's status, I'd add Langgaard and Koppel as main proponents of the 'classic' ('nielsenesque') school of symphony. BUT - it's my firm belief that "all those swedish symphonists" present a very different and just as valuable musical language as the Danes'. For one thing, there is a striking difference between the slightly angular, direct language of the Danes vs the more oblique, discursive, curvaceous one of the Swedes.  I don't think one can be termed better, although the distinction between the two is not a fiction. Preferring one to the other is perfectly legitimate, though !

I gather from what you are saying that you don't think that Norway can be regarded as "fertile symphonic ground"? I don't necessarily disagree with an assessment that Norway has not produced a symphonist to rank as highly as Sibelius, Nielsen or Holmboe but I would regard Saeverud's symphonies as well up in a second division of composers.

I do agree about the differences and distinctions between the language of the Danes compared to that of the Swedes. Regarding Danish composers however, I would also rank Niels Viggo Bentzon-at least in his earlier symphonies(I haven't heard all of the 24!)-as a symphonist of very considerable substance. The symphonies I have heard-Nos. 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8-are impressive works, every bit as fine as Koppel's in my opinion.

I am afraid that I am not sold on Langgaard and feel that his posthumous reputation is inflated! I know that many disagree with me though ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on December 11, 2008, 10:40:37 AM


I am afraid that I am not sold on Langgaard and feel that his posthumous reputation is inflated! I know that many disagree with me though ;D
Langgaard is so variable that  a general opinion on his work is difficult to arrive at.

Anybody heard the best symphony written in Norway? Finn Mortensens sole example.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on December 11, 2008, 10:58:16 AM
Langgaard is so variable that  a general opiniomn on his work is difficlt to arrive at.

Anybody heard the best sympjhony written in Norway? Finn Mortensens sole example.

Your wish...etc etc!

I am listening to it again right now! I have far too many cds!!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on December 11, 2008, 11:01:28 AM
Your wish...etc etc!

I am listening to it again right now! I have far too many cds!!
I only have it on a cassette somewhere. Anyway it's a quite old recording, I wish for a new one.

Grovens symphonies on BIS are very enjoyable.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on December 11, 2008, 11:16:31 AM
The Mortensen IS magnificent! It can't be THAT old-Oslo Philharmonic under Mariss Jansons. I see what the author of the booklet notes means when he talks about the influence of Bruckner. Composed in 1952-53, not performed until 1963, a further performance in 1976 and another in 1982, the symphony is not however typical of Mortensen's later work which reflects the influences of twelve-tone music and aleatoric music.

Yes, I like the Groven symphonies- No.1 on BIS, No.2 on Simax; and Groven's big choral work 'Draumkvaedet' on Aurora. I would like to see Ludvig Irgens Jensen get more exposure too. Saraste promised to record some Jensen but it hasn't happened yet.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on December 11, 2008, 11:18:28 AM
Mortensen's got a  very fine, tonal, wind quintet as well.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on December 11, 2008, 11:21:19 AM
Mortensen's got a  very fine, tonal, wind quintet as well.

It's on the same cd as the symphony.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on December 11, 2008, 11:39:34 AM
Thanks for mentioning the Mortensen symphony :)

This is why I love this forum! Goodness knows how long it would have been before I picked that cd back off my shelves. Indeed I had to check to see if I had actually got it ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lethevich on December 11, 2008, 11:42:06 AM
I would like to see Ludvig Irgens Jensen get more exposure too. Saraste promised to record some Jensen but it hasn't happened yet.

He is good, indeedie - I have the disc containing his Japanese song cycle and misc orchestral works on Simax, and the passacaglia was rather memorable.

BTW, it's very weird that Mortensen and Irgens Jensen were brought up here at the same time - I grabbed a dubiously legal torrent from Demonoid a few weeks ago of Mortensen's symphony no.1 and an Irgens Jensen symphony of some type which wasn't very well described by the uploader. I found both well worth returning to, and it put Mortensen on my radar for the first time.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on December 11, 2008, 12:03:36 PM
He is good, indeedie - I have the disc containing his Japanese song cycle and misc orchestral works on Simax, and the passacaglia was rather memorable.

BTW, it's very weird that Mortensen and Irgens Jensen were brought up here at the same time - I grabbed a dubiously legal torrent from Demonoid a few weeks ago of Mortensen's symphony no.1 and an Irgens Jensen symphony of some type which wasn't very well described by the uploader. I found both well worth returning to, and it put Mortensen on my radar for the first time.

If you have the Simax disc with the 'Japanischer Fruhling' then the couplings are the 'Tema con Vaiazioni' for orchestra and the Sinfonia in D  minor(Re). The other Jensen discs I have are an NIM disc with the Passacaglia for orchestra, the Partita Sinfonica and the Violin Sonata and a Simax disc boxed set of the huge Choral Symphony 'Heimferd'. Jensen did not write any other symphonic works as far as I am aware.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lethevich on December 11, 2008, 12:10:25 PM
If you have the Simax disc with the 'Japanischer Fruhling' then the couplings are the 'Tema con Vaiazioni' for orchestra and the Sinfonia in D  minor(Re). The other Jensen discs I have are an NIM disc with the Passacaglia for orchestra, the Partita Sinfonica and the Violin Sonata and a Simax disc boxed set of the huge Choral Symphony 'Heimferd'. Jensen did not write any other symphonic works as far as I am aware.

Hmm, odd. My Simax disc lists on the rear:

Japanischer Frühling (25'38) [9 indexes]
Passacaglia (20'02)
Pastorale religioso (5'58)
Canto d'omaggio (12'17)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on December 11, 2008, 12:15:32 PM
Ah.....now I recall, Simax reissued with a different coupling! You have the reissue.

In THAT case the work you 'obtained' WILL be the Symphony in D minor, the work which won the prize in 1943 in the clandestine competition held to mark the 25th anniversary of the Norwegian Society of Composers.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on December 11, 2008, 12:21:08 PM
I have just had an email from MDT cancelling my order for the new Simax disc of music by the Norwegian composer, Condrad Baden-including his Piano Concerto.

Apparently the British distributor of Simax discs has gone bankrupt! Curses!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on December 11, 2008, 07:15:11 PM
I gather from what you are saying that you don't think that Norway can be regarded as "fertile symphonic ground"? I don't necessarily disagree with an assessment that Norway has not produced a symphonist to rank as highly as Sibelius, Nielsen or Holmboe but I would regard Saeverud's symphonies as well up in a second division of composers.


Agreed (re: Saeverud). But although there have been a few good to great norwegian symphonists, the *fertility* factor does not seem as prevalent as in its immediate neighbours. Never heard of Mortensen before, though. Sounds interesting...
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Christo on December 11, 2008, 09:55:13 PM
Anybody heard the best symphony written in Norway? Finn Mortensens sole example.

 The best Norwegian symphony .... and I missed it !  :-X :P :'(
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on December 11, 2008, 11:57:48 PM
Agreed (re: Saeverud). But although there have been a few good to great norwegian symphonists, the *fertility* factor does not seem as prevalent as in its immediate neighbours. Never heard of Mortensen before, though. Sounds interesting...

I think the reason is historic - both Denmark and Sweden have been confident states for many centuries, whereas Norway became a sovereign nation only in 1905. Think of the court cultures that fostered musical talent.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Christo on December 12, 2008, 12:10:24 AM
I think the reason is historic - both Denmark and Sweden have been confident states for many centuries, whereas Norway became a sovereign nation only in 1905. Think of the court cultures that fostered musical talent.

There is a point in that. The 'confidence' is often symbolized by a monarchy, a mediator of unity, identity and historical continuity often not well understood by the poor inhabitants of all those poor republics.  ;)

But Finland and the other Baltic countries (in my classification, Latvia, Estonia and Finland form the three Baltic countries, Lithuania belongs to Central Europe  :) ) only became independent states, and indeed nations in many respects, around WWI. It didn't prevent them from producing Sibelius, Tubin, Englund, Rautavaara, Aho .. Especially Finland can be regarded the music academy of Europe - but the nation doesn't fit in your "centuries old confident state" model.  ::)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on December 12, 2008, 12:14:45 AM
There is a point in that. The 'confidence' is often symbolized by a monarchy, a mediator of unity, identity and historical continuity often not well understood by the poor inhabitants of all those poor republics.  ;)

But Finland and the other Baltic countries (in my classification, Latvia, Estonia and Finland form the three Baltic countries, Lithuania belongs to Central Europe  :) ) only became independent states, and indeed nations in many respects, around WWI. It didn't prevent them from producing Sibelius, Tubin, Englund, Rautavaara, Aho .. Especially Finland can be regarded the music academy of Europe - but the nation doesn't fit in your "centuries old confident state" model.  ::)

Hm, then we'll have to dig deeper... Let's agree there must be a climate conducive to the production of great music. A stable state is or can be one condition. And you must have the 'intellectual infrastructure' (good education system, publishers, conservatories et cetera).
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Christo on December 12, 2008, 12:46:03 AM
Hm, then we'll have to dig deeper... Let's agree there must be a climate conducive to the production of great music. A stable state is or can be one condition. And you must have the 'intellectual infrastructure' (good education system, publishers, conservatories et cetera).

In that case, most of Europe in the past century wouldn't have produced much of a symphonist. At least no Russians, no Belgians, no Ukrainians, no Poles, no Hungarians, no Germans, no ...   ::)

Your theory helps explain the absense of a major American symphonist, however.  ;)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on December 12, 2008, 01:44:32 AM
Exactly. A proof might be, that my Tubin favourites are: nos. 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.  ;) Which means, that the two of us combined are in favour of all ten symphonies - enough proof for me of a really special symphonic cycle.  :)

Yes, they are all good. Your post has encouraged me to listen again to 7,8 and 9 which I know less well. Robert Layton considers No 8 his masterpiece.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on December 12, 2008, 01:50:18 AM
Mortensen's got a  very fine, tonal, wind quintet as well.

I must investigate this composer, especially as I enjoyed his performance as Aragorn in the Lord of The Rings movies so much  ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on December 12, 2008, 02:00:43 AM
This thread has encouraged me to listen to a CD I have had for ages but hardly listened to. Niels Viggo Bentzon symphonies 3 and 4. No 3 is a wonderful work, with a real feel for nature. In fact I have been playing this work so much that I have not got round to No 4 yet. I gather that Bentzon's music is rather uneven in quality (unlike Tubin for example) but Symphony No 3 is a fine work.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on December 12, 2008, 02:38:52 AM
In that case, most of Europe in the past century wouldn't have produced much of a symphonist. At least no Russians, no Belgians, no Ukrainians, no Poles, no Hungarians, no Germans, no ...   ::)

Your theory helps explain the absence of a major American symphonist, however.  ;)

Cheeky!

'Stable' wasn't the best word to use, I guess... This is a large subject, and you'd have to look at the history of every separate nation to see how its musical life was/is organised, which I won't be doing...  ;)

I must investigate this composer, especially as I enjoyed his performance as Aragorn in the Lord of The Rings movies so much  ;D

Yes, the guy is enormously versatile.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Christo on December 12, 2008, 02:45:22 AM
Cheeky!

'Stable' wasn't the best word to use, I guess... This is a large subject, and you'd have to look at the history of every separate nation to see how its musical life was/is organised, which I won't be doing...  ;)

Oh, but I do agree with you that `historical conditions' play a big role in the creation of great symphonic cycles. To exactly define the nature of these conditions is quite a task, however, as they would include many contradictions. You're wise not to try.  ;)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on December 12, 2008, 04:11:51 AM
Joonas Kokkonen's Fourth Symphony has a searching, visionary quality to it which I find very appealing; one of my favourite 'modern' symphonies.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on December 12, 2008, 04:32:38 AM
Norway was reasonably late in buildng up many musical institutions, looking to Copenhagen, Stockholm and Leipzig instead. I think this has someting to do with it.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on December 12, 2008, 04:32:39 PM
Otto Olsson is a composer I like very much. His music is like no-one else's. I particularly like his beautiful, reflective organ pieces and his choral works (Te Deum and Requiem). I like his symphony, but his best abilities were fired by his duties as organist of the Stockholm cathedral.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on December 13, 2008, 01:00:58 AM
Otto Olsson is a composer I like very much. His music is like no-one else's. I particularly like his beautiful, reflective organ pieces and his choral works (Te Deum and Requiem). I like his symphony, but his best abilities were fired by his duties as organist of the Stockholm cathedral.
Reminds me of the Norwegian Ole Olsen (1850 - 1927), who wrote a once very popular "Liten suite". He also wrote several operas (Svein Uræd, Lajla).
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on December 21, 2008, 12:12:21 PM
I see that CPO have scheduled a cd release for next month of the 1st and 2nd Symphonies of the Swedish composer, Natanael Berg(1879-1957)-conductor Ari Rasilainen.

Berg was-as far as I know-the only composer who doubled as a vet ;D He worked for many years as a veterinary officer attached to the Swedish Army, liked wearing his army uniform and frequently conducted in it. He was a close friend and near contemporary of Kurt Atterberg, shared with him and with Wilhelm Peterson-Berger a persona noted for irrascibility, and a musical style noted for its adherence to late romanticism.

Berg and Atterberg both wrote symphonies in 1918 as a bet to try to dispel the notion that all Swedish symphonies had to be gloomy-Atterberg produced his Symphony No.4 'Sinfonia Piccola' and Berg the Symphony No.4 'Pezzo Sinfonica'. The Berg has been recorded twice; there is a Sterling cd with a recording dating from 1976 and a more modern Phono Suecia-
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2003/Sept03/natanael_berg.htm

I have the Sterling version and would agree with the Musicweb reviewer that the piece is pleasant and undemanding. I wonder however whether it is typical of Berg's output. The Symphony No.1 is subtitled "Everything that is created comes to an end' and was influenced by the sinking of the 'Titanic', so is unlikely to be a particularly cheery work, while the Symphony No.2 is called 'The Seasons'(1913 and 1916). There are five symphonies in total.

Once again(!) CPO looks as if it is embarking on a complete cycle of a Swedish composer's symphonies :) Peterson-Berger, Rangstrom, Atterberg, Wiren, Pettersson have all enjoyed the CPO treatment, with Kallstenius to come shortly. It does tend to put BIS to shame!
Although the Swedish company has recorded the symphonies of Alfven, Nystroem, Larsson and Blomdahl the last two of these were a long time ago now. In recent years BIS has concentrated more on Scandinavian composers like Holmboe, Saeverud and Valen.

Hats off to CPO for their continuing enterprise(not to mention what the company has begun doing for Dutch composers!).....but why, oh why Berg and not Rosenberg????
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on December 21, 2008, 12:30:45 PM
The Symphony No.1 is subtitled "Everything that is created comes to an end' and was influenced by the sinking of the 'Titanic', so is unlikely to be a particularly cheery work

Don't underestimate Swedish humour.

Thanks for the information, Colin. Never heard of Natanael Berg, only Alban.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on December 21, 2008, 02:18:18 PM
Although the Swedish company has recorded the symphonies of Alfven, Nystroem, Larsson and Blomdahl the last two of these were a long time ago now. In recent years BIS has concentrated more on Scandinavian composers like Holmboe, Saeverud and Valen.


Don't forget Stenhammer.

But why, oh why Berg and not add the Roses?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on December 21, 2008, 05:01:40 PM
Don't forget Stenhammer.

But why, oh why Berg and not add the Roses?


I meant to add Stenhammer but, again, it's a long time since BIS recorded his music.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on December 21, 2008, 05:03:02 PM
Don't underestimate Swedish humour.

Thanks for the information, Colin. Never heard of Natanael Berg, only Alban.

"Swedish humour" ???

Let me try to get my head round that concept, Johan ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on December 22, 2008, 07:15:40 PM
It's Stenhammar.

Listened to this week: Avalon, a short symphonic poem for soprano and orchestra, as well as symphonies 2 and 3 by the danish composer Peder Gram (1881-1956). I have no hesitation in hailing Avalon and the first half of symphony 2 as remarkable accomplishments. I'm not so sure about the rest, but further acquaintance may prove me wrong. In short: symphony 2 is a non-conventional five sections work played continuously. The first three are short and utterly captivating in their originality. The rest attempts to achieve a 'symphonic' working out of the material, but I find it more conventional. Symphony 3 sounds good without scaling the heights. Its three substantial movements have the weigth and breadth of utterance of a real symphony. I'll have to give it a few more spins to figure out if the thematic material is 'very good' or 'merely serviceable'. It was late last night, and I wouldn't want to form a definite opinion based on that single hearing.

Avalon is a big (less than 6 minutes) miniature masterpiece. It held me entranced fromf first note to last. Brilliant orchestration. 
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Brian on December 22, 2008, 07:33:23 PM
I see that CPO have scheduled a cd release for next month of the 1st and 2nd Symphonies of the Swedish composer, Natanael Berg(1879-1957)-conductor Ari Rasilainen.

Berg was-as far as I know-the only composer who doubled as a vet ;D He worked for many years as a veterinary officer attached to the Swedish Army, liked wearing his army uniform and frequently conducted in it. He was a close friend and near contemporary of Kurt Atterberg, shared with him and with Wilhelm Peterson-Berger a persona noted for irrascibility, and a musical style noted for its adherence to late romanticism.

Berg and Atterberg both wrote symphonies in 1918 as a bet to try to dispel the notion that all Swedish symphonies had to be gloomy-Atterberg produced his Symphony No.4 'Sinfonia Piccola' and Berg the Symphony No.4 'Pezzo Sinfonica'. The Berg has been recorded twice; there is a Sterling cd with a recording dating from 1976 and a more modern Phono Suecia-
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2003/Sept03/natanael_berg.htm
That's great news! Any composer who was friends with Atterberg, who exhibits a sense of humor, and who enables me to say "I listen to Berg" without having to put up with 12-tone  ;D , is a winner in my book!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on December 22, 2008, 07:41:49 PM
It's Stenhammar.

Listened to this week: Avalon, a short symphonic poem for soprano and orchestra, as well as symphonies 2 and 3 by the danish composer Peder Gram (1881-1956). I have no hesitation in hailing Avalon and the first half of symphony 2 as remarkable accomplishments. I'm not so sure about the rest, but further acquaintance may prove me wrong. In short: symphony 2 is a non-conventional five sections work played continuously. The first three are short and utterly captivating in their originality. The rest attempts to achieve a 'symphonic' working out of the material, but I find it more conventional. Symphony 3 sounds good without scaling the heights. Its three substantial movements have the weigth and breadth of utterance of a real symphony. I'll have to give it a few more spins to figure out if the thematic material is 'very good' or 'merely serviceable'. It was late last night, and I wouldn't want to form a definite opinion based on that single hearing.

Avalon is a big (less than 6 minutes) miniature masterpiece. It held me entranced fromf first note to last. Brilliant orchestration. 

Apologies to Stenhammar :)

Pleased to hear that you have taken to the Gram :) I agree about Avalon. I did think that the symphonies were more conventional but will listen to them again.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on December 29, 2008, 09:09:38 PM
Discovered this delightful human being while listening to the Kronos Quartet performing a collection of his compositions. This DVD is valuable in learning more about Pelle, what inspires him to let the monster, as he calls music, take complete possession of him, enticing him to a charming solo dance in his home.

Puts a smile on my face from beginning to end!  :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J on February 23, 2009, 12:07:22 PM
In regards to the Finnish and Norwegian composers could anyone please indicate omissions to the following lists of symphonies I'm aware have been issued on commercial CD?

Finnish

Kalevi Aho 1-5 & 7-12, Einar Englund 1-7, Eero Hammeeniemi 1-3, Paavo Heininen 2&3, Jouni Kaipainen 1-3,
Uuno Klami 1&2, Joonas Kokkonen 1-4, Leevi Madetoja 1-3, Tauno Marttinen 1&8, Erki Melartin 1-6, Ernst Mielck S,
Pehr Henrik Nordgren 3&5 & S for Strings, Einojuhani Rautavaara 1-8, Aulis Sallinen 1-8, Leif Segerstam 9 & 11-18
Jean Sibelius 1-7, Kalervo Tukkanen 3

Norwegian

Conrad Baden 6, Edvard Fliflet Braein 1-3, Bjarne Brustad 2, Edvard Hagerup Bull 1&5, Klaus Egge 1,2 & 4,
Edvard Grieg S, Eivind Groven 1&2, Johann Halvorsen 1-3, Halvor Haug 1-3, Iver Holter 1, Alf Hurum S,
Ludvig Irgens-Jensen S, Hallvard Johnsen 3&13, Kjell Mork Karlsen 3, Olav Kielland 1, Stale Kleiberg 1&2,
Johann Kvandal 2, Harald Lie 2, Sigurd Lie S, Finn Mortensen S, Knut Nystedt S for Strings, S del Mare,
S Apocalypsis Joannis, Harald Saeverud 2-9, Christian Sinding 1-4, Ragnar Soderlind 2-4, Oistein Sommerfeldt S,
Johann Svendsen 1&2, Geirr Tveitt S, Fartein Valen 1-4

 
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Maciek on February 23, 2009, 12:15:39 PM
Discovered this delightful human being while listening to the Kronos Quartet performing a collection of his compositions. This DVD is valuable in learning more about Pelle, what inspires him to let the monster, as he calls music, take complete possession of him, enticing him to a charming solo dance in his home.

Puts a smile on my face from beginning to end!  :)

Sorry, Lis, I don't know how on earth I've managed to miss that post of yours. I refer you to the composer's very own thread (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,3252.0.html).
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on February 23, 2009, 12:27:33 PM
In regards to the Finnish and Norwegian composers could anyone please indicate omissions to the following lists of symphonies I'm aware have been issued on commercial CD?

An excellent question for fellow member Dundonnell. But here is a list he compiled with 'gaps in the symphonic repertoire'...:

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,10427.msg258512.html#msg258512
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J on February 23, 2009, 12:43:07 PM
An excellent question for fellow member Dundonnell. But here is a list he compiled with 'gaps in the symphonic repertoire'...:

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,10427.msg258512.html#msg258512

What I meant to ask (but perhaps wasn't entirely clear in my choice of words) is what other symphonies than those listed have already been issued on CD.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on February 23, 2009, 03:44:48 PM
What I meant to ask (but perhaps wasn't entirely clear in my choice of words) is what other symphonies than those listed have already been issued on CD.

I am not aware of any other Finnish or Norwegian symphonies available on cd. That does not however mean that there are not others-my tastes do not run to 'modernist' composers ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J on February 23, 2009, 04:49:18 PM
I am not aware of any other Finnish or Norwegian symphonies available on cd. That does not however mean that there are not others-my tastes do not run to 'modernist' composers ;D

I'll take that as good evidence I've not likely missed anything that would be of great significance to me.
Have a look at the Danish and Swedish lists shortly.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on February 23, 2009, 04:49:41 PM
There's Meriläinen's 3rd symphony on Finlandia.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J on February 23, 2009, 04:59:34 PM
There's Meriläinen's 3rd symphony on Finlandia.

You're right, - I found it.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on February 23, 2009, 05:31:05 PM
I'll take that as good evidence I've not likely missed anything that would be of great significance to me.
Have a look at the Danish and Swedish lists shortly.

A number of the names you listed were totally unknown to me until now :)

But-as a result-I have now ordered the two Stale Kleiberg symphonies and the Oistein Sommerfeldt ;D I liked the sound of those two composers from what I could find on the net ;D I may try harder to find out more about the Alf Hurum and the Harald Lie.

My wallet salutes you ;D ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Maciek on February 23, 2009, 06:22:24 PM
My wallet salutes you ;D ;D

I'm sure it's an empty gesture.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on February 24, 2009, 05:33:03 AM
I'm sure it's an empty gesture.

 ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on February 24, 2009, 07:15:07 AM
CPO has just released a cd of two symphonies(No.1 "Zion" and No.2 "Hellas") by the Danish composer Rudolph Simonsen(1889-1947)-

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/cpo/detail/-/art/Rudolph%20Simonsen%3A%20Symphonien%20Nr.%201%202/hnum/9784248

Simonsen is (yet another) totally unknown name to me ;D He appears to have been a Danish Jew, a successful and important music administrator in succession to Carl Nielsen and the composer of four symphonies in total.  The Symphony No.2 won a bronze medal in the arts competition for the 1928 Olympic Games 8) and has been recorded before(Danacord recording from 1954 conducted by Launy Grondahl): review-

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2001/Mar01/Danish.htm

The comparisons in the review with VW's 4th and Stanley Bates' 3rd sound promising :)

There appears to be no end to CPO's capacity to unearth forgotten composers ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on February 24, 2009, 11:01:04 AM
CPO has just released a cd of two symphonies(No.1 "Zion" and No.2 "Hellas") by the Danish composer Rudolph Simonsen(1889-1947)-

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/cpo/detail/-/art/Rudolph%20Simonsen%3A%20Symphonien%20Nr.%201%202/hnum/9784248

Simonsen is (yet another) totally unknown name to me ;D He appears to have been a Danish Jew, a successful and important music administrator in succession to Carl Nielsen and the composer of four symphonies in total.  The Symphony No.2 won a bronze medal in the arts competition for the 1928 Olympic Games 8) and has been recorded before(Danacord recording from 1954 conducted by Launy Grondahl): review-

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2001/Mar01/Danish.htm

The comparisons in the review with VW's 4th and Stanley Bates' 3rd sound promising :)

There appears to be no end to CPO's capacity to unearth forgotten composers ;D

I shall have to order this CD without delay. Surely you are trying to get revenge for Gardener Read and Halsey Stevens  ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J on February 24, 2009, 11:44:36 AM
Issued on commercial CD to my knowledge:

Danish

Hans Abrahamsen S, Victor Bendix 1-4, Niels Viggo Bentzon 3-5 & 7&8, Hakon Borresen 1-3, John Frandsen 1,
Johannes Frederik Froehlich S, Niels Gade 1-8, Louis Glass 1-6, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen S-Antiphony,
Johann Ernst Hartmann 1-4, J.P.E. Hartmann 1&2, Asger Hamerik 1-6, Carl Helsted S, Vagn Holmboe 1-13 & S in Merorian, Leif Kayser 1-4, Paul von Klenau 1,5,&7, Herman Koppel 1-7, Friedrich Ludwig Aemili Kunzen S, Rued Langgaard 1-16 & S Interna, P.E. Lange-Muller 1&2, Carl Nielsen 1-6, Ludolf Nielsen 1-3, Ib Norholm 1-9,
Per Norgard 1-6, Karl Aage Rasmussen S in Time, Sunlief Rasmussen 1, Poul Ruders 1&2, Herman Sandby 4,
Poul Schierbeck S, Ole Schmidt Chamber S, Rudolph Simonsen 1&2, Franz Syberg S, C.E.F. Weyse 1-7

Swedish

Helmer Alexandersson 2, Hugo Alfven 1-5, Elfrida Andree S, Kurt Atterberg 1-9, Gustav Bengtsson 1,
Natanael Berg 4, Franz Berwald 1-4, Karl-Birger Blomdahl 1-3, Oskar Bystrom S, Anders Eliasson 1,
John Fernstrom 6&12, Johnny Grandert 5, Jacob Adolf Hagg S, Josef Jonsson 1&2, Jacob Axel Josephson S,
Edvin Kallstenius 2, Maurice Karkoff 4,9,&11, Erland von Koch 2, Joseph Martin Kraus ?, Lars-Erik Larsson 1-3, Ruben Liljefors S, Oskar Lindberg S, Nils Lindberg 1, Adolf Fredrik Lindblad 1&2, Bo Linde 2,
Torbjorn Iwan Lundquist 1&7, Miklos Maros 1&3, Melcher Melchers S, Ludvig Norman 1-3, Gosta Nystroem 1-6,
Per August Olander S, Otto Olsson S, Wilhelm Peterson-Berger 1-5, Allan Pettersson 2-16, Ture Rangstrom 1-4,
Hilding Rosenberg 2-6, Albert Rubenson S, Josef Otto Sillen 3, Yngue Skold 2, Wilhelm Stenhammar 1&2, Eduard Tubin 1-11, Dag Wiren 2-5

Any omissions?

 
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on February 24, 2009, 12:49:31 PM
First glance only-

Danish:

Sven Erik Tarp-Symphony No.7 "Galaxy"(Da Capo)

Swedish:

Natanael Berg-Symphony No.1 "Alles endet was entstehet" and Symphony No.2 "Arstiderna"(CPO)

Eduard Tubin-Swedish? Surely Tubin was an Estonian composer first and foremost despite living in Sweden for the second half of his life?

Dag Wiren-has his Symphony No.1 really been recorded? Wiren repudiated the work.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on February 24, 2009, 12:51:09 PM
I shall have to order this CD without delay. Surely you are trying to get revenge for Gardener Read and Halsey Stevens  ;D

Absolutely corrrect ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J on February 24, 2009, 04:51:48 PM
First glance only-

Danish:

Sven Erik Tarp-Symphony No.7 "Galaxy"(Da Capo)

Swedish:

Natanael Berg-Symphony No.1 "Alles endet was entstehet" and Symphony No.2 "Arstiderna"(CPO)

Eduard Tubin-Swedish? Surely Tubin was an Estonian composer first and foremost despite living in Sweden for the second half of his life?

Dag Wiren-has his Symphony No.1 really been recorded? Wiren repudiated the work.

The Wiren entry should, of course, be 2-5 - not 1-4.

I had thought CPO Berg was still awaiting release.

R Layton includes Tubin in the Swedish section of his Symphony book.  I think I had that in my mind however questionable
a judgement it might be.

Tarp and his Symphony I've been unaware of, so thanks for that.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J on February 24, 2009, 05:12:23 PM
A number of the names you listed were totally unknown to me until now :)

But-as a result-I have now ordered the two Stale Kleiberg symphonies and the Oistein Sommerfeldt ;D I liked the sound of those two composers from what I could find on the net ;D I may try harder to find out more about the Alf Hurum and the Harald Lie.

My wallet salutes you ;D ;D

From where I gather your enthusiasms lie I believe both the Hurum and Lie CD's would be well worth acquiring, - both the symphonies are lengthy and substantial.  There's a nice brief description of each of them here:

www.recordsinternational.com/archive/RICatalogSept98.html
 
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on February 24, 2009, 08:18:37 PM
Danish: Weyse (1774-1842), symphonies 1 and 7, not 1 - 7 Although I'm not sure one is missing much between the two - tame early classical stuff.

Ole Schmidt: Öresund Symphony (BIS). Gram: Symphonies 2 and 3 (Da Capo).

Thanks for the update in names, countries, I had not been paying much attention these last few years,,, :-[
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on February 25, 2009, 01:17:40 AM
There's a new release on a Norwegian label (I don't remember the name, it's very obscure) of  Catharinus Elling's Haugtussa cycle.

Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on February 25, 2009, 06:16:17 AM
From where I gather your enthusiasms lie I believe both the Hurum and Lie CD's would be well worth acquiring, - both the symphonies are lengthy and substantial.  There's a nice brief description of each of them here:

www.recordsinternational.com/archive/RICatalogSept98.html
 

Thank you very much for the recommendations for the Hurum and the Lie-the reviews certainly make both sound very appealing to me ;D Any others I might like? :)

Sorry, I had not noticed the omission of the Wiren 5th(which you have picked up on yourself). I was going to add the Peder Gram symphonies(Nos. 1, 2 and 3 actually) on DaCapo but Andre has beaten be to it.

The Natanael Berg 1st and 2nd have been released-I have them ;D

As for Tubin...I quite understand the dilemma of where to place him :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on February 25, 2009, 07:16:21 AM
Thank you very much for the recommendations for the Hurum and the Lie-the reviews certainly make both sound very appealing to me ;D Any others I might like? :)

Sorry, I had not noticed the omission of the Wiren 5th(which you have picked up on yourself). I was going to add the Peder Gram symphonies(Nos. 1, 2 and 3 actually) on DaCapo but Andre has beaten be to it.

The Natanael Berg 1st and 2nd have been released-I have them ;D

As for Tubin...I quite understand the dilemma of where to place him :)
Do you know that Alf Hurum emigrated to Hawaii where he founded the Honolulu Symphony orchestra where he was conductor and manager for several decades?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on February 25, 2009, 07:56:41 AM
Do you know that Alf Hurum emigrated to Hawaii where he founded the Honolulu Symphony orchestra where he was conductor and manager for several decades?

So I read ;D Norway to Hawaii: mountains and sun ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J on February 25, 2009, 11:03:54 AM
Thank you very much for the recommendations for the Hurum and the Lie-the reviews certainly make both sound very appealing to me ;D Any others I might like? :)

[/quote

Of the Norwegian symphonies anyone in tune with the world of Allan Pettersson couldn't go wrong trying
Kjell Mork Karlsen's Symphony No.3 (on Aurora) subtitled "The Ice Palace".  I hear a heavy influence from
Pettersson's Symphony 7 here, - a similar sound and atmosphere.  It's a quite gripping and powerful piece
IMO (about 20' if I recall correctly).

Two Danish figures that shouldn't be overlooked (if you're not familiar) are Poul Schierbeck & Franz Syberg.
Hurwitz reviews Schierbeck's Symphony here:

www.classicstoday.com/digest/pdigest.asp?perfidx=12508

Rob Barnett's take on Syberg's Symphonic Works is here:

www.musicweb.uk.net/classrev/2003/Aug03/syberg_symphony.htm
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on February 25, 2009, 11:48:18 AM
Thank you very much for the recommendations for the Hurum and the Lie-the reviews certainly make both sound very appealing to me ;D Any others I might like? :)

[/quote

Of the Norwegian symphonies anyone in tune with the world of Allan Pettersson couldn't go wrong trying
Kjell Mork Karlsen's Symphony No.3 (on Aurora) subtitled "The Ice Palace".  I hear a heavy influence from
Pettersson's Symphony 7 here, - a similar sound and atmosphere.  It's a quite gripping and powerful piece
IMO (about 20' if I recall correctly).

Two Danish figures that shouldn't be overlooked (if you're not familiar) are Poul Schierbeck & Franz Syberg.
Hurwitz reviews Schierbeck's Symphony here:

www.classicstoday.com/digest/pdigest.asp?perfidx=12508

Rob Barnett's take on Syberg's Symphonic Works is here:

www.musicweb.uk.net/classrev/2003/Aug03/syberg_symphony.htm

Thanks again! I have ordered the Hurum and the Harald Lie symphonies and will investigate the Karlsen, Schierbeck and Syberg :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on February 27, 2009, 08:45:09 AM
I have just listened to the Aurora disc of the two Stale Kleiberg symphonies and posted-with tremendous enthusiasm about the disc-in the 'What Are You Listening To Thread".

If you are an admirer of Debussy and Bax then Kleiberg's music-updated of course to the early 21st century-should be just up your street ;D

A great discovery of some very beautiful music which I would never have made but for this forum and its members :) Thanks, Greg(J)!!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on February 27, 2009, 09:30:25 AM
I have just listened to the Aurora disc of the two Stale Kleiberg symphonies and posted-with tremendous enthusiasm about the disc-in the 'What Are You Listening To Thread".

If you are an admirer of Debussy and Bax then Kleiberg's music-updated of course to the early 21st century-should be just up your street ;D

A great discovery of some very beautiful music which I would never have made but for this forum and its members :) Thanks, Greg(J)!!
Now we just need towait for Aurora to be available in the UK again:

http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/cm/news-Labels.htm (http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/cm/news-Labels.htm)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on February 27, 2009, 09:37:07 AM
I managed to pick up my copy from a Spanish dealer on Amazon-ordered on Tuesday, arrived today(that's pretty good service!!)-for £12.55 :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J on February 27, 2009, 12:26:49 PM
Listening again after several years to Kjell Mork Karlsen's Symphony No.3 I now realize my description of it as
"gripping and powerful" suffered alot from the hyperbole of an idealized recollection.  Somewhere between
"potent and involving" and just "engaging and interesting" would be my more temperate response now.
I still hear many Petterssonian type sounds in the piece (though a kind of slow-motion-like Pettersson), but what's completely lacking are those lyrical visionary islands of consolation and transcendence that often surface out of the tumult in a Pettersson symphony.  There's nothing really at all thematically memorable in the Karlsen, - it depends entirely on atmosphere to make its effect.  Makes me think now of Christopher Rouse's 1rst Symphony, which I always thought had affinities with A.P.   
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on February 27, 2009, 05:18:04 PM
Listening again after several years to Kjell Mork Karlsen's Symphony No.3 I now realize my description of it as
"gripping and powerful" suffered alot from the hyperbole of an idealized recollection.  Somewhere between
"potent and involving" and just "engaging and interesting" would be my more temperate response now.
I still hear many Petterssonian type sounds in the piece (though a kind of slow-motion-like Pettersson), but what's completely lacking are those lyrical visionary islands of consolation and transcendence that often surface out of the tumult in a Pettersson symphony.  There's nothing really at all thematically memorable in the Karlsen, - it depends entirely on atmosphere to make its effect.  Makes me think now of Christopher Rouse's 1rst Symphony, which I always thought had affinities with A.P.   

I am still interested ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on February 28, 2009, 03:11:39 AM
CPO has just released a cd of two symphonies(No.1 "Zion" and No.2 "Hellas") by the Danish composer Rudolph Simonsen(1889-1947)-

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/cpo/detail/-/art/Rudolph%20Simonsen%3A%20Symphonien%20Nr.%201%202/hnum/9784248

Simonsen is (yet another) totally unknown name to me ;D He appears to have been a Danish Jew, a successful and important music administrator in succession to Carl Nielsen and the composer of four symphonies in total.  The Symphony No.2 won a bronze medal in the arts competition for the 1928 Olympic Games 8) and has been recorded before(Danacord recording from 1954 conducted by Launy Grondahl): review-

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2001/Mar01/Danish.htm

The comparisons in the review with VW's 4th and Stanley Bates' 3rd sound promising :)

There appears to be no end to CPO's capacity to unearth forgotten composers ;D

Colin (Dundonnell) made me buy this CD (at enormous personal expense I point out) but it was worth it. A GREAT CD. The absolutely beautiful slow movement of Simonsensen's Symphony No 2 "Hellas" had me in tears (not necessarily a difficult thing in itself :'() and I am delighted to be introduced to this great composer - I know that I look out for 'undeservedly neglected composers' - but I really think that this is something quite special. The symphonies, from the 1920s do show the influence of Simonsen's great compatriot - Nielsen, and Respighi at times, but he is his own man too. Like Braga Santos (remember him?  ;D) Simonsen made no effort to promote his own music, preferring to concentrate on his work as a teacher and educator and in spending his time reading the work of philosophers like Spinoza. He sounds an endearing character (sadly there is no photo of him in the CPO booklet). "He had a fluent command of Greek, Latin and Hebrew...[and remained]...a somewhat unpractical person." As a Danish Jew he had to flee, with his family, to Sweden in 1943 (the Danes, were the only country to make any serious effort to save their jews from extermination at the hands of the Nazis) - but he never recovered from this and died "prematurely aged" at aged 58 in 1947.

I think that he is a great composer.

Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on February 28, 2009, 02:08:57 PM
I absolutely deny the charge that I  "made you buy" this Simonsen cd, Jeffrey $:)

I drew its existence to the attention of other members of this site. You were perfectly entitled to think "oh, that's another completely unknown obscure composer that Colin has found; I shall wait to hear what others think of the music before I even consider buying the cd myself".

I don't think that being caught smuggling new cds into your house and telling Katy that "Colin made me buy it" will cut much ice with your dear wife ;D ;D

Anyway.....it sounds good and I shall-naturally-have to buy the cd myself :) Who needs to buy anything to eat? ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on February 28, 2009, 02:51:14 PM
I absolutely deny the charge that I  "made you buy" this Simonsen cd, Jeffrey $:)

I drew its existence to the attention of other members of this site. You were perfectly entitled to think "oh, that's another completely unknown obscure composer that Colin has found; I shall wait to hear what others think of the music before I even consider buying the cd myself".

I don't think that being caught smuggling new cds into your house and telling Katy that "Colin made me buy it" will cut much ice with your dear wife ;D ;D

Anyway.....it sounds good and I shall-naturally-have to buy the cd myself :) Who needs to buy anything to eat? ;D

 :) Yes, you need to hear this Colin, especially the two wonderful symphonies.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on March 02, 2009, 12:59:15 PM
And another symphonist I have to add to the list...

Wasn't the symphony supposed to have died in the 20th century?! If CPO (and others) go on like this, there hasn't been a better one.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Grazioso on March 03, 2009, 04:48:21 AM
And another symphonist I have to add to the list...

Wasn't the symphony supposed to have died in the 20th century?! If CPO (and others) go on like this, there hasn't been a better one.

I know what you mean. When I started listening to classical music, I always associated the "era of the symphony" with the 19th century, but have come to see that the 20th century was where the form truly bloomed with astounding diversity and quality.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on March 03, 2009, 06:36:54 PM
I recently purchased and have now listened to this disc of two symphonies by the recently deceased Finnish composer Pehr Henrik Nordgren.

I have to say that this music is just exactly why Scandinavian music gets the reputation of being 'gloomy' and 'dark'. I have seldom heard such bleak music! Nordgren sounds like a more modern Finnish Allan Pettersson. Sure there are a few rather grand brass fanfares in Symphony No.3 but they tend to be swamped by a quick return to desolation and lamentation. Symphony No.5 is so downbeat that I felt that I was actually dreaming rather than paying it sufficient attention.

I have no doubts of Nordgren's sincerity and musical integrity but I cannot honestly say that i am impelled to return quickly to his music.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on March 03, 2009, 08:02:37 PM
Maybe his film music (http://www.classicsonline.com/catalogue/product.aspx?pid=1322) for many Bergman films would be more palatable?

Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on March 04, 2009, 09:02:34 AM
Maybe his film music (http://www.classicsonline.com/catalogue/product.aspx?pid=1322) for many Bergman films would be more palatable?



I have such a CD - very atmospheric music which I enjoyed. Unfortunately it does not include his music for The Seventh Seal - probably his finest film score.

Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: matti on March 04, 2009, 10:12:24 AM
Those are two different composers. Pehr Henrik Nordgren most certainly did not compose anything for Bergman, Erik Nordgren did.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on March 05, 2009, 09:27:53 PM
See? One learns something new everyday   :D

Coincidentally,  a review of Norgard's quartets 7-10 in the J-F American Record Guide issue begins thus: "The prevalence of Nor composers in Denmark never ceases to amaze and amuse me. There's Nordheim and Nordgren and Nordentoft, Norby, Norholm and Nordstrom. How do you tell them part?)"

I had no idea there was more than one Nordgren ! Can we have some details ? I think we have unearthed a good vein here  :).
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on March 06, 2009, 06:34:08 AM
See? One learns something new everyday   :D

Coincidentally,  a review of Norgard's quartets 7-10 in the J-F American Record Guide issue begins thus: "The prevalence of Nor composers in Denmark never ceases to amaze and amuse me. There's Nordheim and Nordgren and Nordentoft, Norby, Norholm and Nordstrom. How do you tell them part?)"

I had no idea there was more than one Nordgren ! Can we have some details ? I think we have unearthed a good vein here  :).

Been there, done that ;D

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,9.36920.html

But you are quite correct-it IS very confusing ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Christo on March 08, 2009, 09:24:17 AM
Coincidentally,  a review of Norgard's quartets 7-10 in the J-F American Record Guide issue begins thus: "The prevalence of Nor composers in Denmark never ceases to amaze and amuse me. There's Nordheim and Nordgren and Nordentoft, Norby, Norholm and Nordstrom. How do you tell them part?)"

Simply by spelling their names correctly – and placing them in the right country (when will you Anglo-Saxons ever learn .....  ;)  ;)). E.g.:

Anne Nordheim (Norway 1931)
Ib Nørholm (Denmark 1931)
Per Nørgård (Denmark 1932)
Erik Norby (Denmark 1936)
Hans-Hendrick Nordstrom (Denmark 1947)
Anders Nordentoft (Denmark 1957)

Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on March 08, 2009, 02:57:26 PM
"you Anglo-Saxons" ???

There are plenty descendents of the Saxons in the northern and eastern parts of the Netherlands, as you know :)

Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: schweitzeralan on March 09, 2009, 12:21:54 PM
Lets make a thread about Scandinavian composers.
I start with a few 20th century composers that I listen to now, and impress me mightily.

Rautavaara/Madetoja/Merikanto/Kokkonen/Bergman/Klami/Englund and so on.
Would love lots of input, to increase my knowledge and collection of the composers mentioned, and recommended.
Thanks

There are so many excellent Scandinavian composers, far too many to itemize here.  I can, however, mention my favorites.  The first is the almighty Sibelius; love almost all his works.  One Finnish composer influenced by the maestro is Leevi Madetoja.  He is mentioned, I believe, elsewhere in the forum.  I also recommend the following composers without, however listing specific works: Uno Klami, Merrikanto, Pingoud, Raitio ( I love his music; not prolific but is sensitive, subtle, symphonic poem composer); Einer England; Rautavaara (sp?); Sallinen.  In Denmark of course there is the master Carl Nielson;  I like the work of the Norwegian Klaus Egge (particularly the Piano Concerto); Johansen; Svendsen; Groven.  Dag Wiren and Hilding rosenberg are the two favorites of mine from Sweden.  These are just a few notables from the 1st half of the 20th century.  I'm certain there were composers writig in the 70's, 80's, 90's but other than the finnish composers I don't know who is current. You've probably already received much info from your initial posting.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: matti on March 09, 2009, 01:39:57 PM
There are so many excellent Scandinavian composers, far too many to itemize here.  I can, however, mention my favorites.  The first is the almighty Sibelius; love almost all his works.  One Finnish composer influenced by the maestro is Leevi Madetoja.  He is mentioned, I believe, elsewhere in the forum.  I also recommend the following composers without, however listing specific works: Uno Klami, Merrikanto, Pingoud, Raitio ( I love his music; not prolific but is sensitive, subtle, symphonic poem composer); Einer England; Rautavaara (sp?); Sallinen.  In Denmark of course there is the master Carl Nielson;  I like the work of the Norwegian Klaus Egge (particularly the Piano Concerto); Johansen; Svendsen; Groven.  Dag Wiren and Hilding rosenberg are the two favorites of mine from Sweden.  These are just a few notables from the 1st half of the 20th century.  I'm certain there were composers writig in the 70's, 80's, 90's but other than the finnish composers I don't know who is current. You've probably already received much info from your initial posting.

At the expence of being considered a nit-picker (which I definitely am and which has been proven earlier in this thread... ;D) I just have to correct a few spellings in your post (I suspect you wrote those names without checking the spelling and you did well). However, if I spelled your big boy, Frank Martian, incorrectly, you would also respond.  ;)

Uuno Klami. Merikanto, with one r only. Einar Englund. Rautavaara was correctly spelled. And on behalf of the Danes, it's Nielsen.

   
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: schweitzeralan on March 09, 2009, 02:52:06 PM
At the expence of being considered a nit-picker (which I definitely am and which has been proven earlier in this thread... ;D) I just have to correct a few spellings in your post (I suspect you wrote those names without checking the spelling and you did well). However, if I spelled your big boy, Frank Martian, incorrectly, you would also respond.  ;)

Uuno Klami. Merikanto, with one r only. Einar Englund. Rautavaara was correctly spelled. And on behalf of the Danes, it's Nielsen.

   

Yes, I know; I wrote it all out quickly.  Thanks for the reply.  There's a lot of info on this thread.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on March 09, 2009, 03:13:57 PM
I have been listening recently to a number of Norwegian symphonies by composers previously unknown to me(and I have a lot more to come shortly ;D). These have included two impressive symphonies by Stale Kleiberg, Oistein Sommerfeldt's Sinfonia "La Betulla" and Harald Lie's Symphony No.2. The most attractive however has been Alf Hurum's Symphony.

Hurum was born in 1882 and was one of the first Norwegian composers to have been influenced by Debussy. After studying in Berlin with Max Bruch, Hurum lived in Paris for a year before the First World War and then, during the war, studied in St.Petersburg with Rimsky-Korsakov's son-in-law, Maximilian Steinberg. Most remarkably however is the fact that after becoming conductor of the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra Hurum settled in Honolulu in 1932 and devoted himself to painting.

His Symphony was written in 1927 in California(although it was first performed in Bergen). Both the symphony and the symphonic poem 'Bendik and Aarolilja' are really splendid examples of Nordic tone painting. Lovers of Sibelius, Atterberg, Rangstrom, Peterson-Berger, for example, would respond equally well to Hurum's idiom which is epic and very northern.

Highly recommended.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on March 09, 2009, 05:42:44 PM
"you Anglo-Saxons" ???

There are plenty descendents of the Saxons in the northern and eastern parts of the Netherlands, as you know :)



And plenty of non-saxons living in North America  :D

Generalizations often occur when you imagine NA from a european POV  ;) ;).
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on March 10, 2009, 08:37:55 AM
Colin (Dundonnell) made me buy this CD (at enormous personal expense I point out) but it was worth it. A GREAT CD. The absolutely beautiful slow movement of Simonsensen's Symphony No 2 "Hellas" had me in tears (not necessarily a difficult thing in itself :'() and I am delighted to be introduced to this great composer - I know that I look out for 'undeservedly neglected composers' - but I really think that this is something quite special. The symphonies, from the 1920s do show the influence of Simonsen's great compatriot - Nielsen, and Respighi at times, but he is his own man too. Like Braga Santos (remember him?  ;D) Simonsen made no effort to promote his own music, preferring to concentrate on his work as a teacher and educator and in spending his time reading the work of philosophers like Spinoza. He sounds an endearing character (sadly there is no photo of him in the CPO booklet). "He had a fluent command of Greek, Latin and Hebrew...[and remained]...a somewhat unpractical person." As a Danish Jew he had to flee, with his family, to Sweden in 1943 (the Danes, were the only country to make any serious effort to save their jews from extermination at the hands of the Nazis) - but he never recovered from this and died "prematurely aged" at aged 58 in 1947.

I think that he is a great composer.



OH YES!!!

I agree with absolutely everything Jeffrey as said! What a discovery! Amazingly good music! Beautiful, moving, dramatic, melodious. One of the finest Danish composers of his generation. How could music like this have lain unplayed for so long? Once again, a HUGE thank you to CPO for resurrecting it ;D

Yes, Simonsen is influenced by Nielsen but there are clear echoes of the glorious rich hieratic sounds of Respighi and Bloch too. The slow movements of both symphonies are profoundly moving. I listened to the first movement of No.1 thinking that the music was lively but not overly distinctive but was then astounded by the slow-moving grandeur of the slow movement(which the programme note author correctly compares to Nielsen's 'Helios' Overture). What a tragedy that Toscanini-who expressed an interest in the score-never got the chance to perform the piece!

For Nielsen lovers....oh, and Braga Santos lovers too ;D...this is a must!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on March 10, 2009, 11:01:47 AM
OH YES!!!

I agree with absolutely everything Jeffrey as said! What a discovery! Amazingly good music! Beautiful, moving, dramatic, melodious. One of the finest Danish composers of his generation. How could music like this have lain unplayed for so long? Once again, a HUGE thank you to CPO for resurrecting it ;D

Yes, Simonsen is influenced by Nielsen but there are clear echoes of the glorious rich hieratic sounds of Respighi and Bloch too. The slow movements of both symphonies are profoundly moving. I listened to the first movement of No.1 thinking that the music was lively but not overly distinctive but was then astounded by the slow-moving grandeur of the slow movement(which the programme not author correctly compares to Nielsen's 'Helios' Overture). What a tragedy that Toscanini-who expressed an interest in the score-never got the chance to perform the piece!

For Nielsen lovers....oh, and Braga Santos lovers too ;D...this is a must!

Very glad Colin that you share my view of Simonsen - and thanks to you for alerting us to this release. He was, I agree, a great composer. This is a very happy discovery  :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Christo on March 10, 2009, 11:41:07 AM
And plenty of non-saxons living in North America  :D

Generalizations often occur when you imagine NA from a european POV  ;) ;).

Ah! Yes, we often forget to take into account the feelings of the aboriginal populations of the Anglo-Saxon colonies and that they don't consider themselves "Anglo-Saxons", like their masters. Apologies to e.g. those living in Scotland or Québec, to mention just two random examples.  ;) 8)

(Being indeed a Low Saxon myself, I find it hard not to identify automatically with my brethren across the seas. Nonetheless, they could better their spelling of Scandinavian names.)  :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on March 10, 2009, 03:30:10 PM
I'm afraid you don't know what you're talking about, my friend. Aboriginal populations?  ??? FYI the 6 million French speaking inhabitants of Quebec and their same number scattered across Canada and the United States are neither aboriginal nor Anglo-Saxons. And we certainly don't know of any masters. Pheeew!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on March 10, 2009, 03:39:11 PM
Just to step into this tangential discussion ;D-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_Canadian
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on March 10, 2009, 03:53:17 PM
Colin, Nielsen's 'Helios' comparison with slow movement of Simonsen's 'Zion' Symphony - absolutely spot on - can't think why I didn't notice this before. Bloch/Respighi - yes, but what a great composer.
Great cover art too.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Christo on March 10, 2009, 06:39:03 PM
I'm afraid you don't know what you're talking about, my friend. Aboriginal populations?  ??? FYI the 6 million French speaking inhabitants of Quebec and their same number scattered across Canada and the United States are neither aboriginal nor Anglo-Saxons. And we certainly don't know of any masters. Pheeew!

Yes indeed. I was referring to these French-speaking aboriginals as well. Over here, we encounter a similar phenomenon in the southern parts of Belgium.  Wonderful that these people were able to preserve their language! :D ;) 8) (Le Quebec aux Quebecquois et le paradis a la fin de vos jours!)   ;)

Jeffrey, Colin: I'm won over, finally convinced. Simonsen is on my list now!  :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on March 10, 2009, 11:10:07 PM
Simonsen is on my list now!  :)
Not on mine - since it's not even on the pre-release lists in the UK yet (where I do most of my Internet CD shopping).
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Christo on March 10, 2009, 11:46:55 PM
Not on mine - since it's not even on the pre-release lists in the UK yet (where I do most of my Internet CD shopping).

One doesn't buy CPO in the UK on principle.  ;) For CPO, only JPC in Germany will do. At present on offer:

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/cpo/detail/-/art/Rudolph-Simonsen-Symphonien-Nr-1-2/hnum/9784248
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on March 11, 2009, 01:56:37 AM
One doesn't buy CPO in the UK on principle.  ;) For CPO, only JPC in Germany will do. At present on offer:

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/cpo/detail/-/art/Rudolph-Simonsen-Symphonien-Nr-1-2/hnum/9784248
Well presumably it will be much cheaper on mdt, full price cpo currently available at 9 GBP - and less freight as well, minimum at cpo is 6 E IIRC, one disc at mdt is GBP 1,50...... 
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Benji on March 11, 2009, 04:59:15 AM
Is CPO not stocked by MDT anymore then? I didn't think i'd seen any of their releases on the lists recently. And here I was happily waiting for another release in the Sallinen edition and i've probably missed some...
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on March 11, 2009, 05:08:28 AM
Is CPO not stocked by MDT anymore then? I didn't think i'd seen any of their releases on the lists recently. And here I was happily waiting for another release in the Sallinen edition and i've probably missed some...
Oh yes they are, though obviously cpo releases a little late in the UK. I need the latest Sallinen as well, I've been following the series and find it very fine.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on March 16, 2009, 02:48:19 PM
Colin, Nielsen's 'Helios' comparison with slow movement of Simonsen's 'Zion' Symphony - absolutely spot on - can't think why I didn't notice this before. Bloch/Respighi - yes, but what a great composer.
Great cover art too.
Have you read Hurwitz on this?

http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=12136 (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=12136)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on March 16, 2009, 03:18:19 PM
Have you read Hurwitz on this?

http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=12136 (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=12136)

 :o ::)

I would like to say something really rude but habitual good manners deter me from expressing just exactly what I think of his bilge!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on March 20, 2009, 12:44:42 PM
I have just ordered a couple of symphonies on Ondine by a Finnish composer called Tauno Marttinen(1912-2008). Apparently he wrote ten symphonies in total.

Anyone familiar with him? Matti?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: matti on March 20, 2009, 12:56:40 PM


Anyone familiar with him? Matti?

Nope. Many of you are much better informed of Finnish music than I am. Marttinen I know by name, and I know he composed some operas which I have not heard. That he composed also symphonies is news to me. Hope you'll enjoy them!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J on March 20, 2009, 03:57:47 PM
I have just ordered a couple of symphonies on Ondine by a Finnish composer called Tauno Marttinen(1912-2008). Apparently he wrote ten symphonies in total.

Anyone familiar with him? Matti?

I'm only aware of the BIS CD with Symphonies 1&8 and haven't played the music in years, but my recollection isn't
favorable, - though perhaps that little crumb is worse than nothing if it turns your anticipatory excitement into dread.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on March 20, 2009, 06:28:30 PM
I'm only aware of the BIS CD with Symphonies 1&8 and haven't played the music in years, but my recollection isn't
favorable, - though perhaps that little crumb is worse than nothing if it turns your anticipatory excitement into dread.

BIS yes...not Ondine. Oh dear!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J on March 20, 2009, 06:41:20 PM
BIS yes...not Ondine. Oh dear!

Remember Stanley Bate though, Colin, - where you loved every second of what I found second-rate.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Guido on March 20, 2009, 07:10:21 PM
:o ::)

I would like to say something really rude but habitual good manners deter me from expressing just exactly what I think of his bilge!

Ah, Go on, let rip! Treat yourself!

This CD is £17 on amazon!!  :o what, how, why??  ???
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on March 20, 2009, 07:50:32 PM
Remember Stanley Bate though, Colin, - where you loved every second of what I found second-rate.

True, true...there is still hope ;D

Guido- the price will come down when it is released in Britain in a couple of months time. As for Hurwitz....the guy is entitled to his point of view, just as I am entitled to mine. He is just soooooo wrong, though ;D

Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on March 20, 2009, 09:44:48 PM
perhaps that little crumb is worse than nothing if it turns your anticipatory excitement into dread.

I love that one!

Being tired of posting in a single thread (What are you listening to), I'll put down my impression sof Carl von Garaguly's Sibelius here:

-  Symphony no 1 with the Dresden Philharmonic. This is a cd transcript of an OOP vinyl. Judging from the sound, I'd say it's from the early seventies. Very pronounced left and right separation, not much frontal depth, but no peaking or distortion, and a wide dynamic range.  The orchestra is quite up close but they're worthy of the exposure. Symphony 7 will reveal one weakness - but more about that anon.

Gigantic wind-brass presence, terrific percussion (timpani, cymbals, triangle), very pronounced string division, glorious harps - the whole thing reminded me of Stokowski's classic performance: less sleek and creamily erogenous, blunter and more ejaculatory - but these are nuances.

- Symphony 7 is probably the fastest I've come across (19:30) and unfortunately (IMO) it doesn't reveal the work's organic entities (periods, sections), which should be "taken care of" individually before attempting to give the whole its shape, As it is (along with many 7ths), the overriding impression is one of turmoil and serenity combined. I prefer it one way or another (Karajan and Mrawinsky come to mind, respectively. At least, it's not wimpy.

[Edited for the rash of typos I let pass at that late hour :D]

Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Benji on March 21, 2009, 08:10:32 AM
less sleek and creamily erogenous, blunter and more ejaculatory - but these are nuances.

Oh my, i'm blushing!  ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on March 26, 2009, 05:48:35 PM
Whilst trawling through old issues of that wonderful magazine 'International Record Review' I discovered again an eight page article from May 2002 on 'Norwegian Orchestral Music after Grieg' by that fine critic Martin Anderson(of Toccata records now).

In the article Anderson writes "if the world was going down and I were allowed to rescue a single piece of Norwegian music, it would be the monumental Passacaglia(1926-27) of Ludvig Irgens Jensen(1894-1969), who to my mind is the greatest Norwegian composer of all, not excepting Grieg."

Having just listened again to the work I can quite see what Anderson means! As he says "..it is both a towering intellectual achievement and a passionate, powerful piece of music, rewarding heart and head in equal measure-one of the most satisfying orchestral works I have ever encountered."

If that does not whet your appetite nothing will ;D The Passacaglia was the joint winner of the Scandinavian heat of the 1928 Columbia Gramophone Company competition along with Atterberg's 6th Symphony(the 'Dollar Symphony') and, although the latter won the overall competition,  I would agree with Anderson that the Jensen is by far the better work.

If you don't know this work or other splendid compositions by Jensen-the gloriously heart-warming Partita Sinfonica, the Symphony in D minor of 1941 or the wonderful song-cycle 'Japanischer Fruhling ' I urge you to investigate without delay!

I know that I tend to get terribly enthusiastic about all sorts of unheard of composers but Ludvig Irgens Jensen really is a composer worth your time!!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: schweitzeralan on March 26, 2009, 06:56:12 PM
Nope. Many of you are much better informed of Finnish music than I am. Marttinen I know by name, and I know he composed some operas which I have not heard. That he composed also symphonies is news to me. Hope you'll enjoy them!

If his works smack of Sibelian influences I'd be most interested.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on March 26, 2009, 07:08:18 PM
If his works smack of Sibelian influences I'd be most interested.

I shall let you know once I have listened to the two symphonies(Nos.1 and 8)-tomorrow?-but I kind of doubt that they will sound Sibelian ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Renfield on March 27, 2009, 04:37:28 AM
Colin: inbox full. $:)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Christo on March 27, 2009, 04:42:48 AM
Colin: inbox full. $:)

seconded !  $:)  ;)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: schweitzeralan on March 27, 2009, 05:09:18 AM
I shall let you know once I have listened to the two symphonies(Nos.1 and 8)-tomorrow?-but I kind of doubt that they will sound Sibelian ;D

I can understand.  I believe that the majority of Post Sibelius composers wanted to be "freed" of the grand master's influences.  Understandable. Madetoja, to some extent as well as works by compatriot Klami, have incorporated some Sibelian (and Stravinskian) elements.  Sibelius has influenced several composers in Scandanavia (Wiren, among others) as well as composers in other countries, most notably Britain and the USA.  Very little, however, in Germany or France.  Curious. His works were undoubtedly recognized and performed, but his particular style was never present in the any of the high caliber musical compositions in these two countries in the past century.  There are probably composers who indeed may have ncorporated the Sibelian ethos, but I may not be famliar with these potential  unknowns.  I noticed the one thread that dealt specifically with unknown composers which I found to be qite interesting.  The works of Finnish composers Merlatin (sp?) show no evidence of Sibelran influence, particularly in the symphonic works. However there is a short piano piece, a Barcarolle, in which he actually and literally steals the central theme in Sibelius's 2nd symphony.  Many British and Americans have utilized to some extent the master's influence. My latest find is the Butterworth 4th Symphony, and ..yes ..the "Viola" Concerto.I like the works even though they fall short of any masterpiece consideration.  As always I still keep looking.  Once I was much more eclectic in my musical interests.  I loved the neoclassical composers who dominated  much of the twentieth century.  I was once fervently interested in the latest avant garde techniques of Carter, Cage, Sessions, et. al.  Now in my later years I fall back to those composers whose works transfixed me in my early to late youth.  Music, which, according to a critic whose name now escapes me, referred to as "advanced tonality." Ergo, Sibelius, Rachmaninov, Bax, Debussy, (late) Faure, (late) Scriabin, Gliere, VW, Moeran, and countless others.  Cheers.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on March 27, 2009, 07:08:30 AM
Colin: inbox full. $:)

Sorted ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on March 27, 2009, 09:20:22 AM
I am listening to the Marttinen disc now :-\

I don't know whether you would like this music, schweitzeralan. There is a quite glorious, sonorous, chorale halfway through the 8th symphony but it is then smashed to pieces by savage dissonance. The music in general is dodecaphonic, Schoenbergian stuff. The Symphony No.1 is a rather anonymous piece while the Violin Concerto is dry, acerbic and not very interesting or attractive to my ears. The Symphony No.8 is a bit more interesting and eventful with some very powerful moments which are undoubtedly impressive but the last thing this music is is 'Sibelian' ;D The symphony ends with an ear-splitting, shattering climax followed by a gentle violin solo against quiet drum taps. Hmm.....I might come back to the 8th :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: schweitzeralan on March 27, 2009, 01:37:59 PM
I am listening to the Marttinen disc now :-\

I don't know whether you would like this music, schweitzeralan. There is a quite glorious, sonorous, chorale halfway through the 8th symphony but it is then smashed to pieces by savage dissonance. The music in general is dodecaphonic, Schoenbergian stuff. The Symphony No.1 is a rather anonymous piece while the Violin Concerto is dry, acerbic and not very interesting or attractive to my ears. The Symphony No.8 is a bit more interesting and eventful with some very powerful moments which are undoubtedly impressive but the last thing this music is is 'Sibelian' ;D The symphony ends with an ear-splitting, shattering climax followed by a gentle violin solo against quiet drum taps. Hmm.....I might come back to the 8th :)

Thanks mucho for the reply.  Sorry but I no longer thrive on the ultra modernist, dodeacaphonic styles as I once had.  Call it reverted taste because of old age. I don't know really.  I've become quite limited and selective in my choices. Yet I still love those wonderful works; and, indeed they are many.  Don't know what I'd do without them.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on March 28, 2009, 09:52:11 AM
I knew the Bo Linde Violin Concerto already from the Naxos disc(coupled with the excellent Cello Concerto). The Violin Concerto is a superb piece, reminiscent of the Britten, Walton or Prokoviev concertos.

The revelation however is the Sinfonia(Symphony No.2)-an immensely powerful work and quite one of the finest Swedish symphonies of the post-war period. It is a much grimmer and angrier work than I would have expected from this pupil of Larsson whose music was rather out of favour in the late 1950s and 60s(he died tragically young aged 37 in 1970) but is a real talent.

(Incidentally, although the cd cover advertises the disc as Vol. 1 of Linde's complete orchestral music BIS has never followed up with anymore!)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: schweitzeralan on March 28, 2009, 12:24:24 PM
I knew the Bo Linde Violin Concerto already from the Naxos disc(coupled with the excellent Cello Concerto). The Violin Concerto is a superb piece, reminiscent of the Britten, Walton or Profoviev concertos.

The revelation however is the Sinfonia(Symphony No.2)-an immensely powerful work and quite one of the finest Swedish symphonies of the post-war period. It is a much grimmer and angrier work than I would have expected from this pupil of Larsson whose music was rather out of favour in the late 1950s and 60s(he died tragically young aged 37 in 1970) but is a real talent.

(Incidentally, although the cd cover advertises the disc as Vol. 1 of Linde's complete orchestral music BIS has never followed up with anymore!)

I'll have to look into this one. I've become ever more impressed by the butterworth 4th. Listened to it 7 times. The Sibelius influence is quite strong; quite my thing I guess.  I am always on the lookout for works influenced by my perennial favorites.  Then again, I access the many fine posts in this forum and will always be aware of the so many composers whose works I don't know.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J on March 30, 2009, 11:32:07 AM
Lundquist is another composer of interest whom I don't think we have discussed yet.

Torbjorn Lundquist's Violin Concerto is a great favorite of mine, - but I've heard nothing else.
Symphonies 1 & 7 are available on CD  and have often tempted me, but I've held off.

Have you heard either of these, Jeffrey (or anyone)?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on March 30, 2009, 01:46:22 PM
I do have a symphony by Lundquist on LP and CD (I think that it is No 3 but I can't find it at the moment). It is a fine, rather dark tonal work, dedicated (if I remember correctly) to the memory of Lundquist's wife. I will look out for it.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J on March 30, 2009, 03:06:05 PM
I do have a symphony by Lundquist on LP and CD (I think that it is No 3 but I can't find it at the moment). It is a fine, rather dark tonal work, dedicated (if I remember correctly) to the memory of Lundquist's wife. I will look out for it.

I can't find any evidence that No.3 was ever recorded.  No.7 (subtitled "Humanity") was apparently written as a memorial to Dag Hammarskjold, -
a vocal work setting texts by Hammarskjold himself (Markings), Tolstoy (War & Peace) and the Latin Requiem.  No.1 is purely orchestral and about
20' long.  You must be thinking of one or the other of these.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J on March 30, 2009, 03:20:50 PM
BTW, Michael Herman is apparently preparing a Scandinavian Symphonies recordings discography for MusicWeb (I wonder if it will include Finland).  Given the usefulness of his other work along these lines I look forward to that with some anticipation.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on March 30, 2009, 03:21:34 PM
I can't find any evidence that No.3 was ever recorded.  No.7 (subtitled "Humanity") was apparently written as a memorial to Dag Hammarskjold, -
a vocal work setting texts by Hammarskjold himself (Markings), Tolstoy (War & Peace) and the Latin Requiem.  No.1 is purely orchestral and about
20' long.  You must be thinking of one or the other of these.

Yes, apologies - this is the one I have - No 1:

Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on March 30, 2009, 05:17:54 PM
Yes, apologies - this is the one I have - No 1:



What does it sound like? If you can remember, that is ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on March 30, 2009, 05:24:59 PM
BTW, Michael Herman is apparently preparing a Scandinavian Symphonies recordings discography for MusicWeb (I wonder if it will include Finland).  Given the usefulness of his other work along these lines I look forward to that with some anticipation.

OH NO!! Not more suggestions!!!

I shall need to come out of retirement and get another job to pay for the cds I didn't know about ;D

(Seriously, his lists of British and Commonwealth Symphonies and Concertos to which he has now added Belgian, Dutch, French  and Swiss Symphonies represent a marvellous achievement :) I see that our own pjme helped with the research. Thanks to Peter :))
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on March 31, 2009, 11:32:54 AM
Have been greatly enjoying the wartime Symphony by Ludvig Irgens Jensen, it has the most wonderful inspiriting opening.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: pjme on April 01, 2009, 07:00:23 AM
OH NO!! Not more suggestions!!!

I shall need to come out of retirement and get another job to pay for the cds I didn't know about ;D

(Seriously, his lists of British and Commonwealth Symphonies and Concertos to which he has now added Belgian, Dutch, French  and Swiss Symphonies represent a marvellous achievement :) I see that our own pjme helped with the research. Thanks to Peter :))

I know Mike since 1977! thanks to an add in the Gramophone.( and many tapes & cassettes sent from Belgium to the Us and vice versa)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on April 01, 2009, 07:15:10 AM
If you are in regular contact with Mike, Peter, please pass on my respect and admiration for the work he is doing :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: pjme on April 01, 2009, 10:05:15 AM
Ok - I will!

Peter
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on May 19, 2009, 10:32:17 AM
Can't recommend this strongly enough (thanks to Greg). A wonderful CD. The symphonic poem and Symphony are truly marvellous. Hurum (1882-1972) was a Norwegian and conductor of the Honolulu SO ! (his wife was from Honolulu). These works would, I think, appeal to admirers of Vaughan Williams. He was apparently the first Norwegian composer to imbrace impressionism in music - the critics initially 'turned their noses up' at the music but he gained increasing acceptance and together with Rudolph Simonsen, he is the best discovery for me this year:

Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: snyprrr on May 20, 2009, 08:50:13 PM
Van, I see an SQ on that Hurum cd. Reviews? please!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on May 20, 2009, 10:21:31 PM
Van, I see an SQ on that Hurum cd. Reviews? please!

SQ is a lovely, engaging work, very lyrical with a strong sense of nature and a great foil to the two orchestral works with which it is coupled. This is my most played CD at the moment.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Christo on May 21, 2009, 11:23:21 AM
SQ is a lovely, engaging work, very lyrical with a strong sense of nature and a great foil to the two orchestral works with which it is coupled. This is my most played CD at the moment.

After the big surprise offered by Irgens-Jensen's Symphony (after I was urged to buy it in a nocturnal posting by on overwhelmed Dundonnell  ;D ) I decided to give Alf Hurum (1882-1972, actually I had never heard of him before  :-X ) and his Symphony (1927 I think) a try too. Ordered for a copy.  ;) You will hear more from me.  0:)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on May 21, 2009, 11:36:37 AM
After the big surprise offered by Irgens-Jensen's Symphony (after I was urged to buy it in a nocturnal posting by on overwhelmed Dundonnell  ;D ) I decided to give Alf Hurum (1882-1972, actually I had never heard of him before  :-X ) and his Symphony (1927 I think) a try too. Ordered for a copy.  ;) You will hear more from me.  0:)

Will be interested to hear your views - hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Did you discover Rudolph Simonsen yet (symphonies 1 and 2 on CPO)?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on May 21, 2009, 04:27:34 PM
Can't recommend this strongly enough (thanks to Greg). A wonderful CD. The symphonic poem and Symphony are truly marvellous. Hurum (1882-1972) was a Norwegian and conductor of the Honolulu SO ! (his wife was from Honolulu). These works would, I think, appeal to admirers of Vaughan Williams. He was apparently the first Norwegian composer to imbrace impressionism in music - the critics initially 'turned their noses up' at the music but he gained increasing acceptance and together with Rudolph Simonsen, he is the best discovery for me this year:



Well done for continuing to promote Hurum's music, Jeffrey ;D You are absolutely right in what you say! Johan, you should love it ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Christo on May 21, 2009, 09:26:03 PM
Will be interested to hear your views - hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Did you discover Rudolph Simonsen yet (symphonies 1 and 2 on CPO)?

These days, I usually only "discover" more work to do or more little kids too feed.  :) Cannot find much time to listen to music, but I did enjoy the Irgens-Jensen Symphony a lot, played Rued Langgaard again and also some Englund and Tubin - to remain with the topic of this thread - and I keep returning to William Wordsworth's Second and Third, courtesy Dundonnell.

I hope to smuggle a copy of the Rudolph Simonsen symphonies into my house as soon as CPO decides to put it on offer.  0:)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on May 22, 2009, 01:18:05 AM

I hope to smuggle a copy of the Rudolph Simonsen symphonies into my house as soon as CPO decides to put it on offer.  0:)

Disgraceful behaviour  ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on May 22, 2009, 02:20:12 AM
Disgraceful behaviour  ;D

This from "the King of the South Coast Smugglers" :o
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on May 22, 2009, 05:46:33 AM
This from "the King of the South Coast Smugglers" :o

 ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Ten thumbs on May 23, 2009, 01:13:16 PM
So many posts and no one has mentioned Elfrida Andrée, a Swedish composer taught by Ludvig Norman. Her second symphony is available on disc but has anyone heard it?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on May 23, 2009, 05:40:38 PM
No. But Norman's own second symphony is a very engaging work.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on May 27, 2009, 12:07:07 AM
Have been playing the Hurum SQ - very lovely. In fact the Hurum CD (above) is one of the few I play right through as I enjoy all three works very much. One of the great things about this forum is discovering works like this (thanks Greg  :)) - works that I would probably never come across otherwise - of course I now have no money, my wife and daughter are destitute and the house will be re-possessed by the bank and we shall all be thrown on the street and can't afford food, so will be reliant on soup-kitchens - but it is great to discover all these CDs  ;D ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on May 27, 2009, 02:52:17 AM
Have been playing the Hurum SQ - very lovely. In fact the Hurum CD (above) is one of the few I play right through as I enjoy all three works very much. One of the great things about this forum is discovering works like this (thanks Greg  :)) - works that I would probably never come across otherwise - of course I now have no money, my wife and daughter are destitute and the house will be re-possessed by the bank and we shall all be thrown on the street and can't afford food, so will be reliant on soup-kitchens - but it is great to discover all these CDs  ;D ;D

First of all...I don't believe you :) We all know how much money school teachers are paid in Great Britain so you can well afford an endless supply of new cds. In any case,unless you are stealing money from your dear wife(which I don't believe), you can rely on her to pay the mortgage and buy the food.
And...even if the worst came to the worst and you were forced to move out of your house you could build another one out of your cd collection ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on June 11, 2009, 02:14:12 AM
The latest edition-on Scandinavian symphonies- of Michael Herman's quite superb series of discographies is now available on Musicweb:

http://www.musicweb-international.com/Scandinavian_symphonies/index.htm
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: jimmosk on June 11, 2009, 10:16:26 AM
So many posts and no one has mentioned Elfrida Andrée, a Swedish composer taught by Ludvig Norman. Her second symphony is available on disc but has anyone heard it?


It's a bit anachronistic for its 1879 composition date, but quite pretty. EA's motto was apparently "Mendelssohn lives on!", and it shows in the work -- although it'd be just as apt to describe it as "Gade lives on".

-J
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on June 11, 2009, 12:55:37 PM
These days, I usually only "discover" more work to do or more little kids too feed.  :) Cannot find much time to listen to music, but I did enjoy the Irgens-Jensen Symphony a lot, played Rued Langgaard again and also some Englund and Tubin - to remain with the topic of this thread - and I keep returning to William Wordsworth's Second and Third, courtesy Dundonnell.

I hope to smuggle a copy of the Rudolph Simonsen symphonies into my house as soon as CPO decides to put it on offer.  0:)
Now it's on offer at europadisc.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on June 11, 2009, 05:46:43 PM
The latest edition-on Scandinavian symphonies- of Michael Herman's quite superb series of discographies is now available on Musicweb:

http://www.musicweb-international.com/Scandinavian_symphonies/index.htm

Colin, I have to thank you for that wonderful tome.

Somehow, I had a *hint* it was a lengthy article. I was afraid would waste my printer's precious ink ;D. So I forwarded the link to work and printed it there. I was rigth: it's 105 pages long.... :o :o :o
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on June 13, 2009, 08:06:46 PM
Thanks to a generous benefactor, I'm now 10-disc richer in terms of Norwegian symphists :D. It will  take time to digest it all, but it's a great perspective!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on June 15, 2009, 02:50:17 AM
My copy of the Franz Syberg Symphony has now arrived :) Once I have had an opportunity to listen I shall post my comments.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on June 15, 2009, 04:57:44 AM
You have convinced me to order the Hurum, and the R Simonsen is already on its way. It's only fair I forced your hand with the Syberg.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Ten thumbs on June 15, 2009, 12:27:15 PM


It's a bit anachronistic for its 1879 composition date, but quite pretty. EA's motto was apparently "Mendelssohn lives on!", and it shows in the work -- although it'd be just as apt to describe it as "Gade lives on".

-J

Thanks, I agree with this assessment on first hearing. Quite an interesting character though.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on June 19, 2009, 11:36:45 PM
Colin, Nielsen's 'Helios' comparison with slow movement of Simonsen's 'Zion' Symphony - absolutely spot on - can't think why I didn't notice this before. Bloch/Respighi - yes, but what a great composer.
Great cover art too.

I'm doing my first listen to Simonsen now - this is very fine music indeed. I will never again read David Hurwitz who totally compromised himsef with his review on this.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on June 20, 2009, 02:31:26 AM
I'm doing my first listen to Simonsen now - this is very fine music indeed. I will never again read David Hurwitz who totally compromised himsef with his review on this.

Very glad you are enjoying Simonsen - a great recent discovery for me too (along with Kleiberg's Bell Reef Symphony and the music of Hurum) through the GMG Forum  :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on June 20, 2009, 02:51:59 AM
I'm doing my first listen to Simonsen now - this is very fine music indeed. I will never again read David Hurwitz who totally compromised himsef with his review on this.

Indeed ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dundonnell on June 23, 2009, 11:38:29 AM
The next instalment of Michael Herman's wonderful series of discographies focuses on Finnish and Baltic Symphonies-

http://www.musicweb-international.com/Finnish_and_Baltic/index.htm

Reading through it makes one realise what a treasure trove of music existed on Melodiya LPs, including all the Ivanovs symphonies. I wonder if these will ever be transferred to cd?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: rubio on July 11, 2009, 05:08:49 AM
I listened to the Norwegian composer Hjalmar Borgstrom and two of his symphonic poems; Hamlet (for piano and orchestra) with Steen-Nokleberg on piano and the ambitious 45 min metaphysical journey called The Thought. The Thought is a bit inspired by Wagner and Strauss and to describe the arrival of industriality he has included strong sirens and an anvil! I find it quite interesting to listen, but even more when I heard it performed by Rozhdestvensky and Oslo PO a couple of years ago. Here it is conducted by Karsten Andersen and the orchestra is Bergen PO. The CD was released on Norsk Kulturrad (NKF).
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 23, 2009, 06:09:43 AM
Another vote for the Hurum symphony. I found the last movement rather generic in its oum-pah way, but the first two are absolutely splendid. Very powerful and evocative, whether in the stormier episodes or the more introspective ones. A most pleasant find (not found by me of course) - such items always seem to be known through word of mouth.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on July 23, 2009, 06:15:11 AM
(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/7393338108122.jpg)

This, anyone?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 23, 2009, 06:00:08 PM
"Swiss Romantics". Huh... wrong country? In any case, is it good stuff?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on July 23, 2009, 10:46:52 PM
"Swiss Romantics". Huh... wrong country? In any case, is it good stuff?
How could I miss that?   ???

Saw it among the new releases at mdt and wondered if anybody knew anything about this composer. Well, seem to remeber a swiss composer thread, and will repost.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 24, 2009, 04:10:48 PM
Well, please do ! I recently discovered the swiss Hans Huber, and although my initial response was qualified, I came to really like what I heard: not just the works in themselves, but a 'face' behind them, and an audible evolution in the composer's personality and evolution.

One last hurrah for Hurum's symphony. A really nice work, very much of its era and culture. I'm thinking of the first movement, 'The Great Forests'. Same pantheistic roots as Sibelius' Tapiola or Oskar Lindberg's 'From the Great Forests' . No doubt as to which is the greatest work, but it came to my mind that a cd containing all three would work great as a program!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: springrite on December 02, 2009, 07:02:47 AM
Thanks to this thread, I have just ordered 2 symphony CDs, one Louis Glass, another Koppel. Can't wait to hear them!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on December 02, 2009, 07:51:09 AM
And now Gerhard Schjelderup's 2 symphonies have been recorded by cpo with the Trondheim Symphony.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on December 02, 2009, 09:08:18 AM
Thanks to this thread, I have just ordered 2 symphony CDs, one Louis Glass, another Koppel. Can't wait to hear them!

Koppel Symphony 2 is very good.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on December 02, 2009, 06:29:26 PM
Ludvig Irgens Jensen (1894-1969); norwegian composer. Tema con Variazioni (1925, 20:32), Oslo PO, Odd Gruner-Hegge ; Passacaglia (1927, 21:07) and Partita sinfonica (1938, 18:31), both with Oslo PO, Ole Kristian Ruud

All of the above works are of surprising stature. The composer may be practically unknown, but he is definitely of the front rank among the huge second tier. I enjoyed all the many hearings I gave these works.

Conrad Baden (1908-1989). Sinfonia espressiva (Symphony no. 6, from 1980, 16:35). Also quite good, but it doesn't grab the attention and stick to the memory as the Jensen works do. I gave it as many hearings as the others.

Jensen is highly recommended.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: schweitzeralan on December 04, 2009, 05:16:51 AM
Have been greatly enjoying the wartime Symphony by Ludvig Irgens Jensen, it has the most wonderful inspiriting opening.
Jensen is a superb and serious Norwegian composer, to be sure. I've listened to several of his works on the old Mercury (?) labels.  I don't recall, and I no longer have access to them. but, my question is: who is this Hurman? I'll do some digging in his life and work; I would like to hear samples before committing myself to any purchase agreements. He's been mentioned on this thread. If his music has any Sibelian, Madetojan, Klamiesque, Rautavaarian influences, fine and well. If he tends to be "overly" dissonant, or avant-garde, I'll pass. I was once quite interested in the most "advanced," experimental,  nouveau, polytonal, aesthetics. No longer I sense. I've "curled" back into listening and appreciating those  composers who share certain  musical tendencies to 20th century necromantic and/or impressionistic styles. Always interesting in discovering new works within certain guidelines or aesthetics.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on December 04, 2009, 06:24:22 AM
Hurum. Regarded as the Norwegian impressionist (and a painter as well, surely no coincidence) before emigrating to Hawaii.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on December 04, 2009, 06:25:52 AM
Ludvig Irgens Jensen (1894-1969); norwegian composer. Tema con Variazioni (1925, 20:32), Oslo PO, Odd Gruner-Hegge ; Passacaglia (1927, 21:07) and Partita sinfonica (1938, 18:31), both with Oslo PO, Ole Kristian Ruud

All of the above works are of surprising stature. The composer may be practically unknown, but he is definitely of the front rank among the huge second tier. I enjoyed all the many hearings I gave these works.

Conrad Baden (1908-1989). Sinfonia espressiva (Symphony no. 6, from 1980, 16:35). Also quite good, but it doesn't grab the attention and stick to the memory as the Jensen works do. I gave it as many hearings as the others.

Jensen is highly recommended.
I believe Jensen (commonly regarded as the strongest Norwegian composer in the period between the wars) is currently being recoed by the Trondeim symphony for Naxos.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Christo on December 04, 2009, 12:58:30 PM
I believe Jensen (commonly regarded as the strongest Norwegian composer in the period between the wars) is currently being recoed by the Trondeim symphony for Naxos.

That is very welcome news indeed. His major orchestral pieces are hardly available to the general public, and really deserve to be widely known (and played).  :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: schweitzeralan on December 04, 2009, 01:37:40 PM
Hurum. Regarded as the Norwegian impressionist (and a painter as well, surely no coincidence) before emigrating to Hawaii.

I shall definitely explore.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on December 04, 2009, 10:09:33 PM
I believe Jensen (commonly regarded as the strongest Norwegian composer in the period between the wars) is currently being recoed by the Trondeim symphony for Naxos.

Thanks for the tip, I shall certainly keep an eye on that endeavour, as well as the symphony mentioned by Jeffrey and Alan.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: schweitzeralan on December 05, 2009, 12:02:28 PM
Hurum. Regarded as the Norwegian impressionist (and a painter as well, surely no coincidence) before emigrating to Hawaii.

I'm familiar with several Norwegian composers, as the old Mercury labeled LPs included several who  were (then) contemporaries.  Among these represented, which included Jensen, was Klaus Egge. Then a young Klaus Egge revealed his Pianoi Concerto and,  his 1st Symphony, both of which suggested certain imressionistic tendencies. His later works tended to be more, abstract, more dissonant and modernist,  altjhough  not necessarily avant-garde. His later works are more modernist and expressionist.  I am looking forward to hearing the Hurum.  I just ordered two CDs from ArcivMusic.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on January 19, 2010, 09:35:03 AM
Gade's Symphonies w/ Christopher Hogwood & the Danish National Radio SO - picked up 3 volumes, and listening to Vol. 1 (Symphonies Nos. 2 & 8*); also purchased Vols. 2 & 4 - will need to reserve comments until later, although the reviews read seemed to be excellent - although a little surprising for me to see 'Hog' in this repertoire?  ::)  If interested, a short bio below the pics from the Naxos web site - enjoy -  :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/4185TF5N2AL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

MY FIRST BIG DISCOVERY OF 2010! 13 Minutes of joy.

It's track one on Vol. 3 here:
Niels Gade - Echoes of Ossian, Op. 1 - Concert Overture
This one is of exceptional beauty, melancholy and heroism. Catches you from the beginning because of a beautiful melody. If someone is interested, it's on YT, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TInni-4oCe0

Any more Gade to recommend after Op. 1? I had some loose listenings, Gade seemed to be a bit pre-Beethoven and old fashioned to me, but maybe I was wrong...
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: schweitzeralan on January 19, 2010, 10:03:23 AM
Hurum. Regarded as the Norwegian impressionist (and a painter as well, surely no coincidence) before emigrating to Hawaii.
Thanks to this forum I ordered a Hurum CD. Haven't listened to it yet but am looking forward to my becoming engaged in  works by a 20th century Norwegian composer unfamiliar to me.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: kentel on January 20, 2010, 11:56:19 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/4185TF5N2AL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

MY FIRST BIG DISCOVERY OF 2010! 13 Minutes of joy.

It's track one on Vol. 3 here:
Niels Gade - Echoes of Ossian, Op. 1 - Concert Overture
This one is of exceptional beauty, melancholy and heroism. Catches you from the beginning because of a beautiful melody. If someone is interested, it's on YT, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TInni-4oCe0

Any more Gade to recommend after Op. 1? I had some loose listenings, Gade seemed to be a bit pre-Beethoven and old fashioned to me, but maybe I was wrong...

I think that this Ossian Overture is one of the best pieces ever written by Gade. I have been disappointed by almost all the symphonies afterwards. You can also try In the Highlands and Hamlet, all these orchestral pieces are on this very good CPO cd :

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/215YZGG80SL._SL500_AA130_.jpg)

My favorite symphony is the 8th (and last). The 3rd and the 4th are fine works too, but I don't like that much the others, which I find thematically rather poor, and orchestrally mendelssohnian. I think that the good Gade is not mendelssohnian (20 years after Mendelssohn),  it is dvorakian - (20 years before Dvorak).

--Gilles



Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on January 25, 2010, 06:42:46 AM
Thanks for your input, kentel, order the orchestral works CD (https://www.jpc.de/jpcng/cpo/detail/-/art/Niels-W-Gade-Orchesterwerke/hnum/7540118) at cpo.

EDIT: I wanted to write "I ordered" the CD...
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: kentel on January 25, 2010, 12:19:03 PM
Thanks for your input, kentel, order the orchestral works CD (https://www.jpc.de/jpcng/cpo/detail/-/art/Niels-W-Gade-Orchesterwerke/hnum/7540118) at cpo.

You're welcome; actually, if you want to dig in on the Danish romantic symphonists, I would recommand JPE Hartmann's symphonies. He wrote only 2, but in a style rather close to Gade in more weberian colors. I especially love the first. The overtures are fine pieces too.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41RSSS2C79L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21J4F6VGWCL._SL500_AA130_.jpg)




Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dax on February 21, 2010, 07:46:05 AM
Henning Mankel.

Not the Wallander author but his grandfather (1868-1930) who wrote very pleasant piano music of a romantic, albeit unthreatening nature tinged with whole-tone chords and occasional strange harmonic progressions.

Here's one of the 24 Intermezzi op 10 (1910)

http://www.sendspace.com/file/5u0rp1
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on February 21, 2010, 08:31:34 AM
You're welcome; actually, if you want to dig in on the Danish romantic symphonists, I would recommand JPE Hartmann's symphonies. He wrote only 2, but in a style rather close to Gade in more weberian colors. I especially love the first. The overtures are fine pieces too.
I know Hartmann's Haakon Jarl Overture very well, courtesy of a Danish friend I once corresponded with - it struck me as very Beethovenian.


Henning Mankel.

Not the Wallander author but his grandfather (1868-1930) who wrote very pleasant piano music of a romantic, albeit unthreatening nature tinged with whole-tone chords and occasional strange harmonic progressions.

Here's one of the 24 Intermezzi op 10 (1910)

http://www.sendspace.com/file/5u0rp1 (http://www.sendspace.com/file/5u0rp1)



I now know two Mankells... Interesting and atmospheric piece. Thanks!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Dax on February 21, 2010, 09:46:23 AM
In which case, see how you get on with the Sonatfantasi op 69 no 1 (1926)

http://www.sendspace.com/file/mvs1o0
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on February 21, 2010, 09:49:00 AM
In which case, see how you get on with the Sonatfantasi op 69 no 1 (1926)

http://www.sendspace.com/file/mvs1o0 (http://www.sendspace.com/file/mvs1o0)


Excellent! I'll have a listen later.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: abidoful on March 04, 2010, 04:44:41 AM

Madetoja: all four symphonies

actually, Leevi Madetoja has only three symphonies (he DID compose a fourth one, but it was lost when the suitcase inholding the only manuscript of the symphony was stolen while he was staying in Paris).
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Christo on March 04, 2010, 05:37:22 AM
actually, Leevi Madetoja has only three symphonies (he DID compose a fourth one, but it was lost when the suitcase inholding the only manuscript of the symphony was stolen while he was staying in Paris).

Shocking!   :-\ Never heard the story before. Are you sure it wasn´t burnt in Ainola's green-tiled stove?  8)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: abidoful on March 04, 2010, 12:25:55 PM
Shocking!   :-\ Never heard the story before. Are you sure it wasn´t burnt in Ainola's green-tiled stove?  8)

 :D no, i dont think so- i doubt Sibelius would have gone so far,  though at a time he  had shots of envy...!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: schweitzeralan on March 04, 2010, 01:00:42 PM
Shocking!   :-\ Never heard the story before. Are you sure it wasn´t burnt in Ainola's green-tiled stove?  8)

Shocking indeed!  Almost as bad as Sibelius' not publishing his 8th.  Alas!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: offbeat on March 04, 2010, 02:27:14 PM
Shocking indeed!  Almost as bad as Sibelius' not publishing his 8th.  Alas!
according to a recent documentary on Sibelius it showed the manuscript for the 8th symphony being thrown into the fire -if true its shocking as well as tragic  :o
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: schweitzeralan on March 04, 2010, 04:28:08 PM
according to a recent documentary on Sibelius it showed the manuscript for the 8th symphony being thrown into the fire -if true its shocking as well as tragic  :o
Exactly as I read.  Why?  Did the critics get to him?









Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on March 04, 2010, 09:26:28 PM
Shocking!   :-\ Never heard the story before. Are you sure it wasn´t burnt in Ainola's green-tiled stove?  8)
Haha, the stove of Ainola, the greedy, ever burning green tiled black hole of the universe :P; the legacy of Darth Sibbe.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: offbeat on March 05, 2010, 08:45:49 AM
Exactly as I read.  Why?  Did the critics get to him?
I think it was more a question of his own mindset at the time - he felt that the 8th did not have the quality of his previous work - maybe his isolation from the real world finally got to him  :(
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: schweitzeralan on March 05, 2010, 01:06:29 PM
I think it was more a question of his own mindset at the time - he felt that the 8th did not have the quality of his previous work - maybe his isolation from the real world finally got to him  :(
This is probably what had happened. Question:  what was Ainola like? I had read that Sibelius' wife had to put up with his earlier drink iing phases.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on March 06, 2010, 01:15:37 AM
There seems to be an avalanche of releases of Norwegian music recently:

- Alnæs: Symphonies (Sterling)
- Olsen: Symphony + Orchestral woks (Sterling)
- Borgstrøm: Symphonic works, violin concerto (Simax)
- Kleven: Orchestral works (BIS)
- Schjelderup: Orchestral works (cpo)

I'm delighted, and I order these as they becomes available in th UK shops (currently we're waiting for Borgstrøm and Olsen)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: abidoful on March 06, 2010, 02:13:43 AM
Any Islandic composers? Historical?
Title: Re: A Finnish Concerto series...
Post by: DavidW on November 05, 2010, 05:21:23 PM
Magnus Lindberg's Concerto for Clarinet.

I must say, this piece is a kick up the bum to anyone who has convinced themselves that music written in a contemporary language cannot be at all beautiful. Here we have a work full of modern sonorities and extended techniques, pushing the boundaries of every player and instrument. Of course, such writing can lead to some very intellectual, even interesting music but Lindberg, clearly a master of orchestration,  has created something far more engaging: a work of astonishingly sensuous and lyrical beauty, which, to me at least, has been most affecting. I find there is more than a touch of the oriental in this work; often it occurred to me that in Lindberg we perhaps have a Finnish equivalent of Takemitsu, and it certainly seems to me that Lindberg has an ear for impressionist harmonies/sonorities. That said, in this piece at least, Lindberg doesn't have the restraint of a Takemitsu and, indeed, we are treated (and it really is a treat) to a climax at the end of near-romantic proportions.

I can't praise this concerto highly enough: it really is a 21st Century classic and deserves to be peformed and live on forever.

(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/41JS215P6WL._AA240_.jpg)

Some highlights:

[0:00] A gripping start: emerging from the silence a series of clarinet figures, which strung together make up something of an indistinct melody, fragments of which will reappear throughout the work.

[1:00] Listen for the woodwind/string interjection which is surely a nod and a wink to Charles Ives!

[3:40] Fragments of the theme, this time on strings and percussion

[5:20] Jittering clarinet, reminiscent of Rautavaara in the bird song mode. Did we forget Lindberg is a Fin?!

[7:30+] By now, the piece has descended into a more predominantly minor mode (the slow movement), but there is no let up for the soloist, with what sounds to be highly demanding passages.

[9:30] Fragments of the theme return fleetingly on the clarinet

[11:30] Strings dominate as the clarinet figures at last finds its theme from the fragments we have heard before, together at last in a flowing melody, before ending on a high sustained, eardrum-piercing high note from our soloist. From here, the music descends into a period of wildness. At this point we have some really guttural sonorities coming from the clarinet, which I can only describe as being similar in sound to a didjeridu.

[19:10] Wow, listen to this high note from the soloist, for a moment it could be mistaken for violin harmonics! Now into a virtuosic cadenza, which really must be pushing the instrument to its limits.

[21:00] Return of the orchestra, with string-led passages, clarinet in gasping, almost John Adams-esque repetitions of fragments, building to a glorious and spine-tingling final climax with the clarinet singing the theme in its full guise.

In conclusion, a completely satisfying lyrical and dynamic new clarinet concerto for the 21st Century, written in very contemporary musical language but challenging any notion that classical music in the new century cannot be approachable, even lovable (i'm on my 6th hearing in 2 days now!)

Great review Ben! :)  Boy some of those ear-rupturing high notes the clarinet does sounds like a child screaming in terror.  It is psychotic, but selectively, I like the trot out the freaky moments sometimes for effect over wonky honky 24-7 style. :)
Title: Re: A Finnish Concerto series...
Post by: Benji on November 05, 2010, 05:44:12 PM
Great review Ben! :)  Boy some of those ear-rupturing high notes the clarinet does sounds like a child screaming in terror.  It is psychotic, but selectively, I like the trot out the freaky moments sometimes for effect over wonky honky 24-7 style. :)

You know what - I don't recognise the 2007 me.  ???

But I stand by what I said, even if nowadays i'd say it less fruity-like.  8)

Wind instruments being what they are can be made to sound like awful, awful things. I want to learn the oboe but i'm terrified i'm going to attract ducks in mating season.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: kaergaard on November 06, 2010, 09:14:07 AM
Rautavaara's Piano Concerto No. 3: The only issue for this concert I can find is the Ondine with Ashkenazy conducting and as soloist. Know any better ones?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: lescamil on November 06, 2010, 10:20:08 AM
Rautavaara's Piano Concerto No. 3: The only issue for this concert I can find is the Ondine with Ashkenazy conducting and as soloist. Know any better ones?

There is a recording on Naxos with the second and third piano concertos and the Isle of Bliss that is much better. The pianist Laura Mikkola has a better control of her technique than Ashkenazy, whose age unfortunately shows in his rendition of the piece. Also, the conductor Eri Klas takes a bit of a quicker pace, which works to the advantage of the piece.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: AP100 on January 04, 2011, 12:58:30 PM
Hi everyone,

Apologies if you know about this already. I am trying to find where all the Pettersson fans hide on this forum.

I am currently listening to all of Allan Pettersson's orchestral works (plus a few other selected pieces) and writing a blog about it, in honor of his upcoming 100th birthday.

Pettersson fans, lovers of the 20th-century symphony, and anyone curious, please stop by, and leave comments or feedback!

http://allanpettersson100.blogspot.com/

See you there!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Mirror Image on June 05, 2011, 04:18:34 PM
Some favorite Scandinavian composers of mine: Pettersson, Sibelius, Nielsen, Lindberg, Salonen, Grieg, Langgaard, Norgard, Saariaho, Alfven, and Rautavaara. There's so many more I want to explore of course. I've become increasingly interested in Modern Finnish music lately, so this is an area I hope to explore more of soon.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: abidoful on June 05, 2011, 11:42:13 PM
Some favorite Scandinavian composers of mine: Pettersson, Sibelius, Nielsen, Lindberg, Salonen, Grieg, Langgaard, Norgard, Saariaho, Alfven, and Rautavaara. There's so many more I want to explore of course. I've become increasingly interested in Modern Finnish music lately, so this is an area I hope to explore more of soon.
Try Usko Meriläinen, he is a very fine composer. In a sense continuation of  Väinö Raitio!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on June 06, 2011, 05:16:44 AM
Some favorite Scandinavian composers of mine: Pettersson, Sibelius, Nielsen, Lindberg, Salonen, Grieg, Langgaard, Norgard, Saariaho, Alfven, and Rautavaara. There's so many more I want to explore of course. I've become increasingly interested in Modern Finnish music lately, so this is an area I hope to explore more of soon.

How about Rosenberg, Hurum and Tubin (is Estonia part of Scandinavia?)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Mirror Image on June 06, 2011, 09:50:47 AM
How about Rosenberg, Hurum and Tubin (is Estonia part of Scandinavia?)

I like Tubin a lot. I'm not sure if Estonia is part of Scandinavia or not. I'm not really that knowledgeable about Estonia.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: lescamil on June 06, 2011, 10:07:34 AM
Estonia is technically not part of Scandinavia, but rather the Baltics. Still, there are lots of great Estonian composers that I love, too. Tubin and Tüür are possibly my favorites.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on June 06, 2011, 10:34:26 AM
How about Rosenberg, Hurum and Tubin (is Estonia part of Scandinavia?)
Yes, how come that M I hasn't latched on to Rosenberg?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Mirror Image on June 06, 2011, 10:37:08 AM
Yes, how come that M I hasn't latched on to Rosenberg?

That's a good question. I have not explored Rosenberg's music yet. There looks like there's an attractive release from BIS, but honestly there just isn't that much of his music available.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on June 06, 2011, 12:34:18 PM
That's a good question. I have not explored Rosenberg's music yet. There looks like there's an attractive release from BIS, but honestly there just isn't that much of his music available.

Try this - am sure you'll enjoy it. The ending of No 3 is one of the great moments in music.

Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Mirror Image on June 06, 2011, 02:18:49 PM
Try this - am sure you'll enjoy it. The ending of No 3 is one of the great moments in music.



Thanks Jeffery. This was the recording I was referring to. I wonder if BIS will record anymore of Rosenberg's orchestral music?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lethevich on January 22, 2012, 03:34:27 AM
Any opinions on Bo Nilsson? I don't want to start a thread on him with just that single sentence.

From a Wikipedia entry, it sounds as though he went into a populist phase during the 60s and later, but is it good, or is it garish?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: edward on January 22, 2012, 07:58:26 AM
Any opinions on Bo Nilsson? I don't want to start a thread on him with just that single sentence.

From a Wikipedia entry, it sounds as though he went into a populist phase during the 60s and later, but is it good, or is it garish?
Garish, I'd say.

His serial phase I found a lot more interesting: all Darmstadt on the surface, and very much late Romantic underneath: I remember being particularly impressed by Brief an Gösta Oswald, which is a sort of musical suicide note for his serial period. Interestingly enough, he was born in Skellefteå, a small town in Northern Sweden that punches way above its weight culturally; for example the writers Stieg Larsson and Per Olov Enquist.

There's a 3CD set out there that covers most of the major serialist work and a good cross-section of his populist stuff:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/A-Spirits-Whisper-1965-1997/dp/B005X95XKK

(That's the MP3 version; there should be a CD one on Amazon too.)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lethevich on January 22, 2012, 08:06:09 AM
There's a 3CD set out there that covers most of the major serialist work and a good cross-section of his populist stuff:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/A-Spirits-Whisper-1965-1997/dp/B005X95XKK
(That's the MP3 version; there should be a CD one on Amazon too.)

Ooh, that's what that drew my initial attention - good to know it's worth it, thanks :)

Interestingly enough, he was born in Skellefteå, a small town in Northern Sweden that punches way above its weight culturally; for example the writers Stieg Larsson and Per Olov Enquist.

Come to think of it, a rather successful independant videogame (Magicka) was made by developers from that town too, after a university project. Apparently the town name is pronounced incorrectly by everyone, even southern Swedes.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on April 15, 2012, 11:37:43 PM
Can't recall much discussion of Gosta Nystroem's 'Sinfonia del Mare' (1946-48) but together with Kabelac's 'Mystery of Time' and Stanley Bate's 4th Symphony (and 3rd for that matter) it has been a great recent discovery for me and I can't recommend it strongly enough. Of the three CDs I have of it ( :P) I like the one on Phono Suecia most (Swedish RSO, Svetlanov) but the recent one on BIS (see photo) and on Swedish Society Discofil are also excellent. It has a rather Baxian/Novakian quality to it but is not really like either.  There is a soprano soloist involved and the slow movement is hauntingly beautiful - a magnificent work.  Any other admirers of the Sinfonia del Mare (Symphony No. 3) or of Nystroem generally?

Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: DieNacht on April 16, 2012, 02:50:52 AM
Have got most of Nystroem´s other orchestral works, but need to dig more into it. Moreover, there must be quite a lot of unrecorded chamber music of his. The "Viola Concerto" is a catchy, lively piece entitled "Hommage a la France", far from austere or "Nordic". The symphonic poem "The Arctic Ocean" is one of the greater, spectacular orchestral pieces from Scandinavia, like similar ones by Sibelius, Nielsen and Jon Leifs.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on April 16, 2012, 04:15:44 AM
Have got most of Nystroem´s other orchestral works, but need to dig more into it. Moreover, there must be quite a lot of unrecorded chamber music of his. The "Viola Concerto" is a catchy, lively piece entitled "Hommage a la France", far from austere or "Nordic". The symphonic poem "The Arctic Ocean" is one of the greater, spectacular orchestral pieces from Scandinavia, like similar ones by Sibelius, Nielsen and Jon Leifs.

Thank you - I noticed 'The Arctic Ocean' and will look out for it. I think that Nystroem was obsessed (in a nice way) by the sea.  By the way Caspar David Friedrich is one of my favourite artists - so I approve of your Avatar very much!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: DieNacht on April 16, 2012, 05:07:54 AM
Thanks ! What is perhaps less known is that C.D. Friedrich was quite historically-conscious and that his pictures, in spite of their revelation of the past, also questions the past and underlines the dimension of the contemporary and that of historical development, as a contrast to the more sentimental members of the German Romantic school. Likewise he was a pioneer in developing and promoting Romantic landscape painting, rather than looking backwards to established genres.

But to return to Nystroem: the unsung composers website has some rare music by him also. Your post has made me want to listen to some of his works now ...
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on April 17, 2012, 11:31:57 PM
Thanks ! What is perhaps less known is that C.D. Friedrich was quite historically-conscious and that his pictures, in spite of their revelation of the past, also questions the past and underlines the dimension of the contemporary and that of historical development, as a contrast to the more sentimental members of the German Romantic school. Likewise he was a pioneer in developing and promoting Romantic landscape painting, rather than looking backwards to established genres.

But to return to Nystroem: the unsung composers website has some rare music by him also. Your post has made me want to listen to some of his works now ...

What appeals to me about Friedrich is not only the haunting, poetic,dreamlike imagery of the landscape paintings, but also the fact that they lend themselves to different interpretations - religious, political/nationalistic for example.  I can see that he may have influences the surrealists. 'Monk by the Sea' is a most extraordinary work.

Back to music! You must listen to Nystroem's 'Sinfonia del Mare' if you don't already know it.  Today I've been discovering Saeverud.  His Symphony No 7 'Salme' is a revelation to me - a fine, craggy and powerful score.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on June 29, 2012, 04:54:09 PM
Nystroem's Ishavet (Arctic  Ocean) is one of this composer's best works. It resembles for all the world a mix of Rite of Spring and Sibelius 7. Don't expect a masterwork of the same magnitude, but it bears its influences well, not sounding derivative. Nystroem is a strong composer. You're right Jeffrey, Sinfonia del Mare is a very fine work. But do give Ishavet a listen. I'd like to her you on this one!

Any fans of Otto Olsson, Erland von Koch Or Karin Rehnqvist ?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on June 30, 2012, 08:56:43 PM
Nystroem's Ishavet (Arctic  Ocean) is one of this composer's best works. It resembles for all the world a mix of Rite of Spring and Sibelius 7. Don't expect a masterwork of the same magnitude, but it bears its influences well, not sounding derivative. Nystroem is a strong composer. You're right Jeffrey, Sinfonia del Mare is a very fine work. But do give Ishavet a listen. I'd like to her you on this one!

Any fans of Otto Olsson, Erland von Koch Or Karin Rehnqvist ?

Hi Andre  :)

I bought 'The Arctic Ocean' on Caprice recently but only realised, as a result of your posting that it is also 'Ishavet' which I already have on a BIS CD  ::). However, this kind of duplication is not unknown to me (c 30 versions of Walton Symphony 1). I seem to recall that your Bruckner symphony collection may have similar characteristics  :D

Anyway, yes I did like 'The Arctic Ocean'/Ishavet and I do see what you mean about Sibelius Symphony No. 7 and The Rite of Spring.  I'm not entirely surprised that Ravel made no comment on the work when Nystroem showed it to him - maybe he should have shown it to Stravinsky! Interesting that it's dedicated to the Norwegian explorer Amundsen. It has a darkly eloquent and searching quality to it which appeals to me. Sinfonia del Mare remains my favourite work by Nystoem and his masterpiece but Ishavet is a close second.  It's origins in a ballet score is quite apparent in places.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Lilas Pastia on July 02, 2012, 04:31:32 PM
Hi Jeffrey ! For some reason the work has always been 'Ishavet' in my mind. But it's definitely a work that bears dupliaction. I also have the Bis version you're referring to - Paavo järvi, right?. It's more expansive: 3 minutes more than Peter Erös on Caprice, almost 15 % slower. I find Järvi's view of the Arctic somewhat more romantic - global warming after some 15 years maybe?  :o . In any case, both present a compelling view of a very fine 1925 work.

I'll give the 'del Mare' a spin this week. It's been a while now. Time for third or fourth impressions ! My version is by Svetlanov.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on July 03, 2012, 04:40:51 AM
Hi Jeffrey ! For some reason the work has always been 'Ishavet' in my mind. But it's definitely a work that bears dupliaction. I also have the Bis version you're referring to - Paavo järvi, right?. It's more expansive: 3 minutes more than Peter Erös on Caprice, almost 15 % slower. I find Järvi's view of the Arctic somewhat more romantic - global warming after some 15 years maybe?  :o . In any case, both present a compelling view of a very fine 1925 work.

I'll give the 'del Mare' a spin this week. It's been a while now. Time for third or fourth impressions ! My version is by Svetlanov.

Hi Andre - the Svetlanov is my favourite version, coupled with 'The Tempest'.
Title: Hugo Alfvén: Symphonies
Post by: SymphonicAddict on March 04, 2017, 08:05:51 PM
I thought Alfvén had his own thread. Anyway, this is a too underrated and neglected composer. For people who like late romantic style impregnated with a lot of lushness, this is a true pleasure!! You should try these 5 mesmerizing and tuneful symphonies, full of charm, power and tremendous orchestration. Järvi conducting the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra: a gorgeous combination.
Title: Re: Hugo Alfvén: Symphonies
Post by: Mirror Image on March 04, 2017, 08:09:20 PM
I thought Alfvén had his own thread. Anyway, this is a too underrated and neglected composer. For people who like late romantic style impregnated with a lot of lushness, this is a true pleasure!! You should try these 5 mesmerizing and tuneful symphonies, full of charm, power and tremendous orchestration. Järvi conducting the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra: a gorgeous combination.

I have to say that Alfven doesn’t really strike me as too interesting of a composer. His Symphony No. 4, “From the Outermost Skerries” may be the finest thing I’ve heard from him.
Title: Re: Hugo Alfvén: Symphonies
Post by: SymphonicAddict on March 04, 2017, 08:12:59 PM
I have to say that Alfven doesn’t really strike me as too interesting of a composer. His Symphony No. 4, “From the Outermost Skerries” may be the finest thing I’ve heard from him.

I respect your opinion. In my case, I liked all of them, including the 4th.
Title: Re: Hugo Alfvén: Symphonies
Post by: Christo on March 09, 2017, 01:33:02 AM
I have to say that Alfven doesn’t really strike me as too interesting of a composer. His Symphony No. 4, “From the Outermost Skerries” may be the finest thing I’ve heard from him.

Exactly my conclusion (ten years ago, when I played them all).  8)
Title: Re: Hugo Alfvén: Symphonies
Post by: vandermolen on March 11, 2017, 01:09:01 PM
Exactly my conclusion (ten years ago, when I played them all).  8)
+1

Although I quite like the problematic Symphony 5.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: relm1 on March 11, 2017, 05:02:33 PM
I am really enjoying this CD of Madetoja:
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61iJhgj2OSL._SS500.jpg)
https://www.amazon.com/Madetoja-Symphony-No-Kullervo-Elegy/dp/B00CVO19N0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1489280420&sr=8-2&keywords=madetoja+symphony+2

Somewhere between Sibelius and Wagner in a very fine recording.  This Kullervo is nothing like Sibelius's take on the myth.  Much more like how Richard Strauss or Wagner might have imagined it as an epic hero rather than a flawed demigod. 
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Mirror Image on March 11, 2017, 05:04:04 PM
I never warmed to Madetoja’s music. I don’t really hear much of an individual voice in the music to be even more honest.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: relm1 on March 11, 2017, 05:21:33 PM
I never warmed to Madetoja’s music. I don’t really hear much of an individual voice in the music to be even more honest.

Did you hear the recording I mentioned?  A Germanic version of Finnish music is an individual voice.  Who else had the sound?  The last movement of the second symphony has elements of Bruckner by way of Sibelius and reached a tremendous flat 6 climax...something that could have come out of modern sci-fi scores.  The melodies might not be as personalized as Sibelius but it's not at all worthy of disregard.  Give it another chance and stop being so quick to accept your first impression.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: SymphonicAddict on March 11, 2017, 09:22:20 PM
I am really enjoying this CD of Madetoja:
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61iJhgj2OSL._SS500.jpg)
https://www.amazon.com/Madetoja-Symphony-No-Kullervo-Elegy/dp/B00CVO19N0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1489280420&sr=8-2&keywords=madetoja+symphony+2

Somewhere between Sibelius and Wagner in a very fine recording.  This Kullervo is nothing like Sibelius's take on the myth.  Much more like how Richard Strauss or Wagner might have imagined it as an epic hero rather than a flawed demigod.

The 2nd symphony is just amazing. I listened to it a few days ago and was mesmerizing. Too much beauty I found there
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Mirror Image on March 11, 2017, 09:28:58 PM
Did you hear the recording I mentioned?  A Germanic version of Finnish music is an individual voice.  Who else had the sound?  The last movement of the second symphony has elements of Bruckner by way of Sibelius and reached a tremendous flat 6 climax...something that could have come out of modern sci-fi scores.  The melodies might not be as personalized as Sibelius but it's not at all worthy of disregard.  Give it another chance and stop being so quick to accept your first impression.

Umm...excuse me for a second. I’ve been listening to Madetoja off and on for the past five years. I’ve heard all of his symphonies and many of his other orchestral works. I’ve also heard that Storgards recording you posted about. I was just sharing an opinion and what I thought of the composer. Don’t take what I say as gospel. If you like the music, then that’s great, but I don’t share your sentiments and I certainly don’t hear anything distinctive in the music, but there aren’t a lot of Finns that carry as much weight obviously as Sibelius. Oh and Madetoja is more influenced by French music than Germanic or at least that’s what I understood about his own influences and his approach to orchestration when I was reading about him.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: arpeggio on March 11, 2017, 09:38:23 PM
I am really enjoying this CD of Madetoja:
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61iJhgj2OSL._SS500.jpg)
https://www.amazon.com/Madetoja-Symphony-No-Kullervo-Elegy/dp/B00CVO19N0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1489280420&sr=8-2&keywords=madetoja+symphony+2

Somewhere between Sibelius and Wagner in a very fine recording.  This Kullervo is nothing like Sibelius's take on the myth.  Much more like how Richard Strauss or Wagner might have imagined it as an epic hero rather than a flawed demigod.

I just checked this out on you tube.  Of course it ain't Beethoven but I still enjoyed it.  New music for my wish list.  Thanks :)

Addendum:  Great review of this recording at ArkiveMusic: http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=825038 (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=825038)

Found another review: http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2013/May13/Madetoja_Kullervo_ODE12122.htm (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2013/May13/Madetoja_Kullervo_ODE12122.htm)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on March 12, 2017, 01:10:42 AM
I like all the symphonies. 3 is considered the finest but the moving No.2 is my favourite - in memory of his brother who died in the Finnish Civil War I think. I increasing like Symphony 1 as well. No.4 was stolen in a railway station.  :(
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: cilgwyn on March 12, 2017, 07:30:11 AM
The 2nd symphony is just amazing. I listened to it a few days ago and was mesmerizing. Too much beauty I found there
I'm enjoying the artwork! I've never heard a note of his music;but that's the sort of jewel case that tempts me. Got to resist,though. Perhaps the Beeb will broadcast one?!!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: SymphonicAddict on March 12, 2017, 02:51:56 PM
I'm enjoying the artwork! I've never heard a note of his music;but that's the sort of jewel case that tempts me. Got to resist,though. Perhaps the Beeb will broadcast one?!!

If you get to hear it, I hope you enjoy it a lot!  :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Mirror Image on March 12, 2017, 02:53:23 PM
I'm enjoying the artwork! I've never heard a note of his music;but that's the sort of jewel case that tempts me. Got to resist,though. Perhaps the Beeb will broadcast one?!!

Madetoja’s music is plastered all over YouTube. Why don’t you do some sampling and find out whether you like his music or not?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on September 25, 2017, 10:49:48 PM
Yesterday I came across a composer whose music I had never heard. Selim Palmgren (born 1878 Pori, Finland, died Helsinki 1951). He also taught at the famous Eastman School in the USA in the 1920s. I sampled the opening of his
Piano Concerto No.2 'The River' and thought it was excellent - haunting and beautiful. Any other views on Palmgren?


https://www.britannica.com/biography/Selim-Palmgren

Here's the opening of PC No.2 'The River':

https://youtu.be/oOq6vTWYbDU
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on October 24, 2017, 07:28:28 AM
Yesterday I came across a composer whose music I had never heard. Selim Palmgren (born 1878 Pori, Finland, died Helsinki 1951). He also taught at the famous Eastman School in the USA in the 1920s. I sampled the opening of his
Piano Concerto No.2 'The River' and thought it was excellent - haunting and beautiful. Any other views on Palmgren?


https://www.britannica.com/biography/Selim-Palmgren

Here's the opening of PC No.2 'The River':

https://youtu.be/oOq6vTWYbDU
Just bumping up my last 'zero response' thread ( :blank:)
This is because I have also been enjoying Palmgren's Piano Concerto No.1 (1905). Like Piano Concerto No.2 it has a most beautiful nostalgic, dreamy and lyrical opening. It is very approachable and I think would appeal to admirers of Rachmaninov.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: kyjo on October 24, 2017, 08:06:37 AM
Just bumping up my last 'zero response' thread ( :blank:)
This is because I have also been enjoying Palmgren's Piano Concerto No.1 (1905). Like Piano Concerto No.2 it has a most beautiful nostalgic, dreamy and lyrical opening. It is very approachable and I think would appeal to admirers of Rachmaninov.

Thanks for the recommendation, Jeffrey. I love Rachmaninov's PCs so it seems like Palmgren's would be right up my alley :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Christo on October 24, 2017, 11:11:56 AM
The 2nd symphony is just amazing. I listened to it a few days ago and was mesmerizing. Too much beauty I found there
Seconded. Plus: it has a wonderful 'pastoral' quiet movement that is really pastoral: reminiscences from a solitary boyhood spent in the countryside.  :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on October 25, 2017, 01:08:15 PM
Thanks Kyle and Johan - much appreciated. I think that this music has potential for wide appeal.
 :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: relm1 on October 25, 2017, 03:57:14 PM
Seconded. Plus: it has a wonderful 'pastoral' quiet movement that is really pastoral: reminiscences from a solitary boyhood spent in the countryside.  :)

Do you want to give us a hint to what composer this is in reference to? 
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: André on October 25, 2017, 04:01:44 PM
Yesterday I came across a composer whose music I had never heard. Selim Palmgren (born 1878 Pori, Finland, died Helsinki 1951). He also taught at the famous Eastman School in the USA in the 1920s. I sampled the opening of his
Piano Concerto No.2 'The River' and thought it was excellent - haunting and beautiful. Any other views on Palmgren?


https://www.britannica.com/biography/Selim-Palmgren

Here's the opening of PC No.2 'The River':

https://youtu.be/oOq6vTWYbDU

Another good thread I wasn't aware of! Will wonders ever cease?

I have the piano concertos of Palmgren in this 2cd set: everything in it is pure delight!

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41j4Kt5arjL._SY355_.jpg)
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51UYMmguFAL._SX355_.jpg)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Mirror Image on October 25, 2017, 07:58:30 PM
What is Palmgren’s style like?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on October 25, 2017, 11:38:40 PM
What is Palmgren’s style like?

Here is a review John of the disc I have. Very melodic and approachable, maybe not that 'deep' but the CD, especially the openings of 'The River' Piano Concerto and No. 2 have given me much pleasure.

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2016/Aug/Palmgren_PCs_ABCD385.htm

Here is the opening of The River PC:

https://youtu.be/oOq6vTWYbDU
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Biffo on October 28, 2017, 02:59:02 AM
Tveitt and Langgaard are favourites of mine. Langgaard has had a few mentions already but I scecond the recommendations of his Music of the Spheres and would like to add his string quartets - they have all been recorded by the Nightingale Quartet and well worth exploring.

Tveiit (1908 - 1981) has only had a passing mention but is well worth exploring. Sadly, a large number of his works were destroyed in a fire though some have been reconstructed from orchestral parts and the charred remains. Tveitt spent some time in Paris and this shows in his Piano Concertos though No 4 'Aurora Borealis' - my favourite was written after his return to Norway. His large scale ballet 'Baldur's Dreams' is also interesting though some may prefer the 'Sun God Symphony extracted from it.

After returning to Norway Tveitt adopted a more national, Norwegian style. A Hundred Hardanger Tunes has already been mentioned; it is divided into suites and they range from wedding tunes to 'Domedag', a depiction of Judgement Day.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: North Star on October 28, 2017, 03:48:23 AM
Tveitt and Langgaard are favourites of mine. Langgaard has had a few mentions already but I scecond the recommendations of his Music of the Spheres and would like to add his string quartets - they have all been recorded by the Nightingale Quartet and well worth exploring.

Tveiit (1908 - 1981) has only had a passing mention but is well worth exploring. Sadly, a large number of his works were destroyed in a fire though some have been reconstructed from orchestral parts and the charred remains. Tveitt spent some time in Paris and this shows in his Piano Concertos though No 4 'Aurora Borealis' - my favourite was written after his return to Norway. His large scale ballet 'Baldur's Dreams' is also interesting though some may prefer the 'Sun God Symphony extracted from it.

After returning to Norway Tveitt adopted a more national, Norwegian style. A Hundred Hardanger Tunes has already been mentioned; it is divided into suites and they range from wedding tunes to 'Domedag', a depiction of Judgement Day.

Tveitt (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,20746.0.html) and Langgaard (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,575.0.html) have their own threads if you want to have a look. 8)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Biffo on October 28, 2017, 04:50:31 AM
Tveitt (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,20746.0.html) and Langgaard (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,575.0.html) have their own threads if you want to have a look. 8)

Thanks, I am new to the forum and so far only found this thread that is relevant to those composers.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: kyjo on November 03, 2017, 07:47:20 PM
Yesterday I came across a composer whose music I had never heard. Selim Palmgren (born 1878 Pori, Finland, died Helsinki 1951). He also taught at the famous Eastman School in the USA in the 1920s. I sampled the opening of his
Piano Concerto No.2 'The River' and thought it was excellent - haunting and beautiful. Any other views on Palmgren?


https://www.britannica.com/biography/Selim-Palmgren

Here's the opening of PC No.2 'The River':

https://youtu.be/oOq6vTWYbDU

Just listened to this - a wonderfully atmospheric and inspiriting score. The spirit of Rachmaninoff hovers over some passages, which appeals to me greatly. I especially love the opening with its mysterious drum rolls. Thanks for the recommendation, Jeffrey! :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on November 03, 2017, 11:15:35 PM
Just listened to this - a wonderfully atmospheric and inspiriting score. The spirit of Rachmaninoff hovers over some passages, which appeals to me greatly. I especially love the opening with its mysterious drum rolls. Thanks for the recommendation, Jeffrey! :)
Am delighted that you discovered it too Kyle  :).
I like the whole CD including the chamber works at the end and Piano Concerto No.1. You are right about the Rachmaninov connection.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: SymphonicAddict on August 01, 2019, 10:14:03 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/517Vx%2BTiQNL._SY355_.jpg)

Earlier I gave to these symphonies a revisit. My last memories told me that these works weren't appealing enough, and how wrong I was! I'm so glad to having changed my mind. The 1st Symphony is majestic and with certain struggle, mostly in the 1st movement. The 2nd movement is so inspired, it has an ethereal appeal to it. The 3rd movement is the culmination of greatness, a blaze of intense light. The ending is mightily uplifting and glorious.

The 2nd Symphony is a bit less good, but even so it doesn't disappoint at all. Inspired by the Greek mythology, it's much more succesful than other works with similar inspiration. And those ancient evocations are fairly felt. All in all, two of those fruitful rediscoveries.

There are two additional symphonies that haven't seen the light of day. Hopefully cpo or another advocate recording label will bring them to us in the near future.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on August 01, 2019, 11:34:05 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/517Vx%2BTiQNL._SY355_.jpg)

Earlier I gave to these symphonies a revisit. My last memories told me that these works weren't appealing enough, and how wrong I was! I'm so glad to having changed my mind. The 1st Symphony is majestic and with certain struggle, mostly in the 1st movement. The 2nd movement is so inspired, it has an ethereal appeal to it. The 3rd movement is the culmination of greatness, a blaze of intense light. The ending is mightily uplifting and glorious.

The 2nd Symphony is a bit less good, but even so it doesn't disappoint at all. Inspired by the Greek mythology, it's much more succesful than other works with similar inspiration. And those ancient evocations are fairly felt. All in all, two of those fruitful rediscoveries.

There are two additional symphonies that haven't seen the light of day. Hopefully cpo or another advocate recording label will bring them to us in the near future.
I love that disc Cesar, especially the beautiful and moving central movement of 'Hellas' Symphony.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: SymphonicAddict on August 01, 2019, 04:31:25 PM
I love that disc Cesar, especially the beautiful and moving central movement of 'Hellas' Symphony.

Me too! I enjoyed it a lot, very worth hearing.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Symphonic Addict on March 17, 2020, 02:42:30 PM
(https://img.discogs.com/PIUO9mgDIiMTr57afVoK_U-NKVo=/fit-in/600x596/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-1562863-1228654209.jpeg.jpg)

Hakon Borresen's Symphony No. 1 in C minor, whilst not a masterpiece, possesses substance enough to rate it very high. A work of evident profoundity whose themes and development satisfy with no problem, at least for me. The last movement Adagio lamentabile is magnificent. A very welcome rediscovery.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Roy Bland on March 17, 2020, 04:35:08 PM
Gentle and well orchestrated works
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/816xBkhHSUL._SX522_.jpg)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: André on March 17, 2020, 05:22:37 PM
(https://img.discogs.com/PIUO9mgDIiMTr57afVoK_U-NKVo=/fit-in/600x596/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-1562863-1228654209.jpeg.jpg)

Hakon Borresen's Symphony No. 1 in C minor, whilst not a masterpiece, possesses substance enough to rate it very high. A work of evident profoundity whose themes and development satisfy with no problem, at least for me. The last movement Adagio lamentabile is magnificent. A very welcome rediscovery.

Interesting, thanks, Cesar.  :)

I have 2 Dacapo discs of his music, including symphonies 2 and 3. Very interesting, esp. his Sea Symphony. I’ll keep an eye on this CPO release.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Symphonic Addict on March 19, 2020, 04:25:25 PM
Interesting, thanks, Cesar.  :)

I have 2 Dacapo discs of his music, including symphonies 2 and 3. Very interesting, esp. his Sea Symphony. I’ll keep an eye on this CPO release.

Symphony No. 2 was playing here but on the CPO recording. I had overlooked this energetic work, with strong themes and vivacity. Quite good. Sadly, memorability in the Symphony No. 3 is missing. A step backwards, maybe. A nice piece, though.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Christo on March 20, 2020, 10:56:23 AM
(https://img.discogs.com/PIUO9mgDIiMTr57afVoK_U-NKVo=/fit-in/600x596/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-1562863-1228654209.jpeg.jpg)

Hakon Borresen's Symphony No. 1 in C minor, whilst not a masterpiece, possesses substance enough to rate it very high. A work of evident profoundity whose themes and development satisfy with no problem, at least for me. The last movement Adagio lamentabile is magnificent. A very welcome rediscovery.

Interesting, thanks, Cesar.  :)

I have 2 Dacapo discs of his music, including symphonies 2 and 3. Very interesting, esp. his Sea Symphony. I’ll keep an eye on this CPO release.

Sometimes, indeed oftentimes, posts like these make me walk to my cd wall and put one on top of my pile. This one is right up there now, will duly oblige.  :D

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/517Vx%2BTiQNL._SY355_.jpg)

Earlier I gave to these symphonies a revisit. My last memories told me that these works weren't appealing enough, and how wrong I was! I'm so glad to having changed my mind. The 1st Symphony is majestic and with certain struggle, mostly in the 1st movement. The 2nd movement is so inspired, it has an ethereal appeal to it. The 3rd movement is the culmination of greatness, a blaze of intense light. The ending is mightily uplifting and glorious.

The 2nd Symphony is a bit less good, but even so it doesn't disappoint at all. Inspired by the Greek mythology, it's much more succesful than other works with similar inspiration. And those ancient evocations are fairly felt. All in all, two of those fruitful rediscoveries.

There are two additional symphonies that haven't seen the light of day. Hopefully cpo or another advocate recording label will bring them to us in the near future.

+ one more.  8)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Symphonic Addict on March 21, 2020, 01:20:37 PM
Sometimes, indeed oftentimes, posts like these make me walk to my cd wall and put one on top of my pile. This one is right up there now, will duly oblige.  :D

+ one more.  8)

 8)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Roy Bland on March 31, 2020, 03:12:20 PM
(https://i.ndcd.net/2/Item/500/535306.jpg)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Symphonic Addict on March 31, 2020, 04:04:09 PM
That looks like an interesting release. Thanks for posting it.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on April 01, 2020, 04:46:00 AM
That looks like an interesting release. Thanks for posting it.
+1 I have a CD of his music somewhere.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 01, 2020, 01:42:24 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81%2BqrleZhcL._SL1500_.jpg)

Hey Roy - you need to learn to reduce the SIZE of your images - an easy task by inserting 'height' or 'width' in the leading [img ] brackets - quote this post to see that your image above now shows [img height=300], my addition - Dave
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Christo on April 02, 2020, 12:35:36 AM
(https://i.ndcd.net/2/Item/500/535306.jpg)

Own both symphonies in their former BIS and Simax releases, love them verily, will certainly buy this new release ASAP.  :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on April 02, 2020, 12:44:20 AM
Own both symphonies in their former BIS and Simax releases, love them verily, will certainly buy this new release ASAP.  :)
+1
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: pjme on April 02, 2020, 01:32:00 AM
Lovely works indeed.

And i love Hjalarljod!

https://www.youtube.com/v/cFRVBQhhpS4
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Symphonic Addict on April 27, 2020, 05:06:16 PM
(https://cdn.naxosmusiclibrary.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/hires/8.224098.jpg)

I often wonder how many musical treasures remain undiscovered in benefit of the mainstream stuff. Well, I'm so grateful with Dacapo for having brought one of those real beauties to life: the unabashedly extraordinary Symphony No. 3 in C major by Ludolf Nielsen. I can't be wrong calling it a masterpiece. Seriously speaking, the work does deserve such praises. It emanates grandeur and nobility in generous doses, besides striking themes, precise orchestration (scored for a big orchestra including 6 horns, tam-tam, tubular bells, among others) and a cohesive development. I can say it possesses all the ingredients I cherish in a symphony. The 1st movement has some Brucknerian gestures, mostly given to the brass, and a sense of nobility is easily perceivable. The 2nd mov. has that elf-and-fairy-like scherzo, sheer magic. The 3rd mov. begins with a quiet pastoral mood, but later the calm is broken with the arrival of a stormy fragment of significant imposingness, really tremendous; the apparent serenity returns afterwards but in a sadder way. The last movement is featured by agitated passages with certain similarity to those found in Mahler's symphonies. It's dramatic in the first minutes. An impressive climax builds up leading into potent brass, clashing cymbals, fierce timpani and tam-tam strokes, a super stirring moment. The work ends in the most possible poetic way. An incredible journey this symphony is.

With Ludolf it seems like his next symphony is better than the previous one, and I'm not demeaning the first two at all, they're splendorous for their own right.

All in all, this is one of the most epic symphonies I know, and a most fruitful rediscovery for me lately. The Bamberger Symphoniker play this work with real gusto under a conductor who understood the score. That's another big plus. I urge fans of late-Romantic works/symphonies to give it a try. I can't recommend it enough.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Symphonic Addict on April 27, 2020, 05:09:50 PM
A photo of the composer:

(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/e4Af5R1pnYs/hqdefault.jpg)

Zero resemblance with the most famous Nielsen.  :D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on April 28, 2020, 02:48:52 AM
A photo of the composer:

(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/e4Af5R1pnYs/hqdefault.jpg)

Zero resemblance with the most famous Nielsen.  :D
Indeed Cesar!
I don't think that I will be able to resist the temptation of his Symphony No.3 on the basis of your description.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: The new erato on April 28, 2020, 05:03:07 AM
Own both symphonies in their former BIS and Simax releases, love them verily, will certainly buy this new release ASAP.  :)

Very fine and characteristic works - unmistakeably Norwegian, nice to see Naxos venturing into this territory.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on April 28, 2020, 05:28:53 AM
Very fine and characteristic works - unmistakeably Norwegian, nice to see Naxos venturing into this territory.
Good to know - the Naxos CD is now absurdly priced. For now I've ordered the CPO release of Symphony No.2 which was only £4.00 second hand.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: 71 dB on June 04, 2020, 09:45:28 AM
Lately I have turned my attention more to Finnish and Swedish composers. For long my attitude was:

- If I am not much into Sibelius, what are the chances I'd be into "lesser" Finnish composers?
- Almost all post WW2 classical music is atonal noise
- Sweden is so weak in classical music why even bother?


The last decade or so has changed my attitude. I have realized not being a big fan of Sibelius doesn't mean I can't enjoy other Finnish composers. Years ago I purchased a 3CD set of Rautavaara on Naxos. It was very cheap. Getting into his music didn't happen in 17 seconds, but I have noticed I like something about it. I have had the Naxos Englund dics for 20 years, and I have to say it's the bass-shy recorded sound rather than the music itself that keeps me getting blown away. So, I am in the prosess of exploring Englund further trying to buy those expensive ONDINE discs as cheap and humanly possible. Great composer. I also seem to be into the music of Uuno Klami, but I haven't heard many works yet. Of Swedish composers I am getting into Pettersson and also it seem some works of Atterberg can be my thing (Cello Concerto!)

It helps I "discovered" contemporary classical music maybe 5 years ago and realized I actually like it quite a lot. At some point I try to explore living Finnish composers such as Kalevi Aho. I have heard Magnus Lindberg's works and they are pretty crazy, intense and difficult!  ;D

Exploring all these composers seem a huge work*, but I can dictate the speed myself...

* If music was the only thing in the World it would not be huge, but music competes with many many other things in life... ...and classical music is only a part of all music.  :P
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on June 05, 2020, 01:31:03 PM
Lately I have turned my attention more to Finnish and Swedish composers. For long my attitude was:

- If I am not much into Sibelius, what are the chances I'd be into "lesser" Finnish composers?
- Almost all post WW2 classical music is atonal noise
- Sweden is so weak in classical music why even bother?


The last decade or so has changed my attitude. I have realized not being a big fan of Sibelius doesn't mean I can't enjoy other Finnish composers. Years ago I purchased a 3CD set of Rautavaara on Naxos. It was very cheap. Getting into his music didn't happen in 17 seconds, but I have noticed I like something about it. I have had the Naxos Englund dics for 20 years, and I have to say it's the bass-shy recorded sound rather than the music itself that keeps me getting blown away. So, I am in the prosess of exploring Englund further trying to buy those expensive ONDINE discs as cheap and humanly possible. Great composer. I also seem to be into the music of Uuno Klami, but I haven't heard many works yet. Of Swedish composers I am getting into Pettersson and also it seem some works of Atterberg can be my thing (Cello Concerto!)

It helps I "discovered" contemporary classical music maybe 5 years ago and realized I actually like it quite a lot. At some point I try to explore living Finnish composers such as Kalevi Aho. I have heard Magnus Lindberg's works and they are pretty crazy, intense and difficult!  ;D

Exploring all these composers seem a huge work*, but I can dictate the speed myself...

* If music was the only thing in the World it would not be huge, but music competes with many many other things in life... ...and classical music is only a part of all music.  :P
I wonder if you'd like the music of Madetoja? His Second Symphony is a favourite of mine. Just a thought.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: 71 dB on June 05, 2020, 02:08:02 PM
I wonder if you'd like the music of Madetoja? His Second Symphony is a favourite of mine. Just a thought.

Thanks for the suggestion! I'll try to keep that in my mind. I have to be careful not to exhaust myself with exploring...  ;D

50 % of the time people here talk about composers I don't really know so that's why I feel like a newbie despite of having listened to classical music for almost quarter of a century and having hundreds and hundreds of CDs. It's just that when others where exploring Kabalevsky and Myaskovsky I was exploring Johann Adolf Hasse and Louis-Nicolas Clérambault.  0:)

I try to explore Kurt Atterberg a little bit more and then move on. I'm also exploring Einar Englund. I tried Gösta Nystroem, but I wasn't into his "semi-modernism." Then there is of course Allan Pettersson.  ;)

I have spend more money on classical music recently and when the JPC order arrives I will try to buy less again.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on June 05, 2020, 10:18:58 PM
Thanks for the suggestion! I'll try to keep that in my mind. I have to be careful not to exhaust myself with exploring...  ;D

50 % of the time people here talk about composers I don't really know so that's why I feel like a newbie despite of having listened to classical music for almost quarter of a century and having hundreds and hundreds of CDs. It's just that when others where exploring Kabalevsky and Myaskovsky I was exploring Johann Adolf Hasse and Louis-Nicolas Clérambault.  0:)

I try to explore Kurt Atterberg a little bit more and then move on. I'm also exploring Einar Englund. I tried Gösta Nystroem, but I wasn't into his "semi-modernism." Then there is of course Allan Pettersson.  ;)

I have spend more money on classical music recently and when the JPC order arrives I will try to buy less again.
I like the music of Englund, especially Symphony No.2 'Blackbird' and No.1 'War'. As for Nystroem, his 'Sinfonia del Mare' is the stand-out work for me.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: 71 dB on June 06, 2020, 03:42:06 AM
I like the music of Englund, especially Symphony No.2 'Blackbird' and No.1 'War'. As for Nystroem, his 'Sinfonia del Mare' is the stand-out work for me.

I must have heard Englund on radio some 20 years ago and I bought the one Naxos disc*. Only lately have I been more interested of contemporary and Nordic stuff so continuing the exploration of Englund is logical to me. As for Nystroem I tried the 2nd or 3rd Symphony because I read those are considered the best. Nystroem's style just doesn't seem to be for me right now so I "move on." There are plenty of composers to explore and if I run out before I die I can always come back to Nystroem.

* I don't know if it was sold outside Finland because it was a "Finnish" Naxos release with texts in English, Finnish and Swedish and an "F" in the cataloque number: 8.553758 F. Naxos seems to have "local" releases and I have seen "German" Naxos releases used on Amazon for example.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: calyptorhynchus on June 06, 2020, 05:43:42 PM
I have been listening to Ludolf Nielsen via YouTube and I think there's some very nice music in his oeuvre. The symphonies I found a bit incoherent, but the String Quartets 2 and 3 are very fine SQs in my opinion.

An irony as Carl Nielsen's SQ's aren't very good at all (strange that he never discovered how to write a SQ as a polyphonic dialogue/trialogue/quadrilogue when all the Symphonies and orchestral pieces, and the Wind Quintet, are full of this type of texture).
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on June 06, 2020, 07:53:46 PM
I must have heard Englund on radio some 20 years ago and I bought the one Naxos disc*. Only lately have I been more interested of contemporary and Nordic stuff so continuing the exploration of Englund is logical to me. As for Nystroem I tried the 2nd or 3rd Symphony because I read those are considered the best. Nystroem's style just doesn't seem to be for me right now so I "move on." There are plenty of composers to explore and if I run out before I die I can always come back to Nystroem.

* I don't know if it was sold outside Finland because it was a "Finnish" Naxos release with texts in English, Finnish and Swedish and an "F" in the cataloque number: 8.553758 F. Naxos seems to have "local" releases and I have seen "German" Naxos releases used on Amazon for example.

This is the fine Englund CD that I have on Naxos:
(http://)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: 71 dB on June 07, 2020, 02:23:03 AM
This is the fine Englund CD that I have on Naxos:
(http://)

Okay, that's the international version. The music content is identical, I checked. The Finnish "F" version looks like this:
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: 71 dB on June 07, 2020, 02:52:14 AM
An irony as Carl Nielsen's SQ's aren't very good at all (strange that he never discovered how to write a SQ as a polyphonic dialogue/trialogue/quadrilogue when all the Symphonies and orchestral pieces, and the Wind Quintet, are full of this type of texture).

Totally agree. Carl Nielsen's String Quartets are strangely weak compared to his other works. About 20 years ago when I got into the composer after being blown away by his 4th Symphony I "hoarded" the available few Naxos discs including the brand new String Quartets CDs only to be disappointed and confused. It's hard to believe it's the same composer behind the Symphonies and the String Quartets. It's strange Naxos jumped to these String Quartets so "early" when these should be among the last works to record and release to please Nielsen completists...

Carl Nielsen was predominantly an orchestral composer occationally nailing it in smaller scale works (e.g. Wind Quintet).
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on June 07, 2020, 05:35:13 AM
Okay, that's the international version. The music content is identical, I checked. The Finnish "F" version looks like this:
Interesting! Didn't know there was a special Finnish version.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Symphonic Addict on June 07, 2020, 09:03:06 AM
Carl Nielsen's SQ's aren't very good at all

(https://media2.giphy.com/media/21S35iv1C67ns2g458/giphy.gif?cid=6c09b952af07b2a147c9f3ef936d2f8483394300648dd82f&rid=giphy.gif)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: 71 dB on June 07, 2020, 10:08:00 AM
Interesting! Didn't know there was a special Finnish version.

Naxos seems to do things like this. My Naxos box of 3 Rautavaara CDs is also Finnish version (8.503234FIN) "Musiikkia mestarin kynästä" (Music from the maestro's pen). I'm not sure if this boxset is released elsewhere as it contains music selected from the individual Naxos Rautavaara CDs.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: kyjo on June 07, 2020, 10:45:02 AM
Carl Nielsen's SQ's aren't very good at all

(https://media2.giphy.com/media/21S35iv1C67ns2g458/giphy.gif?cid=6c09b952af07b2a147c9f3ef936d2f8483394300648dd82f&rid=giphy.gif)

My reaction exactly! ::) I love (Carl) Nielsen’s SQs.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Mirror Image on June 07, 2020, 10:53:10 AM
I have to agree that I’m not too impressed with any of Nielsen’s SQs. As much as I love his Wind Quintet or the Violin Sonata No. 2, I find most of his chamber oeuvre to be less inspired than his symphonic works and concerti.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: 71 dB on June 08, 2020, 06:42:17 AM
Einar Englund disc of his Cello Concerto and the 6th Symphony on Ondine arrived today. Just listened to it the first time. The Cello Concerto is very nice, especially the Adagio is "DEEP."  0:) The 6th Symphony isn't my (or anyone else's) favorite Englund Symphony, but it's okay. I am not a fan of this kind of works for orchestra and chorus.

I really like Englund's "no nonsense" approach. The music is rich, but contains nothing unnecessory. Especially I like how his music is totally free of national romanticism, but still sounds very "Finnish."



Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Mirror Image on June 08, 2020, 07:36:41 AM
Especially I like how his music is totally free of national romanticism, but still sounds very "Finnish."

This makes zero sense coming from an alleged ‘Elgarian’. ::)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Symphonic Addict on June 08, 2020, 09:18:22 AM
As far as I know, Englund has his own thread.  :P
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: kyjo on June 08, 2020, 09:49:58 AM
Einar Englund disc of his Cello Concerto and the 6th Symphony on Ondine arrived today. Just listened to it the first time. The Cello Concerto is very nice, especially the Adagio is "DEEP."  0:) The 6th Symphony isn't my (or anyone else's) favorite Englund Symphony, but it's okay. I am not a fan of this kind of works for orchestra and chorus.

I really like Englund's "no nonsense" approach. The music is rich, but contains nothing unnecessory. Especially I like how his music is totally free of national romanticism, but still sounds very "Finnish."

The Englund Cello Concerto is excellent - I could describe it as "Moeran meets Shostakovich", in a way! Other favorite Englund works of mine include the Symphony no. 2 The Blackbird and the Piano Concerto no. 2.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: 71 dB on June 08, 2020, 10:00:03 AM
The Englund Cello Concerto is excellent - I could describe it as "Moeran meets Shostakovich", in a way! Other favorite Englund works of mine include the Symphony no. 2 The Blackbird and the Piano Concerto no. 2.

I know nothing about Moeran, but Shostakovich's Cello Concertos are great if I remember correctly (have not listened to them for ages!). Agree about Symphony No. 2 and I am waiting for the Ondine disc of the Piano Concertos to arrive...
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Brewski on June 11, 2020, 06:35:44 AM
The subject of this thread is Scandinavian and Finnish composers. For those who wish to discuss other things, please do so elsewhere, or via private message. Thank you.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: MusicTurner on June 11, 2020, 10:27:46 AM
(...)

Give me a break. We have been discussing Einar Englund, a FINNISH composer! What next? Threads with a list of 100 allowed words? I am really feeling like leaving this forum. First I was banned from political threads and now when I try to contribute music threads moderators keep whining.

I try so hard to make this place less toxic, but look at how other people (Mirror Image, Karl Hanning) react. I don't attack other here, but I am constantly attacked.

I think the mod's note is referring to some very recent  posts that were now deleted because of personal quarelling and attacks. It's got nothing to do with Shostakovich being mentioned, for example; Englund's relations to Shostakovich's music are an often-occurring subject elsewhere too, also scholarly in record liner notes etc.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: 71 dB on June 11, 2020, 11:34:31 AM
I think the mod's note is referring to some very recent  posts that were now deleted because of personal quarelling and attacks. It's got nothing to do with Shostakovich being mentioned, for example; Englund's relations to Shostakovich's music are an often-occurring subject elsewhere too, also scholarly in record liner notes etc.

Oh, okay. My mistake. I deleted my post...  :P
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Christo on June 11, 2020, 11:39:12 AM
Listened to Englunds Cello Concerto and Symphony 6 again and liked the Symphony even more (the first listen was so so)

Give me a break. We have been discussing Einar Englund, a FINNISH composer! What next? Threads with a list of 100 allowed words? I am really feeling like leaving this forum. First I was banned from political threads and now when I try to contribute music threads moderators keep whining.

I try so hard to make this place less toxic, but look at how other people (Mirror Image, Karl Hanning) react. I don't attack other here, but I am constantly attacked.

This time, they were certainly not aiming at you - your mistake.  :D Only in case you would have called Englund 'a bloody Swedish colonial occupier' as no doubt a True Finn (political party) would have done, we could have taken offense, but of course you didn't.  ;)
I'm happy, since I'm an admirer of Englund's symphonies, especially the Fourth and later ones, No. 6 perhaps excluded. Perhaps we should return to his own long forgotten thread?  :(
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: André on June 11, 2020, 03:50:54 PM
Cross posted from WAYL2

Quote
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/617ZZPWwy2L._AC_SL425_.jpg)

2 works for cello and piano, one for solo cello by Herman Koppel (1908-1998). From his grandson Benjamin we get Professor Herman’s Cellistic Imaginarium, an homage to the disc’s solo cello work by his grand-dad. Both solo cello works use tone rows and are quite modern in idiom, whereas those where the cello is paired with the piano are more conservatively phrased. The piano writing reminds me of the mix of plangency and acerbity found in Shostakovich’s chamber works with piano. A great program, displaying much variety of tone.

Herman Koppel is one of my favourite composers from northern Europe. An exact contemporary of Vagn Holmboe,  I find him just as interesting by virtue of his broad compositional palette. He composed in tonal or atonal language with equal mastery and felicity.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Brewski on June 11, 2020, 04:53:03 PM
I think the mod's note is referring to some very recent  posts that were now deleted because of personal quarelling and attacks. It's got nothing to do with Shostakovich being mentioned, for example; Englund's relations to Shostakovich's music are an often-occurring subject elsewhere too, also scholarly in record liner notes etc.

Correct.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Christo on June 12, 2020, 12:02:38 AM

Herman Koppel is one of my favourite composers from northern Europe. An exact contemporary of Vagn Holmboe
They were not only contemporaries, but friends; at least that's what Holmboe told me in 1995. One of the composers he admired was 'his old friend' Herman Koppel, in those words.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: MusicTurner on June 12, 2020, 12:08:44 AM
They were not only contemporaries, but friends; at least that's what Holmboe told me in 1995. One of the composers he admired was 'his old friend' Herman Koppel, in those words.

Interesting. I don't know if you've mentioned it before, but: how did you meet & what else did he say?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on June 12, 2020, 01:02:11 AM
Interesting. I don't know if you've mentioned it before, but: how did you meet & what else did he say?

'Would you like another gin and tonic Johan?'

 8)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: MusicTurner on June 12, 2020, 01:25:05 AM
Concerning a perhaps more informal side of Holmboe, I looked a bit for sources. There wasn't any informal content in this interview with Bo Holten from 1976, but I found it interesting enough to link to it. It's in Danish, so maybe use google translate, but:

he says he likes Martinu (which is interesting,since Martinu was rather overlooked here then) besides Britten and Lutoslawski, admiring both a lot; he also likes the symphonies of Roussel, Honegger and V-Williams, for example, and sees Nielsen as a barrier in Denmark against an - alleged - decadence found in later German music, for example; he sees nothing of value in the Darmstadt School. Bartok, Nielsen, Sibelius and Stravinsky influenced him the most, and Haydn as regards the quartets. He also likes late-medieval music, such as the linear features of Estampie and the Conductus, and says that a preference for a linear style comes very natural to him, etc.

https://seismograf.org/dmt/51/04/vagn-holmboe-i-dag

In another interview from 1983 he tells a lot more about his background and private life, including an early interest in yoga (!) and that originally he wanted to be a painter. He also details his un-sentimental interest in nature, shuns the city, and mentions Schubert and Mozart as other major figures for him. He also tells a good deal about music in the 1930s. H.D. Koppel, Franz Syberg, Svend S.Schultz and Svend Erik Tarp were his close friends among composers.
https://seismograf.org/dmt/51/04/vagn-holmboe-i-dag
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on September 08, 2020, 02:39:00 AM
Copied over from WAYLTN thread:
Erkki Salmenhaara (1941-2002)
Symphony No.4 (1971-2)
Absolutely briliant!
Powerful, moving, inspiriting, tonal. Interesting booklet notes from Kalevi Aho.
A definite recommendation to 'the usual suspects' (those who, more or less, share my musical tastes here).
This one had to come from Finland:


And, here he is - Erkki Salmenhaara.
There is another clue in the photograph as to why his music was likely to appeal to me.  :)
(http://)



Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: krummholz on September 08, 2020, 03:20:40 AM
My reaction exactly! ::) I love (Carl) Nielsen’s SQs.

Yeah, me too. I would not place them on the same level as his symphonies, and one should remember that the first two are fairly early works and the last one is roughly contemporary with Maskarade and breathes much the same air as the opera. But they are IMO all charming, vital works and the 3rd (E flat), in particular, is very much on a par with Nielsen's other work of that period (e.g. the 2nd Symphony which it preceded by a couple of years) and is IMO quite beautiful, even if the last movement isn't quite up to the standards of the first three. I also confess to loving the 4th as well.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: krummholz on September 08, 2020, 03:26:18 AM
Concerning a perhaps more informal side of Holmboe, I looked a bit for sources. There wasn't any informal content in this interview with Bo Holten from 1976, but I found it interesting enough to link to it. It's in Danish, so maybe use google translate, but:

he says he likes Martinu (which is interesting,since Martinu was rather overlooked here then) besides Britten and Lutoslawski, admiring both a lot; he also likes the symphonies of Roussel, Honegger and V-Williams, for example, and sees Nielsen as a barrier in Denmark against an - alleged - decadence found in later German music, for example; he sees nothing of value in the Darmstadt School. Bartok, Nielsen, Sibelius and Stravinsky influenced him the most, and Haydn as regards the quartets. He also likes late-medieval music, such as the linear features of Estampie and the Conductus, and says that a preference for a linear style comes very natural to him, etc.

https://seismograf.org/dmt/51/04/vagn-holmboe-i-dag

In another interview from 1983 he tells a lot more about his background and private life, including an early interest in yoga (!) and that originally he wanted to be a painter. He also details his un-sentimental interest in nature, shuns the city, and mentions Schubert and Mozart as other major figures for him. He also tells a good deal about music in the 1930s. H.D. Koppel, Franz Syberg, Svend S.Schultz and Svend Erik Tarp were his close friends among composers.
https://seismograf.org/dmt/51/04/vagn-holmboe-i-dag

Very interesting as Holmboe is one of my very favorite composers (obviously)! Makes me wish I read Danish... is there a translation of that interview anywhere?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: MusicTurner on September 08, 2020, 03:41:24 AM
I don't think so, but google translate generally does a good job as regards Danish (and as opposed to say Russian), either by a direct request or by translating isolated, copied parts of the text. There is probably quite a lot of similar Holmboe material out there on the web, via Seismograf and other sources.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: 71 dB on September 08, 2020, 07:37:28 AM
There is another clue in the photograph as to why his music was likely to appeal to me.  :)

I suppose it's not the Marlboro box on the table so must be the cat (kissa)!   $:)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on September 08, 2020, 08:01:10 AM
I suppose it's not the Marlboro box on the table so must be the cat (kissa)!   $:)
Correct!  :) :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: 71 dB on September 08, 2020, 12:56:14 PM
Correct!  :) :)

It was a relatively easy guess. Nothing else in the photo makes sense in this context. Everything except the cat in the photo looks "melancholic."
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: André on September 08, 2020, 02:29:38 PM
The composer seems to look at it and think ‘why did I get a cat?’  >:D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on September 08, 2020, 08:57:07 PM
It was a relatively easy guess. Nothing else in the photo makes sense in this context. Everything except the cat in the photo looks "melancholic."
Yes, indeed. I can't stress how much I have enjoyed the 4th Symphony, which I must have played about four times yesterday. I haven't even listened to earlier symphonies yet.
Were you aware of him 71 dB?
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on September 08, 2020, 08:59:56 PM
The composer seems to look at it and think ‘why did I get a cat?’  >:D

I think that the cat is his 'kindred spirit' André!
 :)

PS I'm sure that you and many others here would like Symphony No.4. I hope to listen to the more 'modernist' symphonies 2 and 3 today.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: André on September 09, 2020, 08:15:12 AM
I think that the cat is his 'kindred spirit' André!
 :)

PS I'm sure that you and many others here would like Symphony No.4. I hope to listen to the more 'modernist' symphonies 2 and 3 today.

Salmenhaara and Hans Eklund are on my watch list ! Might take a while before I hit the ‘buy’ button though. They are rather expensive and I just busted 3 months worth of cd budget at Chandos.net ???.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: 71 dB on September 09, 2020, 09:07:05 AM
Were you aware of him 71 dB?

Yes, I know him by name (it has been mentioned here and there in the media over the years), but I have to say I don't know his music at all.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: 71 dB on September 09, 2020, 09:12:06 AM
Salmenhaara and Hans Eklund are on my watch list ! Might take a while before I hit the ‘buy’ button though. They are rather expensive and I just busted 3 months worth of cd budget at Chandos.net ???.

Yes, exploring Finnish composers isn't cheap. Just invested money on Englund so I'm not exploring other Finns for a while.  :P
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Symphonic Addict on September 09, 2020, 10:28:17 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.

I found his 6th Symphony Sinfonia senza Speranza on YouTube in very good sound quality. The title does justice to the work (Symphony without Hope). It's a grim but cogent piece.

https://www.youtube.com/v/KjQqyQt-aoo
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on September 09, 2020, 10:52:38 AM
Concerning a perhaps more informal side of Holmboe, I looked a bit for sources. There wasn't any informal content in this interview with Bo Holten from 1976, but I found it interesting enough to link to it. It's in Danish, so maybe use google translate, but:

he says he likes Martinu (which is interesting,since Martinu was rather overlooked here then) besides Britten and Lutoslawski, admiring both a lot; he also likes the symphonies of Roussel, Honegger and V-Williams, for example, and sees Nielsen as a barrier in Denmark against an - alleged - decadence found in later German music, for example; he sees nothing of value in the Darmstadt School. Bartok, Nielsen, Sibelius and Stravinsky influenced him the most, and Haydn as regards the quartets. He also likes late-medieval music, such as the linear features of Estampie and the Conductus, and says that a preference for a linear style comes very natural to him, etc.

https://seismograf.org/dmt/51/04/vagn-holmboe-i-dag

In another interview from 1983 he tells a lot more about his background and private life, including an early interest in yoga (!) and that originally he wanted to be a painter. He also details his un-sentimental interest in nature, shuns the city, and mentions Schubert and Mozart as other major figures for him. He also tells a good deal about music in the 1930s. H.D. Koppel, Franz Syberg, Svend S.Schultz and Svend Erik Tarp were his close friends among composers.
https://seismograf.org/dmt/51/04/vagn-holmboe-i-dag
Thank you so much MT for taking the time to sum up the contents for us.  Quite interesting!  :)

PD
Copied over from WAYLTN thread:
Erkki Salmenhaara (1941-2002)
Symphony No.4 (1971-2)
Absolutely briliant!
Powerful, moving, inspiriting, tonal. Interesting booklet notes from Kalevi Aho.
A definite recommendation to 'the usual suspects' (those who, more or less, share my musical tastes here).
This one had to come from Finland:


And, here he is - Erkki Salmenhaara.
There is another clue in the photograph as to why his music was likely to appeal to me.  :)
(http://)
You're a smoker Jeffrey?  :-X 

Just kidding!  ;)

PD

p.s.  A very striking grey tabby too!
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on September 09, 2020, 12:50:09 PM
Thank you so much MT for taking the time to sum up the contents for us.  Quite interesting!  :)

PDYou're a smoker Jeffrey?  :-X 

Just kidding!  ;)

PD

p.s.  A very striking grey tabby too!
I use to smoke a pipe PD  8)
Yes, Salmenhaara's cat is very impressive.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Irons on September 10, 2020, 09:31:32 AM
I use to smoke a pipe PD  8)
Yes, Salmenhaara's cat is very impressive.

So is Hurwitz's.  8)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Christo on September 10, 2020, 09:37:23 AM
So is Hurwitz's.  8)
The great thing is that Pipo only loves fine music. Adorable cat.  ;D
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on September 10, 2020, 11:04:36 AM
So is Hurwitz's.  8)
+1. I enjoyed her appearance in the favourite harp concertos video.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Irons on September 10, 2020, 12:14:09 PM
The great thing is that Pipo only loves fine music. Adorable cat.  ;D

Harp and Nielsen - a good mix. ;)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on September 14, 2020, 03:04:03 AM
I enjoyed this extract from Salmenhaara's 2nd Piano Sonata (middle movement).
CD continues the cat theme as well  8)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUpNWWnIxUw&list=PLNEJV1lNKyyVJ-2K200Pl7xI0nBWXLcV8&index=12
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on September 14, 2020, 06:21:27 AM
I enjoyed this extract from Salmenhaara's 2nd Piano Sonata (middle movement).
CD continues the cat theme as well  8)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUpNWWnIxUw&list=PLNEJV1lNKyyVJ-2K200Pl7xI0nBWXLcV8&index=12
Thank you for posting that clip....quite enjoying it!  :)

PD
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on September 14, 2020, 09:34:16 PM
Thank you for posting that clip....quite enjoying it!  :)

PD

Pleased to hear that  :)
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Alex Bozman on September 18, 2020, 01:10:16 PM
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.

I found his 6th Symphony Sinfonia senza Speranza on YouTube in very good sound quality. The title does justice to the work (Symphony without Hope). It's a grim but cogent piece.

https://www.youtube.com/v/KjQqyQt-aoo
Thanks for posting this. I had the Eklund 6th on an LP with Petersson's 16th many years ago and found it a powerful piece, but wasn't sure how typical it was of his output. Have recently invested in the CPO cd and getting to grips with the symphonies on there. Hopefully the start of a series. Eklund doesn't seem to feature much in the music books or recordings, yet seems a distinctive voice.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: calyptorhynchus on September 18, 2020, 04:26:45 PM
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.
https://www.youtube.com/v/KjQqyQt-aoo

I don't know Eklund, but I find the same lack of happiness in Rawsthorne. I can't listen to anything he wrote. Pettersson, oddly enough, I love.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: kyjo on September 18, 2020, 07:03:31 PM
I don't know Eklund, but I find the same lack of happiness in Rawsthorne. I can't listen to anything he wrote. Pettersson, oddly enough, I love.

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.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on September 18, 2020, 10:56:28 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.
OT

The PC No.2 is a charming and IMO very approachable work, although I think that the Symphonic Studies is his greatest works. You can get both work together on a fine Lyrita CD.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Alex Bozman 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   
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Alex Bozman 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.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J 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.

Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Symphonic Addict 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.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Symphonic Addict 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.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Alex Bozman 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.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: vandermolen on September 22, 2020, 08:34:57 AM
Eklund made a greater initial impression on me than did Haug's 1st Symphony.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: J 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.
Title: Re: Scandinavian and Finnish composers.
Post by: Alex Bozman 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.