Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

For the past five years or so I've posted reviews of classical music CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays, in various places on the web: Amazon.com, iTunes and other sites. I'll collect those earlier reviews, and add four or five new ones every month.

"Music, both vocall and instrumental, so good, so delectable, so rare, so admirable, so super excellent, that it did even ravish and stupifie all those strangers that never heard the like." - Thomas Coryat, after hearing 3 hours of music at the Scuola di San Rocco in Venice, 1608.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Exciting world premiere recordings

From June 20, 2013:


Vagn Holmboe's 2nd Violin Concerto deserves to be included in the same group of 20th Century violin concertos as those by Sibelius, Nielsen, Prokofiev, Walton, Berg, Stravinsky and Bartok. The Viola Concerto has much less company, but this is an impressive work as well. The soloists on this exciting new DaCapo release are truly excellent. Violinist Erik Heide and violist Lars Anders Tomter both shine, and they're given superb support by the Norrkoping Symphony under conductor Dima Slobodeniouk.

The orchestra has its own moment to shine in Holmboe's Concerto for Orchestra, a work by the 20-year old composer that has never been performed before now. This brass-heavy neo-classical work has a sound of its own that I really like, though it's much less technically assured than the violin and viola concertos which show the mastery of orchestration Holmboe attained after fifty more years of composition.

All the works on this splendid CD are world premiere recordings. DaCapo gives the entire project the highest level of production values, from engineering to packaging design. The solid slipcase, the liner notes by Jens Cornelius, the artwork, the recording and production, the performances and the album concept: everything is deluxe, and all in support of some of the most exciting new music I've heard in years.

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