The excellent Vagn Holmboe series from Dacapo continues with this superb recording of three concertos. Performances are by the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Dima Slobodeniouk with soloists Erik Heide and Lars Anders Tomter, violin and viola respectively. By my count, this is release number seventeen in this authoritative series, with many performances that will likely stand as benchmarks for many years to come. The three works on this CD are all world premiere recordings.
Holmboe (1909-1996) was an extraordinarily prolific composer. Between the chamber concertos and concertinos (both earlier works written before 1956), ensemble concertos (e.g. concerto for strings), and those designated simply "Concerto" as we have here, there are some thirty compositions. The works on this disc are Concerto for Viola, Op. 189 (1992), Concerto for Violin No. 2, Op. 139 (1979), and the Concerto for Orchestra (1929), a striking and significantly earlier work written prior to Holmboe's Opus one. It appears here not only as a world premiere recording, but a premiere performance as well.
For those who have not been following this important series and are unfamiliar with Holmboe, his music is tonal (albeit, it's an extended tonality, highly dissonant at times) and written in a neoclassical style with an emphasis on technique - rhythm, counterpoint, form, et cetera. Dynamic, colorful and interesting, it's also striking how uniform his musical language is across the nearly seven decades represented here. Holmboe set his creative course early, influenced by the music of his primary teacher Carl Nielsen, as well as Hindemith, Bartók, Stravinsky and Shostakovich.
The sample provided is the first movement of the Concerto for Viola, Op. 189, which, in terms of dissonance, is fairly representative of all of the music on this CD. The Danish label Dacapo demonstrates the vital role that independent record labels serve with ventures such as this one. We would have had to wait forever, and then some, for any major record label to undertake this important and enriching project.
Vagn Holmboe’s solo concertos for violin and viola are works that combine the composer’s own purist Nordic style with a huge declaration of love for the wild, dancing eastern European folk music that captivated him throughout his life. These premiere recordings by some of Scandi navia’s strongest string soloists – Norwegian Lars Anders Tomter and Swedish Erik Heide fronting the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra under Dima Slobodeniouk – are joined by Holmboe’s Concerto for Orchestra, which has never been performed before.
For full liner notes click the "View Booklet Notes" link on the left-hand side.
Composer: Vagn Holmboe
The spirit of folk culture plays an important role in the music of the Danish composer Vagn Holmboe. As was the case with Béla Bartók (one of Holmboe’s most important sources of inspiration), folkloristic studies have…
Dima Slobodeniouk combines his native Russian roots with his years of musical study in Finland, where he now makes his home. Drawing together the powerful musical strengths of these countries has placed Slobodeniouk as one of today’s younger generation of deeply informed and intelligent artistic leaders on the podium.
“Magical moments between performer and audience occur during a concert, and the musical experience is intensified when in the company of others. The musicians of the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, together with our guest conductors and soloists, do their utmost to make these moments of magic happen as often as possible!” –Karin Veres, Managing and Artistic Director
Swedish-born Erik Heide (violin) graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen in 1998 after studies with Milan Vitek and Tim Frederiksen. Further studies followed at the Musikhochschule in Cologne.
Lars Anders Tomter is one of today’s most outstanding violists. The Giant of the Nordic Viola (The Strad) was born at Hamar, Norway. He began to play the violin at the age of eight and also took up the viola.
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Vagn Holmboe: Concerto for Viola op. 189 - I. Allegro moderato, ma con forza (1992)