Journey: Contemporary Danish Works

Journey: Contemporary Danish Works

by Kim Sjøgren
     
 

OUR Recordings Journey: Contemporary Danish Works is indeed the record of a shared journey between two expert Danish musicians; violinist Kim Sjøgren and guitar virtuoso Lars Hannibal. They met in Århus at the Danish Royal Conservatory in 1971 and in 1980 formed a two-man ensemble under the name of Duo Concertante and began toSee more details below

Overview

OUR Recordings Journey: Contemporary Danish Works is indeed the record of a shared journey between two expert Danish musicians; violinist Kim Sjøgren and guitar virtuoso Lars Hannibal. They met in Århus at the Danish Royal Conservatory in 1971 and in 1980 formed a two-man ensemble under the name of Duo Concertante and began to commission works from some of the most prominent Danish composers of the day. The four works presented here were recorded throughout the first half of 1988 and issued later that year on Danish EMI; by the time of this OUR Recordings re-release in 2007, three of the composers -- Herman D. Koppel, Jørgen Jersild, and Vagn Holmboe -- had died, and all had moved into the pantheon of the top twentieth century Danish composers. So Sjøgren and Hannibal picked their commissions well and were lucky to have these distinguished figures produce, late in their careers, pieces for the not-so-usual instrumental combination of violin and guitar that nevertheless goes back to the time of Paganini. Palle Mikkelborg is a prominent jazz trumpeter and composer who has worked with Gil Evans, George Russell, and Miles Davis. His "Everything Matters" (1988) also serves as ballet music; choreographed for the Houston Ballet Company by Christopher Bruce under the title Journey, it was filmed in 1991 by prominent dance film director Thomas Grimm in a performance later released on a DVD devoted to the Houston Ballet. "Everything Matters" is ideally suited for dance -- one can almost see the movement in one's mind's eye just listening to it -- and it's restrained, atmospheric, and sustained, melancholy mood makes the piece sound as though it should have been released on ECM rather than Danish EMI. There is subtle use of additional electronics, achieved on a synchronized tape in live performance, though these elements are played live here by the composer. The Holmboe "Duo Concertato, Op. 167" (1987) is direct, concise, and inspired by folk music; Koppel's "Duo for violin and guitar, Op. 116" (1987), is by turns persuasive, dynamic, and lyrical and demonstrates that Koppel -- who had never before composed for the guitar -- took the time to learn its capabilities; perhaps Koppel picked up some advice from his son Thomas, leader of the progressive rock group Savage Rose. In terms of sheer variety, though, it's tough to beat the Jersild; also new to the guitar, his "10 Impromptu" (1987) consists of short miniatures ranging in length from three minutes down to about 30 seconds. Some of these could almost pass for pieces written in the nineteenth century, given their bright and folksy simplicity, whereas others are more enigmatic, dissonant, and angular. It's an interesting and strongly individual statement for a composer known for concision and sensitivity to the requirements of instruments. There is an attitude among some classical listeners that Denmark's contribution to Western music is little more than that; it is in the game, but not first in line. OUR Recordings Journey: Contemporary Danish Works provides a gateway to some of these certainly worthy composers and provides a unique and highly enjoyable listening experience, well suited for late-night reading or reflection.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/29/2008
Label:
Dacapo
UPC:
0636943690222
catalogNumber:
8226902
Rank:
353417

Tracks

  1. Everything matters, for violin & guitar  - Palle Mikkelborg  - Kim Sjøgren  - Lars Hannibal  - Charlotte Bruun Petersen
  2. Duo, for violin & guitar, Op. 116  - Herman D. Koppel  - Kim Sjøgren  - Lars Hannibal  - Charlotte Bruun Petersen
  3. Impromptus (10)  - Jørgen Jersild  - Kim Sjøgren  - Lars Hannibal  - Charlotte Bruun Petersen
  4. Duo Concertato, Op. 167  - Vagn Holmboe  - Kim Sjøgren  - Lars Hannibal  - Charlotte Bruun Petersen

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