Every Time MUSIC CHOICE Identifies Grieg ...

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dulcinea
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Every Time MUSIC CHOICE Identifies Grieg ...

Post by dulcinea » Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:35 pm

... as the BEST KNOWN Norwegian composer, I cringe, because that is an snide dig at the fact that Grieg is the ONLY Norwegian composer known to practically everybody--except the regular listeners of MC, who get to listen to Johan Halvorsen, who is entertaining enough, but definitely not the Sibelius of Norway.
Which other Norwegian composers would you nominate as truly shining lights in the temple of the art of Saint Cecilia, please?
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Re: Every Time MUSIC CHOICE Identifies Grieg ...

Post by Lance » Tue Apr 04, 2017 4:35 pm

Well, no doubt Edvard Grieg IS the most famous of Norwegian composers, who became even more famous to the world after his passing. However, some that I have enjoyed include Ole Bull, Thomas Tellefsen, and perhaps some remember Rikard Nordraak, famous for composing Norway's national anthem. Beyond that, I don't think there are too many that are known internationally. I have recordings of Ole Bull's work and also Thomas Tellefsen who wrote a great deal of music that is only occasionally performed. Bull's work is well known to violinists.
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John F
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Re: Every Time MUSIC CHOICE Identifies Grieg ...

Post by John F » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:46 pm

dulcinea wrote:
Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:35 pm
... as the BEST KNOWN Norwegian composer, I cringe, because that is an snide dig at the fact that Grieg is the ONLY Norwegian composer known to practically everybody
Yes, it's a simple fact. Even today, when it seems nearly everything is being recorded, no other Norwegian composer has emerged to rival Grieg not just for popularity but for quality. Sinding, Svendsen, Halvorsen, all of them prolific, just don't have it, and are rarely if ever performed outside Norway. I suppose Saeverud is the most prominent modern Norwegian composer, but that's not saying much. In this case at least, popular opinion is right. So you can stop cringing. :mrgreen:
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Re: Every Time MUSIC CHOICE Identifies Grieg ...

Post by Wallingford » Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:52 pm

There's Johan Svendsen, all of whose symphonies were recorded years ago on EMI by Maris Jansons and he Oslo Phiharmonic.

Maybe no big points for profundity, but quite entertaining nonetheless.

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John F
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Re: Every Time MUSIC CHOICE Identifies Grieg ...

Post by John F » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:34 am

When foreign conductors become music director of Scandinavian orchestras, they dutifully put music by local composers on the program. Mariss Jansons was music director of the Oslo Philharmonic from 1979 to 2000, which explains his performances of Svendsen - I doubt he's conducted any Svendsen in London, Pittsburgh, or Munich. Neeme Järvi was music director of the Göteborg Symphony for 22 years and conducted a good deal of Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian music there; some he kept in his repertoire even when head of the New Jersey Symphony. Alan Gilbert led the Stockholm Philharmonic from 2000 to 2008, and added Nielsen's music and a commitment to the new music of Magnus Lindberg while he was there; both composers figured importantly in his time at the New York Philharmonic. (Let's call Finland part of Scandinavia.) This is pretty much how it's been.
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Re: Every Time MUSIC CHOICE Identifies Grieg ...

Post by diegobueno » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:36 am

My first choice among Norwegian composers who ought to be known better is Johan Kvandal (1919-1999). His oboe concerto is representative of his style. It's well crafted and it grows on you (me, in any case) with repeated hearings.



His Second String Quartet has a higher dissonance level than the Oboe Concerto, and it's also an effective and expressive piece of writing.


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