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Irgens-Jensen: Symphony In D Minor, Air, Passacaglia / Engeset, Bournemouth SO

Irgens-jensen / Bournemouth Sym Orch / Engeset
Release Date: 09/27/2011 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8572312   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ludvig Irgens-Jensen
Conductor:  Bjarte Engeset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Ludvig Irgens-Jensen's Passacaglia of 1928, music of unaffected grandeur and nobility, is one of the monuments of the Scandinavian orchestral repertoire. It receives a powerful performance from Bjarte Engeset and the Bournemouth Symphony, particularly when the brass weigh in with the concluding chorale. The work has been recorded before, and quite well too (there's a fine version on Simax coupled to the same composer's lovely song cycle Japanese Spring), but certainly this performance ranks with the best available.

The real significance of this release, though, lies in the premiere recording of the Symphony in its original, three-movement form. It's easy to understand why
Read more Irgens-Jensen had his doubts. The first two movements follow a logical progression from anxiety to a triumph similar in tone to the climax of the Passacaglia. The finale is a sometimes spooky, sometimes sardonic march of markedly Mahlerian character, and Irgens-Jensen might have felt that the quiet, equivocal ending reflected too much of the troubled times (1942) in which it was composed.

That said, the third movement strikes me as welcome, and emotionally necessary. The use of thematic recall adds structural balance to the work that it otherwise lacks, and the fact that the ending is not conventionally triumphant, in this day and age is not a mark against it. Most significantly, the movement contains some really powerful and evocative music, and it would be a terrible pity to sacrifice anything by a composer of this ability, one who wrote so few large-scale orchestral works. The performance is as fine as we have any right to expect, and the sonics are both rich and vivid. Might we look forward to a badly needed new version of the Partita Sinfonica from these same forces?

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Symphony in D minor by Ludvig Irgens-Jensen
Conductor:  Bjarte Engeset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942 
2. Air by Ludvig Irgens-Jensen
Conductor:  Bjarte Engeset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1959 
3. Passacaglia by Ludvig Irgens-Jensen
Conductor:  Bjarte Engeset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928 

Sound Samples

Symphony in D minor (original version): I. Allegro - Moderato - Allegro agitato - Molto moderato - Allegro agitato
Symphony in D minor (original version): II. Andante - Allegro moderato
Symphony in D minor (original version): III. Andante lugubre - Allegro, alla marcia - Lento
Air
Passacaglia

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