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Kleven: Lotusland, Skogens Sovn / Malkki, Stavanger Symphony

Kleven,Arvid
Release Date: 01/01/2010 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 1542  
Composer:  Arvid Kleven
Conductor:  Susanna Mälkki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stavanger Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Arvid Kleven obviously was a talented composer whose death in 1929, at age 30, represented a serious loss to 20th-century Norwegian music. The four works here, while not of uniformly high quality, show his art evolving over the span of his brief life. Lotus Land and The Sleeping Forest, as the titles suggest, bring to mind contemporaneous works by composers such as Arnold Bax and Cyril Scott. The scoring is rich and perhaps a touch kitschy, but Kleven's melodic (or motivic) inspiration remains consistently spontaneous and fresh.

The Symphonic Fantasy shows Kleven moving toward a darker, more expressionistic idiom (dig those low tam-tams at the beginning!), with violent eruptions and jagged dissonance providing a welcome
Read more contrast to more melodic episodes. It's really a very well-balanced and convincing work whose 19 minutes belies its length. The same can't be said of the Sinfonia Libera, whose comparative austerity sits oddly next to the other works on the disc. Kleven undoubtedly thought that this represented "progress" in terms of thematic and motivic workmanship, and maybe it did, but it's just not as much fun to listen to.

The performances of music that must have been unfamiliar to all concerned are very convincing. Susanna Mälkki shows herself to be sensitive to the music's coloristic elements, and she effectively sustains the tension through the Sinfonia's less demonstrative moments. The engineering is quite good, and this disc fills a repertoire niche that most listeners might not know even existed, but will be glad to learn about.

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

1.
Lotusland, Op. 5 by Arvid Kleven
Conductor:  Susanna Mälkki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stavanger Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921 
2.
The Sleeping Forest, Op. 9 by Arvid Kleven
Conductor:  Susanna Mälkki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stavanger Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1923 
3.
Symphonic Fantasy, Op. 15 by Arvid Kleven
Conductor:  Susanna Mälkki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stavanger Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1926 
4.
Sinfonia libera in due parti by Arvid Kleven
Conductor:  Susanna Mälkki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stavanger Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927/1928 

Sound Samples

Symphonic Fantasy, Op. 15
Skogens sovn (The Sleeping Forest), Op. 9
Lotusland, Op. 5
Sinfonia libera in due parti, Op. 16 (reconstructed by R. Ronnes)

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