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Jorgensen: Confrontations, Etc / Vetö, Kontra Quartet, Et Al

Release Date: 08/15/2000 
Label:  Dacapo   Catalog #: 8224137   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Erik Jorgensen
Performer:  Ulrik StaerkBjörn FosdalBjörne Carl NielsenSoren Birkelund,   ... 
Conductor:  Tamás Vetö
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Odense Symphony OrchestraDanish Wind QuintetKontra String Quartet,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 0 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Though Danish composer Erik Jorgensen (b. 1912) started out as a Neoclassicist in the mode of Bartok and Stravinsky (popular in Denmark in the 1930s), he evolved into one of the more sophisticated practitioners of advanced serialism in northern Europe. His music, though, tends to be less abstract than is typical of most serial compositions. If anything, Jorgensen's works have the same kind of organic "fullness" as the works (particularly the symphonies) of Leif Segerstam. Like Segerstam, Jorgensen's not afraid of injecting occasional passages of tonality or, as in the case of the Introduction and Presto for Saxophone Quartet (1995), dashes of humor.

His major work is
Read more his 1967 composition, Confrontations for Orchestra. It's a beautifully intense grand-scale serial work for full orchestra, a genuine masterpiece. (It's also a showpiece for the Odense Symphony, which takes to this music with extraordinary confidence.) Jorgensen's Variations for Piano (of 1966) is a serial work based on a single untransposed 12-tone row, but it has a rhythmic structure more consistent with tonal compositions. Improvisations for Wind Quintet (of 1971) is another serial piece that sets contrasting instruments, such as the flute and the oboe, to follow their own tone-rows, a device that allows for some interesting syncopations. Piece for String Quartet (1964/65) makes eerie use of extreme bowing techniques (playing as close to the bridge as bow and fingers can go, for example), to create a work that Iannis Xenakis would drool over.

Finally, Introduction and Presto for Saxophone Quartet (1995) presents the playful side to Jorgensen's temperament. It's a more pointillistic piece; it's also more rhythmically coherent than the other chamber works on this disc. Though serialism has gotten a bad rap over the years, it can produce very stimulating listening experiences--and fortunately, that's what we get here. All of the featured players and ensembles know the heart of this music and deliver very captivating performances, supported by excellent sound. Highly recommended.
--Paul Cook, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Confrontations by Erik Jorgensen
Conductor:  Tamás Vetö
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Odense Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1967-1968; Denmark 
Date of Recording: 04/1999 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Odense, Denmark 
Length: 17 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Variations for Piano by Erik Jorgensen
Performer:  Ulrik Staerk (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1966; Denmark 
Date of Recording: 11/15/1999 
Venue:  Radio House Studio no 2, Denmark 
Length: 11 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Improvisations for Wind Quintet by Erik Jorgensen
Performer:  Björn Fosdal (French Horn), Björne Carl Nielsen (Oboe), Soren Birkelund (Clarinet),
Verner Nicolet (Flute), Peter Bastian (Bassoon)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish Wind Quintet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1971; Denmark 
Date of Recording: 11/21/1999 
Venue:  Radio House Studio no 2, Denmark 
Length: 15 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Piece for String Quartet by Erik Jorgensen
Performer:  Morten Zeuthen (Cello), Anton Kontra (Violin), Peter Fabricius (Viola),
Boris Samsing (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kontra String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1964-1965; Denmark 
Date of Recording: 10/13/1998 
Venue:  Radio House Studio no 2, Denmark 
Length: 7 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Introduction and Presto for Saxophone Quartet by Erik Jorgensen
Performer:  Jorgen Bove (Soprano Saxophone), Torben Snekkestad (Tenor Saxophone), Christian Hougaard (Alto Saxophone),
Per Egholm (Baritone Saxophone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Danish Saxophone Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1995; Denmark 
Date of Recording: 07/06/1999 
Venue:  Radio House Studio no 1, Denmark 
Length: 7 Minutes 43 Secs. 

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