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Holbrooke: Violin Concerto "The Grasshopper," The Raven & Auld Lang Syne / Ingolfsson, Griffiths


Release Date: 11/18/2016 
Label:  Cpo   Catalog #: 777636   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Josef Holbrooke
Performer:  Judith Ingolfsson
Conductor:  Howard Griffiths
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brandenburg State Orchestra Frankfurt
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

When the symphonic poem The Raven after Edgar Allan Poe celebrated it's premiere in London in March, 1900, the critics showered hymns of praise on his work so rich in unique orchestral colors and on it's young composer Josef Holbrooke. It brought him his breakthrough and firmly established his reputation as an innovative and original contemporary composer. There are certainly many settings of Poe's poem, but Holbrooke was the first composer who did not merely set the text but used it as the poetic basis for his first "Poem for Orchestra." Holbrooke's idiom was the musical language of the late nineteenth century obliged to the primacy of expression, and he enriched it with his constant quest for new tonal effects. In his orchestral Read more variations on the beloved Scottish folk song "Auld Lang Syne" he again displays his extraordinary gift for employing his absolutely inexhaustible inventive talent and fine feeling for harmony in order to endow simple song forms with subtle expressive variety. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Varitions on Auld Lang Syne for Orchestra, Op. 60 by Josef Holbrooke
Conductor:  Howard Griffiths
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brandenburg State Orchestra Frankfurt
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
2.
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in F Major, Op. 59 "The Grasshopper" by Josef Holbrooke
Performer:  Judith Ingolfsson (Violin)
Conductor:  Howard Griffiths
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brandenburg State Orchestra Frankfurt
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
3.
The Raven, Op. 25 by Josef Holbrooke
Conductor:  Howard Griffiths
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brandenburg State Orchestra Frankfurt
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1900; England 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Eclectic Program, Wonderfully Performed December 27, 2016 By Henry S. (Springfield, VA) See All My Reviews "An exercise in imaginative programming, this new CPO disk presents 3 orchestral compositions by English composer Josef Holbrooke, whose musical career encompassed much of the first half of the 20th century. The term which seems to best characterize these works is 'varied,' meaning that each has its own distinct style, ensuring that the listener encounters a separate musical message from each work. Holbrooke's Op. 60 leads off the recording with a 22 minute set of variations on the traditional Scottish folk tune known everywhere for its nostalgic embrace of New Years Eve/Day- 'Auld Lang Syne.' Of interest is Holbrooke's use of initials denoting close acquaintances to mark each variation, rather in the mode of Edward Elgar and the Enigma Variations. A reverence for the core melody is clearly noticeable in this excellent performance by Germany's Brandenburg State Orchestra (Frankfurt/Oder) under Howard Griffiths. Then violinist Judith Ingolfsson takes center stage as soloist for Holbrooke's energetic and thoroughly captivating Violin Concerto, Op. 59, which carries the intriguing subtitle 'The Grasshopper.' Ingolfsson's sharp, focused performance gives an immediate and highly favorable impression of this truly excellent concerto. Like a grasshopper, the score jumps up and down in terms of mood and tempo, always presenting something new and interesting to the listener. Finally, there is Holbrooke's first tone poem (Op. 25), titled 'The Raven,' and as you can easily imagine, its inspiration is the deeply psychological, intensely and starkly dramatic poetic masterpiece of the same name by Edgar Allan Poe. The mood of the piece may be described by a number of adjectives- somber, foreboding, tragic, and possibly even paranoid, but if you are thinking such a piece could not be very attractive, you should reconsider such thoughts. This is also a high quality composition that will engage your aesthetic senses as well as your imagination. Its ability to recreate the poem's fabulous sense of mystery is a major and defining characteristic of this work. I'm sure that Poe himself would have approved of this musical interpretation of his famous poem. In summary, CPO has produced another highly attractive recording of works by a little known composer, who deserves a wider audience today. The orchestra and conductor do a splendid job with this material, and of course CPO's sonic qualities are outstanding. Bottom line- excellent new recording, which I heartily recommend." Report Abuse
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