Notes and Editorial Reviews
The Trondheim group plays with prismatically changing tone, artful dynamic molding, and superior balances (aided, of course, by the spatial setup), which bring out the music’s contrapuntal interest. Phrasing is consistently imaginative, and while it’s possible to give the Tchaikovsky works greater toughness (the Andante non troppo opening of the Serenade could surely be grander and more austere), the Trondheim’s control of accents and their rhythmic unanimity provide plenty of energy and lift (note the stunning clarity of the sixteenth-note figures in the finale of Souvenir de Florence or the swing once we get to the Allegro moderato of the first movement of the Serenade or the infectious lilt of the Serenade’s waltz). There’s plenty of
sheer drama in the finale of the Tchaikovsky Serenade, too. Like Tuttle, I normally prefer to hear Souvenir as a sextet (as Tchaikovsky intended) rather than in a plumped-up version for string orchestra. But this account, played by 20 performers with all the dexterity of a much smaller ensemble, now goes to the top of my list; and the thoughtful reading of the Serenade is nearly as good. As for the Nielsen:...the Suite is the work of an immature composer who was yet to find his voice, it gets a performance that draws the most from it (the mystery of the first movement is especially compelling here). In sum, a release that demonstrates the utmost care in both engineering and performance—and that could serve as a model for other companies to emulate. Strongly recommended.
FANFARE: Peter J. Rabinowitz
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