Friday, October 28, 2022

#ClassicsaDay #FallBreak Week 4

For several years now the Classics a Day team has come up with a new theme for each month. But sometimes we all need a break. Plus, none of the suggested themes seemed particularly inspired. So this month there's no theme. 

Everyone's enjoying a fall break. For some of us, it will be a break from posting. For me, I'm just going to post some of my favorite classical works. After all, this is the music I'd want to enjoy on break!

Here are my posts for the fourth and final week of #FallBreak.

10/24/22 Joachim Raff: Symphony No. 3 "im Walde"

Raff was a major symphonist in the late 1800s. But when he died, his music vanished from the repertoire. After hearing his symphonies, I have no idea why. This is good stuff!

10/25/22 PDQ Bach: Echo Sonata for Two Unfriendly Groups of Instruments

Peter Schickle is a comedic genius -- and a darned good composer. Like all good comedies, the humor relies on timing. There are plenty of so-so performances of this piece. The original, though (recorded under Schickle's supervision) remains the best.

10/26/22 Steve Reich: Clapping Music

Talk about minimal. 2 performers, no instruments, eight notes. So cool.

10/27/22 Jon Lord: Gemini Suite

This was Jon Lord's second work blending rock musicians with an orchestra. Like the earlier Concerto for Group and Orchestra, this featured members of Deep Purple, with Malcolm Arnold conducting.

10/28/22 Arnold Rosner: Prelude to "The Tragedy of Queen Jane," Op. 78

Rosner was a student of Alan Hovhaness' music. His own works incorporated Renaissance harmonies and Medieval counterpoint for music that sounded like no one else's.

Next month: Forgotten Composers

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Nikolay Shugaev presents varied program of cello works

The three works have one thing in common. They're all works for cello and orchestra, composed by Italians in the mid-20th Century. And that's about all they have in common. 

Gian Malipiero's work is a full-blown cello concerto. Giorgio Ghedini's is a neo-classical composition for two cellos (and orchestra). Alfredo Cansala's is an unassuming Notturne e Tarantella. 

Nikolay Shugaev is the principal cellist for all three works. He plays with a rich, singing tone. Sugaev adapts his playing to the style of the composer, emphasizing their differences. 

Dmitri Prokofiev joins him for the Ghedini work. His playing style is different than Shugaev's yet complimentary to it. And it fits perfectly with the intent of the music.

"L'Oment" (The Elm Grove) represents two herbs that appear to grow separately. Yet underneath the ground their roots intertwine, nourishing each other. The two cellos -- as the herbs -- do just that. Their lines intertwine, harmonizing and supporting each other. Shugaev and Prokofiev blend while retaining their individuality. 

Malipiero's brother was a renowned cellist. And that's who this concerto was written for. Shugaev plays the work with aggressive exuberance. It left me with the impression that this music was both fun and rewarding to play. It certainly was to listen to.

Gian Francesco Malipiero: Cello Concerto
Giorgio Federico Ghedini: L'Omenta
Nikolay Shugaev, cello
Dmitrii Prokfiev, cello
Rostov Academic Symphony Orchdestra; Valentin Uryupin, conductor

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Energetic Performances Kick Off Jan Novak Orchestral Series

This release presents three works for soloist(s) and orchestra by Jan Novák. Two of them are world premiere recordings, all extraordinary compositions. 

Jan Novák was a Czech composer active in the postwar era. He was a generation younger than Bohuslav Martinu, who he greatly admired. It's been remarked that Novák's music bears a strong resemblance to Martinu's. I agree with that assessment, but not for the assumed reasons.

I think Martinu showed Novák how to write classical music inspired by his native culture. The unusual rhythms in both men's music echo Czech speech patterns. The angular nature of their melodies follows Czech folk models, as well as their harmonies. 

The 1949 Concerto for Piano and String Orchestra is a prime example. When Novák showed Martinu the completed score, he called it "fitful and scholastic." Novák started from scratch and produced the work on this album. 

There's nothing academic about this concerto -- nor fitful. The work moves smoothly from climax to climax. Its harmonies and rhythms have a fresh sound, and the entire work has a joyous quality to it. 

The Czech elements are even more fully integrated with Novák's 1952 Concerto for Oboe and Chamber Orchestra. The work is shorter and more tightly organized. The energy level is higher. And the rhythms and cross-rhythms are better integrated into the music. 

The Concentus Biiugis for piano four hands and string orchestra is a late work, written in 1977. Four hands at the piano tend to have a thicker sound than two. Perhaps that is the reason Novák thickened the texture of the orchestral sound. 

The entire work has a dense quality to it, while still remaining nimble and full of energy. 

The Ensemble Opera Diversa, led by Gabriela Tardonová is a Czech ensemble. All of the soloists are native to the Czech Republic. And I think that's part of what makes this recording so successful. 

Martinu encouraged Novák to return to his roots. These musicians are intimately familiar with those roots. They recognize their importance in Novák's music. These are exciting performances, indeed!

I look forward to Volume Two.  

Jan Novák: Music for Orchestra, Volume One
Concerto for Piano and Strings; Oboe Concerto; Concentus biiugis
Vilém Veverka, oboe; Alice Rajnohová, piano
Lucie Schinzelová and Kristýna Znamenáčková, piano duet
Ensemble Opera Diversa; Gabriela Tardonová, conductor
Toccata Classics TOCC 0551

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Philharmonisches Orchester Bremerhaven Deliver with Emilie Mayer Symphonies


In her day, Emilie Mayer was known as the "female Beethoven." This was accurate, but no one was calling Franz Liszt the "male Clara Schumann." And perhaps it's that gender bias that's kept Mayer's music from finding its audience.

This release features two of Mayer's eight symphonies. Mayer was active in the middle part of the 19th Century. Her Sixth Symphony, written in 1853 is comparable to those of Mendelssohn and Schumann.

The primary difference I hear is that Mayer's symphony is denser and more complete than Mendelssohn's. And it's more tightly organized than Schumann's. And I can hear the reason for the sobriquet. 

Mayer's chords and climaxes also remind me of Beethoven. Her motivic development also seems inspired by Beethoven. But inspired, not derivative.

Her Symphony No. 3 is subtitled "Sinfonie militaire." The symphony premiered in 1848. It was Mayer's first orchestral work to be performed in public. The military flourishes at the end must have been a real crowd-pleaser. 

There's a logical structure to this symphony, one that carries through from beginning to end. 

Marc Niemann leads the Philharmisches Orchester Bremerhaven in some informed performances. His conducting illuminates the structure of Mayer's compositions. At the same time, he encourages the orchestra to lean into the music. They emphasize the connection to Beethoven through the power of their playing. 

A great recording of two Emilie Mayers symphonies. Perhaps the other six will be forthcoming?

Emilie Mayer: Symphony Nos. 3 and 6
Philharmonisches Orchester Bremerhaven; Marc Niemann, conductor
Hanssler Classics

Friday, October 21, 2022

#ClassicsaDay #FallBreak Week 3

For several years now the Classics a Day team has come up with a new theme for each month. But sometimes we all need a break. Plus, none of the suggested themes seemed particularly inspired. So this month there's no theme. 

Everyone's enjoying a fall break. For some of us, it will be a break from posting. For me, I'm just going to post some of my favorite classical works. After all, this is the music I'd want to enjoy on break! 

Here are my posts for week 3 of #FallBreak.

Bohuslav Martinu: Symphony No. 5

I analysed this work for a masters-level 20th Century Symphonies course. I got a B. My analysis was fine, but the professor throught the source material wasn't that complex (otheers in the class were tackling Mahler, Webern, and Schoenberg). Doesn't matter -- it's still one of my favorites.

Charles Villiers Stanford - Songs of the Fleet, Op. 177

Who doesn't love a rollicking sea chanty? Stanford's songs are more nuanced, but still quite evocative of the sea.

Amy Beach: Piano Concerto

Beach was a superb pianist, and this concerto reflects her skill both as a performer and as a composer. Too bad her husband didn't agree.

Horatio Parker: Hora novissima

Usually Parker's only referred to as the composition professor who tried (and failed) to teach Charles Ives, supergenius. But that's not entirely fair. Parker was no hack. I find this work skillfully constcruted and quite beautiful.

Stefania de Kennessy: Sunburst

The joyous energy that bursts from this music never fails to cheer me. Think contemporary music is too academic and ugly? Give this a listen. And know there's plenty more where that came from.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Koechlin Seven Stars' Symphony Still Shines

French composer Charles Koechlin was, among other things, an avid film buff. So it's not surprising that he would draw inspiration from movie stars to create a symphony. The resulting Seven Stars' Symphony proved to be his best-known work. 

Koechlin wrote the symphony in 1933. Each of the seven movements presents an impression of a famous movie star of the silent era. Some, such as Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, and Charlie Chaplin retained their popularity. Lilian Harvey, Emil Jannings, Douglas Fairbanks, and Clara Bow have not.

Koechlin's portrayals are impressionistic. This, I think, helps the work transcend its origins. I don't need to know who Lilian Harvey was to be charmed by Koechlin's minuet fugue. 

Each movement represents a different star, so there's very little thematic continuity between them. This makes the work episodic. But since Koechlin was such a fine orchestrator, it doesn't matter. His music beguiles the ear, as it moves from star to star. 

The Sinfonieorchester Basel is directed by Ariane Matiakh. The recorded sound is quite good. Koechlin has some very subtle orchestral effects that are captured in this recording. 

It doesn't matter if you're well-versed in Silent Era films or not. The Seven Stars' Symphony stands on its own musical merits. 

Charles Koechlin: The Seven Stars' Symphony, Op. 132
Vers la voûte étoilée, Op. 129
Sinfonieorchester Basel; Ariane Matiakh, conductor
Capriccio C5449

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Richard Stöhr Orchestral Music Proves of Interest


In 1905, Richard Stohr wrote, "I am not a modern composer. I do not understand the modern direction, and after it has triumphed the world will not understand me." I think he sold himself short. Stohr did indeed remain somewhat old-fashioned. 

The rich, post-Romantic music of early 20th Century Vienna remained his inspiration.  As it did for other Jewish composers forced to flee the Nazis, like Erich Wolfgang Korngold and Hans Gal.

But Stohr's music isn't hard to understand. And it's worth knowing -- as Toccata Classics has shown. To date, the label has released four volumes of his chamber music, plus a collection of organ works. Stohr was a consummate craftsman, and his orchestral works are gorgeous.

This release features two compositions. One was written before he left Austria, and the other shortly after the end of World War II. The Sinfonia Varsovia directed by Ian Hobson has a fine sound. They play with real warmth, enhancing the Romantic nature of Stohr's music. 

Agnieszka Kpacka is the soloist for the 1937 Concerto in Old Style. The "old style" here is the Baroque concerto grosso form. To me, this neo-classical work actually sounds quite modern. The interplay between the piano and orchestra reminded me of Bohuslav Martinu. 

Suite No. 2 in A minor is a fascinating piece. Stohr composed it after reuniting with his wife. She had been unable to leave Austria, and the two had been separated for nine years. It's a personal work, never published, and never performed. But what an expression of joy. This is a work that should be immediately added to the string orchestra repertoire. 

Toccata Classics titled this release "Volume One." I'm looking forward to hearing more of Stohr's orchestral music -- especially his six symphonies!  

Richard Stöhr: Orchestral Music, Volume One
Music for String Orchestra
Agnieszka Kopacka, piano
Sinfonia Varsovia; Ian Hobson, conductor
Toccata Classics TOCC D468

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Klaviertrio Hannover restores Emilie Mayer trios

In my opinion, Emilie Mayer is but one of the missing links in classical music. She's one of several female composers who achieved recognition for their talent. Their music was highly-regarded, regularly performed, and published. And yet, after their deaths, their music and fame immediately vanished. 

Louise Farrenc, Fanny Mendelssohn, and Alice Mary Smith are three examples. And Emilie Mayer is a fourth. This release presents three world premiere recordings -- three piano trios by Mayer.  

Emilie Mayer was a well-known figure in mid-19th Century Europe. She was the Associate Director of the Opera Academy in Berlin. She toured Europe, attending performances of her symphonies and orchestral works. 

Her music was published. And yet it remained for 21st Century musicians -- such as the Klaviertrio Hannover -- to bring her music back to life.

Mayer was a pianist by training. These trios show her skill at keyboard writing. They also show her ability to compose for small ensembles. Mayer has her own compositional voice. But if I had to describe it, I'd say it was one inspired by Beethoven and drawing on the same influences as Brahms. 

Mayer's thematic developments are masterful (like Beethoven's). Her harmonic language is similar to Brahms, though not exactly the same. 

The Klaviertrio Hannover deliver some exciting performances -- as they should. Mayer's music, properly played, has an insistent forward momentum. The trio energizes that momentum, keeping the music flowing to its logical conclusions.

These trios were never published. They were only recently discovered by the trio's pianist, Katharina Selheim. The Klaviertrio Hannover performs her carefully researched and edited versions of these works. 

Any recording that adds to Emilie Mayer's catalog is a welcome addition. But one as well-researched and well-performed as this one deserves special notice. Thanks to Klaviertrio Hannover for forging another link in the chain of Emilie Mayer's legacy.  

Missing Link: Emilie Mayer
Piano Trios
Klaviertrio Hannover
Genuin Classics

Friday, October 14, 2022

#ClassicsaDay #FallBreak, Week 2

For several years now the Classics a Day team has come up with a new theme for each month. But sometimes we all need a break. Plus, none of the suggested themes seemed particularly inspired. So this month there's no theme. 

Everyone's enjoying a fall break. For some of us, it will be a break from posting. For me, I'm just going to post some of my favorite classical works. After all, this is the music I'd want to enjoy on break! 

Here are my posts for week 1 of #FallBreak.

10/10/22 Arnold Bax - Tintagel

If I could only recommend one Bax composition for someone to listen to, this would be it.

10/11/22 Charles Ives - Symphony No. 2

Mashups started much earlier than you think. Ives put several well-known American tunes into the blender and pureed them for this 1897 classic.

10/12/22 Antonin Dvorak: Symphony No. 1 in C minor "The Bells of Zlonice"

Dvorak wrote this symphony for a competition contest. It didn't win. I've always wondered whose symphony did win, and what it sounds like.

10/13/22 Florence Price: Symphony No. 1 in E minor

If I had my way, orchestras would give Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 a rest and program Price's symphonies instead. Just for a year or so. That might be enough to get these into the repertoire. (no disrepect to Dvorak intended)

10/14/22 Alan Hovhaness: Symphony No. 66 Hymn to Glacier Peak

Yes, I (like many others) first fell in love with Hovhaness' music because of his Symphony No. 2. But over time, I've come to like this symphony even more.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Joanna Sochacka does Chopin the best way

In the album's liner notes, Joanna Sochacka lays out the problem. "It is basically impossible to be a Polish pianist and not to play Chopin. However, for me, there has always been one significant issue - the responsibility which comes from the frequency of performing Chopin's works and their popularity... Is it possible to find the best way of interpreting Chopin’s music?"

Her performances answer that question. Yes, for each individual it is possible. And I find Sochacka's interpretations both original and valid. 

To my ears, Sochacka brings out the Polish foundation of Chopin's music. Not in an obvious way, but subtly. And she does something else I find quite remarkable. 

Her performances add spontaneity. Some of these preludes sound improvised. And for pieces as well-known as these, that's quite a feat.

Sochacha writes that the Prelude, Op. 45 is the closest to her heart. I believe it. She plays the piece with tenderness. Her beautifully shaped phrases bespoke that affection. I found her performances a pleasure to listen to. 

Yes, there are many, many other recordings of this music. But there's something special about this one. I think Joanna Sochacka succeeded in her task. She infuses these preludes with her personality and it works. Highly recommended. 

Frederic Chopin: Preludes, Polonaise-Fantasy
Johanna Sochacka, piano
Sheva SH 298

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Gaby Pas-Van Riet breathes life into Schneider flute concertos

Georg Abraham Schneider is best remembered (if remembered at all) as a horn virtuoso. He was an exact contemporary of Beethoven, and one of the first players to adopt the valved horn in 1800. 

Schneider was also a composer and a teacher. He was a member of the Royal Orchestra in Berlin until it disbanded in 1806 when Napoleon invaded. For the duration, Schneider's income primarily depended on his published compositions.

After the war, Schneider returned to reconstituted Prussian Royal Court Orchestra as a horn player. But increasingly he moved towards conducting, concert organization, and composing. From 1833 on, Schneider was primarily a composer and teacher of composition. 

Schneider wrote the first music for the valved horn. But he composed much more besides -- including concertos not just for his own instrument. This album, for example, presents three of his flute concertos. The earliest was written in 1806 when Schneider was 36. The latest was published in 1812, just six years later.

The three concertos are stylistically consistent. All are three-movement works and seem inspired by Mozart. The melodies are tuneful. Schneider's music has the elegant balance of the late classical era. I think these concertos compare favorably to Mozart's, though written much later. 

Gaby Pas-Van Riet performs with a modern flute. Her playing has a softness and warmth I quite liked. Johannes Moesus leads the Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn in some thoughtful performances. He keeps the ensemble sounding light and transparent throughout. This highlights Schneider's affinity for Mozart.

These are well-constructed works, that serve both the soloist and the audience. There are plenty of technical challenges for the soloist. And for the listener, plenty of well-crafted melodies. Schneider was a skilled composer, and I'm glad these works were revived. They definitely deserve the chance to find an audience once again. 

Georg Abraham Schneider: Three Flute Concertos
Gaby Pas-Van Riet, flute
Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn; Johannes Moesus, conductor

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

New Louise Farrenc piano series dazzles with technique

At first, this might seem an odd way to launch a new piano series. Usually Volume One features the strongest (or most famous) works by the composer. This ensures maximum interest and provides some momentum for the series itself. 

A volume of Études doesn't seem to have that immediate appeal. After all, these are short little pieces -- 87 in all, most under 1:30. But for Louise Farrenc, it's absolutely the right way to start the series. 

Farrenc was a consummate pianist as well as a gifted composer. She was famous for her piano technique. So much so, that she was appointed Professor of Piano at the Paris Conservatory. Farrenc developed her own curriculum and wrote her etudes to develop techniques. 

What raises them above the didactic is Farrenc's compositional talent. Yes, each etude is primarily concerned with a particular technical skill. Rather than using a melody to string together some exercises, Farrenc creates melodies that can only be fully realized through those techniques. 

Every one of these etudes is worthy of the concert hall. And especially as performed by Maria Stratigou. She has done a thorough study of these works. That deep understanding of what Farrenc was doing in these pieces has informed her playing. 

First and foremost, Stratigou concentrates on the musicality of the etudes. Melodies are beautifully phrased. And no matter how complex the music, it never sounds busy or cluttered. The technical is always subservient to the musical. 

This collection showcases Farrenc's remarkable skill as a pianist. (After all, I'm assuming she could play all these knuckle-busters.) And at the same time, it demonstrates her skill as a composer. 

These etudes get this Farrenc piano series off on a flying start. I am very much looking forward to hearing more from this remarkable performer -- and pianist.

Louise Farrenc: Complete Piano Works 1, Études
Maria Stratigou, piano
Grand Piano
2 CD Set

Friday, October 07, 2022

#ClassicsaDay #FallBreak Week 1

For several years now the Classics a Day team has come up with a new theme for each month. But sometimes we all need a break. Plus, none of the suggested themes seemed particularly inspired. So this month there's no theme. 

Everyone's enjoying a fall break. For some of us, it will be a break from posting. For me, I'm just going to post some of my favorite classical works. After all, this is the music I'd want to enjoy on break! 

Here are my posts for week 1 of #FallBreak.

10/3/22 Alan Hovhaness: Mysterious Mountain, Symphony No. 2, Op. 132

This 1955 work made Hovhaness's reputation. And it's still one of my favorites from his extensive catalog.

10/4/22 Thomas Tallis: Spem in alium

I had the privilege of hearing this work performed live a few years ago. It was only then that I truly understood Tallis' genius.

10/5/22 Franz Joseph Haydn: Il mondo della luna Overture

"Everybody knows" Haydn didn't write good operas. Well, perhaps as staged dramatic works. But just to listen to? I think they're fine. And this one's my favorite.

10/6/22 Thomas Weelkes: Thule, the period of cosmography

Incredible madrigalist effects in this one (having the music illustrate the text). And every time I see a Thule carrier strapped on top of a car, this music runs through my head.

Thursday, October 06, 2022

Christian Lindberg adds insight to Pettersson Symphony 15

Christian Lindberg and the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra have done Allen Pettersson a real service. Their traversal of his symphonies has helped give his music a wider audience. 

Lindberg understands the composer's unique aesthetic. And the orchestral is by now well-experienced in performing Pettersson's music.

This recording delivers some focussed, tensely energetic performances. And no wonder. This release features two works written when Pettersson knew his health was declining. There's an urgency to these compositions that the ensemble effectively conveys.

Symphony No. 15 was Pettersson's penultimate symphony. It was completed in 1978, two years before his death. The single-movement work is a model of efficiency. Pettersson crams a lot into this 36-minute work.

Despite its density, the symphony does have some salient features that make it easy to follow. Lindberg guides the orchestra (and the listener) through the work, bringing it to a satisfying conclusion. 

Also included is the Viola Concerto, one of the last works Pettersson completed. Or rather, completed enough to make a performing edition possible. Pettersson trained as a violist, and he fully explores the potential of the instrument. 

Ellen Nisbeth delivers a fine performance. This is music that requires stamina as well as skill. Nisbeth has both. Plus she has the ability to shape the work into a compelling musical statement.

Beautifully recorded, and well-performed. 

Allen Pettersson: Symphony No. 15
Viola Concerto
Ellen Nisbeth, viola;
Norrköping Symphony Orchestra; Christian Lindberg, conductor

Wednesday, October 05, 2022

The optimism of Hans Winterberg

Hans Winterberg described himself as "an artist belonging to the group of the unilaterally disadvantaged.' That's putting it mildly. This Czech composer was Jewish and was interred at Theresienstadt Ghetto during World War II. 

He survived, and his postwar music has a surprising element of optimism.

Symphony No. 1 "Sinfonia drammatica" was composed in 1936. At the time, Winterberg was greatly influenced by Arnold Schoenberg. 

The symphony is highly chromatic and has some of the angularity of dodecaphonic music. But Winterberg never totally abandons tonality. 

Rather, he uses the freedom suggested by 12-tone music to take the work in unexpected directions. The music sounds Expressionist, and -- true to its name -- quite dramatic.

The 1948 Piano Concerto No. 1 shows Winterberg's optimism. The melodies are still quite chromatic, and the angular motifs are there. But also present is a gentle lyricism that makes the work quite appealing. 

Jonathan Powell is a fine soloist. I credit his playing for bringing the lyrical qualities of this concerto to the fore.

Rhythmophie from 1967 carries this integration of modernism and lyricism further. Yes, this work is all about rhythm. But the melodies are what drive the work forward. And here both the chromaticism and angularities have been softened. 

Winterberg saw himself as a bridge between Slavic traditions and Western classical forms. This album traces the development of that concept. The symphony starts from the Western viewpoint of Schoenberg. The concerto balances the two influences. And Rhythmophie seems to use Eastern European rhythms as its starting point. 

The Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin conducted by Johannes Kalitzke delivers some impressive performances. They sound as if they've been playing this music for years.   

Hans Winterberg: Symphony No. 1 "Sinfonia drammatica"; Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1; Rythmophie
Jonathan Powell, piano
Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin; Johannes Kalitzke, conductor
Capriccio C5476

Tuesday, October 04, 2022

Nightingale String Quartet continue fine Vagn Holmboe series

The three string quartets in this volume span almost 50 years. And yet there's a common thread. All three were in the final stage of Vagn Holboe's career. In 1950, Holboe retired from active musical life. He and his wife moved into a farm overlooking a lake. 

And while he never ceased composing, move towards self-isolation was significant. In the postwar era, contemporary music was all about ideologies, such as serialism. Holmboe neither embraced these modernist trends nor did he react against them. 

He simply ignored them and wrote the music he wanted to write. Like these three quartets. 

The first dates from 1949, and it's perhaps the edgiest of the three. By the time he composed his 14th string quartet in 1975, he had settled into his style. The transitions sound smoother, and the harmonies are more fully realized. 

Holmboe died while working on his 21st string quartet. It was completed by his student, Per Nørgård. It, too, has the smoothness of his late quartets. Holmboe was primarily concerned with organic development of motifs. And that, too, is a characteristic that runs through all three of these quartets.  

The Nightingale Quartet has a warm ensemble sound. The recording puts them in somewhat a soft focus. But it's still an enjoyable listening experience. 

The Nightingale Quarte has a clear affinity for Danish composers. Witness their traversal of Rued Langgaard quartets. And their expertise in bringing this music to life. Volume one -- and now volume two -- of their Holmboe series reinforces those impressions. 

This is the quartet that should be recording these works. And I'm glad they are. 

Vagn Holmboe: String Quartets Vol. 2
Nightingale String Quartet
Dacapo 6.220717