This Finlandia disc, which sadly never got a US release and is hard to find there, surveys Per Nørgård's works for strings across a broad span of the Danish composer's output, from the 1950s to the 1990s. All of these express the perennial concerns of Nørgård's work: ambiguity, "infererence" and the development of the tonal tradition. Juha Kangas leads the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra.
Following their 2009 release of the first two concertos for string orchestra by Allan Pettersson comes Christian Lindberg's recording with his Nordic Chamber Orchestra of the third and last of the concertos. By the time of its composition, Pettersson had already written three symphonies, and during the following two decades he produced symphony after symphony. It is therefore perhaps not surprising that the large-scale Concerto No.3 for string orchestra exceeds ……..
The 24 Barefoot Songs for voice and piano (1943—45) are Pettersson’s settings of his own poems, and as such form a singularly profound portrait of the composer. Their importance can be measured by the fact that Pettersson throughout his life returned to themes from the collection, reusing them in his large-scale works. It was Doráti who suggested the orchestration of eight of the songs, a task with which he was entrusted by the composer. The two concertos for strings were composed in 1950 and 1956 respectively, and already ……
The spectrum of sound, the gesticulation – in short, the very nature of the strings – has always had a central place in my output, demonstrated by the numbers of string quartets, concertos with string soloist, chamber and solo works. The interest dates back to my school years, when I was fortunate to be able to compose for a cello-playing schoolmate and to accompany him on the piano. I discovered then the innumerable nuances of sound and playing varieties offered by just one bow, four strings and five fingers.
Here is the 1985 Nimbus release 'Benjamin Britten: Works for String Orchestra' performed by English String Orchestra conducted by William Boughton with Roger Best on viola. This particular Nimbus release has been out of print for some time now, but all of these works by Britten has been included on various later and more recent Nimbus releases.
It is hard to follow in the shadow of a giant. In this case the giant is the conductor Stig Westerberg, whose recording of the First Concerto in 1975 with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra was unforgettable, throwing every demon in this terrifying music straight at us in unflinching intensity and brilliance. This is a recording on the edge, something you don't live with but live through and live for. With an intro like that, you may think you know my reaction to Goritzki's effort. Wait for it. On cpo we have something quite remarkable. This conductor not only holds everything together but ……..Paul Rapoport