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Dacapo - The National Music Anthology of Denmark

Format:  SACD

Catalogue Number:  6.220564

Barcode:  747313156467

Release Date:  Nov 2011

Period:  Late Romantic

Review


C.F.E. Horneman: Orchestral Works

01 February 2012  Classics Today (10/10)
David Hurwitz

 

Some of this music has been recorded before, by BIS, but the overture and the complete Kalanus Suite aren't otherwise available. Christian Horneman (1840-1906) wrote comparatively little music, most of it for the theater, and all of it (that I've heard anyway) is of high quality. The idiom is late romantic, the melodic invention consistently attractive, the scoring colorful and ear-catching. The music leaves you wanting more. The Gurre-Suite follows the same basic story as Schoenberg's Gurrelieder, except that in this version Tove gets locked in a sauna and steamed to death rather than poisoned by the jealous queen. The four concise movements consist of an overture, a love scene, Tove's funeral procession, and a brief Entr'acte as a finale.

The other major work here is the suite from Kalanus, in five relatively substantial movements--but arguably the most fun comes from the two dances (of satyrs and a bacchanal, respectively) in "Contest with the Muses". Trust me, it's all good, and the performances are absolutely terrific, with Johannes Gustavsson encouraging his players to give their very best. Dacapo's SACD engineering is also excellent. It may be that Horneman's entire life's work can be summed up on a single CD (not necessarily a bad thing in these days of mega-boxed sets), but it's one you won't want to miss.





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