Vagn Holmboe: Concertos
21 May 2013
Violinists, violists—and audiences—will welcome Dacapo’s remarkable disk of music of Danish composer Vagn Holmboe (1909–1996). He is the most important Danish composer since Carl Nielsen, although he has yet to receive multiple recordings of his music. Holmboe was a prolific composer, his works include 13 symphonies, 20 string quartets and numerous concertos for various groups of instruments as well as choral music.
This site mentioned an important Trombone Concerto. This new disk includes a brief (13 minute) early work, Concerto for Orchestra, pleasant enough if hardly a virtuoso showpiece. Of more interest is the big-scale viola concerto written in 1992, in which the more aggressive capabilities of the instruments are explored. The second violin concerto dates from 1979, has three sections, the last of which is a lively dance with an introspective center section, ending softly.
Holmboe’s reported sense of humor is evident in much of this music. These are premiere recordings of three works on this disk; actually this apparently is the first performance of the concerto for orchestra. Excellent performances, beautifully recorded by Dacapo. Highly recommended!