Vagn Holmboe: Chamber Symphonies
29 August 2012
The Dallas Morning News
Vagn Holmboe’s life spanned almost the entire 20th century. Now recognized as one of Denmark’s most important composers, he still doesn’t get performed much in the United States. Thank goodness for recordings, then, because gradually almost everything he wrote is becoming available. Here, John Storgards leads the Lapland Chamber Orchestra in the premiere versions of Holmboe’s three Chamber Symphonies.
The second, subtitled “Elegie,” broods almost throughout. Much more likely to please on first acquaintance, the third consists of six short movements, almost like a suite. The slow movements build up astonishing power in their brief compass. The excitable second movement and the finale use pitched percussion to whip up some jolly excitement. The stalwart performances show this unfamiliar music in an excellent light.