Poul Rovsing Olsen: Piano Concerto and Orchestral Works
01 November 2012
There’s not much out there by this relatively short-lived Danish composer, which is too bad since he is one of those Danes who looked to France for inspiration and techniques when some of their countrymen were turning to Darmstadt. Clear-cut rhythms, expressive melodic lines and colorful tonal effects typify Rovsing Olsen’s style. His 1953-54 piano concerto
is the highlight here, a three-movement 28-minute work with strong drive and great with with roots in stringent neo-classicism in which the piano and the orchestra are treated as equal partners. The 1953 Variations
brings both drama and lyricism in richly imagined orchestration; the 1968 Au fond
is the odd man out, so to speak, freely atonal but, in that it is describing “Space
”, “The Dead Star”
” (i.e. to Earth), it ends up sounding like a soundtrack to a contemporary science-fiction movie.