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Dacapo - The National Music Anthology of Denmark

Format:  CD

Catalogue Number:  8.226052

Barcode:  636943608821

Release Date:  May 2011

Period:  21st Century

Review


Anders Koppel: Concertos

18 August 2011  Classics Today (10/10)
Victor Carr Jr

rating

Anders Koppel's concertos show off not only his impressive versatility with solo instruments, but also offer stimulating musical variety as well. The neoclassical Sinfonia Concertante emulates Stravinsky in its piquant harmonies and pointed rhythms. The colorful solo music contains a wealth of clever ideas for the violin, viola, clarinet, and bassoon, all brilliantly played by Yana Deshkova, Anna Maria D. Dahl, Randi Østergaard, and Sheila Popkin. The finale discards Stravinsky for Sibelius as it echoes that composer's unique ostinato style, albeit with some fetching melodies that bear the unmistakable stamp of Anders himself.

The flute and harp concerto contains just the sort of idyllic music you would expect with this combination of instruments, as Koppel proves quite adept at conjuring Elysian fields. But over the course of the work's five movements dark clouds emerge to bring trouble to paradise (and provide welcome dramatic contrast). But after brief periods of struggle, the music achieves a peaceful state by the close. Koppel's exquisite writing for both instruments makes a powerful impression as played by Claus Ettrup Larsen (flute) and Mette Nielsen (harp).

Lastly, the Tuba Concerto is another case where Koppel's music suits our expectations of an instrument's "character". This tuba is a pleasant, portly, if somewhat befuddled fellow (the "Otis" character from the 1978 Superman movie, uncannily portrayed in music by John Williams, comes immediately to mind). Again, it's not all happy hijinks as Koppel puts the tuba through its paces with some tension-filled passages (which Mattias Johansson handles with aplomb), but all's well by the sparkling conclusion. Conductor Matthias Aeschbacher (Koppel's friend, and dedicatee of the Sinfonia Concertante) leads the Aalborg Symphony in vibrant performances of all three works. Dacapo's recording presents it all in solid, engaging sound. A high priority disc.

 

Read the original review on Classics Today's website: http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=13482





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