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Dacapo - The National Music Anthology of Denmark

Format:  CD

Catalogue Number:  8.226053

Barcode:  636943605325

Release Date:  Mar 2011

Period:  Late 20th Century


Svend Erik Tarp: Piano Works

29 April 2011  Classics Today (10/10)
David Hurwitz



The works on this disc range from 1927 to 1956, and reveal Danish composer Svend Erik Tarp (1908-94) synthesizing a personal language from the French keyboard tradition of Ravel and Poulenc, with a healthy dose of Bartók's rhythmic drive mixed in. The basic outlook is neoclassical; the textures glitter; witty and diverting (but never cheap or facile) tunes abound; and occasional forays into polytonality and arresting dissonances add spice. It's wholly delightful.


The major works here are the Sonata (1956), a beautifully crafted three-movement work with an exquisite slow movement and a touch of jazz in its finale; the Theme with variations, tremendously inventive and colorful; and the 3 Sonatinas, charming and pithy, but also wide-ranging in expression and full of character. They are all very affectingly played by Tonya Lemoh, who projects the often driving rhythms without ever banging or forgetting their melodic essence. The whole production is extremely well recorded by Dacapo's engineers.


Tarp's music is a real "find" that piano fanciers will certainly want to experience without delay. He also composed about 10 symphonies that (according to the notes) show his musical idiom evolving in new directions over time, and it would be very interesting to hear them. I can only hope that this disc signals the intention of further releases of Tarp's music. It's difficult to tell from such a small sampling, but on evidence here Tarp was the real deal - a significant voice in 20th-century music, one well worth getting to know.

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