Post by Raymond Hall Post by Lawrence Kart
About fifteen years ago a customer at a record store I frequented began
getting promos from the various Scandinavian classical labels (Caprice,
Phono Sueica, Kontrapunkt, BIS, etc.) which he sold to the store, and
which the store then priced at $5-$10 each. I was familiar with the music
of some of those composers -- e.g. Norgaard, Sallinen, Holmboe -- but
many of them were new to me. Unfortunately, IIRC one couldn't listen
before buying, so I began, as the mood hit me, to take a flier. Over time
I found that the music of Norgaard and Sallinen began to pale for me,
while I grew increasingly impressed by (especially) Ib Norholm (he might
be described as an intriguing mix of Webern and Sibelius) (particularly
Norholm's symphonies 6 and 6, I have more of his symphonies on their way
to me) and Herman Koppel and found something or more than something to
interest me in the music of Jan Carlstedt, Seven-Erik Back, Anders
Eliasson, Gunnar Valkare, and Victoria Borisova-Ollas. Any of these
composers ring bells for anyone here, one way or the other? I should add
that there are many more composers in the capacious Scandinavian modern
bag that I didn't interest me at all or that I actively disliked.
Holmboe is a familiar name, music I might need to sample, as if there isn't
tons of new stuff waiting to be listened to. Pettersson for one.
From my LP days I remember one LP that I played a lot, two symphonies by
Hilding Rosenberg, and the other by Karl-Birger Blomdahl. The Rosenberg
especially struck a chord. On a Turnabout disc from recollection.
New Zealand composer Douglas Lilburn has written works (three symphonies,
overtures, tone poems) that have a definite Nordic strain (more similar to
Rosenberg), that are well worth the exploration for those that love
composers like Nielsen and Sibelius. Naxos and ABC classics are two labels
that have Lilburn who imho is quite unjustly neglected by the mainstream.
Ray Hall, Taree
I know Lilburn's music and like it.