HOLTEN: The Emperor's New Clothes. Songs
DELIBES: Ballllet Suites from Cooppelia, Sylvia, and La Source.
MOZART: Serenade in B flat "Gran Partita." beethoven:
Eight Variations on Mozart's La ci darem la mano
Bo Holten (b. 1948) is Denmark's leading composer of lyric heater pieces. His works include 9 operas, 2 musicals, a number of choral works and and concertos for various instruments. There have been a number of recordings including videos. Here we have The Emperor's New Clothes written in 2004 commissioned for the bicentennial of thef the birth of Hans Christian Anderen. Working with librettist Eva Sommestad and drawing on Andersen's own works, Holten created a "concert opera" scored for orchestra, two male soloists, and chorus. The tenor is the swindler, the baritone the ignorant Emperor. We also have an Oboe Concerto written 1995 for Bjorn Carl Nielsen who was principal oboe of the Danish National Symphony. There are six brief movements to this half-hour work including two tarantellas. The mood is basically lyric. To end the disk we have an earlier work written in 1987. Holten planned to write a bassoon concerto (he had studied the instrument ) but gave up on the project feeling that the unique sound of this instrument couldn't support a full-length concerto. His fondness for the instrument remained and he used it in his Songs of Dusk, a setting of eight short poems by Danish pet Sophus Claussen. In this score, the bassoon represents the poet commenting on his sensual attraction to the female voice. Scoring is only for voice, bassoon and strings The composer also known as a leading conductor, leads performances that surely are definitive, an the recording is superb sonically, Profuse program notes and complete texts and translations are included. An intriguing issue!
Neemi Järvi continues his fine series of recordings with the Royal Scottish Symphony, this time extended suites from three delightful ballets by Leo Delibes, the well-known Sylvia and Coppelia and the less-familiar La Source. He has assembled his own suites from all three, an enticing group of charming lively dances These are splendidly played by the excellent orchestra, and the recording made November 4/5, 2019 in Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall. Ralph Couzens has provided his usual high-quality audio opicture . A delightful 82:35 of music.
Alexei Ogrintchouk is principal oboe of the Royal Concertgebouw and already has made several outstanding recordings for BIS (many praised on this site) including concertos by Bach, Mozart and Strauss as well as a program of 20th century music for his instrument/ Now he turns to Mozart with this grand collection featuring the Grand Partita in B flat, coupled with Beethoven's Eight Variations on an aria from Mozart's Don Giovanni. He is joined by other members of the RCOA. The recordings were made March / April 2019 in the Concertgebouw's Kleine Zaal—many may not know that this magnificent concert venue also has a space for smaller audiences. The multi-channel audio is totally satisfactory. The only possible debit here is that more music wasn't included - the SACD pays for less than an hour,
R.E.B. (December 2020)