Alfven: Swedish Rhapsodies 1-3 / A Legend of the Skerries / Elegy from Gustav Adolf II Suite
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Top Customer Reviews
The Gustav Adolph piece, at very first hearing, could be the most beatiful piece I have ever heard. I have chosen it for my funeral. The Chandos label, as usual, has recorded in excellent sound quality, and beautifully executed by the little known Iceland Orchestra. If you enjoy the modes and harmonies of Scandanavia (Grieg, Sibelius, Nielsen) this will simply be a joy!
The first Swedish Rhapsody is entitled Midsummer Fest, the celebration of the longest day of light. Like the day it celebrates, the work is sunny and radiant. The opening melody is like an old friend, one that is immediately enjoyable and fondly remembered. The theme goes from instrument to instrument, but when the full orchestra tackles it, the immediate joy is overwhelming. The middle slow section begins with warm strings and an echo of the opening idea, but a new, slightly melancholy, soaring melody takes over, and switches to a powerful emotion of longing. When the pace quickens, a new sprite melody takes over, again bringing back the happiness. The music erupts into yet another section, more reminiscent of a Scottish reel. The 14-minute work ends with fanfares and jubilation. The second Swedish Rhapsody, Uppsala Rhapsody, was commissioned for the University of Uppsala. It is a sort of medley, or more appropriately termed, fantasy, of popular college tunes. The 11-minute rhapsody begins hushed with a chorale Alma Mater feel, into a more noble, almost British-sounding tune. Many more are strung together, but nothing is particularly distasteful, and the sometimes familiar settings are interesting to hear. The end is heralded by a brilliant fugal treatment and a rousing conclusion. The final, and longest, Swedish Rhapsody, timing at 20+ minutes, shows Alfven's love of setting tragic sounding music.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What a find! I had no idea it existed until I heard in on Sirius radio on the Symphony channel.Published on August 9, 2013 by Cia R. Khakaura
This wonderful CD contains some of the best swedish post-romantic orchestral music.
Alfvén was undoubtedly the best 20th century swedish composer and those orchestral... Read more