Saturday, 7 March 2015

Chamber music, part 1 (strings with or without piano)

Holmboe wrote works for a wide variety of instruments and combinations of instruments. I have divided up Holmboe's chamber music into various categories simply for the convenience of keeping the discography entries relatively manageable. This entry deals with chamber music for strings, including works that also include a piano. The string quartets have their own entry. Chamber music including winds or brass are dealt with here.

Piano Trios

Holmboe's Piano Trio, op.64 (M.184) and Nuigen (Now-Again), op.129 (M.283) for piano trio both appear, performed by Trio Ondine, on a disc of Danish piano trios called Passage (Da Capo 8.226009). The same performance of Nuigen is included on Da Capo's Holmboe compilation The Key Masterpieces (Da Capo 8.226101-02).

There is another recording of the op.64 trio, by the Jalina Trio on a disc called Now! Denmark (Classico CLASSCD 485). The disc has also been included in a 10-disc box set called Spirales: Snapshots Of Contemporary Classical Music (Classico/Membran 233317).

Piano Quartet and String Trio

There is only one recording each of Ballata, op.159 (M.320) for piano quartet and Gioco, op.155 (M.316) for string trio. Both appear on Ensemble MidtVest's Chamber Music (I) (Da Capo 8.226073) along with three more of Holmboe's chamber works (which, because they include flute, are dealt with in this entry).

Violin music

There is only one disc available of Holmboe's works for violin and piano or for solo violin (Da Capo 8.226063). The violinist is Johannes Søe Hansen and the pianist is Christina Bjørkøe. The works on the disc are:
  • Violin Sonata No.1, op.2a (M.82)
  • Violin Sonata No.2, op.16 (M.112)
  • Violin Sonata No.3, op.89 (M.227)
  • Haiduc (Marauders), op.193 (M.363)
  • Bagatelle No.1 'Arabesque' (M.11)
  • Molto allegro scherzando for solo violin (M.15)
  • Reminiscenser (Reminiscences) for solo violin (M.347)

Sonata for solo cello

The Sonata for solo cello, op.101 (M.241) is one of Holmboe's more popular works, having been recorded at least four times.

The first recording was by Gert von Bülow, who also gave the work's premiere. His recording was included in the Dansk Musik Antologi series (EMI 063-39371 (DMA 045)), along with several other works for solo cello. As far as I'm aware this is only available on LP.

Da Capo has released two different recordings. the performance by Morton Zeuthen is included in his disc of solo cello works, L'Homme Armé (Da Capo 8.226007) and it also appears on The Key Masterpieces (Da Capo 8.226101-02).

Jonathan Slaato of Ensemble MidtVest performs the sonata on that group's Chamber Music (II) (Da Capo 8.226074).  The other four Holmboe works included are dealt with in this entry.

Finally, Diane Porteous performs the sonata for solo cello on a disc called Music for cello and piano II (Dunelm Records DRD 0229). I am unsure whether it can be obtained on CD, but download and streaming versions appear to be widely available.

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