Thursday, 5 March 2015

Concertos, part 2: the early and late works

The works that are not part of the series of 13 numbered concertos fall into two groups. The first group, of youthful works written before or during the numbered series, have not been recorded apart from the Concerto for Orchestra (M.21).

After the end of the numbered series, Holmboe did not write any more concertos for a considerable period of time. He resumed in the 1970s, with an initial burst of works and then a few more examples throughout the rest of his career. The majority of these later works have been recorded (although a couple are still missing from this list):
  • Cello Concerto, op.120 (M.273)
  • Recorder Concerto, op.122 (M.275)
  • Flute Concerto No.1, op.126 (M.279)
  • Tuba Concerto, op.127 (M.280)
  • Concerto giocondo e severo, op.132 (M.288)
  • Violin Concerto No.2, op.139 (M.297)
  • Flute Concerto No.2, op.147 (M.307)
  • Intermezzo Concertante for tuba and orchestra, op.171 (M.332)
  • Viola Concerto, op.189 (M.357)

The only one of these works to be recorded more than once so far is the Recorder Concerto.

The Concerto for Orchestra, Violin Concerto No.2 and Viola Concerto appear together on a vividly recorded hybrid SACD disc simply titled Concertos (Da Capo SACD 6.220599). The soloists are Erik Heide (violin) and Lars Anders Tomter (viola), and Dima Slobodeniouk conducts the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra.

The Cello Concerto was recorded at the same time as its premiere (meaning that the only recording does not include some revisions that Holmboe made a few years later). Erling Bløndal Bengtsson is the soloist, and János Ferencsik conducts the Danish (National) Radio Symphony Orchestra (the orchestra is called the DRSO on the LP and the DNRSO on the CD). The original LP release (BIS LP 78) was called Contemporary Danish Music for Orchestra, Volume 1 and coupled Holmboe's concerto with another cello concerto by Herman Koppel.  The CD re-release (BIS CD 78) is a diverse all-Holmboe program (as helpfully set out on the cover).


The Recorder Concerto and both Flute Concertos appear together (on BIS CD 911), with Dan Laurin (recorder) and Manuela Wiesler (flute) as soloists and Owain Arwel Hughes conducting the Aalborgh Symphony Orchestra.

There is also a recording of the Recorder Concerto by Michala Petri, with Okka Kamu conducting the English Chamber Orchestra, on a disc called Moonchild's Dream (RCA Victor Red Seal 09026-62543-2). It includes other works for recorder and orchestra by Thomas Koppel, Gary Kulesha, Asger Lund Christiansen and Malcolm Arnold.

The Tuba Concerto and the Intermezzo Concertante appear together on a disc of Holmboe's concertos for brass instruments (BIS CD 802), together with Concerto No.11 for trumpet, op.44 (M.157) and Concerto No.12 for trombone, op.52 (M.169) from the numbered series.  In the tuba works, the soloist is Jens Bjørn-Larsen, and Owain Arwel Hughes conducts the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra.

Finally, the Concerto giocondo e severo (cheerful and stern) for orchestra is one of the works included on another disc recorded by Owain Arwel Hughes and the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra (BIS CD 917), along with the orchestral Concerto No.8 op.38 (M.148) and Concerto No.10 op.40 (M.150) from the numbered series and the ballet suite from The Ill-Tempered Turk, op.32b (M.242).

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