Friday, 19 August 2016

A lot of new (old) discoveries

It's amazing what turns up on iTunes these days...A new search for Holmboe revealed a surprising number of new entries, though most of these are old recordings, emerging as more of the history of music BiT (Before iTunes) is acknowledged. It's not just iTunes where they have appeared, services like Spotify and Google Play have them as well. And many of them are freely available on the performers' Youtube channels also.

First, an album called Lige før forår (Just Before Spring) (Point PCD 5144 from the mid-to-late 1990s). The conductor is Flemming Windekilde and the choir is the Unge Akademikeres Kor (Young Academics' Choir).

The Holmboe content of the album is 2 songs from Sange mod Vårdybet (Songs Towards the Deep of Spring), op.85 (M.223). Specifically the 2nd song "Øens kirkegård" (The Island Cemetery) and the 3rd song "Sol og sne" (Sun and Snow).

A considerable number of other composers are also represented, not that iTunes will tell you this. Lack of proper metadata, such as the composer, is a significant fault on several of these re-releases.

The next thing to mention is not a new album, but being available in digital form makes it far more accessible and that's worth mentioning in this case. Spejlinger – nyere dansk kormusik (Reflections - contemporary Danish choral music) (Point PCD 5127) from the Jysk Akademisk Kor is notable for having the only confirmed complete recording of the Three Jæger Songs, op.98 (M.232). It also has two works from the Liber Canticorum collection, Domine, non superbit op.61c and Laudate Dominum op.158b.

 The third song from op.98, "Tidligt Forår" (Early Spring) also turns up on Sommer på dansk (Danish Summer) (Point PCD 5164) performed by Det Fynske Kammerkor conducted by Alice Granum.

Another choral album is Lux aeterna : International church music from the 20th century (Point PCD 5152), performed by the chamber choir Trinitatis Kantori with Per Enevold conducting. This is a late 1990s release. It includes a performance of "Laudate Dominum", op.158b (M.319) from Liber Canticorum.

In 1995, the Norwegian Student Choral Union (Den Norske Studentersangforening) released an album called DnS i 150! (catchy title). It includes Song No.1 "Hemlängtan" (Homesickness) from the five Lagerkvist Songs, op.34 (M.144).

Next, an album called Cascade from the Royal Danish Brass Ensemble (originally Rondo RCD 8352 and released around 1996) includes recordings of Brass Quintet No.1, op.79 (M.212) and Notater (Notations), op.140 (M.298). Given how many of the recordings of Holmboe's brass music involve this ensemble, I can't tell for certain whether these are different recordings to ones already mentioned in the blog, but the couplings are different. It's possible to listen on the ensemble's Youtube channel. For traditionalists, used CD copies appear to be available.

And finally, a genuinely new release. The album Danske Sange med fjernøstlig inspiration (Danish Songs with Far Eastern inspiration) (CD Klassisk) is performed by Signe Asmussen and Erik Kaltoft. The Holmboe component is the song cycle Moya (7 Japanese Songs), op.57 (M.176), which has been recorded several times before - not that I am complaining!

All of these recordings should in theory be added to the existing blog entries for choral, brass and vocal works. I'm not sure when, or if, I will attempt that, as it's increasingly clear that the blog format is not very helpful for this discography. I knew this when I started the project, but did not have an obvious alternative solution.

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