Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Svendsen, the other Norwegian

Yes, Norway did have other composers, although most people will only know Grieg. The best of the rest is without doubt his contemporary Johan Svendsen (1840-1911), whose education in Leipzig resulted in a more Central European sound. No fjords evocation in his music, but his compositions are well worthwhile. Especially his two surviving symphonies from 1865-1874 (his wife burned the only copy of the third), which get a very good performance in this Naxos disc by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra under Bjarte Engeset. Highly recommended for lovers of romantic music outside the mainstream composers.