Magazine article Gramophone

Leifs: Scherzo Concrete Op 58

Magazine article Gramophone

Leifs: Scherzo Concrete Op 58

Article excerpt

Leifs [R]

Scherzo concrete Op 58. Quintet, Op 50. Variazioni pastorale, Op 8. Elegies, Op 35 (a)

(a) porunn Gudmundsdottir mez (a) Rut Ingolfsdottir vn- (a) Male-Voice Choir; Reykjavik Chamber Orchestra / Bernhardur Wilkinson

BIS [F] BIS2O7O (55' * DDD) From Smekkleysa SMK46

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

With this release--actually a reissue of a Smekkleysa disc from 2009--BIS finally completes its survey of the chamber music of Jon Leifs, following the three string quartets (7/95; ironically, Smekkleysa released their own rival CD of the quartets early last year--5/14). A further quartet appears here, his 1937 arrangement of the delightful Variazioni pastorale (1920-30) in which, after a couple of conventional, mild modifications of the theme (from Beethoven's Op 8 Serenade), the real Leifs gleefully leaps out in the third variation, dominating the remaining six until the opening manner returns in the finale.

The Quintet (1960) is scored for woodwind trio (no oboe), viola and cello and epitomises the eccentric side of the composer. …

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