Magazine article Gramophone

'Hymnus'

Magazine article Gramophone

'Hymnus'

Article excerpt

'Hymnus'

Alfven Praludium, Op 31 Carlsen Prelude and Intermezzo. Festforspil (Festival Prelude) Nielsen Commotio, Op 58 Sibelius Intrada, Op 111a. Surusoitto (Funeral Music), Op 111b Sinding Hymnus, Op 124 Anders Eidsten Dahl org LAWO Classics (F) LWC1050 (74' * DDD) Played on the organ of Bragernes Church, Drammen, Norway

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In its concise but slow-feeling harmonic journey, Sibelius's Intrada (1925) sounds almost like a Schenkerian harmonic plotting of a larger, more colourful orchestral score. It followed the Seventh Symphony and there's a clear motivic parallel (the gesture immediately preceding the symphony's trombone solo). Surusoitto (1931) was written for Akseli Gallen's funeral and to my ears manages to capture a number of the painter's visual hallmarks, not least a certain shrieking drama isolated to a fleeting moment or background detail. Genuinely fascinating in a year like this, but there's no getting round the fact that Sibelius's union with the organ was a more funereal than matrimonial one.

Nielsen's relationship with the instrument was more significant. He was immensely proud of Commotio (also 1931), the crowning glory of his late turn to polyphony. …

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