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CHAN 10614
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CHAN 10614

Halvorsen: Orchestral Works, Volume 2

The Classical Shop
release date: October 2010

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2010


Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra

Neeme Jarvi

Marianne Thorsen



Grieghallen, Bergen, Norway


Brian Pidgeon


Ralph Couzens

Gunnar Herleif Nilsen


Record Label


Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 74:46
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Suite ancienne, Op. 31a

  (à la mémoire de Ludvig Holberg)  
  Nationalteatrets Orkester i Kristiania tilegnet  
1 I Intrata. Allegretto moderato 4:47
2 II Air con variazioni. Andantino - 9:13
  1. Moderato -  
  2. Allegro con brio -  
  3. Allegro commodo -  
  4. Stesso tempo -  
  5. Andante -  
  6. Allegro moderato (tempo di Rigaudon) -  
  7. [ ] -  
  8. Allegro marciale - Andantino sostenuto  
3 III Gigue. Allegro - Allegro molto 4:15
4 IV Sarabande. Andante sostenuto 3:04
5 V Bourrée. Allegro con spirito 3:49

3 Norwegian Dances

  for Violin and Orchestra  
6 1 Allegro con brio - Molto tranquillo - Più mosso - Più lento - Allegro con brio 3:00
7 2 Allegretto - Allegro con fuoco - Più lento - Allegro con fuoco - Presto 3:03
8 3 Allegro, non troppo - Tranquillo - Più mosso - A tempo (tranquillo) - D.C. al fine 4:36
 Marianne Thorsen violin

Air norvegien, Op. 7

  for Violin and Orchestra  
  À Mr. Johannes Wollf  
  Allegro moderato (Pastorale) -  
  Andante -  
  Allegretto -  
  Andante - Più mosso -  
  Andante sostenuto - Più mosso -  
  Allegretto - Più mosso - Pesante -  
  Allegro - Lento -  
  Allegro molto  
 Marianne Thorsen violin

Chant de la Veslemoy

  (Veslemøy's Song)  
  for Violin and Orchestra  
  To my dear friend miss Kathleen Parlow  
 Marianne Thorsen violin

Symphony No. 2 'Fatum'

  in D minor - in d-Moll - en ré mineur  
  Edited by Jørn Fossheim  
11 I Allegro moderato - Più mosso sempre - Con brio - Tempo energico - 8:37
12 II Romance. Andante con sentimento 6:19
13 III Intermezzo. Allegretto amabile 4:39
14 IV Finale. Allegro - Energico - Un poco più mosso - Più mosso - 8:06

Neeme Järvi is back conducting the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, with the violinist Marianne Thorsen, in this second volume of Chandos’ series devoted to the orchestral works of Johan Halvorsen. This Norwegian composer, conductor, and violinist was a highly prominent figure in his country’s musical life during the first decades of the twentieth century. The works on this CD are all performed by the orchestra that Halvorsen himself conducted in the 1890s. As in the first volume of the series, they represent Nordic folk-based music at its very best: light and airy compositions with the strings firmly at centre stage. Air norvégien was described by Halvorsen’s contemporary, Edvard Grieg, as ‘a folk-tune medley, but so well
done that the result is a piece of art’.

Because Halvorsen spent more than thirty-six years working at the theatres in Bergen and Oslo, a large proportion of his compositional output is music for the stage. The movements of Suite ancienne were originally composed for the play The Lying-in Room by Ludvig Holberg in 1911. The first two movements, Intrata and Air con variazioni, are in the style of late-eighteenth-century serenades, whereas the Gigue, Sarabande, and Bourrée were modelled after baroque dances. Halvorsen himself counted Suite ancienne as one of his finest compositions.

Halvorsen also composed in more prestigious genres and his Second Symphony is commonly regarded as the best of his three symphonies. Nicknamed Fatum, the Second Symphony is inspired by the work’s opening motif which, in the manner of the ‘fate’ symphonies of Beethoven and Tchaikovsky, is heard in all four movements. In the second movement, Romance, a beautiful oboe cantilena is followed by a dramatic development that draws on the ‘fate’ motif, and the brisk main motif of the cheerful third movement, Intermezzo – the fate motif cleverly altered in rhythm – belongs among the most successful, and at the same time most personal, that Halvorsen ever wrote.

The performances throughout are top-notch and Chandos’s sound is of demonstration quality’ -  Gramophone on Orchestral Works, Vol 1

"...I have only praise for both the conductor and his soloist, Marianne Thorsen, who possesses a velvety tone and an immaculate technique. The Bergen Philharmonic never has sounded better on disc. Good sound, and decent notes are also provided. Definitely recommended, and I am looking forward to the third volume,too."

Barry Brenesal - Fanfare - March/April 2011

“An absolute winner!”


Limelight - February 2011

John Tyler Tuttle


Classica - December 2010-January 2011

“These works will appeal to anyone partial to the music of Grieg and Svensen.”  ****

John Sunier

Audiophile Audition - November 2010

         ‘Recording of the Month’
“The Bergen players and Neeme Jarvi give this music their fullest attention, and it is hard to imagine it being played any better. Marianne Thorsen has the requisite technique to play the virtuosic parts, and the sweetness of tone to sing in the Chant.”

“It will certainly find its way into my Recordings of the Year”

David J Barker - November 2010

“Jarvi brings all his charm to these scores and gets performances of subtlety and finesse from Marianne Thorsen and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. The wonderfully natural sound is in the best Chandos manner.”

Robert Layton

International Record Review - November 2010

“The latest in Chandos’s Halvorsen series may be a slow burner but it’s a winner too”

Guy Rickards


The Gramophone - November 2010

J Marlow