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CHAN 9433
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CHAN 9433

Leifs: Iceland Cantata/ Icelandic Overture/Elegy/Fines 1 & 2

The Classical Shop
release date: February 1996

Originally recorded in 1995

Artists:

Iceland Symphony Orchestra


Petri Sakari


Chorus of the Icelandic Opera


Graduale Chorus of Langholts Church



Venue:

Iceland Broadcast Hall



Producer:

Chris Webster



Engineer:

Bjarni Runar Bjarnason


Hreinn Valdimarsson

(Assistant)

Record Label
Chandos

Genre:

Orchestral & Concertos




Total Time - 53:20
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JON LEIFS

(1899-1968)
Select Complete Single Disc for
1 

Icelandic Overture Op. 9

12:34
  Allegro  
 

Iceland Cantata, Op.13

19:57  
2 I Moderato, maestoso ma animato 1:44
3 II Andante 3:17
4 III Allegro spirituoso 1:50
5 IV Adagio 5:15
6 V Larghetto 1:59
7 VI Allegro furioso 2:48
8 VII Andante 2:50
   
9 

Elegy, Op.53

9:05
  Adagio, ma non troppo  
10 

Fine I. Op.55

4:16
  Moderato  
11 

Fine II, Op.56

7:42
  Andante  
No Notes Found.
No Internal Reviews Found.


*****
A Stevens

*****
D Barnes

*****
t kent

*****
The Icelandic composer Jon Leifs (1899-1968) has been sadly neglected in favour of mainland Scandinavians such as Rautavaara, Langgaard etc. He is arguably the country's finest composer. Thanks to Chandos and a couple of other labels a decent body of his work has now been issued in fine modern recordings. The current issue from 1995 was made in Iceland with local forces including the excellent Icelandic Symphony Orchestra. Under the baton of Petri Sakari they play and sing with great passion and commitment. His music, although sometimes dissonant, is not of the avant-garde and contains plenty of diatonic tonality with chorales being a favourite device. This current issue of the Icelandic Overture, Iceland Cantata, the touching Elegy and the short pieces Fine I & II are an excellent introduction to his world. His main inspirations are the harsh but often beautiful landscapes of the Land of Fire and Ice, along with the ancient Icelandic sagas. Sibelius's work operates in similar Finnish territory. The 20 minute Cantata comprises a number of short movements which contrast Viking-like songs with more reflective and often beautiful music. It is a good place to start and has resonances of Sibelius's Kullervo Symphony based on the Kalevala on a smaller and simpler scale. The overture is more of a short orchestral tone poem reflecting the land and seascapes of his homeland. The Elegy is a truly eloquent and heartfelt work. For a Leifs tour this CD can scarcely be bettered before exploring larger pieces such as the Saga Symphony and the tone poem depicting the eruption of the volcano Hekla. That piece has the impact of Thor's hammer but its sheer noise and dissonance probably make this a much better introduction to Liefs's world. Sibelius or Nielsen he is not (few are) but he was a very fine composer indeed with his own distinctive voice and very well worth exploring on other Chandos issues
t kent