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DK 6146
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DK 6146

RIISAGER, K.: Symphonic Edition, Vol. 1 (Aarhus Symphony, Holten) - Symphony No. 1 / Danish Pictures

The Classical Shop
release date: November 2011

Recorded in 24 Bit / 44.1Khz
album available as a Studio Master


Aarhus Symphony Orchestra

Holten, Bo

Bo Holten


Record Label


Orchestral & Concertos


Total Time - 64:53
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RIISAGER, K.: Symphonic Edition, Vol. 1 (Aarhus Symphony, Holten) - Symphony No. 1 / Danish Pictures



Select Complete Single Disc for

Erasmus Montanus, Op. 1, "Danish Pictures No. 1"


Klods Hans (Jack the Dullard), Op. 18, "Danish Pictures No. 2"


Symphony No. 1, Op. 8

3 I. Allegro ritmico e con brio 8:50
4 II. Andante recitativo 6:50
5 III. Allegro focoso 9:58

Comoedie, Op. 21, "Danish Pictures No. 4"


Fastelavn (Carnival), Op. 20, "Danish Pictures No. 3"

 Bo Holten Conductor
 Holten, Bo

Knudåge Riisager (1897-1974) studied composition in Paris in the 1920s and became a pioneer of the sparkling Neo-Classicist style in Danish music. This world premiere recording of Riisager’s complete cycle of symphonies opens with the virtuosic Symphony No. 1 from 1925. Also featured are four lively and humorous orchestral pieces, presented here as originally intended by the composer as a series of "Danish Pictures": Fastelavn (Carnival), Comoedie (Comedy), Klods Hans (Jack the Dullard) and Overture to Erasmus Montanus.

"...None of these pieces is exactly easy to play, the more so since none is in any orchestra’s repertoire (nor, to be realistic, ever likely to be). The Åarhus Symphony Orchestra aquits itself bravely under Bo Holten’s firm direction and, as usual from this source recording quality and documentation are first-rate."

David Fanning - Gramophone magazine - January 2012

"...The recording is clear, capturing the full range of the orchestra - and Riisage is indeed active from top to bottom... Worth your time."

Martin Anderson - International Record Review - January 2012

                          Sound Quality 10      Artistic Quality 10

 "Knudåge Riisager was a born orchestral composer, and he seemed to understand exactly what kind of writing best suited his natural proclivities. The occasional sudden dissonance, sardonic brass commentary, bright woodwinds, and high-lying violin ostinatos all suggest comedy, and in the four overtures, especially Klods Hans (translated here as "Jack the Dullard") that’s exactly what we get. You might think of Riisager as the Danish Malcolm Arnold, without the bitterness and melodrama. The music is rhythmically vivacious, full of good tunes, and wonderfully scored, even without special coloristic effects. Right from Riisager’s Op. 1, the overture Erasmus Montanus, you can hear in the brass chording his splendid feel for sonority.

The First Symphony is a perky, three-movement piece that contemporary critics described as Stravinsky mixed with Puccini, but to modern ears it sounds like neither. It is indeed cast clearly in a neo-classical mode, and there’s not a shred of obvious Scandinavian sound--amazing for the date of composition (1925), when Nielsen’s influence was strongest in Danish music. It’s not perfect--the outer movements could be better sustained--but the sheer charm of the work’s ideas carries the day. The performances in this first volume of a projected series of Riisager’s symphonic works are first-rate, and so is the engineering. Bo Holten and his players clearly relish the music’s color and energy, and I can only welcome this release with great enthusiasm and high hopes for the series as a whole."

David Hurwitz - Classics Today - 10 November 2011

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