Nordic Spring; Edward Grieg: Holberg Suite, op. 40; Kurt Atterberg: Suite no. 3, op. 19 for violin, viola and string orchestra; Johan Svendsen: Romance for violin and orchestra, op. 26; Carl Nielsen: Little suite for strings, op. 1; Edvard Bræin: Serenade for viola and orchestra; Jean Sibelius: Valse triste, Op. 44; Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Terje Toennesen; 1 CD Simax PSC1264; 2/13 (61'46) – Reviewed by Remy Franck

This CD begins not simply with one supplementary recording of Grieg’s Holberg Suite. What we hear is a very rich and moving performance of this popular piece. The sheer abundance of colors and of rhythmic patterns leads to an incredibly beautiful and rhetoric music, played with deep feelings for the piece and it’s composer who expressed in this Suite his bottomless love for his country. The NCO produces heartbreakingly sweet melodies as well as utterly genuine dance tunes.

The performance of Atterberg’s Suite is, if anything, more committed still, resulting in an almost perfect marriage of cultivation and intensity. Johann Svensen’s Romance maintains it’s predecessor’s communication of heartfelt lyricism and nostalgia.

Carl Nielsen’s charmingly dancing Little suite for strings, op. 1 (1888) is one of the finest works in this program. It is followed by Edvard Bræin’s somewhat pathetically romantic Serenade for viola and orchestra (1947) and Jean Sibelius’ Valse triste, deeply sad and, when the music becomes more dramatic, fairly ruffled.

Simax’s recording, in the warm ambience of Lommedalen church, is well balanced and detailed and ads a lot to the musically immersive experience.

Avec ses interprétations riches et intensément vécues, entre rythmes de danse et lyrismes émouvants, l’Orchestre de chambre de Norvège invite à un saisissant voyage à travers des œuvres nordiques.

Mit seinen musikalisch reichen und emotional ergreifenden Interpretationen fasziniert das Norwegische Kammerorchester mit einem farbintensiven Programm nordischer Musik, von beschwingten Tanzrhythmen bis hin zu herzergreifend lyrischen Melodien.

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