Herman Koppel: Concertos (Da Capo Audio CD)

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Concertos (Da Capo Audio CD)

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Department: CDs - Save up to 15% - Classical CDs: Orchestral

Publisher: Select Music

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Michaela Fukacova, cello
Rune Most, flute
Ulrich Stærk, piano

Herman D. Koppel, composer

Odense Symphony Orchestra
Paul Mann, conductor

Herman D. Koppel’s concertos for flute, cello and piano were written for, and inspired by, legendary Danish soloists with whom the music was personally associated for a long time. That applies not least to the piano concerto, in the in¬ter¬pretation of which the composer himself excelled. Now the three works are being made available in a new recording by outstanding young soloists with the Odense Symphony Orchestra under its new principal conductor, the Englishman Paul Mann.

The Piano Concerto – pardoned at the last minute
Koppel was not satisfied with his Second Piano Concerto after its premiere in 1938, and forbade any further performances. But a few years before his death he changed his mind, and in 1994 – almost sixty years after it had first been played – he said: “I can’t really remember why I withdrew it, but I felt that it didn’t give a true picture of me.” Koppel himself played an arrange¬ment of the work for two pianos with his grandson Nikolaj Koppel. On this disc the concerto is heard with orchestral accompaniment for the first time since 1938.

The Cello Concerto – an eye-opener
Koppel’s Cello Concerto was written for Erling Bløndal Bengtsson i 1952 and became one of his most popular concertos. The composer himself said: “Bløndal Bengtsson opened my eyes to the potential of the cello as a solo instrument.” The encounter certainly provoked Koppel to write one of his most inspired and technically perfect pieces. It is among the best Danish instrumental concertos of the twentieth century.

The Flute Concerto – following the trend
The Flute Concerto from 1971 is the most recent of the three compositions on Dacapo’s new disc. As he grew older Koppel became somewhat self-critical and was afraid to seem more conservative than his younger colleagues. At all events he continued to revise his approach to composition. Poul Birkelund, who gave the first performance, has a down-to-earth assessment of the spirit of the times: “Herman wanted to follow the trend. It was a time when everyone was in a hurry and seeking new directions. Herman tried to find out how far he could go: he jumped on the bandwagon but didn’t lose his musical identity.”

Herman D. Koppel’s orchestral works are produced by Dacapo in collaboration with Radio Denmark.

Hatten af for denne spændende cd ... Symfonikerne ledsager alle de tre koncerter veloplagt og karakterfuldt.
(* * * * * Fyens Stiftstidende)

Alle tre solister præsterer et teknisk godt, vidende og engageret solospil
(Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten)

Solisterne er hver især fremragende...og samtidig er pianist Ulrich Stærk en fornøjelse at lytte til...Tak for det!

The Cello Concerto from the 1950s - a flat-out masterpiece that deserves much wider exposure. The writing is virtuosic and brilliant, the thematic material memorably distinctive, and I can´t imagine any cellist (or audience) not finding the piece a rewarding experience.
(Classics Today, David Hurwitz)

Recorded at Odense Concert Hall on 17-25 May 2004
Recording producer: Henrik Sleiborg
Sound engineer: Knud Esmarch
Editing engineers: Knud Esmarch and Henrik Sleiborg

Graphic design: www.elevator-design.dk

Publishers: Edition Wilhelm Hansen AS (Cello Concerto) www.ewh.dk and
Edition Samfundet (Flute and Piano Concertos), www.samfundet.dk

This CD has been recorded in cooperation with the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR)

Contents and Reviews


Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, op. 87 a (1971) 1. Moderato 2. Adagio 3. Allegro Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, op. 56 (1952) 4. Allegro – Cadenza – Vivace 5. Andante tranquillo e molto espressivo 6. Allegro non troppo – Tempo tranquillo – Cadenza –Tempo I – Vivo Concerto for Piano and Orchestra no. 2 (1936-37) 7. Allegro – Meno mosso 8. Andante, ma non troppo – Allegro – Adagio 9. Allegro moderato