Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Riisager: Orchestral Works
Genres: Pop, Classical
Listen to Samples
First-Class Light-Hearted Music by a Minor Danish Master
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 05/04/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Knudåge Riisager (1897-1974) was born in Estonia of Danish parents, grew up in Denmark, studied there with Peder Gram and in France with Paul le Flem and Albert Roussel. He developed an utterly personal style marked by clever and creative orchestration with much emphasis on winds and brass, bitonality, and an almost constant light-heartedness and infectious sense of humor. The humor is satirical but never mean-spirited. This SACD disc was previously released as a plain vanilla stereo CD in the late 1990s and won acclaim back then. Now it is back in the newer format but when I compare it to the earlier disc there is only marginal improvement in the sound, although there is some increased richness and presence.
Riisager wrote a lot of ballet music and two of the selections here are taken from ballets: 'Slaraffenland' ('Fools' Paradise'), Suites 1 & 2 and 'Tolv med Posten' ('Twelve by the Mail Coach'); and another consists of incidental dances and songs from a stageplay, Darduse. Riisager's pictorial lightheartedness can be discerned by scanning some of the titles of the individual sections included in this music, e.g., Lazybones Polka, Procession of Gluttons, Cockfight, Dust Storm, The Rocking Chair, Fountains of Liqueurs, Dance of the Free Feet, Slumber Symphony. All this music is brilliantly played by the leading Danish conductor, Thomas Dausgaard, with the Helsingborg Symphony, with the addition of voices from the Ars Nova Vocal Group in 'Dust Storm' from 'Darduse'.
Also included is what is probably Riisager's most-played work, his 'Concertino for Trumpet and Strings', with the redoubtable Swedish trumpet virtuoso, Håkan Hardenberger. This is a neo-baroque concerto that sounds a little like Stravinsky, a little like the Swedish composer Lars-Erik Larsson. Hardenberger's playing is sensational.
[For those reading this at the CD product page: If you'd like to listen to some of this music before you buy I'd suggest you go to the product page for this release's mp3 download here at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Riisager-Orchestral-Works/dp/B003EO4FJ6/ref=sr_shvl_album_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1272984422&sr=301-2 ]