The concert of the NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra conducted by Joseph Swensen includes works by three Scandinavian composers. We will hear pieces by notable representatives of Finnish, Danish and Norwegian music.
Jean Sibelius is considered the greatest Finnish composer. His three-movement suite Rakastava was created in 1912. The work is based on a cycle of songs for a cappella men’s choir from 1894, the texts of which were taken from the Kanteletar collection of Finnish folk poetry. The titles of the individual movements in the suite are Rakastava (The Loving One), Rakastetun tie (The Way of the Beloved One) and Hyvää iltaa ... Jää hyvästi (Good evening ... Goodbye). It is lyrical, singing music that shows Sibelius from an unexpected, warm side.
Born in 1932, Per Nørgård now enjoys a well-deserved reputation as a doyen of Danish music. He is the author of eight symphonies, six operas, eleven concertos and many other works intended for various compositions and belonging to different genres. The Konstellationer is an early piece, written in 1958. It consists of three movements: Constellations, Contrasts and The Game of Changes. The composition is nice to listen to and expressive – it proves the Dane’s sensitivity to various timbres.
The concert will end with a performance of the String Quartet in G minor by Edvard Grieg, probably the most famous and recognizable Norwegian composer. The work was created in the years 1877–1878 during the artist’s stay in western Norway, in the picturesque Hardanger region. Grieg is revered as one of the greatest melodists in the history of music, and the piece to be performed only confirms this opinion, as it is full of beautiful, melodious and catchy tunes. In the third movement, Intermezzo, there are distant echoes of Norwegian folk music. The last movement is surprising, being perhaps the only stylization of Italian folk music in the composer’s oeuvre – the temperamental folk dance saltarello in 6/8 metre.