VAGN HOLMBOES REQUIEM FOR NIETZSCHE TO BE RELEASED ON DACAPO
On 26th November 1964 Vagn Holmboe's Requiem was given its first performance in the Danish Radio Concert Hall. The Danish National Symphony Orchestra/DR and the Danish National Choir/DR formed the artistic foundation then and does so again in this Dacapo recording of the work, which has not been recorded before, or indeed been performed in recent times. This may be because of the performing resources the work requires: a large symphony orchestra and 60-70 professional choral singers as well as baritone and tenor soloists. The Requiem for Nietzsche, which is one of Vagn Holmboe's major works, has a text by Thorkild Bjornvig.
In 1996 Vagn Holmboe was the first Danish composer ever to be acclaimed posthumously as 'Composer of the Year' at the recording industry fair Midem in Cannes. One of the reasons for this was Dacapo's complete set of recordings of Vagn Holmboe's string quartets and chamber concertos. Subsequently Holmboe has been described in the international musical world as one of the most central figures of all in twentieth century music.
Vagn Holmboe, who was born in 1909 and died in 1996, exerted a strong influence on both Danish and Nordic music with his works from over sixty years as a composer. His music is brilliantly clear and precise, with striking lines and rhythms. Throughout the years he remained deeply interested in the folk-music principle of going to the core of the music. He combined this with his own symphonic attitude, with aspects going all the way back to Haydn.
VAGN HOLMBOE: REQUIEM FOR NIETZSCHE
Danish National Symphony Orchestra/DR and Danish National Choir/DR
Michael Schonwandt, conductor
Johan Reuter, baritone
Helge Ronning, tenor
CD number: 8.224207
Prelude in the Desert
The Third Temptation
The Wild Hunt
This CD has been recorded in cooperation with Danmarks Radio DR.
JOHAN REUTER (baritone) trained at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen and the Opera Academy, where he concluded his studies in 1996. At the Royal Theatre, Copenhagen, his roles have included Henrik in Carl Nielsen's Masquerade, the title role in Philip Glass's Orphee, Heerrufer in Wagner's Lohengrin, and Mozart roles such as Masetto and Leporello in Don Giovanni, Papageno in The Magic Flute and Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte. He has appeared in operas by Puccini, Prokofiev, Thomas, Weber and Richard Strauss. In the last opera season Johan Reuter sang among other roles Olivier in Richard Strauss' Capriccio, Figaro in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro and the major role as Kerasmin in Kunzen1s Holger Danske. Outside the Royal Theatre Johan Reuter is a frequent soloist with among other ensembles the Danish radio orchestras and the Danish regional orchestras. He has made guest appearances at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin and the opera in Hamburg, and has recorded a number of CDs, including Liszt's oratorio Via Crucis, Bo Holten's South Jutland Summer Symphony, Kunzen's Holger Danske, Carl Nielsen's Masquerade and Percy Grainger's The Merry Wedding, as well as a CD of selected songs by Schubert sung in Danish.
HELGE RONNING (tenor) was born in Norway. After studying in Oslo he concluded his training at the Opera Academy in Copenhagen, where he studied with among others Bodil Gumoes and Tonny Landy. He has sung several tenor roles in the bel canto repertoire: Almaviva in Rossini's The Barber of Seville at the Norwegian Opera, Don Ramiro in Rossini's La cenerentola at Den Ny Opera in Esbjerg and Nemorino in Donizetti's L'elissir d'amore at Musikdramatisk Teater as well as the Norwegian Opera. Helge Ronning has also appeared as a soloist in passions, cantatas and oratorios by Bach, Handel, Haydn and Mendelssohn with the Danish regional orchestras and others. He has sung contemporary opera including Mogens Christensen's Systema Naturae at The Other Opera, Edvard F. Brain's Anne Pedersdotter in Kristianssund, Norway, and Per Norgard's Nuit des hommes at Holland House.
The DANISH NATIONAL CHOIR/DR (DNC) was founded in 1932. Its main function was participation in the concerts and oratorio performances of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra/DR (DNSO). The choir consists of a total of 75 professional singers, 31 of whom are permanent DR employees and form the Danish National Chamber Choir/DR. The Swedish conductor and professor Stefan Parkman was Principal Conductor of the choir in 1989-2002, and in 1999 the Englishman Stephen Layton was appointed as Professor Uwe Gronostay's successor as Principal Guest Conductor. Besides working with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra in among other things the DR Thursday Concert series, the choir has recorded many CDs for Dacapo, Decca and Chandos. The participation of the choir by invitation at among other events Stockholm New Music, the Ultima Festival (Oslo), the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and the Tampere International Choir Festival as well as the promenade concerts in the Royal Albert Hall in London, concerts in the Alte Oper (Frankfurt) and a concert at the Salzburg Festival have also helped to make the choir a well known name on the international music scene. Since 1948 the choir has been on more than sixty tours in Europe, the USA, Canada and Australia.
The DANISH NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA/DR (DNSO) is one of the world's oldest radio symphony orchestras and in the year 2000 could celebrate its 75th anniversary. Many of the great conductors of the twentieth century have worked with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, including Fritz Busch, Nikolai Malko, Bruno Walter, Sergiu Celibidache and Giuseppe Sinopoli. Herbert Blomstedt was Principal Conductor in 1967-77, Leif Segerstam in 1988-1995 and Ulf Schirmer in 1995-1998. Yuri Temirkanov and Thomas Dausgaard are Principal Guest Conductors of the DNSO. In August 2000 the great German conductor Gerd Albrecht joined the orchestra as its present Principal Conductor. Besides the regular conductors the DNSO works with among others Christoph Eschenbach, Marek Janowski, Ton Koopman, Kurt Sanderling and Herbert Blomstedt. Over the years the orchestra has recorded innumerable LPs and CDs: on the Chandos label Alban Berg's opera Lulu, Strauss' Salome and a large number of Danish works; on Decca among other works Carl Nielsen's Masquerade with Ulf Schirmer, which has received several prizes including the major Gramophone Award 1999 in London. The Dacapo recording of Kunzen's Holger Danske with Thomas Dausgaard was honoured in 1997 with two Danish Grammys and nominated for an American Grammy in New York. In the year 2000 a new complete CD production appeared on Dacapo with all six of Carl Nielsen's symphonies conducted by Michael Schonwandt.
MICHAEL SCHONWANDT (conductor) was born in 1953, and since making his debut in the Tivoli Concert Hall in 1977 has been one of the most sought-after conductors of his generation. He has been Principal Conductor of Collegium Musicum since the orchestra started in 1981. In 1987-1991 Schonwandt was Principal Guest Conductor of the Opera and Symphony Orchestra in Nice, and in 1989-2000 he was Principal Guest Conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra/DR. Finally in 1992-98 he was Principal Conductor of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra. Besides his regular connection with Danish musical life he appears frequently with Europe's leading orchestras. The Berlin Philharmonic, the Philharmonia Orchestra i London, the French Radio Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France and the BBC Symphony Orchestra are just some of the orchestras he has conducted in recent years. The opera houses in London, Paris, Vienna, Brussels, Nice and Stuttgart have also been regular stopovers for him. In 1987 and 1988 Schonwandt was the first Scandinavian conductor ever to conduct at the Wagner festival in Bayreuth. At the Danish Classical Music Awards 2001 Michael Schonwandt received among other honours the prize for Danish Release of the Year for the recording of Poul Ruders' opera The Handmaid's Tale. Michael Schonwandt has also won a wide range of prizes and grants including the Carl Nielsen Prize in 1997. In 2000 he took up the post as Musical Director at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, where he has conducted many operas since 1979.