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Guy Rickards
Gramophone, July 2013

HOLMBOE, V.: Viola Concerto / Violin Concerto No. 2 / Concerto for Orchestra (Heide, Tomter, Norrkoping Symphony, Slobodeniouk) 6.220599
HOLMBOE, V.: Chamber Music, Vol. 2 - Eco / Aspekter / Cello Sonata / Quartetto medico / Sextet (Ensemble MidtVest) 8.226074

The Viola Concerto (1992) is a lithe and energetic affair… That this is one of the finest viola concertos ever penned I have not the slightest doubt, and it is thrown off with dazzling virtuosity by Tomter and the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra under Russian-born, Finnish-resident Dima Slobodeniouk, who displays a real affinity for Holmboe’s idiom.

Ensemble MidtVest’s follow-up to their very well-received first chamber music disc…is equally impressive. Ensemble MidtVest provide an even more subtly nuanced account of the Op 114 Sextet, for wind and string trios, than their rivals on Rondo… Recommended. © 2013 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



David W Moore
American Record Guide, May 2013

These are all relatively short works…with a pleasant balance between fast and slow and witty and lyrical music…the disc is a welcome addition to the large backlog of this fine composer’s music. © 2013 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Lynn René Bayley
Fanfare, May 2013

…the solo cello sonata…[is] played with tremendous feeling and elegance by Jonathan Slaatto…

If this disc is your introduction to Holmboe’s musical world, as it was for me, I think you’ll be intrigued and charmed by it. If you haven’t gotten around to Holmboe’s chamber works but like his other music, this one is a must. © 2013 Fanfare Read complete review



Kevin Filipski
The Flip Side, March 2013

The gifted Danish composer Vagn Holmboe (1909–96) wrote music in all genres, although mainly orchestral (symphonies and concertos) and chamber music, of which this disc is a representative sample. Never tied down by one format, his intimate works run the gamut on this disc from a solo cello sonata to a sextet for flute, clarinet, bassoon, violin, viola and cello, all showing off Holmboe’s effortless amalgam of modernism, classical structure and folk idioms. The five pieces on this disc are dazzlingly played by members of Ensemble MidtVest. © 2013 The Flip Side



David Denton
David's Review Corner, December 2012

Born in Denmark in 1909, Vagn Holmboe studied in Copenhagen and Berlin, before settling down in his homeland where he worked as a schoolteacher and music critic. As a composer it was not until the early 1950’s that a series of string quartets gained him an international reputation, his music becoming known as ‘the lighthouse of Danish music’. Though he was to build a large collection of works, it is his chamber music that has placed him among the most important Scandinavian composers in the second half of the last century, the present programme representing his output through much of his life. It begins in 1956 with the Quartetto Medico for flute, oboe clarinet and piano, in five short movements, the whole work lasts eleven minutes, it’s tuneful content using instruments as solos or in ensemble. Equally pleasurable in its melodic content, Aspects, for a conventional wind quintet, comes from the same year. A gap of thirteen years and we find an extremely demanding Cello Sonata rather in the same mould as Kodaly’s work of that name, though by no means as long. Another four years and the Sextet is scored for the unusual combination of wind and string trios, and indulges in long flowing lines, the opening jaunty and full of good humour. Its spiky finale is surely enough to find the work a place in the popular chamber music repertoire. Finally from 1991 comes one of his last works, Eco.. Admirable in shape and content, the interplay between clarinet, cello and piano is imaginative. Created in 2002, Denmark’s Ensemble MidtVest has made an international impact working in a number of musical eras, the high quality of their playing evident from these performances. Excellent sound. © 2012 David’s Review Corner






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1:36:21 PM, 21 August 2014
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