During the writing of this symphony (No. 4) Koppel learned that his mother's family had been brutally destroyed by the Germans and so the resurgence of the march tempo is brutal with another nagging ostinato. The music is staggering and yet the violence is not overstated. It makes its point convincingly and, unlike Elgar and others, his powerful music is not merely trashy noise. There is a brief coda which has a soft brightness about it as if it were a message of hope. The final bars are all triumph with a swaggering horn theme. Totally satisfying, a complex but convincing symphony.
"Volume 3 of Dacapo's Herman Koppel orchestral series is the strongest so far...the symphony utilizes a musical language that is distinctive yet powerfully communicative, eloquently expressing the composer's profound reactions to World War II...As with previous installments in this series, Moshe Atzmon and the Aalborg Symphony provide brilliantly executed and highly persuasive performances of both scores...warmly reverberant acoustic offering solid imaging and satisfying dynamic range. If you've yet to experience any of Koppel's music, this disc offers a great place to start."
"I would urge anyone who is in the least bit interested in fairly modern Scandinavian symphonies to hear these works. I have been very impressed by the earlier volumes in the series and I give a very warm welcome to the present release. Like the other two discs in the series, this is a co-production between Dacapo and Danish Radio. The recordings are models of their kind - clear and detailed and well balanced by the sound engineers... I am delighted to welcome this disc as an example of a mid-twentieth century composer who deserves to be much wider known and respected. Needless to say, both performances and recordings are first rate, and I cannot believe that anyone purchasing this disc will be in the least bit disappointed."
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