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Guy Rickards
Gramophone, April 2013

Dressed in beguiling orchestral garb, the Symphonic Variations are an undoubtedly appealing work and proved a springboard to [Olsen’s] follow-up piece, the Piano Concerto (1953-54). This extrovert score is in three movements, Maestoso – Larghetto – Allegro, and receives a sparkling performance from Christina Bjørkøe.

The chamber-orchestral Au fond de la nuit (1968) is the most advanced in style of the works here and the most extreme in subject…It is played with aplomb and audible relish, as are the couplings, by the Odense Symphony Orchestra, superbly marshalled by Bo Holten. © 2013 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Jens F. Laurson
Listen: Life with Classical Music, April 2013

It’s gratifying to come across an excellent piano concerto never heard before. In this case that of Poul Rovsing Olsen…Coupled with the Danish composer’s concerto are his Symphonic Variations and Au fond de la nuit for chamber orchestra. Soloist Christina Bjørkøe and conductor Bo Holten are Dacapo veterans, aided and abetted splendid by the Odense Symphony Orchestra. © 2013 Listen: Life with Classical Music Read complete review

William Kreindler
MusicWeb International, March 2013

Christina Bjørkøe…handles the wide changes of tempo and mood in the Piano Concerto with great aplomb and subtlety. Bo Holten[’s]…ability to build a performance from beginning to end and to differentiate subtle changes of mood serves Olsen’s music well…this disc will serve as a useful introduction to the composer’s works. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Scott Noriega
Fanfare, March 2013

The Variations Symphoniques is truly stunning. The almost 16-minute composition washes over as though one is being bathed in different colors: One cannot believe that time can move so quickly in a piece which seems so static in certain ways.

The piano concerto is much different in mood. While it still retains the refined qualities of the earlier work—the clarity, the light textures, the colorful harmonic sense—it is overall a more driving work. The piano is featured throughout and has, what I like to call, a sense of melodic figuration. There is hardly a tune that one can remember in the work, yet the highly personal way in which the piano is featured, from the majestic and powerful opening movement to the more delicate figurational webs found in the Larghetto, remains with one far after the work has ended. The later Au fond de la nuit is a much more intimate composition, scored for chamber orchestra. All four movements are evocative in mood, making use of various combinations of instrumental timbres. Part of their brilliance is their reliance on constant change and the listener’s imagination. Luckily the three works could not have more solid performances than they find here. It is obvious that not only are the players committed, more importantly they love this music. And love this music you will too after hearing these performances. All I can say is grab it, sit back, and close your eyes when listening: The music will do the rest. © Fanfare Read complete review

Mark L Lehman
American Record Guide, March 2013

The orchestra is used with commanding skill, whether in quiet or delicate episodes of elfin playfulness or nocturnal mystery, or in sonorous, imposing ones of solemn majesty or martial exultation.

Get this for Olsen’s Symphonic Variations and Piano Concerto. The really good stuff never ages. © 2013 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

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