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Remy Franck
Pizzicato, June 2020

The Kristiansand Orchestra’s playing is vivid and sophisticated, and the musicians follow conductor Peter Szilvay with great commitment in his well thought-out and effective interpretations, which evoke images and moods. © 2020 Pizzicato Read complete review

Records International, June 2020

As we noted in the 2007 BIS release containing Groven’s first symphony from 1938, “Groven’s great lifetime achievement was to develop a system whereby he could effectively “translate” the just intonation of Norwegian folk music into the tempered intonation of Western art music, in order to create works based on folk music which could be as acoustically authentic as possible.” Both symphonies are as approachable as you’d wish and, while the Second (1943) is still available on a 1993 Simax disc, this mid-price coupling should open many new ears to Groven’s attractive works. © 2020 Records International

David Denton
David's Review Corner, May 2020

Born in Norway in 1901, Eivind Groven, grew up on a farm that offered a backdrop for folk music, and aged just 15, he had a fiddle repertoire of over 200 dance tunes.

Becoming a school teacher and a move to Oslo brought his first encounter with classical music, and created a desire to bring together the music he heard in the concert hall with his vast wealth of folk music. It was to be the basis of his First Symphony in 1937, subtitled ‘Towards the Mountains’, the inspiration coming from Hans Kinck’s play, ‘The Cattleman’. Cast in four movements, and employing a modest sized orchestra, it was to be revised in 1950, seven years after completion of his Second Symphony. There are informative printed notes in the disc’s booklet to guide you through each score, and when he introduces folk melodies, they are integrated into the content of the music rather than standing apart from it. For my part, I would say that while he created a personal voice, the music belongs to the late 19th century. Often forceful, as in the first movement of both symphonies; there is the attractive melodic invention we find in the hauntingly expressive Largo of the First; a dramatic war influenced Andante in the Second Symphony that ends in a mood of optimism. Groven was to die in 1977, never having added to those two symphonies. They are here performed with much conviction by the orchestra from Kristiansand, one of Norway’s seven full-time orchestras, here conducted by Peter Szilvay. With a wide dynamic range, there is also clarity of detail in a fine recording. © 2020 David’s Review Corner

Jean-Yves Duperron
Classical Music Sentinel, May 2020

The Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra is one of Norway’s top symphony orchestras, and is regularly recorded and broadcast by Norway’s national broadcasting service. They and conductor Peter Szilvay who for a while served as assistant conductor to Mariss Jansons, do this music full justice. © 2020 Classical Music Sentinel Read complete review

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