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Reviews: Fartein Valen string quartets

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Reviews: 1

Review by JJ September 1, 2013 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
The Norwegian composer Fartein Valen (1881-1952) remains little known despite Glenn Gould’s praise of him. Composer of a substantial catalogue, with most notably Sonatas for Piano, Symphonies, a Concerto for Piano, and a Concerto for Violin, Valen was also passionate about botany and was interested in architecture. But, it was in Berlin that Max Bruch taught him composition, during which time “he acquired a post-romantic culture which did not prevent him from turning, notably in his two quartets (1928-29, 1930-31), toward what he called an “atonal polyphony” close to serialism and fairly avant-garde, but contained in a classical form,” underlines Bernard Fournier. The program on this recording thus proposes the String Quartets N°1, Op.10, N°2 Op.13, but also the String Quartet Op.0 dating from 1909 as well as the Three Poems by Goethe Op.6 (1925-1927) in the version for soprano and string quartet signed Leif Halvorsen. The Hansa Quartet offers a vision that is powerful, rigorous, and adroitly breathes evocative life into these scores. The warm tone of the soprano Hilde Haraldsen Sveen crowns this important disc, enabling us to discover an appealing composer. All of which on SACD and pure audio Blu-ray.

Jean-Jacques Millo
Translation Lawrence Schulman

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