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Nordic Atmospheres
Various composers

Sinfonietta Riga / Claus Efland / Egīl Šēfers

Nordic Atmospheres

Price: € 12.95 9.07
Format: CD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917263022
Catnr: CC 72630
Release date: 13 March 2014
old €12.95 new € 9.07
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12.95 9.07
old €12.95 new € 9.07
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Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917263022
Catalogue number
CC 72630
Release date
13 March 2014

""A result to be proud of." "A very good clarinet player.""

Luister, 08-4-2015
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
Press
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DE

About the album

After the first record “Concertante” Sinfonietta Riga wanted to do something completely different, something everyone taking part can relate to personally. The new album shares very close ties between Scandinavia and the Baltic. It’s like a musical seismographic scan, a topography of Scandinavian and Baltic emotional landscapes. Music by composers from Finland, Norway, Denmark, Latvia and Sweden. All of them are based on their close bond with the musical and cultural traditions of their countries, which is reflected in their works like a gene code.

The repertoire on this CD is mainly of music for string instruments, but contains one recording that might call the odd one out: the clarinet concerto by Romualds Kalsons. Claus Efland and Sinfonietta Riga wanted to play two Latvian composers who use a different musical idiom: Kalsons’s clarinet concerto and “Musica dolorosa” by Pēteris Vasks.

The programm is opened with Jean Sibelius’s Romance in C Major and ends with the second movement of the “Pastoral Suite” op. 19, also a Romance, by the Swedish composer Lars-Erik Larsson. A programmatic framework with two very different expressions: one is very dark, the other liberating.
Sfeervolle Scandinavische muziek door Claus Efland en Sinfonietta Riga
In deze opname met schitterende strijkersklanken, hoort u muziek van componisten uit Finland, Noorwegen, Denemarken, Letland en Zweden. Uitgevoerd door de Deense dirigent Claus Efland en Sinfonietta Riga. Nordic Atmospheres straalt een totaal andere sfeer uit dan Concertante het 1e album van Efland en het strijkorkest. Ze wilden dit keer iets compleet anders doen, iets waar iedereen zich in kan herkennen. En dat is gelukt. Dit nieuwe album vertegenwoordigt de nauwe banden tussen Scandinavië en de Baltische landen. Het lijkt wel een muzikale seismografische scan, een landkaart van Noordse emotionele landschappen.

Het repertoire van deze opname bestaat voornamelijk uit muziek voor snaarinstrumenten, maar wordt doorbroken door één afwijkende opname: het Klarinet Concerto van Romualds Kalsons. Met dit klarinetconcert en Musica dolorosa van Pēteris Vasks, spelen Efland en het orkest, muziek van twee Letse componisten, die een compleet verschillende muzikale taal spreken. De Letse muziek vormt het middelpunt van deze uitvoering, omkaderd door 2 Romances van de Fin Jean Sibelius en de Zweedse componist Lars-Erik Larsson. Romances die allebei heel verschillende sferen oproepen: de één duister, de ander bevrijdend.

Naast zijn werk als dirigent, beschouwt Claus Efland zichzelf als een ambassadeur van de muziek uit zijn geboorteland Denemarken en de rest van Scandinavië. Een van zijn belangrijke artistieke doelen is de typische muzikale taal van de Scandinavische componisten onder de aandacht te brengen van een breder publiek. Dit geldt vooral voor de muziek van de Deense componist Carl Nielsen, die grote invloed heeft op de muzikale passies en keuzes van Efland. En niet alleen omdat ze beiden van hetzelfde eiland komen, maar ook omdat Efland tijdens zijn studie in Denemarken op de beroemde Scamparella viool van Nielsen mocht spelen. Efland is een expert op het gebied van Noordelijke muziek en dirigeert werken van onder anderen Nielsen, Svendsen, Grieg en Sibelius.


Nach ihrer ersten Einspielung war es Claus Efland und seinem Streichorchester Sinfonietta Riga ein großes Anliegen, etwas völlig neues auf die Beine zu stellen. Etwas, zu dem jedes Mitglied einen persönlichen Bezug haben würde. Das neue Album zieht also ein enges Band zwischen Skandinavien und dem Baltikum und spürt Gefühlswelten beider Regionen wie ein musikalischer Seismograph nach. Komponisten aus Finnland, Norwegen, Dänemark, Litauern und Schweden stehen daher auf dem Programm, deren Musik mit den jeweiligen Kulturen ihrer Heimat eng verbunden ist. Hier spiegeln sich auch die Musiker und ihr Dirigent wider.

Das Repertoire der Aufnahme enthält vorwiegend Werke für Streichorchester, das lediglich von einer Ausnahme durchbrochen wird: dem Klarinettenkonzert von Romuald Kalsons. Mit diesem Konzert sowie „Musica dolorosa“ von Peteris Vasks spielt Sinfonietta Riga zwei Werke litauischer Meister, deren Tonsprache völlig unterschiedlich ist. Sie bilden den zentralen Punkt der CD, dessen Programm von zwei Romanzen von Jean Sibelius und dem Schweden Lars-Erik Larsson umrahmt wird. Eine dieser Romanzen mit mehr finsterer Stimmung, die andere eher erlösend.

Artist(s)

Sinfonietta Rīga

Youthful ardour, joy of learning and discovery of new horizons are the traits that best describe the State Chamber Orchestra Sinfonietta Rīga. Since its foundation in 2006, the orchestra's artistic director and chief conductor has been Normunds Šnē. Sinfonietta Rīga musicians are young, erudite and bursting with creativity. They are assiduous students of the musical heritage of the First and Second Viennese School and eager presenters of the musical phenomena and styles of the 20th century, while continuing to look for the brightest revelations in contemporary music scene. Among the ambitions of the orchestra is promotion and development of chamber symphony genre in Latvian music, therefore twice a year Sinfonietta Rīga commissions a new chamber symphony score to contemporary Latvian composers. Sinfonietta...
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Youthful ardour, joy of learning and discovery of new horizons are the traits that best describe the State Chamber Orchestra Sinfonietta Rīga. Since its foundation in 2006, the orchestra's artistic director and chief conductor has been Normunds Šnē. Sinfonietta Rīga musicians are young, erudite and bursting with creativity. They are assiduous students of the musical heritage of the First and Second Viennese School and eager presenters of the musical phenomena and styles of the 20th century, while continuing to look for the brightest revelations in contemporary music scene. Among the ambitions of the orchestra is promotion and development of chamber symphony genre in Latvian music, therefore twice a year Sinfonietta Rīga commissions a new chamber symphony score to contemporary Latvian composers.
Sinfonietta Rīga often collaborates with guest conductors, and has staged thematically and stylistically varied programmes together with Paavo Järvi, Heinz Holliger, John Storgårds, Christoph Poppen, Olari Elts, Juha Kangas and Tõnu Kaljuste.
Among the brilliant soloists that have performed together with Sinfonietta Rīga are classical singers Julia Lezhneva and Inga Kalna; pianists Kristian Bezuidenhout and Yevgeny Sudbin; internationally renowned Latvian organist Iveta Apkalna; violinists Isabelle Faust, Kolja Blacher, Baiba Skride, Pekka Kuusisto and Thomas Zehtmair; cellists Sol Gabetta and Jean-Guihen Queyras; and the members of the Berlin-based Artemis Quartet – violinist Vineta Sareika and violist Gregor Sigl, as well as Ukrainian violist Maxim Rysanov. The orchestra has also enjoyed collaborations with clarinetist and composer Jörg Widmann; trombone soloist Christian Lindberg; percussionists Martin Grubinger, Evelyn Glennie and Peter Erskine; accordionist Ksenija Sidorova; Argentinian bandoneon player Marcelo Nisinman; oboe soloist Alexei Ogrintchouk; and early music experts Andrew Lawrence-King and Enrico Onofri. Over the years, the orchestra has developed a close creative friendship with Latvian Radio Choir and its conductor Sigvards Kļava. Together, they stage several musical programmes each year, including first performances of Latvian sacred music.
Along with active concert life in Latvia and the other two Baltic States, Sinfonietta Rīga has performed in the Elbphilharmonie and the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, the Herkulessaal in Munich and the Alte Oper in Frankfurt. In Netherlands, the orchestra has performed several times, both in Amsterdam's Muziekgebouw and De Doelen in Rotterdam; and it has also conquered the hearts of audiences in St. Petersburg Philharmonia and the Lincoln Center in New York.

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Claus Efland (conductor)

As well as offering the core repertoire of a conductor – symphonic works and operas - Claus Efland regards himself as an ambassador of music from his native Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia. A major artistic goal is to bring the distinctive musical language of Nordic composers to a wider audience. This is especially true of the music of Danish composer Carl Nielsen which exerted a formative influence on Claus Efland´s musical passions. Not only were they both born on the same island, but Efland had the honour of performing on the composer´s famous Scamparella violin while studying in Denmark. As an expert in Nordic music, Claus Efland conducts orchestral works by Nielsen, Grieg, Sibelius, Svendsen and others all over the world, some as first performances.   Claus Efland first...
more
As well as offering the core repertoire of a conductor – symphonic works and operas - Claus Efland regards himself as an ambassador of music from his native Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia. A major artistic goal is to bring the distinctive musical language of Nordic composers to a wider audience. This is especially true of the music of Danish composer Carl Nielsen which exerted a formative influence on Claus Efland´s musical passions. Not only were they both born on the same island, but Efland had the honour of performing on the composer´s famous Scamparella violin while studying in Denmark. As an expert in Nordic music, Claus Efland conducts orchestral works by Nielsen, Grieg, Sibelius, Svendsen and others all over the world, some as first performances.
Claus Efland first attracted international attention in 2004 as Second Prize Winner in the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in London. Since then, his busy schedule as a conductor has taken him to Scandinavia, England, Germany, Italy and South America. He has worked as a guest with the London Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin, Kammerakademie Potsdam, Brandenburger Symphoniker, Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg, with the Danish symphony orchestras in Odense, Aarhus and Sønderjylland, Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonietta Riga, Orquesta Filharmónica de Mexico City, Orquesta Sinfonica Provincial de Santa Fe (Argentina) and Orquesta de Cadaqués (Spain). He has worked with soloists including Albrecht Mayer, Nikolai Demidenko, Natalie Clein and Rita Cullis. He enjoys a close relationship with the Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg, with whom, since 2011, he has given a series of sell-out New Year Concerts in the Berlin Konzerthaus. Claus Efland has also earned a strong profile as opera conductor. He led the critically acclaimed production of Rossini´s La Cenerentola with the Kammerakademie Potsdam at the Potsdamer Winteroper in 2010, with extra performances at the Brandenburger Theater. Furthermore he conducted a highly praised production of La Traviata at Teatro dell´Opera in Rome and various stagings at Teatro Lirico Sperimentale in Spoleto, (Italy) and with the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris. At the Fynske Opera in Denmark, he led a new production of Donizetti´s Don Pasquale, and has been invited back for a new production in 2015. Claus Efland started his musical career as a violin player, later studying conducting at the Royal College of Music in London and the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris. After winning countless awards and prizes - among them the renowned Scandinavian Léonie Sonning Award as the most talented Danish conductor of his generation, and his success at the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in London - he took up an invitation from Sir Colin Davis to become his assistant at the Dresden Staatskapelle. Claus Efland is an exclusive artist with the label Challenge Records. In Autumn 2013 his first CD Concertante with Sinfonietta Riga was released with the next one due in February 2014 - Nordic Atmospheres – including works by Nielsen, Vasks, Grieg and Sibelius.

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Composer(s)

Edvard Grieg

Edvard Hagerup Grieg was a Norwegian composer and pianist. He is widely considered one of the leading Romantic era composers, and his music is part of the standard classical repertoire worldwide. His use and development of Norwegian folk music in his own compositions put the music of Norway in the international spectrum, as well as helping to develop a national identity, much as Jean Sibelius and Antonín Dvořák did in Finland and Bohemia, respectively. Grieg is regarded as simultaneously nationalistic and cosmopolitan in his orientation, for although born in Bergen and buried there, he travelled widely throughout Europe, and considered his music to express both the beauty of Norwegian rural life and the culture of Europe as a whole. He is...
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Edvard Hagerup Grieg was a Norwegian composer and pianist. He is widely considered one of the leading Romantic era composers, and his music is part of the standard classical repertoire worldwide. His use and development of Norwegian folk music in his own compositions put the music of Norway in the international spectrum, as well as helping to develop a national identity, much as Jean Sibelius and Antonín Dvořák did in Finland and Bohemia, respectively.
Grieg is regarded as simultaneously nationalistic and cosmopolitan in his orientation, for although born in Bergen and buried there, he travelled widely throughout Europe, and considered his music to express both the beauty of Norwegian rural life and the culture of Europe as a whole. He is the most celebrated person from the city of Bergen, with numerous statues depicting his image, and many cultural entities named after him.
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Jean Sibelius

Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) was the composer who gave Finland its own sound, right when this nation was struggling to detach itself from Russia. Sibelius wrote several impressive symphonic poems - among which Finlandia, Lemminkäinen-suite, Oceaniden, Tapiola - for he took inspiration from the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic.  He was just as original as a symphonist: his Seven Symphonies are just as much answers to the question how the genre should develop after Tchaikovsky's death. 
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Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) was the composer who gave Finland its own sound, right when this nation was struggling to detach itself from Russia. Sibelius wrote several impressive symphonic poems - among which Finlandia, Lemminkäinen-suite, Oceaniden, Tapiola - for he took inspiration from the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic. He was just as original as a symphonist: his Seven Symphonies are just as much answers to the question how the genre should develop after Tchaikovsky's death.
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Carl Nielsen

Carl Nielsen was a Danish musician, conductor and violinist, widely recognized as his country's most prominent composer. Brought up by poor but musically talented parents on the island of Funen, he demonstrated his musical abilities at an early age. He initially played in a military band before attending the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen from 1884 until December 1886. He premiered his Op. 1, Suite for Strings, in 1888, at the age of 23. The following year, Nielsen began a 16-year stint as a second violinist in the prestigious Royal Danish Orchestra under the conductor Johan Svendsen. In 1916, he took a post teaching at the Royal Academy and continued to work there until his death. Although his symphonies, concertos...
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Carl Nielsen was a Danish musician, conductor and violinist, widely recognized as his country's most prominent composer.
Brought up by poor but musically talented parents on the island of Funen, he demonstrated his musical abilities at an early age. He initially played in a military band before attending the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen from 1884 until December 1886. He premiered his Op. 1, Suite for Strings, in 1888, at the age of 23. The following year, Nielsen began a 16-year stint as a second violinist in the prestigious Royal Danish Orchestra under the conductor Johan Svendsen. In 1916, he took a post teaching at the Royal Academy and continued to work there until his death.
Although his symphonies, concertos and choral music are now internationally acclaimed, Nielsen's career and personal life were marked by many difficulties, often reflected in his music. The works he composed between 1897 and 1904 are sometimes ascribed to his "psychological" period, resulting mainly from a turbulent marriage with the sculptor Anne Marie Brodersen. Nielsen is especially noted for his six symphonies, his Wind Quintet and his concertos for violin, flute and clarinet. In Denmark, his opera Maskarade and many of his songs have become an integral part of the national heritage. His early music was inspired by composers such as Brahms and Grieg, but he soon developed his own style, first experimenting with progressive tonality and later diverging even more radically from the standards of composition still common at the time. Nielsen's sixth and final symphony, Sinfonia semplice, was written in 1924–25. He died from a heart attack six years later, and is buried in Vestre Cemetery, Copenhagen.

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Pēteris Vasks

He wrote his first composition when he was 8 years old. His musical education started at the Riga Music school and the Lithuanian Academy of Music (Vilnius), we he studied double bass under Vitautas Sereika. From 1963 to 1978, he played the double bass in the Lithuanian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Latvian Philharmonic Orchestra and the Latvian Radio Orchestra.  Besides that, he also studied composition from 1973 to 1978 at the Latvian Academy of Music under Valentin Utkin. He adopted early Latvian music in his compositions, which are mostly about the battle between man and nature; the beauty of nature but also its threats. As many composers from the Northern regions, he also addresses the threats towards nature, such as the increasing deforestation.  Since...
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He wrote his first composition when he was 8 years old. His musical education started at the Riga Music school and the Lithuanian Academy of Music (Vilnius), we he studied double bass under Vitautas Sereika. From 1963 to 1978, he played the double bass in the Lithuanian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Latvian Philharmonic Orchestra and the Latvian Radio Orchestra. Besides that, he also studied composition from 1973 to 1978 at the Latvian Academy of Music under Valentin Utkin. He adopted early Latvian music in his compositions, which are mostly about the battle between man and nature; the beauty of nature but also its threats. As many composers from the Northern regions, he also addresses the threats towards nature, such as the increasing deforestation. Since 1994, Vasks is an honorary member of the Latvian Academy of Science and he is part of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music since 2001.
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Press

"A result to be proud of." "A very good clarinet player."
Luister, 08-4-2015

"A northern adventure worthly of listening to"
hvt, 01-10-2014

No quote 
Katholiek nieuwsblad, 21-4-2014

There is an extra reason to buy this CD, and that's the wonderful recording quality combined with a gorgeous string sound.
Opus Klassiek, 26-3-2014

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