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22 March 2019
"Jacobs lives up to both pieces, impresses with tonal beauty and a light lyrical sound, but anyone who has heard the rapid, spectacular interpretation of the Nielsen concert beforehand will hardly be able to suppress a yawn. As pleasant-sounding, deeply romantic pieces, both still have their charm."Klassik.com, 23-1-2020
Noordse romantiekDe hoofdmoot van de opname is het, in 1911 gecomponeerde, Vioolconcert van de Deense componist Carl Nielsen. Maar niet minder interessant zijn de twee andere vioolwerken van de Noren Johan Halvorsen en Johan Severin Svendsen, geschreven in de stijl van de Noorse romantische traditie en sterk beïnvloed door de muziek van Edvard Grieg.
De ontdekkingsreis van NielsenCarl Nielsen daarentegen gaat op ontdekkingsreis. Hij zoekt een nieuwe muziektaal, met enerzijds een sterk verlangen naar het nieuwe en anderzijds een grote behoefte aan herleving van het puur archaïsche. Deze tegenstrijdigheid blijkt duidelijk uit zijn vioolconcert, dat in een neoklassieke vierdelige vorm in beginsel herinnert aan het concerto grosso uit de Barok. Met schijnbaar eenvoudige klassiek-achtige thema's en verwijzingen naar Bach en Mozart, neemt Nielsen de luisteraar mee op een fantastisch avontuur door het wilde Noordse landschap, op een pad vol harmonische en ritmische wendingen.
The Bremen Philharmonic Orchestra is the official orchestra of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen. In addition to the performance of the music theater in the Theater Bremen, she organizes 28 Philharmonic concerts and has special advantages in chamber music concerts and many projects in the field of music education per season. Director of the Bremen Philharmonic is Christian Kötter-Lixfeld, General Music Director, the time of 2018/2019 Marko Letonja.
Johan Svendsen, along with his exact contemporary Grieg, represents Norwegian Romanticism at its apex. Outside of Norway, where his status has never been questioned, Svendsen, despite his eclipse by Grieg, has nonetheless retained a cult of admirers and it may be only a matter of time before he receives the same belated international interest accorded to Berwald and Nielsen.
Svendsen was the son of a military bandsman who instructed him on a number of wind instruments and the violin. This led him, while still a boy, to perform in both a regimental band and dance orchestras, respectively, as well as him composing music for both. His exposure to symphonic classics came with his appointment to the position of first violinist in the Norwegian Theatre Orchestra and the subsequent discovery of Beethoven's music. Further study of the masters developed through his lessons with Carl Arnold, as well as his organizing a small orchestra of his own. Procurement of a royal stipend enabled Svendsen to go the Leipzig Conservatory to study. Svendsen originally aimed for violin virtuosity, but shifted to composition due to nervous problems of the left hand. However, his musicality led to his being allowed to deputize as conductor in the conservatory orchestra. He left the conservatory with honors in 1867, having meanwhile completed his Symphony No. 1 and string quintet. Svendsen returned to Norway where a concert of his own music drew praise from a review by Grieg. Local response, however, was tepid and Svendsen, another stipend in hand, traveled back to Leipzig and then Paris, the latter the scene of increasing performances of his works. The Franco-Prussian War in 1870 aborted a conducting position in Leipzig, but a successful performance of his Symphony No. 1 with the Gewandhaus, as well as his betrothal to an American woman named Sara whom he had met in Paris, seemed ample compensation. Svendsen returned to Norway in 1872 to share directorship of the Christiana Music Society concerts with Grieg. The generosity of a government grant helped create a conducive atmosphere for Svendsen, these years seeing the Symphony No. 2 and his series of Norwegian Rhapsodies. His star continued to ascend with him receiving directorship of the Royal Opera in Copenhagen in 1883. He traveled widely, meeting and working with Pasdeloup, Saint-Saëns, Sarasate, and even cultivating a friendship with Wagner. Sadly, his marriage had deteriorated to a point where his wife jealously flung the completed manuscript of a third symphony into a fire in 1882. Whether this was a catalyst or not, Svendsen's creativity severely tapered off at this point. He remarried in 1901. His international reputation continued until illness forced him to cease performing in 1908.
In his music, Svendsen prolifically composed in all idioms. With his bent toward classical forms, he forms a yin and yang of Norwegian Romantic music with the more overtly national Grieg. Yet there is a Nordic inflection present in the language, much as Tchaikovsky's Russian-ism shows through in his selected Western models. As such, he may rightly be placed in the august line of composers of the Nordic symphonic tradition.
Jacobs lives up to both pieces, impresses with tonal beauty and a light lyrical sound, but anyone who has heard the rapid, spectacular interpretation of the Nielsen concert beforehand will hardly be able to suppress a yawn. As pleasant-sounding, deeply romantic pieces, both still have their charm.
Lisa Jacobs is a really fine player.
Music Web, 30-9-2019
The Dutch violinist has a gorgeous sound, particularly high up on her 1683 Rugeri. That proves wondrous in the dreaming whimsy that characterises Part I but Jacobs is not short of gritty argument in the cadenzas either.
The Strad, 22-7-2019
Lisa Jacobs plays with firm tone and admirable technical control in these live performances, and I’m particularly taken with the dark sound she draws from the low register of her 1683 Rugieri.
Jacobs effortlessly captivates her listeners for 40 minutes with Nielsen.
With this release, Lisa Jacobs explores Scandinavian music. Carl Nielsen’s violin concerto is illuminated with very rich colors. The Halvorsen and Svendsen performances are no less atmospheric. The orchestra from Bremen is very supportive.
The visual sounds and the strong connection with nature play an important role with Composer Carl Nielsen. Lisa plays this technically challenging piece with sometimes rough sounds in this live setting.
Lisa Jacobs recorded the incomprehensible violin concerto by Carl Nielsen: "I see this piece as a quest"
De Volkskrant, 04-4-2019
"Sorceress" Lisa Jacobs is among the best!
De Gelderlander, 03-4-2019