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ALFVEN: Synnove Solbakken / En Bygdesaga / Elegie

Composer(s):Alfven, Hugo
Artist(s) Willen, Niklas, Conductor • Norrkoping Symphony Orchestra
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category Orchestral
Catalogue 8.557828
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Download and Stream

In his native Sweden Hugo Alfvén’s music ranks as the most significant after that of Berwald. The music on this disc consists of two suites drawn from films that Alfvén scored during the 1930s and 1940s. Both Suites draw on folk-tunes to evoke the countryside with a mix of bucolic devices and sombre pastoral melodies. Although the films were not well received, Alfvén’s music was widely commended. In Elégie, Alfvén pays tribute to fellow countryman and composer Emil Sjögren (1853-1918). This work anticipates his own Fourth Symphony (Naxos 8.557284).


Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

The two film-score suites date from the 1930s and ‘40s and are full of charm and easy melodic invention. They are unashamedly romantic—even sentimental—in nature, but each of the numbers is highly appealing. A Country Tale is the more melodramatic of the two, though that has its share of wistful, yearning melodies which make up a fair proportion of Synnove of Solbakken. Both are imbued with folk-like tunes which add bucolic piquancy. Elégie is the longest piece here; it is Alfvén’s homage to the Swedish composer Johan Gustav Emil Sjörgen. As its title indicates, it is a solemn piece but is far from unattractive, and it includes an impressive climax. Sympathetic performances and decent recording.


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