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Cat. No. CHAN 9767 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 9767 - Grieg & Gade: Sacred Choral Works
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Available From: 25 May 2000
The Four Hymns, Op. 74 for baritone and mixed chorus were Edvard Grieg’s last compositions. They are adaptations of tunes from L.M. Lindemann’s collection ‘Older and More Recent Norwegian Folk Tunes Collected and Arranged for Pianoforte’, published in Kristiania between 1853 and 1867. Grieg had already come across Lindemann’s collection in the summer of 1869 and drawn from it in his ‘Album of Songs for Male Voices’, Op. 30 (1877-8) in which ‘Den store, hvide Flokk vi se’ (The big white Flock we see) was the tenth. In his ‘Four Hymns’ Grieg interprets the words with colourful chord progressions, powerful outbursts and soaring dynamic arches – stylistic features unusual in religious music of the time.

The Two Religious Choruses for eight parts were written in 1898-9. Both are arrangements of original songs previously published by Grieg for solo voice and piano. ‘Dona nobis pacem’ is the earliest and oldest of his extant choral compositions, composed in 1862, his last year of studies at the Conservatory in Leipzig.

Gade belongs to the generation before Grieg’s. As a composer, conductor and teacher, Gade exerted enormous influence on music in Denmark in his day. He is best known for his choral, orchestral and chamber works the style of which represents the classical/romantic ideal. For most of his life he was church organist concurrent with his other professional activities. He left relatively few religious compositions.

Gade’s arrangement of ‘I Østen stiger Solen op’ (In the east the sun rises) was one of Gade’s most beloved choral pieces, and although it comes from a secular work it is often performed in religious contexts. Much of Gade’s music was written as occasional music for church services
Reviews

‘…this is one of the best choirs of its kind and sounds like it in this repertoire.
American Record Guide

‘The Danish Radio Choir have a wonderful sense of ensemble and a winning glow to their sound…’
Gramophone on CHAN 9464 (Nordic Light)

‘The Danish National Radio Choir under Stefan Parkman is one of the jewels in Chandos’ crown. It distinguishes itself in repertoire of all periods, and its singing is consistently marked by maturity, intelligence and sensitivity.’
BBC Music Magazine on CHAN 9671 (Brahms, Volume 1)

‘…performed with genuine commitment by Parkman and the Danish National Radio Choir, and the sound is appropriately full and clear.’
Fanfare on CHAN 9480 (Schnittke)

 

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