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HALVORSEN Violin Concerto, Op. 28 NIELSEN Violin Concerto, Op. 33 SVENDSEN Romance. Henning Kraggerud, Malmo Symphony Orchestra / Bjarte Engeset. Naxos

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Halvorsen Nielsen Violin Concertos Svendsen Romance So Engeset Naxos

Johan HALVORSEN (1864–1935)
Violin Concerto, Op. 28†

Carl NIELSEN (1865–1931)
Violin Concerto, Op. 33

Johan SVENDSEN (1840–1911)
Romance

Henning Kraggerud, Violin
Malmö Symphony Orchestra
Bjarte Engeset

†World Première Commercial Recording

In his day, Johan Halvorsen was one of Norway’s most talented violinists and an internationally renowned conductor and composer.

With its beautifully lyrical themes and Norwegian character including Hardanger fiddle effects, his Violin Concerto was described by contemporary critics as ‘an outstanding work’ and performed to great acclaim in 1909. It was considered lost, only to be rediscovered in 2015 in the archive of its original soloist. With its equally confident opening and symphonic proportions, Nielsen’s Violin Concerto combines emotive power with a delightfully pastoral character, while has become one of his best-loved works.

An artist of exquisite musicianship, Henning Kraggerud is invited time and again to join many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras, including the Philharmonia, Hallé, Danish National Symphony, the Cincinnati, Baltimore, Toronto and Vancouver symphony orchestras and the Hong Kong Philharmonic. He has performed with the LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl and twice at the BBC Proms in London. In his native Norway, he is Artistic Director of Arctic Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra. He is a Professor at the Barratt Due Institute of Music in Oslo, and since September 2015 has been International Chair in Violin at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.

This is the world première recording of Johan Halvorsen’s recently rediscovered Violin Concerto. Less well-known as a composer than Carl Nielsen, Halvorsen’s chamber music (8572522) has been described as “delightful” (American Record Guide) and “effervescent though occasionally darkly hued” (Fanfare). Described as “tremendously beautiful” by its original soloist, this once acclaimed concerto in the tradition of Grieg was long thought to have been lost, its score burned by the composer. Its rediscovery is bound to create a buzz amongst musicians and connoisseurs alike.

Brilliant violinist Henning Kraggerud’s affection for his native Norwegian composers is well established in Naxos recordings such as his “strikingly successful” (Gramophone) arrangements of Grieg’s sonatas with orchestra (8573137), his two volumes of works for violin and piano by Christian Sinding (8572254 and 8572255) and a Sibelius Violin Concerto (8557266) described as “a masterly performance” by Edward Greenfield in the Gramophone.

Bjarte Engeset is one of Norway’s leading conductors, with acclaimed recordings for Naxos including works by Svendsen, Tveitt, Grieg, Sibelius and Sinding. His recordings of Grieg’s complete
orchestral music with the Malmö Symphony Orchestra were described in ClassicsToday.com as being “as fine as any in the catalogue” (Vol. 4, 8570236).

Naxos 8573738

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