Classical FINDS 3

It’s Norway that comes under the spotlight this week in our Nordic composers survey. Iceland + Sweden and Denmark featured in the first two instalments; Finland will take the finale spot. The seven Norwegian composers in this chapter will be heard in chronological order, with one exception. Ole Bull (1810–1880) was the first Norwegian musician Read More …

Classical FINDS 2

The first instalment in our brief survey of music from the Nordic countries – Finland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden [FINDS] – featured composers from Iceland and Sweden. This edition showcases music by a selection of Danish composers, whom we’ll introduce in broadly chronological order. We start with Friedrich Kuhlau (1786–1832) who, although he was German-born, Read More …

Classical FINDS 1

The next few editions of the Naxos blog will offer a smörgåsbord of music from the Nordic countries, presenting examples from Finland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden (FINDS, my acronym) that may be unfamiliar yet richly rewarding. This edition showcases composers from Iceland and Sweden. The music of Iceland’s first composer, Sveinbjörn Sveinbjörnsson (1847–1927), rather Read More …

Samuel Barber. An orchestral mix.

There can be few pieces to rival the popularity of Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings, be it performed from the ‘original score’ (it was itself an arrangement of an earlier string quartet movement) or in one of the plentiful arrangements of the piece for other forces. Such a level of popularity, however, frequently overshadows other Read More …

Cláudio Santoro: Symphonies 11 and 12

The previous edition of our Naxos blog focused on two symphonies that Brazilian composer Cláudio Santoro composed in the 1950s – the Fourth and Fifth – the latter written to mark the founding of the country’s new capital, Brasilia. Santoro (1919–89) was a member of the Brazilian Communist Party, which brought him major problems during Read More …

Cláudio Santoro: Symphonies 5 and 7

Cláudio Santoro features significantly in the Naxos Music of Brazil series, which is a joint undertaking with Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to promote music by Brazilian composers in an extensive series of new albums. Santoro (1919–89) wrote fourteen symphonies, all of which feature on the project’s release schedule and represent the most significant set Read More …

Pater seraphicus (1822–1890)

Pater seraphicus is how the 19th-century pianist/organist/teacher/composer César Franck was known to his pupils. It might be fair to suggest that the consonant Panis angelicus, Franck’s setting of a verse from an ancient hymn, is how he’s best remembered by music-lovers with only limited knowledge of his output. Has the passing of time treated him Read More …