Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Danish Quartet

Gilbert Jespersen                  Erling Bloch                 Lund Christiansen
More Danish gems this time, played by an ensemble founded in 1935 by the three gentlemen pictured above plus one other - cellist Torben Svendsen, whose picture, regrettably, I cannot find. I present three recordings from the late 1930s, one by the full ensemble (flute, violin, cello, piano), and the others featuring two of the possible trio combinations within it:

Bach: Trio Sonata in C Minor (from "The Musical Offering", BWV 1079)
The Danish Quartet (Jespersen-Bloch-Svendsen-Christiansen)
Recorded November 22, 1937
HMV DB 5215 and DB 5216, two 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC file, 44.85 MB)
Link (MP3 file, 24.88 MB)

Kuhlau: Trio in G Major, Op. 119 - Allegro moderato (first movement)
Members of the Danish Quartet (Jespersen-Bloch-Christiansen)
Recorded November 21, 1938
HMV DB 5226, one 78-rpm record
Link (FLAC file, 20.16 MB)
Link (MP3 file, 11.83 MB)

Beethoven: Variations on "Ich bin der Schneider Kakadu", Op. 121a
Members of the Danish Quartet (Bloch-Svendsen-Christiansen)
Recorded January 16 and 21, 1939
HMV DB 5229 and DB 5230, two 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC file, 40.31 MB)
Link (MP3 file, 26.74 MB)

The trio movement by Friedrich Kuhlau (1786-1832) is complete as issued; its composer was German-born but fled to Denmark as a young man to escape having to fight in the Napoleonic wars. During his lifetime he was famous as a pianist and composer of Danish operas, but he is best remembered now for his piano sonatinas and his works featuring the flute.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Corelli: Concerto Grosso, Op. 6, No. 7 (Wöldike)

During the 78-rpm era, record buyers might well be forgiven for thinking that Arcangelo Corelli wrote only one concerto - the ever-popular "Christmas Concerto" - because, for all the attention paid to the other works in his Opus 6, he might as well have. There were, in fact, more recordings made of this eighth of the concerti through 1950 than of the others combined, and not until 1953 did an integral set of the twelve appear (in a Vox LP set) to mark the composer's tercentenary. Meanwhile, a few of the others did manage to make their way to records, including this first recording of No. 7 from Denmark:

Corelli: Concerto Grosso in D Major, Op. 6, No. 7
Chamber Orchestra of the Castle Church, Copenhagen
conducted by Mogens Wöldike
HMV DA 5256 and DA 5257, two 10-inch 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC file, 31.15 MB)
Link (MP3 file, 19.15 MB)

The concertino soloists are Else Marie Bruun and Julius Koppel, violins, and Torben Anton Svendsen, cello; the harpsichordist is unnamed, but I presume it to be Wöldike himself.

Regular followers of this blog will no doubt have noticed the preponderance lately of recordings from Denmark; this is due partly to relatively reasonable postage rates from that country to the USA of late, with the result that I have been buying a fair number of 78s from there in recent months. Stay tuned for more recordings by Danish artists and composers...