Danish December: wrap-up

And here we are again at the end of another month of marvelous music. I feel like if I could get around to doing more of these series for more individual nations/cultures, there would be so many gems to discover. With just a little focus one some subset somehow, there’s much to be found, and I’ve found that a useful category is nation of origin. It gets tricky, though, in some cases, and there’s obviously a lot of mixing and overlap. I haven’t dug nearly as deeply for the German or Austrian (or Swiss) composers because there’s so much already there that we know, but maybe an unknown German-speaking composers series should be a thing. I’m sure we could come up with something.

But I digress. Great Danes, indeed. But I couldn’t include all of them.

Apologies to:

  • Louis Glass
  • Ludolf Nielsen
  • Paul von Klenau
  • Rudolf Simonsen
  • Jørgen Bentzon
  • Niels Viggo Bentzon
  • Knudåge Riisager
  • Peder Gram
  • Herman David Koppel
  • Poul Ruders
  • Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen

and more. Those clearly weren’t in any particular order, but whenever we get around to the next Danish Symphony series, I’ll try to include Klenau’s mammoth ninth, a symphony or two from a Bentzon or two, Riisager’s delightful op. 9 divertimento, more of Langgaard (quartets), more Holmboe (quartets and symphonies), that Glass symphony (the third) that I was recommended but decided to skip…

There’s just lots of music out there, and yet again, I’ve been impressed with what I found. I’ll be honest, the Swedish symphony centered around a few major names that I’d already wanted to feature, and I ended up filling the rest in, and finding some amazing stuff. I started with far less for the Danish series, and yet still… look at what gems we find as a result! Granted, it’s all very subjective because it’s curated by me, so I decided on Nørgård’s first instead of his fourth or sixth, and Nørholm’s third instead of something else. I also maybe could have represented Niels Gade better, but his ‘less personal’ sixth was even an enjoyable work. Nielsen and Holmboe, though… if nothing else, those are major takeaways, right? Just stunning music.

But I’d like to know from you folks, if you wouldn’t mind sharing: what should be next? I’ll tell you that the Finnish symphony has been on the backburner for ages. That’s going to be a big one, I think, and I’ll have to get around to it in 2017 for sure. But there’s also the English (okay, British) symphony, and the American, French, Polish, Czech, Hungarian… even Estonian. All of those give us compelling options for at least a small series. I must admit that one of the above is the one I’m currently leaning toward, since I have a segue into it, planned for late March/early April, and I don’t think anything can get in its way, but after that one I’ve chosen, is there one of those that strikes your fancy? What would you like to see/hear? Leave a comment. Four of the above, including the one I’m pretty sure I’ll do next, are very solid options, and I might just have to do them all in 2017… phew. Get ready.

Stay tuned for what’s coming up, and I’ll see you folks next year!



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