Neeme Järvi and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra present Vol. 2 in their series of the Symphonies of Atterberg. It is part of a larger recording project focussed on Scandinavian music, which has already seen Neeme Järvi give highly regarded performances of works by the Norwegian composers Halvorsen and Svendsen with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. During his lifetime, Kurt Atterberg was the most renowned Swedish composer both at home and abroad, as well as a successful conductor, critic, and administrator. He was a composer of clearly structured and brightly melodic music, whose large orchestral output includes nine symphonies, of which the Third and Sixth have already been released.
Reinecke's work is a musical re-telling of the well-known story of Undine, the water spirit who marries a knight, but is betrayed and takes her revenge on him. Frank Martin's virtuosic Ballade (1939) features an acrobatic flute cadenza, roaming melismas and irrepressible cascades, generating a compelling sense of drama. In 1945, while in exile during the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, Martinu composed his Flute Sonata, in which the virtues of his distinct musical language are plain to hear - lyrical lines, a rhythmic drive which is both energetic and lively and an effective use of tone colour.
The team behind last year's excellent The Glory Days Of Aussie Pub Rock compilation return with another four-CD instalment paying testament to the halcyon days of our nation's live music scene, and fortunately they have a deep well from which to draw tunes and inspiration.
The first volume of this series (Naxos 8.550761) mixed the first two sonatas of Field's Op. 1 with the first nine Nocturnes. The Sonata Op. 1 No. 3 in C minor logically appears on this second volume, in a most successful performance. Dedicated to Clementi, the first movement shows distinct tendencies towards 'Sturm und Drang'. Neither movement is fast: the concluding Rondo (marked Allegretto scherzando) is bursting with wit and charm to balance the stress of the first. This piece alone justifies the modest outlay for this disc. The remaining tracks, the next nine Nocturnes in the series, demonstrate Frith's sensitivity. Importantly, he shows a laudable restraint with the sustaining pedal. His sweet cantabile is the result of an acute musical sensitivity, and he never overblows the scale of these miniatures.