Jón Leifs - Dettifoss


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Jón Leifs - Dettifoss



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Release date:

1st April 1999




55 minutes


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Jón Leifs - Dettifoss

and other orchestral works


Concerto for organ and orchestra, Op. 7

Variazioni pastorale, Op. 8. Variations on a Theme by Ludwig van Beethoven

Fine II (Kvedja til jardlífsins), Op. 56 (Farewell to earthly life)

Dettifoss, Op. 57 (Text: Einar Benediktsson)

Loftur Erlingsson (baritone), Reynir Sigurdsson (vibraphone), Björn Steinar Sólbergsson (organ)

Kór Hallgrímskirkju, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, En Shao



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Jon Leifs: Organ Concerto, Op. 7

I. Introduction: Allegro moderato

II. Passacaglia: Tempo moderato

III. Finale

Jon Leifs: Variazioni pastorale, Op. 8

Thema: Adagio e molto cantabile

Variation I: L'istesso tempo

Variation II: L'istesso tempo, quasi grave, ossia pochettino meno mosso

Variation III: Allegro

Variation IV: Allegro scherzando

Variation V: Moderato

Variation VI: Moderato alla marcia

Variation VII: Allegro molto ma energico

Variation VIII: Allegro vivace e brillante

Variation IX: Quasi grave

Variation [X]: Finale (Reprise): Adagio cantabile ma animato

Jon Leifs: Fine II, Op. 56

Fine II (Farewell to earthly life), Op. 56

Jon Leifs: Dettifoss, Op. 57

Dettifoss, Op. 57

Gramophone Classical Music Guide


“Well received at its 1935 premiere in a Naziarranged Nordic music festival, Leifs' Organ Concerto was execrated later once the Jewish connections of Leifs's wife had become known.
A piece long heard-of but unheard, this performance reveals the concerto to be a truly original utterance. Björn Steinar Sólbergsson gives a consummate rendition of what sounds like a monstrously difficult solo part.
The orchestra is given music of unusual delicacy (for this composer) in the Variazioni pastorale (on a theme from Beethoven's Serenade, also Op 8), though the pastoralism is more redolent of Roy Harris than Beethoven. In this work, also completed in 1930, Leifs's real voice again emerges gradually, and the return of Beethoven's theme at the close is wonderfully surreal - though the tonal framework remains more conventional than in the later works. Fine II (1963) is one of two orchestral endings Leifs penned for his unfinished Edda oratorio, Twilight of the Gods. Dettifoss (1964) is the third of Leifs's tone paintings (the others are Geysir and Hekla) of Icelandic natural wonders, though here he conceived of a dialogue between poet Einar Benediktsson and the huge waterfall rather than straight depiction. Thumpingly good performances from all concerned, captured in spectacular sound to match the landscape.”

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