Penguin Guide Rosette Winners
Vagn Holmboe (1909-96)
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Vagn Holmboe - Four Symphonic Metamorphoses
“In form the symphonic metamorphosis is an offshoot of the symphonic fantasia (but of a kind radically different from Sibelius's Pohjola's Daughter), each of these four very different from its companions. The vigour and luminous orchestration of the symphonies are present, as are many of the internal developmental processes, but not the level of integration. Holmboe's priorities here are unlike those of many others of his pieces, yet the music coheres perfectly on its own terms. Hughes is fully inside Holmboe's idiom, whether in the single-minded determination of Monolith or in the visionary Epilog, one of the composer's most searching utterances, prefiguring both the Ninth Symphony (1969) and Requiem for Nietzsche. This is extraordinary music.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010
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