Eyvind Alnæs: Songs to Texts by Heine, Burns and Scandinavian Poets

Catalogue No: TOCC0124
EAN/UPC: 5060113441249
Release Date: 2012-10-29
Composer: Eyvind Alnæs
Artists: Ann-Beth Solvang, Erling R. Eriksen

With recordings of his symphonies and piano music now available, the Norwegian composer Eyvind Alnæs (1872-1932) is slowly emerging from obscurity to take his place as an important successor to Grieg, likewise marrying an essentially lyrical style with the melodies and rhythms of Norwegian folk-music and, in his later output, an awareness of Debussy and French impressionism. In this recital of Alnæs' atmospheric songs — most of them not previously recorded — Erling R. Eriksen, whose playing of Alnæs' piano works can be heard on an earlier Toccata Classics CD, returns to his music in the company of Ann-Beth Solvang, one of Norway's best mezzo sopranos.

Ann-Beth Solvang, mezzo soprano
Erling R. Eriksen, piano

Listen To This Recording:

    Four Songs to Texts by Nils-Magnus Folcke, Op. 34 (1922)

  1. No. 1 ‘Ett vackert gammalt mönster’
  2. No. 2 ‘Förryckt amour’
  3. No. 3 ‘Visan om Maj’
  4. No. 4 ‘En gammal ung visa’
  5. From Four Songs to Texts by Gustav Fröding and N. M. Folcke, Op. 35 (1922)

  6. No. 1 ‘En visa till Karin när hon hade dansat’ (Fröding)
  7. No. 2 ‘En visa till Karin ur fängelset’ (Fröding)
  8. From Three Poems by Nils Collett Vogt, Op. 29 (1920)

  9. No. 1 ‘Sne’
  10. No. 2 ‘Ruten’
  11. Five Songs to Texts by Robert Burns and Heinrich Heine, Op. 6 (publ. 1896)

  12. No. 1 ‘Winterklage’ (Burns, ‘The Wintry West’)
  13. No. 2 ‘An eine Nachtigall’ (Burns, ‘To a Woodlark’)
  14. No. 3 ‘Ein Jüngling liebt ein Mädchen’ (Heine)
  15. No. 4 ‘Was will die einsame Thräne?’ (Heine)
  16. No. 5 ‘Der erste Psalm’ (Burns)
  17. Three Songs to Poems by Viggo Stuckenberg, Op. 26 (1913)

  18. No. 1 ‘Lykken mellem to mennesker’
  19. No. 2 ‘Nu brister i alle de kløfter’
  20. No. 3 ‘En morgen var din grav’
  21. From Four Poems by Herman Wildenvey, Op. 30 (1920)

  22. No. 1 ‘Højtid’
  23. No. 4 ‘Eventyr til Ellen’
  24. Six Songs to Texts by Anders Hovden and A. O. Vinje, Op. 22 (1907)

  25. No. 1 ‘Tungalda’ (Hovden)
  26. No. 2 ‘Den diktar aldri djupt’ (Vinje)
  27. No. 3 ‘Attergløyma’ (Vinje)
  28. No. 4 ‘Du naar maalet’ (Vinje)
  29. No. 5 ‘So skal gjenta hava det’ (Vinje)
  30. No. 6 ‘Mold’ (Hovden)
  31. From Three Songs for a Middle Voice to Texts by Nils Collett Vogt, Op. 23 (pub. 1908): No. 2 ‘Alt var dig’
  32. From Four Songs to Texts by Oscar Stjerne and Nils-Magnus Folcke, Op. 41

  33. No. 3 ‘En Vaggvislåt’ (Stjerne)
  34. No. 4 ‘En Vår – En Dikt’ (Folcke)

4 reviews for Eyvind Alnæs: Songs to Texts by Heine, Burns and Scandinavian Poets

  1. :

    ‘Exquisitely performed’

    —Tim Ashley, The Guardian

  2. :

    ‘The current revival of interest in Norwegian composer Eyvind Alnaes (1872–1932) owes much to Toccata’s championing of his work. Their latest disc of his music focuses on his songs, regarded by connoisseurs as the among the finest things in his smallish output. Classified as post-Romantic, Alnaes trained in Leipzig, and his Op 6 settings of Heine and Burns (1896) are characterised by a turbulence he later seemed anxious to avoid. After 1900, his songs were marked by declamatory vocal lines over sparse accompaniments, though his piano writing became more elaborate and impressionistic in the 1920s under the influence of Debussy. At his best he can be discreetly erotic and quietly spiritual. […] They’re exquisitely performed by ultra-refined mezzo Ann-Beth Solvang and pianist Erik R Eriksen, but the disc works best if you listen selectively.’

    —Tim Ashley, Guardian January 2013

  3. :

    ‘[the songs] confirm Alnæs as one of the more prominent successors of Grieg in the field of Norwegian music, who has been unfairly neglected. […]

    There are some real masterpieces here […]

    None of this [The difficulty of the accompaniment’s part] fazes Erling Ragnar Eriksen, who clearly enjoys the splashy handfuls of chords that end many of these songs.

    —Paul Corfield Godfrey, MusicWeb International

  4. :

    ‘This collection makes an ideal introduction to the composer. […]

    Norwegian mezzo Ann-Beth Solvang’s singing is a constant source of delight. […] It is beautiful clear and clean, even throughout its range, and her tuning is impeccable. Top notes are fearlessly executed and, when combined with pianissimo singing, the upper register is exquisite. […] Erling R. Eriksen is something of an Alnæs specialist. He is a most attentive accompanist, ably matching his singer’s engagement with the moment and managing to impart his own character on piano parts which only intermittently give him the opportunity to shine. The duo has been recorded in a pleasant and realistic acoustic. […]

    Eyvind Alnæs is hardly a household name. In these circumstances a solid booklet note is essential and thet is just what Toccata provides here. Audum S. Jonassen is an able and reassuring guide to the composer’s life and philosophy, as well as to each individual song. The disc is strongly recommended to newcomers and habitués alike.’

    —William Hedley, International Record Review February 2013

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