Groven: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2 (CD)
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Many interwar Norwegian composers tried to create a new national music by combining elements of authentic folk music with new techniques. Eivind Groven was considered one of the most innovative composers in this quest, integrating the structure of folk dances from his rural upbringing into familiar formal principles. Both symphonies make use of techniques of so-called ‘progressive transformation’, which led fellow composer Arne Nordheim to declare: ‘While others made instrumentations of folk tunes, Groven created sounds, for example in his [two] symphonies which, in my opinion, are quite unique.’ Eivind Groven’s symphonies have been recorded before, though this is the first time they have appeared together on a single album. The expressive eloquence and approachability of both of these symphonies means that such relative neglect is deeply unfair. Peter Szilvay is one of the most sought-after of Norwegian conductors, his career developing quickly after his acclaimed final diploma exam with the Norwegian radio orchestra and his award as ‘Conductor of the Year’ in Oslo in 1999. He has conducted most of the leading Norwegian orchestras and with the Norwegian Opera and ballet, his repertoire stretching from Beethoven to the late Romantics and as an enthusiastic ambassador for contemporary composers, having premiered over 160 pieces.