LEIF KAYSER (1919-2001): Symphonies, Vol. 1 - Symphony No. 2 for Chorus and Orchestra, Symphony No. 3.
Catalogue Number: 04I012
Description: After establishing himself as a young talent to watch out for, Kayser left music, went to Italy and became a Catholic priest. These two symphonies are bookends to that period, the second from 1939 and the third completed in 1953, ten years after it was begun (he left for the priesthood in 1942). The Second is one of the most individual Danish symphonies of its period with Gregorian chant making itself heard here and there, lovely, long-breathed modal melodies, a wordless choir in its beautiful slow movment and a finale where Carl Nielsen is the biggest influence. Although "only" 36 minutes in length, it has a timeless feel - almost as if Alan Pettersson took the cloth and became blissfully happy. If anything, the energy of Nielsen is even more evident in the Third (of almost exactly the same length). Anyone who loves Danish music, and Nielsen and Holmboe in particular, is going to be delighted with this discovery. Coro Misto, Aalborg Symphony Orchestra; Matthias Aeschbacher.