GERHARD SCHJELDERUP (1859-1933): Brand, Symphony No. 2 "To Norway".
Catalogue Number: 02L002
Reference: 777 348
Description: Schjelderup's main source of musical inspiration was Wagner and both Wagner and Richard Strauss' influences are present in Brand, a 33-minute tone-poem from 1910 loosely based on Ibsen's play. Its nine sections have programmatic titles like "Journey through fog and storm towards the highest peak", "Love in suffering and desire" and "My God is storm" and the rich and colorful orchestration delivers everything these titles promise. The symphony was written in 1924 and, but for its motivic connections, could be heard as four small tone-poems: "The Sea" (the dark, menacing North Sea, not Debussy's sparkling Atlantic), "Spring" (a gorgeously light scherzo in Norwegian folk style), "The Mountain Plateau" (nature mysticism, sometimes erotic in feel) and "Up to the Highest Peaks!" (existential and religious, building to a Brucknerian chorale). Schjelderup stands out from almost all his Norwegian contemporaries. Trondheim Symphony Orchestra; Eivind Aadland.