HJALMAR BORGSTRØM (1864-1925): Jesus in Gethsemane, Op. 14, Die Nacht der Toten for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 16, Violin Concerto in G, Op. 25.
Catalogue Number: 04L004
Reference: PSC 1311
Description: If Jesus in Gethsemane (1904) had been written by someone named Richard Strauss, it would be as famous today as Don Juan or any other of his tone poems. 23 minutes in length, full of striking dramatic motifs, colorfully orchestrated, it's a vivid depiction of anxiety, despair and resignation which, however, builds through its final third into a calm and radiant acceptance. Borgstrøm was a fierce proponent of programmatic music and his detailed descriptions of the action depicted and the meanings of his musical motifs are reproduced in the booklet. For "The Night of the Dead" also: this is a ten-minute Todentanz for piano, strings, trumpet and timpani from 1905, with much of the color of Saint-Saëns' Danse macabre but none of the ironic humor. Borgstrøm is serious here. The concerto, oddly enough for having been composed not long after the composer's wife died only eight years into their marriage in 1914, is not the outburst of grief and despair you'd think it might be; a full-scale, late Romantic work of 34 minutes, it is also full of memorable themes and beautiful orchestration but Borgstrøm left no programmatic notes behind for it. Jonas Båtstrand (violin), Symphony Orchestra of NorrlandsOperan; Terje Boye Hansen.