Daily Classical Music - 'This is music that needs to be listened to several times before one can start to comprehend the composer's inner thoughts ...'
Gerald Fenech, Gzira, Malta
Daily Classical Music
Hard to Chew
DVD Spotlight on
Music by Axel Borup-Jørgensen - heard by GERALD FENECH
'This is music that needs to be listened to several times before one can start to comprehend the composer's inner thoughts ...'
Marin - Axel Borup-Jørgensen (1924-2012). © 2017 OUR Recordings
Born on 22 November 1924, Axel Borup-Jørgensen is considered one of Denmark's most important twentieth century composers. Reared in Sweden since the age of two and a half, the young Axel inherited his father's passion for invention, and from early boyhood he was able to play several instruments. The complete shift towards classical music came in 1942 when his piano teacher introduced him to the slow movement of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. Indeed, the composer admits that the sensation he felt was that of a religious conversion.
Borup-Jørgensen also nurtured a great love of nature, particularly the Swedish landscape, and this was a constant source of inspiration in his musical career. In 1946 he returned to Denmark, where, with the help of several teachers he was introduced to various forms of music, something that spurred him to abandon piano playing and make composition his main activity.
After his divorce in 1958 the composer was able to devote more time to writing music, and in 1959 and 1962 he visited Darmstadt, the centre of European modern music, to delve deeper into the atonal world that was expanding all the time. When he returned from his second visit he had found his own personal style which he kept developing up to the very end of his life. After nearly fifty years of successes and many accolades, Borup-Jørgensen died on 15 October 2012 aged eighty-eight.
This double-disc set (DVD and SACD) is a fine specimen of the composer's style and covers a wide spectrum of his musical ingenuity, particularly in the way he paired different instruments with today's electronic sounds. I must be frank and admit that I found this programme rather hard to chew, particularly the 1987 Nachtstück for tenor recorder and the 1959 Winter Pieces for piano. This is music that needs to be listened to several times before one can start to comprehend the composer's inner thoughts, so prospective buyers, post-modern aficionados included, should be prepared to practice patience before one starts to appreciate what this sound world has to offer.
Maybe starting with the DVD of Marin — An Animated Fantasy will help immeasurably towards one's acceptance of the significance of this composer.
Recording, notes and presentation are first rate.
Copyright © 17 January 2018 Gerald Fenech, Gzira, Malta