At Home with Hugo Alfvén / Rombo, Johansson

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During his lifetime, Hugo Alfvén became known as one of Sweden’s principal composers of his time, with works that struck a chord with a wide...

During his lifetime, Hugo Alfvén became known as one of Sweden’s principal composers of his time, with works that struck a chord with a wide audience. As a result of his popularity, a nationwide collection was held in celebration of his 70th birthday in 1942, with the proceeds used to build Alfvéngården, the composer’s home during his final years. Now, 80 years later, Elin Rombo and Peter Friis Johansson are releasing their tribute to Alfvén’s 150th anniversary, recorded at Alfvéngården using the composer’s own piano. Alfvén is primarily known for his orchestral music – including the ubiquitous Swedish Rhapsody No. 1 – and as a composer of choral music. As befits the setting, the focus of the present disc is on more intimate works, however – namely songs and piano pieces. Some of the pieces are closely related to the venue – Fyra låtar från Leksand (Four Tunes from Leksand) is a piano version of folk tunes collected from a local fiddler and Så tag mit hjerte (‘So take my heart’), Alfvén’s most frequently performed song, was composed there in 1946 as a present to his wife.

REVIEW:

Soprano Elin Rombo has a lithe voice that suits the songs exquisitely, dulcet in ‘The Evening’ and dramatic in the following Seven Poems by Ernest Thiel. She’s not afraid to modulate her tone down to a nearly Gollum-like whisper to wring all possible expression out of a phrase. Four Tunes from Leksand are folk settings for piano that don’t mind taking advantage of the instrument’s capabilities while steering clear of both over-decorating and obtuse reharmonizations.

Rombo rejoins for Two Lyrical Moods and their warm-blooded charm; the recital ends with ‘Sa tag mit Hjerte’ (So Take My Heart), Alfven’s best-known song. Johansson brings plenty of personality to the piano parts. He plays Alfven’s own Steinway A-188 from around 1908; its sound is a little lighter and tangier than a modern grand. Texts in Swedish and English.

-- American Record Guide



Product Description:


  • Release Date: May 06, 2022


  • UPC: 7318599925752


  • Catalog Number: BIS-2575


  • Label: BIS


  • Number of Discs: 1


  • Period: 20th Century


  • Composer: Hugo Alfvén


  • Performer: Elin Rombo, Peter Friis Johansson



Works:


  1. Aftonen (Evenings)

    Composer: Hugo Alfvén

    Performer: Elin Rombo (Soprano), Peter Friis Johansson (Piano)


  2. 7 Dikter, Op. 28

    Composer: Hugo Alfvén

    Performer: Elin Rombo (Soprano), Peter Friis Johansson (Piano)


  3. 4 låtar från Leksand (4 Tunes from Leksand)

    Composer: Hugo Alfvén

    Performer: Elin Rombo (Soprano), Peter Friis Johansson (Piano)


  4. Pioner (Peonies), Op. 22

    Composer: Hugo Alfvén

    Performer: Elin Rombo (Soprano), Peter Friis Johansson (Piano)


  5. Skärgårdsbilder (Archipelago Pictures), Op. 17

    Composer: Hugo Alfvén


  6. 2 Lyriska stämningar (2 Lyrical Moods), Op. 8

    Composer: Hugo Alfvén

    Performer: Elin Rombo (Soprano), Peter Friis Johansson (Piano)


  7. Saa tag mit hjerte (So Take My Heart)

    Composer: Hugo Alfvén

    Performer: Elin Rombo (Soprano), Peter Friis Johansson (Piano)