POUL ROVSING OLSEN (1922-1982): Piano Concerto, Op. 31, Variations symphoniques, Op. 27, Au fond de la nuit for Chamber Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 11O009
Description: There's not much out there by this relatively short-lived Danish composer, which is too bad since he is one of those Danes who looked to France for inspiration and techniques when some of their countrymen were turning to Darmstadt. Clear-cut rhythms, expressive melodic lines and colorful tonal effects typify Rovsing Olsen's style. His 1953-54 piano concerto is the highlight here, a three-movement 28-minute work with strong drive and great with with roots in stringent neo-classicism in which the piano and the orchestra are treated as equal partners. The 1953 Variations brings both drama and lyricism in richly imagined orchestration; the 1968 Au fond is the odd man out, so to speak, freely atonal but, in that it is describing "Space", "Betelgeuse", "The Dead Star" and "Return" (i.e. to Earth), it ends up sounding like a soundtrack to a contemporary science-fiction movie. Christina Bjørkøe (piano), Odense Symphony Orchestra; Bo Holten.