NAJI HAKIM (b.1955): Chamber Concertos No. 1 "The Sun Shines Always On Beirut" and No. 2 "Come, Let Us Go to Bethlehem", Concerto No. 4 for Organ and Chamber Ensemble, 12 Sakskøbing Preludes for Organ.
Catalogue Number: 01O074
Description: The first chamber concerto pays tribute to Hakim's Lebanese origins, with Lebanese folksongs lending an exotic inflection to a lively, appealing work based on these as well as on songs of J.P.E. Hartmann and Nielsen, transcribed and varied to form a continuous cycle of attractive melodic contrasts. The second is a three-movement work in the form of Bach's Italian Concerto, and derives its material from Danish Christmas carols, which are developed and varied more than the songs in the first, but in a similar, appealing tonal idiom. The organ concerto also takes its inspiration from devotional texts and hymns, joyfully praising the Holy Spirit in two outer movements of lively good humor and rhythmic buoyancy, balanced by a gently flowing variation-form middle movement which builds to a joyous climax, a bucolic vision of life in Heaven. The delightful little chorale preludes are based on Danish hymn chorales, which originated, as hymns are wont to do, in various folk and church sources, and from the pens of various composers, including Nielsen. In their lively spirit and harmonic ingenuity they actually recall the Nielsen of the Little Suite or Serenata in vano. Danish Chamber Players; Naji Hakim (organ of Vangede Kirke, Gentofte, Denmark).