Louis Glass Symphonies Nos 1 to 5

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1. Louis Glass - Symphony No. 1 in E Major Op. 17 (1894)
Conducted by Nayden Todorov with the Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra.
I. Allegro - 00:00
II. Andante Sostenuto - 11:20
III. Scherzo - 23:07
IV. Finale - 30:26

2. Louis Glass - Symphony No. 2 in C Minor Op. 28 (1899)
Conducted by Nayden Todorov with the Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra.
I. Lento - Allegro Moderato - 00:00
II. Presto - 19:25
III. Adagio - 29:58
IV. Allegro - Molto Moderato - 37:16

3. Symphony No. 2 by Peder Gram. With Andrea Pellegrini (Mezzo-Soprano). Conducted by Matthias Aeschbacher with the South Jutland Symphony Orchestra.

I. Entrata - Maestoso - Andante - 00:00
II. Recitativo - 4:49
III. Melodia - 6:33
IV. Azione - Allegro Con Brio - 9:07
V. Epilogo. Allegretto - Adagio - Allegretto - Adagio - Andante - 20:27

The first part, a short "Entrata", begins with strong struck chords, each of which has a three-note grace figure that comes to play an important role in the further development. The nine introductory chords are followed a light, meditative section which after a couple of climaxes falls calm to the flute's playing of the above-mentioned grace figure. After a general pause the second part begins. It has the heading "Recitativo" and opens with a short oboe cantilena which includes the grace figure. The brief, extremely -beautiful-sounding movement ends with the same grace figure, and the music then proceeds directly to the third part, "-Melodia", which is intoned by the mezzo-soprano. Like Erik Stokkebye's nature lyric, the celesta, which was clearly a regular feature of Peder Gram's orchestral palette, gives this part a beautiful colouring. Stokkebye, who had in fact been a schoolfellow of Gram's, was very popular with a number of Danish composers around the First World War, including Louis Glass. At the end of the "Melodia" section the music fades out to a clarinet passage derived from the above-mentioned grace figure. Then comes the elaborated fourth part, "Azione", which is easily the symphony's longest and weightiest section. The title means Action, and is indeed an apt name for the movement, which with great energy shatters the concentrated idyll evoked by among other things Stokkebye's poem. The first subject of the movement features a triplet which may be derived from the previous grace figure. Quickly a fugato section takes over; here too the grace figure plays a prominent role, -functioning as counter-point to the actual fugue complex. The main part is repeated in a new instrumentation and on the whole with quite different expression, among other reasons because the grace figure has now been incorporated in the development. In a last climax, the grace figure appears in, among other instruments, trumpets and trombones. The section ends with a cymbal clash, solo. The final section, "Epilogo", opens with a flute solo which is succeeded by the clarinet, after which a hectic mood suddenly arises; but this soon goes on to a repetition of the broad cantabile theme from the "Entrata" part, and after a climax the symphony is concluded with the grace figure accompanied by among other things harp chords. If - as has been done here - one focuses on the treatment of the grace figure in the symphony, one will note that there is a development from the directly threatening in the appearance of the figure in the introduction to the completely relaxed in the conclusion of the work, which can thus perhaps be said to exhibit an element of clarification or even transfiguration.

4. Louis Glass - Symphony No. 3 (1901)

I. Moderato - Allegro Ma Non Troppo - 00:00
II. Andante Con Moto - Poco Allegretto - 8:39
III. Scherzo - Allegro Vivace - 17:12
IV. Finale - Allegro - 22:41

5. Louis Glass - Symphony No. 4 (1911)

I. Sostenuto - Allegro risoluto - Meno Allegro - Tempo I - Meno Allegro - 00:00
II. Molto vivace - Andante, poco con moto - Tempo I - 20:12
III. Adagio - Poco con moto- Poco animato - Poco con moto, ma molto maestoso - 34:06
IV. Allegro appassionato - Poco sostenuto - Tempo I - 51:18

6. Louis Glass - Symphony No. 5 (1919)

I. Daily Work - Allegro Energico - 00:00
II. Rest - Andante Tranquillo - 11:31
III. Shadows - Presto - 23:09
IV. Dawn - Adagio Ma Non Troppo - 29:02

Louis Glass (23 May 1864 -- 22 January 1936), born in Copenhagen, was almost an exact contemporary of Carl Nielsen and like Nielsen was a student of Niels Gade. However, Glass also studied at the Brussels Conservatory where he became enamored of the music of César Franck and Anton Bruckner, both of whom stylistically influenced his writing. For several years, he was one of Denmark's leading concert pianists until a paralysis in one arm made him retire from the stage. He then devoted himself primarily to composing. He composed in most genres and wrote several chamber music works of worth, including four string quartets, a string sextet, a piano trio, a piano quintet and several instrumental sonatas. He wrote six symphonies (1893--1926)