Moshe Atzmon: Herman Koppel Symphony 3, Aalborg Symphony

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Herman D. Koppel - Symphony No. 3 (1944)
Conducted by Moshe Atzmon with the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra.

Herman D. Koppel's wartime symphonies are highly ambitious works. There is no doubt that the composer is exploring the limits of his own music, striving towards emotional, melodic and structural extremes. With these symphonies Koppel also liberated himself from the heritage of Carl Nielsen, who had been his teacher and his idol both as a composer and as a human being.

During the German occupation of Denmark in World War II, the Jewish Herman D. Koppel and his family had to flee to Sweden, where they met a childhood friend of Koppel who had become a baroness. In her house Koppel could compose in peace and quiet. He dedicated his Third Symphony to her, but in spite of the safe surroundings, Koppel's experience of the war, and of the execution of his Polish-Jewish family in German concentration camps, had a profound impact on his works from this period.