Rasmussen, Larsson, Nielsen, Hallgr’msson

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Hallgr’msson,Larsson,Nielsen,Rasmussen
LABELS: Chandos
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Nordic Music for Wind Quintet
WORKS: Quintet in F; Quattro tempi; Quintet; Intarsia
PERFORMER: Reykjavik Wind Quintet
The Nielsen is well represented in the catalogue but the Rasmussen and Hallgrímsson quintets are newcomers. Rasmussen belongs to the generation of Danish composers in between Gade and Nielsen, though his quintet takes Reicha and Danzi as its model. It is pleasingly inconsequential and has few claims to individuality. Lars-Erik Larsson’s bucolic Quattro tempi, an imaginative evocation of the four seasons, is a worthwhile addition to the repertoire and well worth acquiring. This newcomer can certainly hold its own with the 1983 version by the Stockholm Wind Quintet on Caprice.


There are a dozen or so versions of the Nielsen in circulation and well played though this newcomer is, the Oslo Quintet (Naxos) and the Wind Quintet of the Danish Radio Orchestra (Dacapo) have the greater character and finesse. The Icelander Haflidi Hallgrímsson will be 60 this year, and his Intarsia was commissioned by the New Music Group of Scotland ten years ago. It is a witty and inventive score expertly laid out for the instruments. Its title is borrowed from machine-knitting and the ideas bubble away in a highly subtle and diverting fashion. An enjoyable and recommendable disc, though the upfront, bright, clean recorded sound may be a little too close for some listeners. Robert Layton