Tveitt: Prillar; Sun God Symphony

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

WORKS: Prillar; Sun God Symphony
PERFORMER: Stavanger SO/Ole Kristian Ruud
Geirr Tveitt (the G is soft and the surname rhymes with Tate) is at last coming into his own. He studied with Honegger, Florent Schmitt, Egon Wellesz and Villa-Lobos among others and was almost as prolific as the latter. The first of his works I got to know was the Nuptials Suite (Op. 151/4), which revealed him as a master of orchestral effect. There are six piano concertos, 32 piano sonatas and numerous orchestral suites. Much of his output is lost and even more (almost 80 per cent) was destroyed in a fire which devastated his farmhouse. However, works once thought lost are still coming to light. Both pieces on the present disc come from the Thirties and the Sun God Symphony, originally part of a ballet, Baldur’s Dreams, has been restored thanks to the existence of a piano score and two recordings, one from 1938 and the other of a revision from 1958. It is in Tveitt’s post-Grieg national idiom, much indebted to folksong and well laid out for the orchestra. There are some attractive ideas even if in the middle movement (‘The Gods forget the mistletoe’), they rather outstay their welcome. Prillar alludes to the prillarhorn, a folk instrument, and its second movement has strong Gallic overtones. Decent performances and good recording. Robert Layton