Malgre Moi (Despite Me) is exclusively available in Stereo DSD 512, DSD 256, DSD 128, DSD 64 and DXD from NativeDSD Music.
Pianist Rune Alver concludes his Signe Lund trilogy with the digital release Malgré Moi (Despite Me) from Lawo Classics. The album is only available as a digital download. It is not available on CD or SACD disc.
The album contains works from a wide time span. “Three Songs Without Words” op. 6 dates from 1886, when the composer was only 18 years old. It was small compositions like these that formed the basis for Edvard Grieg’s warm letter of recommendation to her for a study stay in Germany.
The title track “Malgré Moi (Despite Me)” is among the scores Rune Alver has found at the Library of Congress in Washington DC. The elegant melody and the flourishing harmonies can give associations to the Art Nouveau style, which were the highlights around 1914 when the waltz was composed.
“Return of the Waltz” op. 50 is another good example of the composer’s ability to write good and catchy melodies that reached great popularity in her time. This waltz is dedicated to the juggling and dancing Norwegian twin couple Leif and Paal Roschberg – known as “The Rocky Twins” – who made this waltz widely known in the United States around 1920.
“Salongvals” op. 68 is the last piece Signe Lund wrote for piano solo, in the early 1930s.
Rune Alver – Pianist
Total time: 00:28:46
Thomas Wolden, Tom Caulfield (DXD to DSD Transfers)
|Original Recording Format|
|Release Date||February 24, 2022|
Few people are so controversial in Norwegian music as composer Signe Lund. It is difficult to agree which image to paint of her. Is it the feminist woman, who blew up all the frames of what was expected of her gender, and who left her husband and children to create and play music? Is it the socialist who fought for the rights of composers, and ensured that the Norwegian Society of Composers was founded in 1917? Or is it the NS member who wholeheartedly advocated Quisling’s case, and who stood by his conviction right up until his death in 1950?
Lund was almost completely wiped out of the Norwegian musical consciousness after the war. In the last couple of years, however, pianist Rune Alver has done a great job in promoting the music of this controversial woman. Now the third release in a series of Lund’s piano music is available: Malgré Moi (Despite Me). And it is clear to me that from a purely musical point of view, it was undeserved that Lund should be forgotten.
There may not be much new in her compositions, but Lund wrote really nice pieces with strong and clear musical ideas. In a Norwegian context, it is interesting to see her in the context of another female composer from a few decades earlier – Agathe Backer Grøndahl. Lund is probably a bit less virtuoso in style than Grøndahl, but still stands solid in the tradition of Chopin and other piano composers from the heyday of the living room piano.
Rune Alver is really at home in this style. He pulls if off with a big rubato and a big sound. If you like your music “analytical” and tight, just stay away. However, I believe that this type of wide playing is just the right interpretation for this type of music.
All three of his Lund recordings, Études poétiques (2020), Impromptu (2021) and Malgré moi (2021), are highly recommended.
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