Knudåge Riisager and Rued Langgaard may have been among the least persuasive Danish composers of the first half of the 20th century, but Riisager was a trained and capable composer who actually knew how to score, and more importantly, how to organize a piece of music, and Langgaard was severely deficient in both regards. As for having something to say, though, Riisager is the lesser composer. Written in a bright and bubbly neo-classical style, none of the music here has depth, much less melodies that aren't banal, orchestral effects that aren't hackneyed, and forms that aren't worn out from overuse. The best works on the disc, the two suites from Fool's Paradise, are cheerful and snappy, but nowhere near as entertaining as similar works by Milhaud. The ballet scores Tolv med Posten and Darduse are pure fluff, and the only real virtue of the Concertino for trombone and string orchestra is its brevity. Though well conducted by Thomas Dausgaard and well played by the Helsingborg Symphony with soloist Håkan Hardenberger, the music is so ephemeral that it is barely worth hearing.
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AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Slaraffenland (Fools' Paradise) Suite No. 1 for orchestra, Op. 33/1|
|Slaraffenland (Fools' Paradise) Suite No. 2 for orchestra, Op. 33/2|
|Tolv med posten (Twelve by the Mail), Op. 37|
|Concertino for trumpet & string orchestra, Op. 29|
|Darduse, Op. 32|