Sunday Gramophone - The Oslo Philharmonic conducted by Odd Gruner-Hegge plays Pan; Symphonic Poem For Orchestra by David Monrad Johnansen in this 1948 recording for The Society Of Norwegian Composers.
January 9, 2011

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David Monrad Johansen - Noted Norwegian composer and critic during the early-mid 20th century.


From a series of 78 rpm discs produced by The Society of Norwegian Composers comes this 1948 recording of the Symphonic Poem Pan as played by the Oslo Philharmonic conducted by Odd Gruner-Hegge. David Monrad Johansen is probably not all that familiar a name outside of Norway, but from the 1930's all the way to his death in 1974 he was well regarded as a solid (but not adventurous) composer and critic in his native Norway.

Pan is one of his better known pieces and it comes from the period of 1939. It's been recorded several times over the years but this recording is probably the first, having come at a time when Europe was slowly digging out of the effects of World War 2 and much was being done to promote, not only Norwegian composers, but most of the contemporary composers and musicians coming out of Europe at the time.

I'm not sure if this recording was commercially available at the time - this series of discs was primarily given to radio stations as a way of furthering interest in Norwegian music and David Monrad Johansen filled the bill quite nicely.

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