Vagn Holmboe – Eco, op. 186 (1991)

Few composers of the twentieth century were as consistent as Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996). Through out his long life he wrote music with a Zen-like balance between intellect and nature. His tonal idiom is an unmistakable concentrate that translucently combines modernism and the classical legacy with a great love of traditional folk music.

Holmboe’s music never becomes academic. It buds, grows, blossoms and contracts in an organic process that he called metamorphosis. The metamorphosis technique is quite natural to me, and it is interrelated with many things that slowly seep in through a life lived with nature,\ explained Holmboe, who was a true lover of nature. He lived for most of his life in the countryside, and planted 3000 trees with his own hands on his property by the lake Arresø in northern Zealand.

The clarinet trio Eco, op. 186 from 1991 is one of his last works. It was written for the classic configuration of clarinet, cello and piano that Beethoven and Brahms also used, and the three-movement form too is thoroughly classical.

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