Ludvig Irgens-Jensen

March 2014
400 pages
24x16 cm
ISBN: 9780907689737
Format: Hardback
Toccata Press
BISAC MUS020000, MUS006000, MUS050000

Ludvig Irgens-Jensen

The Life and Music of a Norwegian Composer

Arvid O. Vollsnes

Translated by Beryl Foster

The first English language discussion of the life and music of this twentieth century Norwegian composer.
The Norwegian composer Ludvig Irgens-Jensen (1894-1969) was one of the towering creative figures of his native land, although his dignified and powerful music does not receive the attention its quality deserves, either at home or abroad. The success of his dramatic symphony Heimferd (Homecoming) in 1930 brought him national fame, but the post-War triumph of modernism, coupled with his personal modesty, pushed Irgens-Jensen's tonal music into the shadows: its contrapuntally based textures and its modally tinged harmonies were seen as things of the past. But a growing number of recordings is revealing him as one of the most distinguished and distinctive voices in twentieth-century music, a figure of international importance who wrote music of striking nobility and strength of purpose - with some meltingly lovely melodic lines.

Arvid O. Vollsnes' Ludvig Irgens-Jensen: The Life and Music of a Norwegian Composer is the first discussion in English of this profoundly decent man and his life-enhancing music. A review of the original Norwegian publication of this book in Aftenposten, the main Norwegian daily paper, described it as 'a gripping biographical portrait. As well as Irgens-Jensen's life we get a broad picture of Norwegian musical life from the 1920s to his death in 1969'. A CD of extracts from Irgens-Jensen's works has been prepared to accompany the English edition, providing readers with an introduction to his highly individual and immediately appealing sound-world.
Keywords: Music


This is thorough and solid first biography and Vollsnes is a passionate advocate of his subject. Beryl Foster's translation . . . is clear and nuanced. GRAMOPHONE

Vollsnes . . . gives Irgens-Jensen's work the scholarly scrutiny it deserves, in the full context of the composer's eventful life. Extensive appendices, a discography, an index, and an accompanying music CD round out this superb resource especially recommended for music scholars and college library collections. MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW

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