Although he lived most of his life in Denmark and was the longtime principal conductor of the Royal Theater Orchestra in Copenhagen, Johan Svendsen (1840–1911) was Norwegian by birth. He wrote his sunny Octet in A Major in 1866, when he was still in his 20s. Touching on Norwegian folk idioms, the Octet adopts a beguiling Romantic style, midway between Mendelssohn and Brahms. Max Bruch's String Octet of 1920 was published posthumously. As with so many of Bruch's works, this valedictory piece is suffused with exquisite melody. A string ensemble whose virtuosity and palpable joy in performing are undeniable, the ensemble Tharice Virtuosi brings together internationally known soloists, chamber musicians, and leaders of renowned orchestras.
"Svendsen's octet is well served by the players…. The scherzo walks a tightrope at times thanks to a tempo which fizzes along but the result is outstanding and the disc worth buying for that movement alone—the rest of the music is very attractive and not to be dismissed as a hear-once new work. Accolades aplenty are due elsewhere. Their technical achievement is exemplary, accuracy of ensemble impeccable; they have a wonderful sense of style and play this music with relish and romanticism."—Musicweb International