Rolv Yttrehus (1926, American)

I had never heard of Rolv Yttrehus, but I was doing a discography of the Louisville Orchestra and it happens that they made a recording of a piece of Yttrehus, “Gradus ad Parnassum”, that CRI reissued on an all-Yttrehus CD, The Music of Rolv Yttrehus, CRI CD 843 (1999). With a name like that, you’d think (or at least I thought) he was Icelandic or something: not at all, he was born in Duluth Minnesota just like you and me. It’s been almost a decade since I listened to that CD and reviewed it, but I remember it (maybe too negatively) as one of the most atrocious recordings I’ve ever heard. I’m NOT going to listen again to check my impressions. But I think performing that Yttrehus composition to the Louisville audiences back in May 1981 is what must have precipitated the orchestra’s demise at the time. Sometime bravery (because indeed it is brave to commission and play music like that) becomes sheer folly.

Comments are welcome