Today, the Swedish romantic composer Kurt Atterberg (1887-1974) is not widely known. His symphonies -- he composed nine -- are rarely performed. But during the first half of the last century, most of his symphonies were hailed with international praise and support. They were performed by such conductors as Herrmann Abendroth, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Arthur Nikish, Leopold Stokow...(展开全部) Today, the Swedish romantic composer Kurt Atterberg (1887-1974) is not widely known. His symphonies -- he composed nine -- are rarely performed. But during the first half of the last century, most of his symphonies were hailed with international praise and support. They were performed by such conductors as Herrmann Abendroth, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Arthur Nikish, Leopold Stokowski, Richard Strauss, Siegmund von Hausegger, and Thomas Beecham. Atterberg's lifespan stretched into the second half of the twentieth century. But his compositional style remained firmly rooted in the musical expressions of the late romantic tradition, which flourished around the shift of the penultimate century, 1890-1910. As in the case of Arnold Bax, he was indeed a "brazen romantic." Thus his music is akin to that of Dvorak, Smetana, Bruckner, Mahler, Stenhammar, Elgar, Richard Strauss, Bax, Sibelius, and Vaughan-Williams, even if he had a style of his own. But he was reluctant to link it to early modernism and its atonal chromatism, as, e.g., Mahler, Richard Strauss, Vaughan-Williams and even Sibelius did. The musical world of atonal modernism was almost completely alien to him. His last, and very compelling symphony, called "Visionaria", was composed in 1956, and it has the form of an oratorio for mezzo, baritone, choir and orchestra, using texts from the Poetic Edda. Despite its late composition date, it shows just a few traces of atonal modernism, with twelve-tone rows in some of its melodies. It is basically a complex late romantic work, and, as such, perhaps comparable to the early Schoenberg's "Gurrelieder". But don't let Atterberg's romantic conservatism prevent you from experiencing the astonishing beauty and power of his music. His symphonies are passionate, intense, very well composed, and often based on old Swedish folk tunes (this is especially the case with the eight symphony). The sound is thus very "Nordic," comparable to that of the early Sibelius (which, of course, was a greater composer than Atterberg - but he nonetheless recognized the quality of Atterberg's music). And in my view, among all his fine symphonies, the blazing first, the nostalgic and powerful second, the pastoral third, the dark and frantic fifth, the parodic sixth, and the enigmatic ninth are truly memorable and moving masterpieces that should belong to the standard repertoire of late romantic music (his second and fifth are my personal favorites). Ari Rasilainen's Atterberg cycle is the first on disc. Raslilainen is a young Finnish conductor (b. 1959). It is perhaps not a surprise that a Finnish conductor supports an unfairly forgotten Swedish romantic composer. After all, if you love and understand Sibelius' early works, which I suppose most Finnish musicians do virtually by birth, you will probably appreciate Atterberg's music as well. Regardless or not if this holds in the present case, it is clear that Rasilainen is the best interpreter of Atterberg that we now have on record. Because this set is a reference set, in all aspects. First, Rasilainen's interpretations are first class -- he knows his Atterberg by heart. Second, without an established performing tradition behind the back, the German orchestras (Radio-Philharmonie Hannover des NDR, Radio-Sinfonie Frankfurt, SWR Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart, and NDR Radiophilharmonie) play with perfect confidence and brio. Third, a spacious and clear recording catches every note. For a reasonable price, you have a splendid piece of almost unknown music in this set, beautiful and beautifully performed and recorded. It is thus an essential purchase for everyone interested in the aftermath of late romanticism in music during the twentieth century.
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# Symphony No. 1 in B, Op 3 # Symphony No. 4 in G, Op 14, "Sinfonia Piccola" # Symphony No. 2 in F, Op 6 # Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op 20, "Sinfonia Funebre" # Symphony No. 3 in D major, Op 10 "West Coast Pictures" (1916) # Symphony No. 6 in C, Op 31, "Dollar Symphony" # Symphony No. 7 ("Sinfonia Romantica"), Op. 45 # Symphony No. 8, Op. 48 # Symphony No. 9, Op. 54 # Älven - från fjällen till havet, symphonic poem, Op. 33