Author Topic: Kurt Atterberg (1887-1974)  (Read 21816 times)

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Online SymphonicAddict

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Re: Kurt Atterberg (1887-1974)
« Reply #120 on: January 26, 2017, 04:34:21 PM »
Atterberg is one of my favourite Scandinavian composers. It is difficult not to be seduced by such sumptuous orchestration and mellifluous tunes and the third symphony is an exceptional example. The 2nd symphony is terrific too and the 2nd movement of 4th symphony has a nostalgic magic tune.

Offline relm1

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Re: Kurt Atterberg (1887-1974)
« Reply #121 on: January 26, 2017, 05:32:01 PM »
Atterberg is one of my favourite Scandinavian composers. It is difficult not to be seduced by such sumptuous orchestration and mellifluous tunes and the third symphony is an exceptional example. The 2nd symphony is terrific too and the 2nd movement of 4th symphony has a nostalgic magic tune.

Yes, I agree with you.  I think he is one of those composers that I haven't heard a note of that I did not love. 

Online SymphonicAddict

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Re: Kurt Atterberg (1887-1974)
« Reply #122 on: January 26, 2017, 08:29:05 PM »
Yes, I agree with you.  I think he is one of those composers that I haven't heard a note of that I did not love.

I have the same feeling. The first time I heard the first 3 symphonies I was deeply impacted. I remember that and it gives me a sense of harmony and well-being. In fact I think I should revisit them all, many times aren't enough!  :D

Offline Rons_talking

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Re: Kurt Atterberg (1887-1974)
« Reply #123 on: January 28, 2017, 04:58:37 AM »
relm1, I agree with you. This Jarvi Vol. 3 is easily the best CD in his series so far - I like it, whereas I hated the first two. But you're right: he seems not to like the music very much.

This is also part of the Neeme Jarvi style: he is very bad at warm romantic emotions or effusions, and good at cool calculated efficiency. If you ever listen to his Saint-Saens album, you'll hear more of the same. As mentioned above, the other Atterberg cycle is indeed about 20% slower all the time. I would love to have heard a Lenny cycle.

There in fact IS a 16 minute version of Sibelius' No. 7. It has been posted here, and it's on my home computer, but I cannot remember who the conductor and orchestra are. (The recording was in mono and from the 40s or 50s.) I do remember liking it. Right now, inspired by your post, I'm listening to a Stokowski performance that's 16:58 - although the sound quality is abjectly awful.




I much prefer the Jarvi "style" on No. 8. For my 20th C. taste, the performance can be overly sentimental and plodding in the wrong hands. Yes, it lacks a bit of warmth, but for me it sound like a great  composition with very few flaws at Jarvi's tempo. Just my opinion...

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Kurt Atterberg (1887-1974)
« Reply #124 on: September 13, 2017, 05:07:53 AM »
Just listening to symphonies 2 and 5 on CPO. This is one of my favourite Atterberg discs as it combines two of his best symphonies in my view. I especially like the 'Funebre'.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Online kyjo

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Re: Kurt Atterberg (1887-1974)
« Reply #125 on: September 13, 2017, 06:36:40 AM »
Just listening to symphonies 2 and 5 on CPO. This is one of my favourite Atterberg discs as it combines two of his best symphonies in my view. I especially like the 'Funebre'.

Once again we are in agreement, Jeffrey :) The Second is a joyous, life-affirming work (with marvelously effective use of the orchestral piano), while the Fifth is dark, turbulent work with its "call-to-arms" opening and lugubrious "death waltz" in the finale. Along with the 2nd and 5th, I also rank the powerfully atmospheric 3rd among Atterberg's finest symphonies. I love them all, though, except perhaps the more austere 9th.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Kurt Atterberg (1887-1974)
« Reply #126 on: September 13, 2017, 08:02:54 AM »
Once again we are in agreement, Jeffrey :) The Second is a joyous, life-affirming work (with marvelously effective use of the orchestral piano), while the Fifth is dark, turbulent work with its "call-to-arms" opening and lugubrious "death waltz" in the finale. Along with the 2nd and 5th, I also rank the powerfully atmospheric 3rd among Atterberg's finest symphonies. I love them all, though, except perhaps the more austere 9th.

Totally in agreement with you Kyle. I especially like the slow movement of No.8 but overall it is nos 2,3 and 5 'Funebre' which are my favourites.

My only problem with Atterberg is the fact that some of his symphonies were premiered in Nazi Germany - although that is my own stuff.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Online kyjo

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Re: Kurt Atterberg (1887-1974)
« Reply #127 on: September 13, 2017, 09:13:05 AM »
Totally in agreement with you Kyle. I especially like the slow movement of No.8 but overall it is nos 2,3 and 5 'Funebre' which are my favourites.

My only problem with Atterberg is the fact that some of his symphonies were premiered in Nazi Germany - although that is my own stuff.

I find each one of Atterberg's slow movements to be masterpieces in themselves - they're so wonderfully atmospheric and rise to ecstatic climaxes. One of my favorite moments in Atterberg's symphonies is the slow introduction to the finale of his First, which has an almost Bachian gravitas that is very moving.

Yeah, the Nazi connection is a bit unsettling, but I try not to let political matters affect my opinion of a composer's music :)

Offline André

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Re: Kurt Atterberg (1887-1974)
« Reply #128 on: September 13, 2017, 09:59:49 AM »
Symphonies 3 and 5 are my strong favourites. This recording of no 5 is IMHO unbeatable:



It was my first acquaintance to this composer's symphonies some 20 years ago, so that may explain my loyalty to this performance  :).

And this one of no 3 is also excellent:


Offline vandermolen

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Re: Kurt Atterberg (1887-1974)
« Reply #129 on: September 13, 2017, 03:42:58 PM »
Symphonies 3 and 5 are my strong favourites. This recording of no 5 is IMHO unbeatable:



It was my first acquaintance to this composer's symphonies some 20 years ago, so that may explain my loyalty to this performance  :).

And this one of no 3 is also excellent:


Totally agree with you. Those are the two great Atterberg symphony CDs.
 :)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Online kyjo

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Re: Kurt Atterberg (1887-1974)
« Reply #130 on: September 13, 2017, 04:02:12 PM »
Symphonies 3 and 5 are my strong favourites. This recording of no 5 is IMHO unbeatable:



It was my first acquaintance to this composer's symphonies some 20 years ago, so that may explain my loyalty to this performance  :).

And this one of no 3 is also excellent:



I must admit that, despite being an Atterberg fanatic, I've never bothered to listen to any other recordings of his symphonies besides the Rasilainen ones because I find them so immensely satisfying. I'll definitely check those two recordings of the Third and Fifth out at some point!

Any thoughts here on Jarvi's Atterberg cycle? His rapid tempi have turned me off to investigating his recordings - his Second, for instance, is a whole ten minutes faster than Rasilainen's! But I'll try to keep an open mind to them if other members think they're worth checking out :)

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Kurt Atterberg (1887-1974)
« Reply #131 on: September 13, 2017, 04:10:16 PM »
I must admit that, despite being an Atterberg fanatic, I've never bothered to listen to any other recordings of his symphonies besides the Rasilainen ones because I find them so immensely satisfying. I'll definitely check those two recordings of the Third and Fifth out at some point!

Any thoughts here on Jarvi's Atterberg cycle? His rapid tempi have turned me off to investigating his recordings - his Second, for instance, is a whole ten minutes faster than Rasilainen's! But I'll try to keep an open mind to them if other members think they're worth checking out :)

Like you, I haven’t checked out any other performances of Atterberg’s symphonies --- I’m almost scared to because Rasilainen has a certain atmosphere in his performances that just take my breath away. This said, Stig Westerberg and Sixten Erhling are both fantastic conductors, so I do imagine them bringing something special to Atterberg’s music.
"Music must be beautiful, or it wouldn’t be worth the effort” - Bohuslav Martinů

Offline Scarpia

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Re: Kurt Atterberg (1887-1974)
« Reply #132 on: September 13, 2017, 04:14:12 PM »
Any thoughts here on Jarvi's Atterberg cycle? His rapid tempi have turned me off to investigating his recordings - his Second, for instance, is a whole ten minutes faster than Rasilainen's! But I'll try to keep an open mind to them if other members think they're worth checking out :)

Generally speaking, I turn to Jarvi when he is absolutely the only option available. In his heyday he was making so many recordings of unknown repertoire with so many orchestras for so many labels I swear they must have been recording as the orchestra sight-read.

Offline relm1

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Re: Kurt Atterberg (1887-1974)
« Reply #133 on: September 13, 2017, 04:30:25 PM »
Symphonies 3 and 5 are my strong favourites. This recording of no 5 is IMHO unbeatable:



It was my first acquaintance to this composer's symphonies some 20 years ago, so that may explain my loyalty to this performance  :).

And this one of no 3 is also excellent:


Totally agree.  These recordings just ooze atmosphere.  I own the Jarvi and Rasilainen cycle but find the earlier recordings superior musically. 
« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 04:32:16 PM by relm1 »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Kurt Atterberg (1887-1974)
« Reply #134 on: September 14, 2017, 05:58:06 AM »
Totally agree.  These recordings just ooze atmosphere.  I own the Jarvi and Rasilainen cycle but find the earlier recordings superior musically.
I have the Jarvi and Rasilainen recordings and enjoy both of them, although Jarvi is in a bit of a hurry in some of the symphonies. Maybe like the late Richard Hickox (many of whose recordings I greatly admire) he has recorded too much. The point about the Westerberg and Ehrling recordings is that I came to know those symphonies through them and may be influenced by that experience, especially in the case of No.3. Having said that the quite magical opening of Symphony 3 in Ehrling's recording is, in my opinion, in a class of its own, conveying an intense and poetic sense of nostalgia from the start.

I have Caesar (SA) to thank for introducing me Atterberg's equally magical Piano Quintet - a chamber music version of Symphony 6 with is lovely slow movement.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 06:01:23 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline relm1

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Re: Kurt Atterberg (1887-1974)
« Reply #135 on: September 14, 2017, 06:27:57 AM »
I have the Jarvi and Rasilainen recordings and enjoy both of them, although Jarvi is in a bit of a hurry in some of the symphonies. Maybe like the late Richard Hickox (many of whose recordings I greatly admire) he has recorded too much. The point about the Westerberg and Ehrling recordings is that I came to know those symphonies through them and may be influenced by that experience, especially in the case of No.3. Having said that the quite magical opening of Symphony 3 in Ehrling's recording is, in my opinion, in a class of its own, conveying an intense and poetic sense of nostalgia from the start.

I have Caesar (SA) to thank for introducing me Atterberg's equally magical Piano Quintet - a chamber music version of Symphony 6 with is lovely slow movement.

Agreed.  There is something strange about this thread.  Everyone agrees and knows what they're talking about.  This isn't the internet I know.   :P

A friend who performed on some of these Jarvi recordings says his process doesn't lend itself to depth.  He is just too quick so there is a rehearsal then a recording then a few touch ups then next work during which time he doesn't say much.  They are just in a hurry and I think that's why Jarvi's cycle, though well performed and proficient, lacks a sense of discovery or nuance that the earlier recordings have.  That nuance takes time and a detailed approach which seems to not fit current recording economics.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 06:29:44 AM by relm1 »

Online SymphonicAddict

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Re: Kurt Atterberg (1887-1974)
« Reply #136 on: September 14, 2017, 11:27:06 AM »
I have the Jarvi and Rasilainen recordings and enjoy both of them, although Jarvi is in a bit of a hurry in some of the symphonies. Maybe like the late Richard Hickox (many of whose recordings I greatly admire) he has recorded too much. The point about the Westerberg and Ehrling recordings is that I came to know those symphonies through them and may be influenced by that experience, especially in the case of No.3. Having said that the quite magical opening of Symphony 3 in Ehrling's recording is, in my opinion, in a class of its own, conveying an intense and poetic sense of nostalgia from the start.

I have Caesar (SA) to thank for introducing me Atterberg's equally magical Piano Quintet - a chamber music version of Symphony 6 with is lovely slow movement.

You're welcome, Jeffrey. It would be a sin if I didn't suggest it.

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