Author Topic: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)  (Read 5052 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
« on: April 26, 2009, 02:51:31 PM »
No thread on this worthwhile composer from Sweden. I have been listening to his Symphony No 4 this evening (CPO). Wiren's wife said that she could hear the summer storm of 1952 in the Symphony. The opening has a great sense of looming threat and impending catastrophe (such works invariably appeal to me  ;D). It is quite short, just 18 minutes, but has much depth and power.  Wiren tends to get written off as a symphonist but nos 3 and 4 are fine works in my opinion.

Here is the CD below:
« Last Edit: April 26, 2009, 02:53:29 PM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2009, 03:01:26 PM »
No thread on this worthwhile composer from Sweden. I have been listening to his Symphony No 4 this evening (CPO). Wiren's wife said that she could hear the summer storm of 1952 in the Symphony. The opening has a great sense of looming threat and impending catastrophe (such works invariably appeal to me  ;D). It is quite short, just 18 minutes, but has much depth and power.  Wiren tends to get written off as a symphonist but nos 3 and 4 are fine works in my opinion.

Wiren is one of those Scandinavian composers rather written off by the otherwise estimable Robert Layton. Layton believes that Wiren's music lacks thematic interest. A fairer assessment is given by Mark Morris in his "Dictionary of Twentieth Century Composers". Writing about Symphony No.4, Morris says

"....is a marvellously vital work, whose polish and completeness sparkles. Rhythmically alive, it still shows a busy injection of neo-classical verve, and the scoring is searchingly lucid. The melodic flair remains predominant, but is broadened by a darker streak, especially in the repeated pattern of two irregular rhythmic figures of the bass of the first movement, in the sinuous opening, and in the massed string introduction to the slow movement(recalling Martinu)."

Do you know the Wiren concertos-for piano, violin, and cello?
« Last Edit: April 27, 2009, 03:18:37 AM by Dundonnell »

Offline The new erato

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Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2009, 09:21:48 PM »
The disc of Wirens string quartets on the Daphne label (I bought mine from cduniverse) is absolutely marvellous,

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2009, 09:25:31 PM »
Wiren is one of those Scandinavian composers rather written off by the otherwise estimable Robert Layton. Layton believes that Wiren's music lacks thematic interest. A fairer assement is given by Mark Morris in his "Dictionary of Twentieth Century Composers". Writing about Symphony No.4, Morris says

"....is a marvellously vital work, whose polish and completeness sparkles. Rhythmically alive, it still shows a busy injection of neo-classical verve, and the scoring is searchingly lucid. The melodic flair remains predominant, but is broadened by a darker streak, especially in the repeated pattern of two irregular rhythmic figures of the bass of the first movement, in the sinuous opening, and in the massed string introduction to the slow movement(recalling Martinu)."

Do you know the Wiren concertos-for piano, violin, and cello?

Once, again thank you Colin! Yes, Robert Layton is rather snooty about Wiren, as he was about Pettersson, 'rampant self-pity etc' I agree with your Morris quote. I only really know the symphonies and the Serenade for strings but hope to discover more. which concerto is the best in your view? Off to work now  :(
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2009, 09:26:15 PM »
The disc of Wirens string quartets on the Daphne label (I bought mine from cduniverse) is absolutely marvellous,

Something else for me to explore - thanks.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2009, 01:00:48 PM »
Once, again thank you Colin! Yes, Robert Layton is rather snooty about Wiren, as he was about Pettersson, 'rampant self-pity etc' I agree with your Morris quote. I only really know the symphonies and the Serenade for strings but hope to discover more. which concerto is the best in your view? Off to work now  :(

I think that I would put the Violin Concerto just ahead of the Piano Concerto, Jeffrey. It is certainly the work for which Wiren himself had the most affection.

Offline Holden

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Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2009, 11:42:48 PM »
I only know the String Serenade Op 11 but it is one of my desert island pieces. Maybe I should take the time to investigate more. This was the way I discovered Hummel (via one disc of his PCs).
Cheers

Holden

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2009, 03:25:17 AM »
I think that I would put the Violin Concerto just ahead of the Piano Concerto, Jeffrey. It is certainly the work for which Wiren himself had the most affection.

Actually Colin I find that I do have the Cello Concerto (coupled with Symphony No 3) - so I'll give that a listen to.
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Offline Guido

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Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2009, 02:51:47 PM »
Actually Colin I find that I do have the Cello Concerto (coupled with Symphony No 3) - so I'll give that a listen to.

I am very fond of the concerto - lot's of lovely ideas and it's very sensitively scored and thought out - I just wish it were a little more memorable!
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Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2009, 03:46:57 PM »
I am very fond of the concerto - lot's of lovely ideas and it's very sensitively scored and thought out - I just wish it were a little more memorable!

That is Layton's criticism-lack of thematic interest. Try the violin concerto!

Offline Guido

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Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2009, 11:44:10 AM »
Oops - should have read above... don't like conforming to critics opinions... but we did come up with this separately - maybe there is something in it (not everyone can be a first rate tunesmith after all!)

I will certainly try the violin concerto though.
Geologist.

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Offline jowcol

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Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2009, 02:11:12 PM »
I just grabbed Symphonies 4 and 5.  (Damn you Jeffrey!  My children will be out on the street because of all of your great recommendations!)  I haven't listened to 5 yet, but 4 is a keeper.
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Offline schweitzeralan

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Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2009, 06:22:18 PM »
Wiren is one of those Scandinavian composers rather written off by the otherwise estimable Robert Layton. Layton believes that Wiren's music lacks thematic interest. A fairer assessment is given by Mark Morris in his "Dictionary of Twentieth Century Composers". Writing about Symphony No.4, Morris says

"....is a marvellously vital work, whose polish and completeness sparkles. Rhythmically alive, it still shows a busy injection of neo-classical verve, and the scoring is searchingly lucid. The melodic flair remains predominant, but is broadened by a darker streak, especially in the repeated pattern of two irregular rhythmic figures of the bass of the first movement, in the sinuous opening, and in the massed string introduction to the slow movement(recalling Martinu)."

Both the 3rd and 4th are superb. Very Nordic; very sparing  in many ways. A no nonsense composer, at least judging from the works I know. There are some Sibelian hints in the 3rd. Is there indeed a piano concerto?  I'll have to check this one out.

Do you know the Wiren concertos-for piano, violin, and cello?
« Last Edit: April 30, 2009, 06:39:07 PM by schweitzeralan »

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2009, 03:46:49 PM »
The cd with the Piano and Cello Concertos-

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2009, 03:48:21 PM »
....and the Violin Concerto-

Offline snyprrr

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Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2009, 01:09:42 AM »
ack,... I start to drool every time I see a Caprice cd.

I have SQs 3-4. No.3 is in typical "charming" mode, whilst No.4 exhibits the "hardening of the language" experienced by so many composers at this time (Chavez, Bloch, Malipiero, etc.).

No.5 is from 1970. Dun, what's it sound like? I predict you don't like it much. Am I wrong?
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2009, 02:03:23 AM »
I just grabbed Symphonies 4 and 5.  (Damn you Jeffrey!  My children will be out on the street because of all of your great recommendations!)  I haven't listened to 5 yet, but 4 is a keeper.

Yes, but when you and your family are huddled together, out on the streets in mid winter - you will gain an even better appreciation of the 'approaching storm' section at the start of Wiren's 4th Symphony - it will all come alive for you - so actually you should really be grateful to me  ;D.

ps To add insult to injury, Wiren's Third Symphony is the most often performed of his symphonies - I am listening to it at the moment and would recommend it as you liked No 4.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2009, 03:11:10 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Brian

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Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2014, 06:17:14 AM »
BIS CEO Robert von Bahr's honesty strikes again...

Here's his eClassical daily deal writeup of Dag Wiren's piano trios.

"I wish I could say something more positive about this CD than that the artists are excellent and really do what they can, but I find the music boring. I am sorry that I do, but I habe [sic] been honest in my comments and I intend to continue being that. However, I can also be wrong, and several persons I know find Wirén's music charming and beautiful."

Offline snyprrr

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Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2017, 08:09:07 AM »
larsson bump
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2017, 09:31:00 AM »
larsson bump
Do you mean Wiren bump?
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

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