Author Topic: Peterson-Berger  (Read 5628 times)

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Scarpia

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Peterson-Berger
« on: November 29, 2009, 08:48:15 AM »
I don't see a topic for this composer, who is surely prominent among obscure composers.  Peterson-Berger is a Swedish composer who in his life was as well known for his acerbic music criticism as he was for his music.  I've recently listened to two CPO releases containing his 3rd and 5th symphonies.  The symphonic music is colorful with attractive melodies, inventive orchestration and sometimes interesting harmony.  It is good conventional music, perhaps without the spark of true genius.   Of the pieces I've heard so far the violin concerto strikes me as the most consistently successful.  Eschewing virtuoso fireworks, it is very tuneful and coherently constructed according to the traditional format.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2009, 08:51:07 AM by Scarpia »

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Peterson-Berger
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2009, 08:56:02 AM »
A surprisingly decent composer despite his terrible reputation (arch conservatism, attacks on Pettersson's music, etc). The 3rd symphony I find to be his best, and at times has a pictoral quality somewhere in the same realms as early Sibelius. The inclusion of the piano was a master stroke and its presence throughout is highly atmospheric rather than soloistic. I agree that the violin concerto is very good too - it stands quite happily alongside other lesser works in the genre such as the one by Pfitzner. I find Peterson-Berger to be at his best as a miniaturist, though - his suites included in the CPO box are exceptional.
Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

Offline The new erato

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Re: Peterson-Berger
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2009, 09:04:45 AM »
A surprisingly decent composer despite his terrible reputation (arch conservatism, attacks on Pettersson's music, etc). The 3rd symphony I find to be his best, and at times has a pictoral quality somewhere in the same realms as early Sibelius. The inclusion of the piano was a master stroke and its presence throughout is highly atmospheric rather than soloistic. I agree that the violin concerto is very good too - it stands quite happily alongside other lesser works in the genre such as the one by Pfitzner. I find Peterson-Berger to be at his best as a miniaturist, though - his suites included in the CPO box are exceptional.
Opinions I share, I have the cpo set and I find the 3rd to be the best.

And he was a classic curmudgeon and would have messed up this forum no end if he had been alive today.


Offline Christo

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Re: Peterson-Berger
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2009, 09:08:19 AM »
And he was a classic curmudgeon and would have messed up this forum no end if he had been alive today.

 :D
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline Catison

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Re: Peterson-Berger
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2010, 12:10:37 PM »
I've been listening to a lot of Scandinavian music lately, and Peterson-Berger has turned up a lot.  I am really enjoying his second symphony.  There are tons of little motives that get stuck in my head.
-Brett

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Peterson-Berger
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2010, 01:41:22 PM »
Symphonies two, three and five are the best + the Violin Concerto. He spent his last years writing fiercely anti-nazi articles, so he can't have been all bad  :)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Leo K.

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Re: Peterson-Berger
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2011, 03:36:51 PM »
I am interested in purchasing the CPO symphony set next month. I'm pretty excited to hear his work for the first time.


Offline Lethevich

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Re: Peterson-Berger
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2011, 03:50:02 PM »
I hope you enjoy it - at least half of the set is very, very good (symphony 3, the VC, the suites), and the rest very solid.
Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

Offline Leo K.

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Re: Peterson-Berger
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2011, 12:43:40 PM »
I hope you enjoy it - at least half of the set is very, very good (symphony 3, the VC, the suites), and the rest very solid.

I am quite delighted at what i've heard so far! I've heard the 1st and 2nd, and love every bar. I love this sunshine, romantic, nostalgic music from Sweden. It makes me daydream of happy times.  ;D

Offline The new erato

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Re: Peterson-Berger
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2011, 01:15:55 PM »
I am quite delighted at what i've heard so far! I've heard the 1st and 2nd, and love every bar. I love this sunshine, romantic, nostalgic music from Sweden. It makes me daydream of happy times.  ;D
Yes, those blonde Swedish maids knows how to give you a happy time.

Offline The new erato

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Re: Peterson-Berger
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2011, 12:10:44 AM »
Apparently during his last years he wrote some journalism attacking the Nazis - so he can't have been that bad!
I think he attacked more or less everyone.  ;)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Peterson-Berger
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2011, 02:04:11 AM »
I think he attacked more or less everyone.  ;)

 :D
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Leo K.

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Re: Peterson-Berger
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2011, 12:02:48 PM »
I listened to the 2nd Symphony again today, and I have to say, this piece is such a great romantic soundworld to wallow in  8)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Peterson-Berger
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2011, 01:48:54 PM »
I listened to the 2nd Symphony again today, and I have to say, this piece is such a great romantic soundworld to wallow in  8)
I agree. No 3 'Lapland' is my favourite but also No 5 and the VC.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Leo K.

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Re: Peterson-Berger
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2011, 06:40:42 AM »
I agree. No 3 'Lapland' is my favourite but also No 5 and the VC.

I will listen to No.3 next  ;D

Offline Grazioso

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Re: Peterson-Berger
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2011, 04:57:08 AM »
FYI, if you like Peterson-Berger, definitely check out the CPO symphony sets of his fellow Scandinavian Late Romantics:


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Offline Jean Rivier

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Re: Peterson-Berger
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2012, 02:26:16 PM »
The Symphony No. 6 (Hellas) of Peterson-Berger was left unfinished. Does anyone know if there is any disk recording of this symphony?

ruramikael

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Re: Peterson-Berger
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2012, 11:33:38 AM »
The Symphony No. 6 (Hellas) of Peterson-Berger was left unfinished. Does anyone know if there is any disk recording of this symphony?

Actually, the Sixth Symphony contains only two incomplete movements (1st movement and Scherzo), and the other two are only brief drafts.
No signs of any orchestral score.

"Hellas" is a different work,  conceived as a programmatic work in nine movements. Only thematic ideas survive.

He also sketched a Cello concerto and a Ballade for violin and orchestra.

This information comes from a book published in 2006, "Wilhelm Peterson-Berger en vägvisare" (in Swedish only).

Offline Jean Rivier

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Re: Peterson-Berger
« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2012, 08:32:45 AM »
Ok  Thank you for you information!

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Peterson-Berger
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2019, 01:52:22 AM »
Thought this thread deserved to be woken up from its seven year period in hibernation.
The WAYLTN thread reveals that both Daverz and myself have been listening to Symphony No.2 'The Journey to the South' which I impulse bought on LP in my youth. It is indeed a lovely, lyrical, late-Romantic work and could, for example appeal to admirers of Rachmaninov. I've listened to it twice through this morning:

There is a very good CPO recording as well (see below).
Any other admirers?
« Last Edit: November 06, 2019, 01:58:53 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).