Author Topic: Pehr Henrik Nordgren 1944-2008  (Read 10126 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Pehr Henrik Nordgren 1944-2008
« on: September 26, 2010, 10:23:24 AM »
I was curious about this Finnish composer as I noticed that he wrote the music for many Ingmar Bergman films, including my favourite 'The Seventh Seal'. [Added later - I got this totally wrong as it was Erik Nordgren who wrote the Bergman soundtracks  :-\] I found a second hand Ondine CD (withdrawn from the Kansas City music library) of Nordgren's 3rd and 5th symphonies on Amazon UK.  These are very dark, uncompromising, tonal works which I found extremely gripping - a kind of bleak traversal of a shadowy wasteland. Lyrical sections are interrupted by extraordinary orchestral explosions and there are some very striking orchestral effects - the opening of Symphony No 5 for example. There is not much in the way of tunes (although Symphony No 5 has a 'Karelian lament' running through it which is oddly moving), but the atmosphere of both works I found held my attention throughout. There is a haunting quality to this music and a real sense of a dark journey taking place. His music does not really remind me of anyone else, although occasionally Allan Petterson came to mind. I'd be interested to hear of any other opinions of this challenging but worthwhile composer. The striking cover art of the CD is very appropriate I think.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pehr_Henrik_Nordgren
« Last Edit: September 28, 2010, 03:36:36 AM by vandermolen »
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Re: Pehr Henrik Nordgren 1944-2008
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2010, 11:48:47 AM »
Yes, I've heard that disc and both works are wonderfully dark and very characteristic. I wish I could say more about him but I haven't had the chance to hear anything else yet. I think I will give that another listen today and look for the other symphonies.

Offline The new erato

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Re: Pehr Henrik Nordgren 1944-2008
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2010, 01:59:49 PM »
I've had my eyes on this disc for some time now. I alwso am interested in this:



but haven't been able to find it or something approaching a reasonable (20 euros is the best I've seen)price.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Pehr Henrik Nordgren 1944-2008
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2010, 02:14:35 PM »
Thank you Corey and Erato for your replies - I thought that this might be a strong candidate for the Zero response thread award! The problem is that the other CD with Symphony No 4 on seems to be unavailable. Those last string quartets look interesting. I hope to find some more Nordgren soon. I really like the two grimly uncompromising symphonies on the Ondine CD I bought. I find that there is something very humane beneath the glowering darkness of those two fine scores.

Here's an interesting obituary from The Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2008/oct/08/classicalmusicandopera.finland
« Last Edit: September 26, 2010, 02:22:41 PM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline The new erato

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Re: Pehr Henrik Nordgren 1944-2008
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2010, 01:52:28 AM »
Thank you Corey and Erato for your replies - I thought that this might be a strong candidate for the Zero response thread award! The problem is that the other CD with Symphony No 4 on seems to be unavailable. Those last string quartets look interesting. I hope to find some more Nordgren soon. I really like the two grimly uncompromising symphonies on the Ondine CD I bought. I find that there is something very humane beneath the glowering darkness of those two fine scores.

Here's an interesting obituary from The Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2008/oct/08/classicalmusicandopera.finland
Symphony 4 & 7 (IIRC) is also available on Alba - but the price is a deterrent on all Alba discs. I seem to remember a glowing review of the string quartets disc somewhere, it may have been IRR or maybe musicweb (?)

Offline snyprrr

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Re: Pehr Henrik Nordgren 1944-2008
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2010, 06:26:40 AM »
I believe there's also an Ondine SQ cd. Always on the way back burner.

Nordgren, Nordheim, Englund, Holmsberg, Bergholm,... how doooes one keep track, haha??
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Pehr Henrik Nordgren 1944-2008
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2010, 06:41:57 AM »
I believe there's also an Ondine SQ cd. Always on the way back burner.

Nordgren, Nordheim, Englund, Holmsberg, Bergholm,... how doooes one keep track, haha??

Not to forget Holmboe and Rosenberg  :)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

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Re: Pehr Henrik Nordgren 1944-2008
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2010, 06:52:22 AM »
...and Nørgård and Nørholm :D

Offline The new erato

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Re: Pehr Henrik Nordgren 1944-2008
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2010, 07:00:39 AM »
And don't forget Arne Nordheim who just died.

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Re: Pehr Henrik Nordgren 1944-2008
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2010, 07:04:18 AM »
Nordgren's page on Wikipedia is horribly written/translated. Perhaps someone here could rewrite it? :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pehr_Henrik_Nordgren

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Re: Pehr Henrik Nordgren 1944-2008
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2010, 07:11:06 AM »
Also, The Seventh Seal was released in 1957, which meant Nordgren would've been 13 (!) when he wrote it.

Wikipedia lists the composer for the music as Erik Nordgren, who I don't think I've heard outside of the film music. I barely noticed the music in Seventh Seal at all apart from the Dies Irae chant.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Pehr Henrik Nordgren 1944-2008
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2010, 02:10:20 AM »
Also, The Seventh Seal was released in 1957, which meant Nordgren would've been 13 (!) when he wrote it.

Wikipedia lists the composer for the music as Erik Nordgren, who I don't think I've heard outside of the film music. I barely noticed the music in Seventh Seal at all apart from the Dies Irae chant.

Oh well, at least it lead me to discover a very interesting composer! You are quite right and I've now changed my original posting. I've always been an enthusiastic practitioner of the loud-mouthed display of ignorance!  ::)
« Last Edit: September 28, 2010, 03:42:42 AM by vandermolen »
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Re: Pehr Henrik Nordgren 1944-2008
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2010, 05:14:50 AM »
Oh shh you know more about British/Scandinavian composers than I ever will. :D

Offline snyprrr

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Re: Pehr Henrik Nordgren 1944-2008
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2010, 06:18:40 AM »
Checked the Nordgren on Amazon.

There's that Alba series.

Didn't see the "Last Quartets".



hmmm, I thought there was more. Once again, must be confusing him with Englund. Will have to investigate further.
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Pehr Henrik Nordgren 1944-2008
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2010, 01:51:21 AM »
Oh shh you know more about British/Scandinavian composers than I ever will. :D

 :)
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Re: Pehr Henrik Nordgren 1944-2008
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2010, 05:11:18 AM »
I was able to find this two-disc set on through download called "Meet the Composer" (Finlandia). It has quite a variety of work:





Looks like there's one available on Amazon.UK used for £9.99.



Offline vandermolen

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Re: Pehr Henrik Nordgren 1944-2008
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2010, 07:03:55 AM »
I was able to find this two-disc set on through download called "Meet the Composer" (Finlandia). It has quite a variety of work:





Looks like there's one available on Amazon.UK used for £9.99.

Actually that was a very good series, but now rather difficult/expensive to find I think. I have a number of then including ones devoted to the music of Klami, Englund, Madetoja etc.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline The new erato

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Re: Pehr Henrik Nordgren 1944-2008
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2010, 07:08:27 AM »
Actually that was a very good series, but now rather difficult/expensive to find I think. I have a number of then including ones devoted to the music of Klami, Englund, Madetoja etc.
How original with the last two piano ballads on the end of disc one, and the first eight on disc two. That means you have to start by playing disc two, skipping the chamber work at the end of that disc, then put on disc one and "fastforward" to the end of it to hear the collection complete.

No wonder Finlandia (unfortunately) went bust. Is there no end to the stupidity of record company managers?

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Re: Pehr Henrik Nordgren 1944-2008
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2010, 07:59:43 AM »
The problem can be easily fixed if you listen on a computer and make a playlist. I'll be sure to post about it once listened. I thought the piano parts in the 3rd symphony were quite beautiful, so I'm interested in hearing the solo piano pieces.

Offline The new erato

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Re: Pehr Henrik Nordgren 1944-2008
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2010, 08:19:48 AM »
The problem can be easily fixed if you listen on a computer and make a playlist.
But the idea of buying a CD is NOT to play on a computer, in which case I just could buy and download exactly thoise files I were interested in.

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