Author Topic: Moses Pergament(1893-1977): a forgotten Swede  (Read 6665 times)

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Offline Dundonnell

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Moses Pergament(1893-1977): a forgotten Swede
« on: October 29, 2012, 08:20:38 AM »
Now here is a strange situation.

In the chapter on "Modern Music in Scandinavia" written by Bo Wallner and included in "European Music in the Twentieth Century"(rev. edition 1961; edited by Howard Hartog) Moses Pergament is grouped with his contemporaries Hilding Rosenberg(born 1892) and Gosta Nystroem(born 1890) as one of the central figures of Swedish music.

Yet Pergament was always an outsider. Born in Finland(then part of the Russian Empire) and a Jew, Pergament was never fully accepted within his adopted country of Sweden. He came in for systematic attack both by Peterson-Berger and Kurt Atterberg who denied him entry to the Swedish Society of Composers for many years on the spurious grounds that Pergament wasn't Swedish (despite the protests of Hilding Rosenberg on Pergament's behalf). In fact Pergament had grown up in Finland speaking Swedish and the hostility towards him, at least from Peterson-Berger, was clearly anti-Semitic.

Yet today Pergament has completely disappeared. His music is never heard. None of his concertos is on cd nor his magnum opus- the 1944 Choral Symphony. I had seen his name over the last 40 + years and never really enquired before into his ouput.

Pergament's Choral Symphony is "The Jewish Song" and is scored for soprano, tenor, chorus and orchestra and is over an hour and a half long. It was recorded by Caprice to Lp but has never been transferred to cd. There are concertos for Violin(1948), Piano No.1(1951-52), Two Violins and Chamber Orchestra(1954), Cello(1954-55), Viola(1964-65) and Piano No.2(1974-75).

Allan Pettersson-who barely rates a mention in the reference books of thirty years ago or so-has all his orchestral music recorded once(by cpo) and now probably twice(by Bis) but Pergament disappears into oblivion :(

How fickle is the hand of musical fate :o

snyprrr

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Re: Moses Pergament(1893-1977): a forgotten Swede
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2012, 06:52:26 PM »
So, this is how desperate you've gotten with your CDCDCD? ::) ;D His music sounds Finnish to me ;); have you tried Norgard? :-* 8)

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Moses Pergament(1893-1977): a forgotten Swede
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2012, 07:54:14 PM »
I am sorry but I don't understand what you are trying to say ::)

Have you ever heard any Pergament ??? ???

Norgard is a Dane. What is the relevance of Norgard to this thread ??? ??? ???

cilgwyn

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Re: Moses Pergament(1893-1977): a forgotten Swede
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2012, 05:48:54 AM »
I love these kinds of threads! I must admit I had never heard of him! (Hardly a suprise,I suppose?! ;D) Is there,by any chance, any Pergament available to 'sample' at the AMF?

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Moses Pergament(1893-1977): a forgotten Swede
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2012, 06:39:15 AM »
I love these kinds of threads! I must admit I had never heard of him! (Hardly a suprise,I suppose?! ;D) Is there,by any chance, any Pergament available to 'sample' at the AMF?

At least I can understand YOU, cilgwyn :)

The answer to your question is, unfortunately, no :( That is my point.

"Moses Pergament made his name in the first place as an original and  combative writer on music but in recent years his activity as a composer has aroused steadily growing interest. Most important are his great choral work "Den judiska sangen"(The Song of the Jews)", the ballet "Krelantems och Eldeling" and, in recent years, a String Quartet, a Double Concerto for two violins, choral movements, and a chamber opera based on Lagerkvist's early expressionist play "Himlens Hemlighet (Heaven's Secret)" "
(from "European Music in the Twentieth Century, 1961 edition).

"Steadily growing interest", "great choral work" are phrases which tweek my interest......yet Pergament's music has completely disappeared. Why ???

One quite unique feature of Swedish musical life (well, maybe not unique...I think that it may have been true, to some extent, in the Netherlands also ???) was that several of the major Swedish composers doubled as the music critics of the leading Stockholm newspapers and were able to condemn the music of their fellow composers. Peterson-Berger was particularly "good" at that ::)

snyprrr

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Re: Moses Pergament(1893-1977): a forgotten Swede
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2012, 07:27:55 AM »
I am sorry but I don't understand what you are trying to say ::)

Have you ever heard any Pergament ??? ???

Norgard is a Dane. What is the relevance of Norgard to this thread ??? ??? ???

I listened to... uh,... 'samples' after I read your Post! ;) The String Quartet in c-minor had that hyper-Romantic, early century quality to it, post-Brahmsian. I also heard a little neo-classicism in the Flute Quintet. His solo violin 'Chaconne' sounds nice too.

I was just pulling your leg before! :-[

cilgwyn

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Re: Moses Pergament(1893-1977): a forgotten Swede
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2012, 07:30:11 AM »
Maybe,it was the wrong leg! ;D

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Moses Pergament(1893-1977): a forgotten Swede
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2012, 07:35:58 AM »
I am notorious for having a "limited" sense of humour :(

As someone who spent much of his life requiring to be absolutely precise in his use of language and analysing official documentation I tend to read anything in an extremely literal fashion.

You obviously have found some Pergament to listen to and I am extremely grateful that you took the time to do so :)

cilgwyn

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Re: Moses Pergament(1893-1977): a forgotten Swede
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2012, 09:21:45 AM »
Actually,no,I'm afraid not;but there appear to be some samples on Amazon & I will have a listen later!

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Moses Pergament(1893-1977): a forgotten Swede
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2012, 09:47:16 AM »
Sorry...I was referring to snyprr :)

cilgwyn

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Re: Moses Pergament(1893-1977): a forgotten Swede
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2012, 11:45:17 AM »
 :) Of course! This is what comes of cooking & posting simultaneously! ::) ;D

Offline Uffe B

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Re: Moses Pergament(1893-1977): a forgotten Swede
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2014, 03:45:58 AM »
Good news for those who are interested in Moses Pergament. Caprice Records will at the end of August 2014 re-release the Jewish Song, for the first time in digital formats (CD, download and streaming). The release date is 25 August. The CD will include the original liner notes from Lars Sillén and Moses Pergament as well as new  ones from Anders Hammarlund. It will be available to buy from CDON.COM, Ginza.se, Naxosdirect.se and from full sortiment record stores.

Offline Scion7

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Re: Moses Pergament(1893-1977): a forgotten Swede
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2014, 05:34:11 AM »
Yet today Pergament has completely disappeared. His music is never heard. . . .  but Pergament disappears into oblivion.

Yes - too bad - the same for Johanna Senfter.  A radio broadcast of a symphony, and a couple of violin pieces on a long OOP cd . . .

It would cost governments of the West a piffle to get the works of the serious/classical composers recorded, even if we couldn't get the the likes of the Berlin Philharmonic or Von Otter for the recordings.  Popular music is taken care of by the record companies. 
The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal