Author Topic: Karl-Birger Blomdahl (1916-1968)  (Read 1257 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Karl-Birger Blomdahl (1916-1968)
« on: October 02, 2014, 11:56:24 AM »
Blomdahl is 'best known' for his Symphony 3 'Facetter' from 1950, which I have been aware of for decades but its gritty power did not really impact on me. However I recently came across the even less well known Symphony 1, composed during World War Two (1943) and was very impressed. Probably because it clearly shows the influence of Blomdahl's teacher Hilding Rosenberg, who is one of my favourite composers, probably due to the inspiriting 'triumph against the odds - hopeless defiance' endings of both his Second Symphony (Sinfonia Grave) and magnificent Third Symphony. Well, Blomdahl's First Symphony has just such a triumphant conclusion, which together with its craggy eloquence means a lot to me and since discovering it I have played it repeatedly.

« Last Edit: October 02, 2014, 11:59:41 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).

snyprrr

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Re: Karl-Birger Blomdahl (1916-1968)
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2014, 06:24:52 PM »
I think 'Facets' is the Symphony I really enjoyed, looking for a Serialist Swede. I get 'Facets' and the 'Blackbird' Symphony confused.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Karl-Birger Blomdahl (1916-1968)
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2014, 06:25:35 AM »
I think 'Facets' is the Symphony I really enjoyed, looking for a Serialist Swede. I get 'Facets' and the 'Blackbird' Symphony confused.

Thanks for replying. I will listen to Facets again but tend to prefer the more tonal Symphony 1, which has been quite a discovery.
"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 calyptorhynchus

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Re: Karl-Birger Blomdahl (1916-1968)
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2014, 05:38:48 PM »
I like all three, the Third is an illustration of the dictum that the best 12 note music is the sort you don't realise is twelve note. However, my favourite is No.2

snyprrr

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Re: Karl-Birger Blomdahl (1916-1968)
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2014, 05:54:53 PM »
Thanks for replying. I will listen to Facets again but tend to prefer the more tonal Symphony 1, which has been quite a discovery.

I'll have to listen again.

That's it! I get 'Blomdahl' and 'Lidholm' confused sometimes, as well as Blomdahl and Englund! Those crazy Swedes!

Offline The new erato

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Re: Karl-Birger Blomdahl (1916-1968)
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2014, 06:01:44 AM »
I'll have to listen again.

That's it! I get 'Blomdahl' and 'Lidholm' confused sometimes, as well as Blomdahl and Englund! Those crazy Swedes!
And Finns!!!!

Offline Cato

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Re: Karl-Birger Blomdahl (1916-1968)
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2014, 06:29:48 AM »
When 2001: A Space Odyssey came out, a record company thought they could use its coat-tails to push Birger-Blomdahl's "space opera" Aniara.  A "suite" from the opera was used to fill out the LP of music from the movie.

Does anyone know the entire work?  How does it hold up after 50-60 years or so?
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snyprrr

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Re: Karl-Birger Blomdahl (1916-1968)
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2014, 06:46:23 AM »
And Finns!!!!

see how confusing it is?? :laugh: :-[

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Karl-Birger Blomdahl (1916-1968)
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2014, 08:06:01 AM »
I like all three, the Third is an illustration of the dictum that the best 12 note music is the sort you don't realise is twelve note. However, my favourite is No.2

Interesting. Will listen again to Nos 2 and 3.
"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 CRCulver

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Re: Karl-Birger Blomdahl (1916-1968)
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2014, 11:38:41 AM »
Does anyone know the entire work?  How does it hold up after 50-60 years or so?

Aniara has certainly faded from prominence. The CD recording of the whole opera has long since gone out of print. It might not be Blomdahl's fault, but rather that Harry Martinson's reputation has declined steadily since the 1974 Nobel Prize scandal.

For my part, I'd very much like to get a recording of Blomdahl's choral work Anabase. I am a huge fan of Saint-John Perse, who Blomdahl sets here, and the piece set off a firestorm in the Swedish press. This whole episode, probably the greatest new music scandal of Sweden in the 20th century, was documented in Carl Ahlberg's book Erkänn musiken!: den stora musikdebatten. Yet in spite of the large number of writings on the piece, we don't actually have a recording of it.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 11:51:39 AM by CRCulver »