Author Topic: Natanael Berg (1879-1957)  (Read 7916 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Natanael Berg (1879-1957)
« on: May 16, 2009, 06:08:51 AM »
There is no generic Swedish composer thread and Natanael Berg has only been mentioned before, as far as I can see, by Colin in the Atterberg thread - so I though I would start this one although I am not expecting to be inundated by replies! Natanael Berg writes in an enjoyable, late romantic style. My classical CD loving work colleague recommended him to me, so I thought that I would investigate the recent CPO release. The Symphony No 1 (1912) starts and continues in a very pleasant, lyrical late romantic vein - enjoyable but nothing really special but, by the time he was working on the last movement Berg had been much affected by the Titanic disaster (hence ship painting on front of CD) and suddenly the last movement topples into unexpected catastrophe ending in a funeral march, which propels the work into the 20th century. I naturally relate to works which eventually lurch into catastrophe! The much shorter Second Symphony of 1916 (The Four Seasons) is also a rewarding work and I have greatly enjoyed discovering this composer.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2009, 06:13:01 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).

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Natanael Berg (1879-1957)
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2009, 01:12:21 PM »
I too doubt whether you will be innundated by replies, Jeffrey!

Berg the vet, eh? Berg who used to conduct in his full military uniform(he was an army vet.) :)

I have the cd to which you are referring...of course :) I agree that the music is rewarding and attractive although not perhaps of greater distinction than the symphonies of Alfven, Atterberg or Peterson-Berger. I bought the cd not long before those by the Dane Rudolph Simonsen and I have to admit that the latter made much more of an impression on me.

(Other Swedes who need their own threads: Alfven, Blomdahl, Larsson, Nystroem, Peterson-Berger, Rangstrom and Stenhammer :))

snyprrr

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Re: Natanael Berg (1879-1957)
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2009, 02:08:11 PM »
I naturally relate to works which eventually lurch into catastrophe!

That's the second time I've heard you say this. ;D Me too!

3 mvmts. of whatever, followed by a 20min cataclysm...that IS early 20th cent. awesome...has anyone else followed that form to perfection? I'm going to trust that this particular sym. isn't?

btw- I just found Larsson's 3 SQs on Amazon for only $220. What a deal! What is UP with some of these sellers??? And, no, I didn't.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Natanael Berg (1879-1957)
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2009, 02:31:50 PM »
I too doubt whether you will be innundated by replies, Jeffrey!

Berg the vet, eh? Berg who used to conduct in his full military uniform(he was an army vet.) :)

I have the cd to which you are referring...of course :) I agree that the music is rewarding and attractive although not perhaps of greater distinction than the symphonies of Alfven, Atterberg or Peterson-Berger. I bought the cd not long before those by the Dane Rudolph Simonsen and I have to admit that the latter made much more of an impression on me.

(Other Swedes who need their own threads: Alfven, Blomdahl, Larsson, Nystroem, Peterson-Berger, Rangstrom and Stenhammer :))

Thanks Colin - I knew that I could rely on at least one reply - from you  :)
"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 vandermolen

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Re: Natanael Berg (1879-1957)
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2009, 02:38:06 PM »
That's the second time I've heard you say this. ;D Me too!

3 mvmts. of whatever, followed by a 20min cataclysm...that IS early 20th cent. awesome...has anyone else followed that form to perfection? I'm going to trust that this particular sym. isn't?

btw- I just found Larsson's 3 SQs on Amazon for only $220. What a deal! What is UP with some of these sellers??? And, no, I didn't.

The funny thing is that sometimes on Amazon absurdly priced CDs are given a 'Low Price' designation - crazy.

Yes, works which feature a sense of looming catastrophe always appeal to me - perhaps I should start a thread! Rachmaninov's First Symphony finally topples headlong into the abyss which had long been threatened (is that what he meant by prefacing the score with the biblical quotation 'Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord'? The end of Harold Truscott's great symphony also ends in a kind of lowering darkness which strongly appeals to me.
"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 vandermolen

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Re: Natanael Berg (1879-1957)
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2010, 09:46:38 AM »
New release (April 2010).

Symphony No 3

(I recommend Symphony No 1 if you want to try this composer)
"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 Dax

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Re: Natanael Berg (1879-1957)
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2010, 11:16:12 AM »
The 4th Symphony is on youtube.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcio-Lh-spA   etc.

Can't say it grabbed me.
Sorry.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Natanael Berg (1879-1957)
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2010, 05:59:02 AM »
The 4th Symphony is on youtube.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcio-Lh-spA   etc.

Can't say it grabbed me.
Sorry.

No need to apologise - I didn't like No 2 much but No 1 was good.
"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: Natanael Berg (1879-1957)
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2011, 09:23:53 AM »


This has been in my car CD player for awhile now. I can hear the complete 1st symphony or 2nd symphony on the way to my second job after my first job in the morning. With each listen I'm getting more captivated by these works. It makes a rough schedule peaceful and meaningful.

 ;)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Natanael Berg (1879-1957)
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2011, 01:46:58 PM »


This has been in my car CD player for awhile now. I can hear the complete 1st symphony or 2nd symphony on the way to my second job after my first job in the morning. With each listen I'm getting more captivated by these works. It makes a rough schedule peaceful and meaningful.

 ;)
Pleased to hear that you enjoy these works - the last part of No 1 really is something special I think.
"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 jowcol

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Re: Natanael Berg (1879-1957)
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2011, 04:19:12 PM »
Pleased to hear that you enjoy these works - the last part of No 1 really is something special I think.

Ive just snagged Symphony 5, but haven't gotten a listen. Perhaps it bridges looming catastrophe with some hopeless defiance, and ends on a valedictory note.
"If it sounds good, it is good."
Duke Ellington

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: Natanael Berg (1879-1957)
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2011, 11:35:46 AM »
For those that have not heard it, the Piano Concerto in C sharp minor is a late romantic masterpiece (in my humble opinion). It was in fact by searching for a review on this work, I found this forum.

Not a pianistic display warhorse, but a work of the grand sweeping style with a slight taste of the much earlier Henselt Concerto and perhaps a touch of Rachmaninov. Melodic, powerful, climatic and extremely colourful orchestration.

Best Piano Concerto I have heard since the Rozycki, which of course cannot be surpassed.

Concertingly.

Thal

cilgwyn

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Re: Natanael Berg (1879-1957)
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2011, 01:38:44 PM »
Cpo always have a cunning way of luring you in with their interesting cover art. The George Antheil cds I've been playing tonight are a case in point. Very well chosen. Not that I am suggesting that the cover art was anything to do with you're purchase,Vandermolen, But those Natanael Berg cds don't half LOOK nice!

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Natanael Berg (1879-1957)
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2011, 02:12:02 PM »
Cpo always have a cunning way of luring you in with their interesting cover art. The George Antheil cds I've been playing tonight are a case in point. Very well chosen. Not that I am suggesting that the cover art was anything to do with you're purchase,Vandermolen, But those Natanael Berg cds don't half LOOK nice!

Actually I have been known to purchase CDs on the basis of the cover art - not a good policy.  But usually I go by recommendation. CPO are very enticing as are Hyperion.
"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).