Author Topic: Larsson's Lingonberries  (Read 8293 times)

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snyprrr

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Larsson's Lingonberries
« on: June 07, 2009, 06:12:03 PM »
Best known for the Pastoral Suite, the 12 concertinos, and the "lyric suite?" God in Disguise, Larsson can be easily mistaken for Wiren.

Many years ago, "The Best of Lars-Erik Larsson" (Naxos) was given to me, and the cd embodies a certain mid century northern provinence of many composers during this time (Piston, Simpson, etc.), though with a particularly Swedish tinge which may be hard to describe. If you're familiar with Larsson, Wiren, Koch, and Rosenberg, you begin to see similarities: certain melodic profiles, certain moods. Not as icy as the Finns, yet cooler than the Germans, 20th century Swedish orchestral music may be too smart for it's own good! Similarities with Dutch and Swiss music notwithstanding, the Swedes have ecked out quite a rarified terrain that may forever politely stand behind the more inevitable flows of modern music in terms of popularity.

Larsson (and perhaps Koch) epitomizes that certain anonymous, well crafted mid century style. All the pieces on the Naxos disc:

Epilog
Pastoral Suite
Lyric Fantasy
Adagio
Little Serenade
God in Disguise

have that noble, Hindemithian gait. This cd probably shows the most approachable and beautiful Larsson. The 12 concertinos are a bit grittier. I don't have a works list or discography before me at the moment, but I find the Naxos "Best of" humorous. But I wouldn't have started this thread if I didn't have a little surprise.

It does appear that there are two! recordings of Larsson's SQs 1-3 and a suite of miniatures. The Helsingborg Qrts. record is going for $120 on amazon (yea!!!), yet the new Daphne recording has been getting lots of praise. One of our finest members sent me a copy of the Helsingborg, as I wondered how Larsson might compare with Wiren in the SQs (Wiren also has SQs on Daphne label; I have an old Fresk cd w/3-4).

Larsson's SQ No.1 is, at first blush, is elusive in it's "Hi, I'm an SQ from the mid-'40s" anonymity; however, it's particular provinence and good natured folksiness reward repeated listening.

SQ No.2 is the clear "immediate appeal" winner, much like Wiren's No.3. It's from the mid-'50s, and here Larsson just comes up with winning appeal in all three mvmts. It is in the long (9mins) third mvmt., though, that Larsson really shines with a very unique melodic curve. I get the feeling of marble and ancient ruins. This is certainly a classic SQ in it's generation as much as Wiren's No.3 and Rosenberg's No.4 (I'd love to hear Blomdahl and Koch SQs but I do believe they remain unrecorded).

SQ No.3 is from 1975 and is the shortest and most concentrated (read gritty). Towards the end, it does exude the "old man", similar but not equal to Alwyn's SQ No.2, that "looking over a long life gone." It just fizzles at the end. No.3 will take a little while longer. I haven't yet heard Wiren's comparable SQ No.5 (1970).

The miniatures (6) are the earliest and truly the most standardly beautiful pieces on the disc, in typically mid-century autumnal style. The whole suite is not really that insubstantial at all.

Hopefully someone out there has the 12 concertinos. I know I haven't illuminated much, beyond the fact that I myself can't yet tell the difference between Wiren, Larsson, and Koch (any others?... Blomdahl and Lidholm??), but I'm an actual fan of greyish anonymous mid century nordic type composers, so I will be gladly plunging deeper into the fjord, if not with Larsson, then surely with one of his equally diplomatic compatriots.

Lately, the topic of Swedish composers has me riveted. Anyone?





« Last Edit: January 18, 2017, 08:10:11 AM by snyprrr »

Offline PaulR

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Re: Lars-Erik Larsson (1908-1986)
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2009, 06:27:10 PM »
I admit I don't know much of Larrson's music, but last semester, I worked on the last movement of the Double Bass Concertino.  It was extremely fun to play, and I think it is a very good piece.  I like it a lot better than the more standard rep for the bass, like Dragonetti's Concerto for bass, or Von Dittersdorf concerti.  I wanted to play the whole thing, but there wasn't enough time in the semester to learn the whole thing.

But listening to the piece, the 2nd movement is one of the most beautiful things I've heard from any instrumental work.

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Lars-Erik Larsson (1908-1986)
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2009, 02:37:17 AM »
Larsson was certainly a distinguished Swedish composer-as you say, of the same generation as Wiren, Koch, Pettersson and Blomdahl.
He was also a significant teacher of other younger composers like Bo Linde.

I don't know enough of his music to be sure of how good he actually was. I know the three symphonies((1927/28, 1937 and 1944/45) and each is an eminently pleasant work as Larsson's style evolves from a Sibelian to a more Hindemithian idiom. Larsson however withdrew all three shortly after their composition and they were only revived in the 1970s. During the 1950s and 1960s Larsson is credited with developing an interest in twelve-tone music(he had been a pupil of Alban Berg) but the very fine Violin Concerto(possibly Larsson's finest work?) from 1952 or the twelve Concertinos do not demonstrate anything markedly modernistic-certainly not in contrast with Blomdahl for example. I have not heard the later Variations for orchestra.

I doubt though whether you will be "gladly jumping into the fjord" with Larsson ;D The fjords are in Norway, not Sweden.


Offline Guido

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Re: Lars-Erik Larsson (1908-1986)
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2009, 02:49:08 AM »
Almost every one of the concertinos is an absolute delight - I adore the cello concertino especially of course, which has maybe the loveliest slow movement of any of them, and play it often (though not yet with orchestra).
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Lars-Erik Larsson (1908-1986)
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2009, 03:49:07 AM »
I greatly enjoyed the disc below - now out of print I fear:

"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 The new erato

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Re: Lars-Erik Larsson (1908-1986)
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2009, 04:10:10 AM »
Let me chime in for the op 45 concertinoes as well, they are delightful, my own particular favorite being one for viola. A chance encounter with it on the radio once upon a time made me aquire the BIS set.

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Lars-Erik Larsson (1908-1986)
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2009, 04:14:16 AM »
I greatly enjoyed the disc below - now out of print I fear:



'God in Disguise' is the coupling for the 3rd Symphony on BIS CD-96 while the Violin Concerto is also on a Swedish Society Discofil cd together with the Violin Concertino, the Trombone Concertino and the Double Bass Concertino and Lille Bror Soderlundh's Oboe Concertino.

Offline The new erato

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Re: Lars-Erik Larsson (1908-1986)
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2009, 04:17:25 AM »
There's a very good God in Disguise on Naxos coupled with Rosenbergs Den Helige Natten (i.e. Christmas Oratorio)

snyprrr

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Re: Lars-Erik Larsson (1908-1986)
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2009, 09:01:50 AM »
I doubt though whether you will be "gladly jumping into the fjord" with Larsson ;D The fjords are in Norway, not Sweden.

Norway stole them in 1332.

snyprrr

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Re: Lars-Erik Larsson (1908-1986)
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2009, 12:34:59 PM »
btw- Larsson/Salonen on Sony??? ???

Wonders will never cease. :)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Lars-Erik Larsson (1908-1986)
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2009, 12:54:42 PM »
btw- Larsson/Salonen on Sony??? ???

Wonders will never cease. :)

Yes and it is a very nice CD. Didn't stay long in the catalogue I guess.
"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 Moonfish

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Re: Lars-Erik Larsson (1908-1986)
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2015, 08:04:33 AM »
*bump*

I immensely enjoyed Larsson's Förklädd Gud today!!!

Lars-Erik Larsson: God In Disguise (Förklädd Gud)           Swedish Radio Choir/Swedish Radio SO/Salonen

Very, very interesting....

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/UHeQhSuuIZ4" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/UHeQhSuuIZ4</a>

I also enjoyed this live performance....

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/AkN2Gbe1aD8" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/AkN2Gbe1aD8</a>
« Last Edit: March 09, 2015, 08:34:55 AM by Moonfish »
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Offline Moonfish

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Re: Lars-Erik Larsson (1908-1986)
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2015, 08:18:31 AM »
Any  thoughts about Larsson's works for the piano?



<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/I_AR4OW4Rdo" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/I_AR4OW4Rdo</a>
« Last Edit: March 09, 2015, 08:31:15 AM by Moonfish »
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Offline Christo

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Re: Lars-Erik Larsson (1908-1986)
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2015, 10:45:08 AM »
Norway stole them in 1332.
Sweden took them back in 1814, only to return them - complete with full independence, which was more helpful perhaps - in 1905.

I greatly enjoyed the disc below - now out of print I fear:

The Salonen/Sony was a big surprise, especially because Sony was still BIG at that time, and advertised it as if it were a Mozart CD.  :)

« Last Edit: March 09, 2015, 10:53:18 AM by Christo »
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Lars-Erik Larsson (1908-1986)
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2015, 11:00:31 AM »
Let me chime in for the op 45 concertinoes as well, they are delightful, my own particular favorite being one for viola. A chance encounter with it on the radio once upon a time made me aquire the BIS set.

+1 A great set indeed.
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Offline Wieland

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Re: Lars-Erik Larsson (1908-1986)
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2015, 09:22:04 AM »
The cpo label recently published vol. 2 of their new series of the orchestral works of Lars-Erik Larsson.



Vol. 1 contained the 1st symphony as well as three other pieces. The 1st symphony is a work of a 19 year old and like the second looks very much back to the late-romantic period. It is melodious and easy-going and can be be compared to the ones by Alfven oder Peterson-Berger. Also the 4 Pieces after Shakespeare's Winter Tale are melodious and late-romantic, very nice actually. With the Concerto for Orchestra op.40 we enter a different sound world not very far away from its inspiration, namely the Bartok concerto which was composed 6 years earlier. Most interestingly, one can hear already some foreshadows of Allan Pettersson. Very interesting piece. The CD finishes with a 9-minute post-impressionistic Lyric Fantasy.
The 2nd Vol starts with symphony 2 from 1937 which is a kind of Swedish Pastorale. Glasunovs 4th symphony - my favorite of his - has a similar sound world. The first two movements are happy and sunny, the final Ostinato brings in some rain and thunderstorm. However, there is a certain misbalance in this work since the last movement is quite short when compared to the first two. Still, a very nice work. Larsson obviously was not happy with this work as well as symphony 1 and withdrew them for a long time. The second part of this CD contains pieces composed much later. The Variations for Orchestra op. 50 from 1962 show Larsson experimenting with 12-tone rows, in my ears not very successfully. The Barococo Suite of 1974 is again more melodious - a Swedish counterpart to Prokofiev's Symphony classique but not as genial. Actually, I would be happy to hear this piece at an outdoor concert or for New Years eve, but the rest of the year I can do without.

This are my first CDs of conductor Andrew Manze (I own some of his violin CDs) and he an the Helsingborg SO are quite impressive. As is the top-notch recording and booklet of cpo.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2015, 09:28:39 AM by Wieland »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Lars-Erik Larsson (1908-1986)
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2015, 02:25:23 PM »
Thanks very much for the information on the new CPO releases. I have these symphonies on BIS and have enjoyed them but not sure I need the new releases although they sound interesting.
"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: Lars-Erik Larsson (1908-1986)
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2017, 01:50:30 PM »
The cpo label recently published vol. 2 of their new series of the orchestral works of Lars-Erik Larsson.



Vol. 1 contained the 1st symphony as well as three other pieces. The 1st symphony is a work of a 19 year old and like the second looks very much back to the late-romantic period. It is melodious and easy-going and can be be compared to the ones by Alfven oder Peterson-Berger. Also the 4 Pieces after Shakespeare's Winter Tale are melodious and late-romantic, very nice actually. With the Concerto for Orchestra op.40 we enter a different sound world not very far away from its inspiration, namely the Bartok concerto which was composed 6 years earlier. Most interestingly, one can hear already some foreshadows of Allan Pettersson. Very interesting piece. The CD finishes with a 9-minute post-impressionistic Lyric Fantasy.
The 2nd Vol starts with symphony 2 from 1937 which is a kind of Swedish Pastorale. Glasunovs 4th symphony - my favorite of his - has a similar sound world. The first two movements are happy and sunny, the final Ostinato brings in some rain and thunderstorm. However, there is a certain misbalance in this work since the last movement is quite short when compared to the first two. Still, a very nice work. Larsson obviously was not happy with this work as well as symphony 1 and withdrew them for a long time. The second part of this CD contains pieces composed much later. The Variations for Orchestra op. 50 from 1962 show Larsson experimenting with 12-tone rows, in my ears not very successfully. The Barococo Suite of 1974 is again more melodious - a Swedish counterpart to Prokofiev's Symphony classique but not as genial. Actually, I would be happy to hear this piece at an outdoor concert or for New Years eve, but the rest of the year I can do without.

This are my first CDs of conductor Andrew Manze (I own some of his violin CDs) and he an the Helsingborg SO are quite impressive. As is the top-notch recording and booklet of cpo.
I thorough enjoyed Symphony 2 on the CPO release. It is very Swedish I think. The opening movement reminiscent of Peterson-Berger and the second movement reminded me of Nielsen, who, of course, was not Swedish! Still a fine work which did not deserve to be withdrawn by the composer after negative reviews in the Swedish press (he subsequently relented). As soon as it had finished I wanted to hear it again. It is a lyrical and very approachable symphony.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 01:53:05 PM 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: Lars-Erik Larsson (1908-1986)
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2017, 07:45:23 AM »
Seems I slipped on the Threadtitle here...hmm...

Parson Larsson's Lasso??

Larsson's Lund??

Larsson, It's What's for Breakfast??

Larsson's Locquatious...Laternium...


cilgwyn

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Re: Lars-Erik Larsson (1908-1986)
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2017, 11:06:41 AM »
The cpo label recently published vol. 2 of their new series of the orchestral works of Lars-Erik Larsson.



Vol. 1 contained the 1st symphony as well as three other pieces. The 1st symphony is a work of a 19 year old and like the second looks very much back to the late-romantic period. It is melodious and easy-going and can be be compared to the ones by Alfven oder Peterson-Berger. Also the 4 Pieces after Shakespeare's Winter Tale are melodious and late-romantic, very nice actually. With the Concerto for Orchestra op.40 we enter a different sound world not very far away from its inspiration, namely the Bartok concerto which was composed 6 years earlier. Most interestingly, one can hear already some foreshadows of Allan Pettersson. Very interesting piece. The CD finishes with a 9-minute post-impressionistic Lyric Fantasy.
The 2nd Vol starts with symphony 2 from 1937 which is a kind of Swedish Pastorale. Glasunovs 4th symphony - my favorite of his - has a similar sound world. The first two movements are happy and sunny, the final Ostinato brings in some rain and thunderstorm. However, there is a certain misbalance in this work since the last movement is quite short when compared to the first two. Still, a very nice work. Larsson obviously was not happy with this work as well as symphony 1 and withdrew them for a long time. The second part of this CD contains pieces composed much later. The Variations for Orchestra op. 50 from 1962 show Larsson experimenting with 12-tone rows, in my ears not very successfully. The Barococo Suite of 1974 is again more melodious - a Swedish counterpart to Prokofiev's Symphony classique but not as genial. Actually, I would be happy to hear this piece at an outdoor concert or for New Years eve, but the rest of the year I can do without.

This are my first CDs of conductor Andrew Manze (I own some of his violin CDs) and he an the Helsingborg SO are quite impressive. As is the top-notch recording and booklet of cpo.
Again that tempting "buy me" Cpo choice of artwork! Never having heard Larsson's music and confronted by the BIS and Cpo recordings I would definitely find myself swayed by these paintings! Not the right basis on which to choose a recording,of course!! ::)