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The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: vandermolen on April 26, 2009, 01:51:31 PM

Title: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: vandermolen on April 26, 2009, 01:51:31 PM
No thread on this worthwhile composer from Sweden. I have been listening to his Symphony No 4 this evening (CPO). Wiren's wife said that she could hear the summer storm of 1952 in the Symphony. The opening has a great sense of looming threat and impending catastrophe (such works invariably appeal to me  ;D). It is quite short, just 18 minutes, but has much depth and power.  Wiren tends to get written off as a symphonist but nos 3 and 4 are fine works in my opinion.

Here is the CD below:
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: Dundonnell on April 26, 2009, 02:01:26 PM
No thread on this worthwhile composer from Sweden. I have been listening to his Symphony No 4 this evening (CPO). Wiren's wife said that she could hear the summer storm of 1952 in the Symphony. The opening has a great sense of looming threat and impending catastrophe (such works invariably appeal to me  ;D). It is quite short, just 18 minutes, but has much depth and power.  Wiren tends to get written off as a symphonist but nos 3 and 4 are fine works in my opinion.

Wiren is one of those Scandinavian composers rather written off by the otherwise estimable Robert Layton. Layton believes that Wiren's music lacks thematic interest. A fairer assessment is given by Mark Morris in his "Dictionary of Twentieth Century Composers". Writing about Symphony No.4, Morris says

"....is a marvellously vital work, whose polish and completeness sparkles. Rhythmically alive, it still shows a busy injection of neo-classical verve, and the scoring is searchingly lucid. The melodic flair remains predominant, but is broadened by a darker streak, especially in the repeated pattern of two irregular rhythmic figures of the bass of the first movement, in the sinuous opening, and in the massed string introduction to the slow movement(recalling Martinu)."

Do you know the Wiren concertos-for piano, violin, and cello?
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: The new erato on April 26, 2009, 08:21:48 PM
The disc of Wirens string quartets on the Daphne label (I bought mine from cduniverse) is absolutely marvellous,
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: vandermolen on April 26, 2009, 08:25:31 PM
Wiren is one of those Scandinavian composers rather written off by the otherwise estimable Robert Layton. Layton believes that Wiren's music lacks thematic interest. A fairer assement is given by Mark Morris in his "Dictionary of Twentieth Century Composers". Writing about Symphony No.4, Morris says

"....is a marvellously vital work, whose polish and completeness sparkles. Rhythmically alive, it still shows a busy injection of neo-classical verve, and the scoring is searchingly lucid. The melodic flair remains predominant, but is broadened by a darker streak, especially in the repeated pattern of two irregular rhythmic figures of the bass of the first movement, in the sinuous opening, and in the massed string introduction to the slow movement(recalling Martinu)."

Do you know the Wiren concertos-for piano, violin, and cello?

Once, again thank you Colin! Yes, Robert Layton is rather snooty about Wiren, as he was about Pettersson, 'rampant self-pity etc' I agree with your Morris quote. I only really know the symphonies and the Serenade for strings but hope to discover more. which concerto is the best in your view? Off to work now  :(
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: vandermolen on April 26, 2009, 08:26:15 PM
The disc of Wirens string quartets on the Daphne label (I bought mine from cduniverse) is absolutely marvellous,

Something else for me to explore - thanks.
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: Dundonnell on April 27, 2009, 12:00:48 PM
Once, again thank you Colin! Yes, Robert Layton is rather snooty about Wiren, as he was about Pettersson, 'rampant self-pity etc' I agree with your Morris quote. I only really know the symphonies and the Serenade for strings but hope to discover more. which concerto is the best in your view? Off to work now  :(

I think that I would put the Violin Concerto just ahead of the Piano Concerto, Jeffrey. It is certainly the work for which Wiren himself had the most affection.
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: Holden on April 27, 2009, 10:42:48 PM
I only know the String Serenade Op 11 but it is one of my desert island pieces. Maybe I should take the time to investigate more. This was the way I discovered Hummel (via one disc of his PCs).
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: vandermolen on April 28, 2009, 02:25:17 AM
I think that I would put the Violin Concerto just ahead of the Piano Concerto, Jeffrey. It is certainly the work for which Wiren himself had the most affection.

Actually Colin I find that I do have the Cello Concerto (coupled with Symphony No 3) - so I'll give that a listen to.
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: Guido on April 28, 2009, 01:51:47 PM
Actually Colin I find that I do have the Cello Concerto (coupled with Symphony No 3) - so I'll give that a listen to.

I am very fond of the concerto - lot's of lovely ideas and it's very sensitively scored and thought out - I just wish it were a little more memorable!
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: Dundonnell on April 28, 2009, 02:46:57 PM
I am very fond of the concerto - lot's of lovely ideas and it's very sensitively scored and thought out - I just wish it were a little more memorable!

That is Layton's criticism-lack of thematic interest. Try the violin concerto!
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: Guido on April 29, 2009, 10:44:10 AM
Oops - should have read above... don't like conforming to critics opinions... but we did come up with this separately - maybe there is something in it (not everyone can be a first rate tunesmith after all!)

I will certainly try the violin concerto though.
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: jowcol on April 30, 2009, 01:11:12 PM
I just grabbed Symphonies 4 and 5.  (Damn you Jeffrey!  My children will be out on the street because of all of your great recommendations!)  I haven't listened to 5 yet, but 4 is a keeper.
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: schweitzeralan on April 30, 2009, 05:22:18 PM
Wiren is one of those Scandinavian composers rather written off by the otherwise estimable Robert Layton. Layton believes that Wiren's music lacks thematic interest. A fairer assessment is given by Mark Morris in his "Dictionary of Twentieth Century Composers". Writing about Symphony No.4, Morris says

"....is a marvellously vital work, whose polish and completeness sparkles. Rhythmically alive, it still shows a busy injection of neo-classical verve, and the scoring is searchingly lucid. The melodic flair remains predominant, but is broadened by a darker streak, especially in the repeated pattern of two irregular rhythmic figures of the bass of the first movement, in the sinuous opening, and in the massed string introduction to the slow movement(recalling Martinu)."

Both the 3rd and 4th are superb. Very Nordic; very sparing  in many ways. A no nonsense composer, at least judging from the works I know. There are some Sibelian hints in the 3rd. Is there indeed a piano concerto?  I'll have to check this one out.

Do you know the Wiren concertos-for piano, violin, and cello?
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: Dundonnell on May 01, 2009, 02:46:49 PM
The cd with the Piano and Cello Concertos-
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: Dundonnell on May 01, 2009, 02:48:21 PM
....and the Violin Concerto-
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: snyprrr on May 30, 2009, 12:09:42 AM
ack,... I start to drool every time I see a Caprice cd.

I have SQs 3-4. No.3 is in typical "charming" mode, whilst No.4 exhibits the "hardening of the language" experienced by so many composers at this time (Chavez, Bloch, Malipiero, etc.).

No.5 is from 1970. Dun, what's it sound like? I predict you don't like it much. Am I wrong?
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: vandermolen on May 30, 2009, 01:03:23 AM
I just grabbed Symphonies 4 and 5.  (Damn you Jeffrey!  My children will be out on the street because of all of your great recommendations!)  I haven't listened to 5 yet, but 4 is a keeper.

Yes, but when you and your family are huddled together, out on the streets in mid winter - you will gain an even better appreciation of the 'approaching storm' section at the start of Wiren's 4th Symphony - it will all come alive for you - so actually you should really be grateful to me  ;D.

ps To add insult to injury, Wiren's Third Symphony is the most often performed of his symphonies - I am listening to it at the moment and would recommend it as you liked No 4.
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: Brian on August 09, 2014, 05:17:14 AM
BIS CEO Robert von Bahr's honesty strikes again...

Here's his eClassical daily deal writeup (http://www.eclassical.com/pages/daily-deal.html?cache=purge) of Dag Wiren's piano trios (http://www.eclassical.com/wiren-dag-2/dag-wiren-chamber-music-vol-1.html).

"I wish I could say something more positive about this CD than that the artists are excellent and really do what they can, but I find the music boring. I am sorry that I do, but I habe [sic] been honest in my comments and I intend to continue being that. However, I can also be wrong, and several persons I know find Wirén's music charming and beautiful."
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: snyprrr on January 18, 2017, 08:09:07 AM
larsson bump
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: vandermolen on January 18, 2017, 09:31:00 AM
larsson bump
Do you mean Wiren bump?
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on September 07, 2017, 02:41:06 PM
In my exploration of new music, I stumbled upon this Swedish. I listened to his symphonies on Youtube (2, 4 and 5) and the third one on Spotify. I can say I liked all that stuff. Reminiscences of Sibelius were more than clear on the symphonies 2 and 3. Some time ago I had already played the Serenade for strings, which is a real gem, what sparkling it is!
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 07, 2017, 06:53:31 PM
Wiren composed some great music indeed. I need to revisit those CPO recordings of the misc. symphonies (w/ Thomas Dausgaard). I also believe I have some of his music on the Swedish label, Caprice.
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: Daverz on September 07, 2017, 07:08:19 PM
BIS CEO Robert von Bahr's honesty strikes again...

Here's his eClassical daily deal writeup (http://www.eclassical.com/pages/daily-deal.html?cache=purge) of Dag Wiren's piano trios (http://www.eclassical.com/wiren-dag-2/dag-wiren-chamber-music-vol-1.html).

"I wish I could say something more positive about this CD than that the artists are excellent and really do what they can, but I find the music boring. I am sorry that I do, but I habe [sic] been honest in my comments and I intend to continue being that. However, I can also be wrong, and several persons I know find Wirén's music charming and beautiful."

I hope RvB only meant these trios are boring.  I love Wiren's symphonies and that magical Serenade.
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: vandermolen on September 08, 2017, 12:36:04 AM
In my exploration of new music, I stumbled upon this Swedish. I listened to his symphonies on Youtube (2, 4 and 5) and the third one on Spotify. I can say I liked all that stuff. Reminiscences of Sibelius were more than clear on the symphonies 2 and 3. Some time ago I had already played the Serenade for strings, which is a real gem, what a sparkling it is!
I very much agree with you Caesar (as I usually do! :))
I especially like symphonies 3,4 and 5. I even have two recordings of Symphony 4, the monothematic opening of which is very brooding and powerful. I think that Wiren's wife said it reminded her of an oncoming storm if I remember correctly. Robert Layton was quite dismissive of Wiren's symphonic work, describing it as 'short-breathed' but I don't agree with him as I also disagree with his comments on the music of Allan Pettersson ('rampant self-pity......')
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on September 08, 2017, 01:18:02 PM
I very much agree with you Caesar (as I usually do! :))
I especially like symphonies 3,4 and 5. I even have two recordings of Symphony 4, the monothematic opening of which is very brooding and powerful. I think that Wiren's wife said it reminded her of an oncoming storm if I remember correctly. Robert Layton was quite dismissive of Wiren's symphonic work, describing it as 'short-breathed' but I don't agree with him as I also disagree with his comments on the music of Allan Pettersson ('rampant self-pity......')

I don't agree with that opinion either, I think it's the opposite. Wiren on the mentioned works is warm, he displays a bunch of energy, although the symphonies 4 and 5 are a little more advanced, but there is no lack of creativity/inspiration.
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: vandermolen on September 11, 2017, 02:28:00 AM
I don't agree with that opinion either, I think it's the opposite. Wiren on the mentioned works is warm, he displays a bunch of energy, although the symphonies 4 and 5 are a little more advanced, but there is no lack of creativity/inspiration.
Just listening to Symphony 4 CPO recording - terrific brooding opening. I really like this symphony and totally agree with Caesar.
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: kyjo on September 11, 2017, 07:53:41 AM
I don't know his symphonies yet (I intend to rectify that situation soon), but Wiren's Violin Concerto is a very fine work - overall lyrical and optimistic but with some disturbing, violent passages along the way:
https://youtu.be/ZmC79GgHf4E (https://youtu.be/ZmC79GgHf4E)
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: vandermolen on September 11, 2017, 11:18:06 PM
I don't know his symphonies yet (I intend to rectify that situation soon), but Wiren's Violin Concerto is a very fine work - overall lyrical and optimistic but with some disturbing, violent passages along the way:
https://youtu.be/ZmC79GgHf4E (https://youtu.be/ZmC79GgHf4E)
Try Symphony 4 Kyle - am sure you'd enjoy it.
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: kyjo on September 12, 2017, 08:53:55 PM
Just listened to Wiren's Symphony no. 4 - great stuff! (No surprise that I enjoyed it since you recommended it, Jeffrey! ;D) Throughout the piece there are juxtapositions between quiet, eerie passages and louder, rhythmic, almost jazzy sections. The opening of the finale sounds uncannily like the opening of the "nuclear wasteland" finale of Vaughan Williams' Symphony no. 6 - I wonder if Wiren knew that work?
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: vandermolen on September 12, 2017, 09:36:21 PM
Just listened to Wiren's Symphony no. 4 - great stuff! (No surprise that I enjoyed it since you recommended it, Jeffrey! ;D) Throughout the piece there are juxtapositions between quiet, eerie passages and louder, rhythmic, almost jazzy sections. The opening of the finale sounds uncannily like the opening of the "nuclear wasteland" finale of Vaughan Williams' Symphony no. 6 - I wonder if Wiren knew that work?
Delighted that you enjoyed it Kyle  :)
I hadn't thought of the VW No.6 connection - very interesting.
Coincidentally I've listened to Wiren's 4th Symphony several times over the last couple of days.
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: vandermolen on February 18, 2018, 11:34:58 AM
Exciting looking new release of music by this underrated Swedish composer:


I've just reminded myself of Symphony 3 by listening to Thomas Dausgaaed's performance on CPO. What a fine work it is.
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: Mr. Minnow on November 09, 2018, 09:59:28 AM
Does anyone have this?

(https://images-eu.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/619Q4qqcOyL._SR600%2C315_PIWhiteStrip%2CBottomLeft%2C0%2C35_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg)

The samples sounded OK to me but seeing it dismissed as boring by the man who owns the label that released it doesn't inspire confidence.
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: vandermolen on February 18, 2019, 11:02:40 AM
Very much enjoying this CD, especially the lyrical early quartets. They remind me a bit of those by Malipiero which I also like:
(http://)
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on February 19, 2019, 02:28:32 PM
Very much enjoying this CD, especially the lyrical early quartets. They remind me a bit of those by Malipiero which I also like:
(http://)

Yes, I like it too!
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: vandermolen on February 20, 2019, 06:04:10 AM
Yes, I like it too!
:)
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: Symphonic Addict on May 24, 2020, 05:28:51 PM
The other day I was revisiting the Naxos CD of the string quartets. Unmistakably Nordic in their soundworld, none disappoints, but I felt Nos. 4 and 5 like the more interesting. They share that seriousness of the symphonies 4 and 5. There were moments where Sibelius was brought to my mind, so I can detect Sibelius like an influence.
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: Mirror Image on May 24, 2020, 05:33:36 PM
The other day I was revisiting the Naxos CD of the string quartets. Unmistakably Nordic in their soundworld, none disappoints, but I felt Nos. 4 and 5 like the more interesting. They share that seriousness of the symphonies 4 and 5. There were moments where Sibelius was brought to my mind, so I can detect Sibelius like an influence.

Very cool, Cesar. I’ve been meaning to look more into Wirén. All I have are the symphonies on CPO (w/ Dausgaard) and the Violin Concerto (+ some other works) on the Caprice label. I recall much of the music having a Neoclassical, leaner quality to it. Would this be accurate? It’s been years since I’ve heard any of his music.
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: Symphonic Addict on May 24, 2020, 05:58:13 PM
Very cool, Cesar. I’ve been meaning to look more into Wirén. All I have are the symphonies on CPO (w/ Dausgaard) and the Violin Concerto (+ some other works) on the Caprice label. I recall much of the music having a Neoclassical, leaner quality to it. Would this be accurate? It’s been years since I’ve heard any of his music.

I think the Neoclassical tinge on some of his music is spot on, John, though Wirén makes it sound Nordic and very of his own methinks. You might like these quartets. Nos. 2 and 3 tend to sound more rustic, whilst nos. 4 and 5 show a more rigorous facet of him as a composer.
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: Mirror Image on May 24, 2020, 06:02:19 PM
I think the Neoclassical tinge on some of his music is spot on, John, though Wirén makes it sound Nordic and very of his own methinks. You might like these quartets. Nos. 2 and 3 tend to sound more rustic, whilst nos. 4 and 5 show a more rigorous facet of him as a composer.

Thanks, Cesar. I’ll have to look into those SQs once I become more familiar with Wirén’s music language. Also, I just bought the Caprice disc that has the Cello Concerto, Serenade for Strings, etc. Audio samples sounded rather nice.
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: kyjo on May 25, 2020, 07:52:10 AM
The other day I was revisiting the Naxos CD of the string quartets. Unmistakably Nordic in their soundworld, none disappoints, but I felt Nos. 4 and 5 like the more interesting. They share that seriousness of the symphonies 4 and 5. There were moments where Sibelius was brought to my mind, so I can detect Sibelius like an influence.

I listened to the 3rd quartet on that Naxos CD recently and enjoyed it greatly with its folksy spirit and modal harmonies. I also really like his Violin Concerto, which is by turns a lyrical, sometimes anxious, and ultimately life-affirming work. Wirén is a composer who’s able to say a lot in a short time span, which I really admire.
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: Symphonic Addict on May 25, 2020, 01:00:38 PM
I remembered another beautiful work: the Piano Trio No. 1. This is a must hear for fans of this composer. The slow movement is achingly moving. And Kyle is right about Wirén's ability to be succinct in his works, and this trio is a proof of it. I hadn't appreciated this composer before, but now things are changing for good!
Title: Re: Wiren's wilderness (Dag Wiren 1905-1986)
Post by: kyjo on May 26, 2020, 08:40:59 AM
I remembered another beautiful work: the Piano Trio No. 1. This is a must hear for fans of this composer. The slow movement is achingly moving. And Kyle is right about Wirén's ability to be succinct in his works, and this trio is a proof of it. I hadn't appreciated this composer before, but now things are changing for good!

Thanks for bringing it to my attention; I haven’t heard it yet. Not many mid-20th century composers wrote piano trios/quartets/quintets, so it’s always great to find more examples!