GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: Dundonnell on December 24, 2011, 08:29:43 AM

Title: Ragnar Soderlind(1945-): a Norwegian Symphonist
Post by: Dundonnell on December 24, 2011, 08:29:43 AM
(I have been meaning to write about Soderlind for weeks now ;D)

Can I commend with all possible enthusiasm the music of the Norwegian composer Ragnar Soderlind.

This article was written almost 10 years ago now but it is well worth reading-

http://www.listento.no/mic.nsf/doc/art2002100719421193269398

As you will see, Soderlind was a pupil of Kokkonen in Finland. If you have any interest/liking for the music of Finnish composers like Englund or Kokkonen himself you would be impressed by Soderlind.

I have just finishing listening again to Soderlind's Symphony No.5 "Kvistunn"(1995). The last few minutes of the 5th Symphony are-in my judgment-massively impressive. This is "neo-romanticism" (if such, really exists ;D) at its most moving.

Sadly, as I have regretted before here, Norway does not export its music in the same successful way as Sweden, Finland or Denmark. So composers writing in an idiom with which I have real empathy-composers like Soderlind and Halvor Haug-are not as well known as should be the case.

I am only familiar with his-
Symphony No.2 "Sinfonia breve"
Symphony No.3 "Les illuminations symphonique" for soprano, baritone and orchestra
Symphony No.4 "Sedimenti Musicali"
Symphony No.5 "Kvistunn"
Violin Concerto
Cello Concerto
Symphonic Poem "Rokkomborre"
Symphonic Visions "Polaris"
Trauermusik

Most of the commercially recorded works on this list are on the Norwegian Aurora label(with the Symphony No.4 and Cello Concerto played by the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow under Vladimir Fedoseyev :))

............but Soderlind has composed nine symphonies in total, including Symphony No.6 "Todesahnung"(1999), Symphony No.7 "La Campane dell'Atlantico"(2002), Symphony No.8 "Jean Sibelius in Memoriam"(2005), which I would love to hear.

Soderlind is one of the very few living composers and symphonists whose music really impresses me. It combines, to my ears, the symphonic tradition of the past with an acceptable modern dimension. It is "neo-romantic" in the best sense of that term ;D It can be angry and despairing(Soderlind, like Haug, is an opponent of developments which he views as damaging to the Norwegian natural environment) but it is in the very top rank of that marvellous vein of rich, grand Scandinavian symphonism of the 20th century which(I freely concede) appeals enormously to my own musical taste.

Title: Re: Ragnar Soderlind(1945-): a Norwegian Symphonist
Post by: Lethevich on January 16, 2012, 07:56:18 PM
I didn't respond because I have nothing useful to say on the subject, but your mention of the composer caused me to look him up on Amazon, and ran into this for a low price:


It's a common surname and no forename is mentioned, but, hey, even if it is a different guy, your thread on a Norwegian composer got someone to indirectly buy some other obscure Norwegian music - and that is half the battle.
Title: Re: Ragnar Soderlind(1945-): a Norwegian Symphonist
Post by: Dundonnell on January 17, 2012, 06:49:21 AM
Excellent :)