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Christian Lindberg - A Composer's Portrait / Bezaly, Et Al

Release Date: 05/31/2005 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 1428   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Christian Lindberg
Performer:  Christian LindbergSharon BezalyOle Edvard Antonsen
Conductor:  Christian LindbergRobert SundChristian Mandeal
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sao Paulo Symphony OrchestraSwedish Chamber OrchestraStockholm Chamber Brass,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 16 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Christian Lindberg is to the trombone as Edgar Meyer is to the double bass, André Segovia is to the guitar, or Pablo Casals is to the cello. He is one of those rare performers who defines and redefines the possibilities of his instrument beyond any reasonable expectation. He has unearthed, performed, and recorded lost pieces for the trombone, has inspired works from Pärt, Xenakis, Berio, Takemitsu, and Gubaidulina, and has made a cottage industry of performing established horn concertos on his instrument—a fancifully fashioned piece of brass tubing generally relegated to the role of providing largely unarticulated muscle in orchestral tuttis. Lindberg has long seen its voice as that of an ancient oracle articulating truths in Read more the face of conventional wisdom.

In this release, he assumes two new roles—conductor and composer. As a conductor, he is, apparently, as demanding of his players as he is of himself, and from the evidence given, inspiring. He has recently been appointed to the conductorship of the Nordic Chamber Orchestra and of the Swedish Wind Ensemble. Being able to play any score before him better than the musicians in his trust is undoubtedly an asset. What I didn’t know from the few of his BIS releases to come my way is that he has all along been an aspiring composer. So here are five works composed by him between 1999 and 2004. In them, his language is tonal and informed by a Paganini-esque sense of instrumental virtuosity. Their melodic, harmonic, and instrumental language, however, is decidedly of our age. In these pieces, the worlds of pop and Ligeti converge synergistically and with a gratifying lack of self-consciousness.

Lindberg’s own notes to this release chronicle his journey from a kid seemingly afflicted by ADD to a lad saddled with learning the cello, piano, and, ultimately the trombone. He was addicted to drawing and musically a lackluster student until he discovered the recorded music of Louis Armstrong and Jack Teagarden. To me it is telling that another brass-player, Ludwig Güttler, was similarly inspired by the trumpet work of Louis Armstrong. Once again, our marketing models fail to define anything.

The five pieces on this release make a statement that answers the fundamental question for all composers: for whom do you compose? For the music business? The public at large? In Helicon Wasp, for reciter, trombone, and orchestra (with Lindberg conducting and providing both the recitations and the trombone solos), arid musicological debate is excoriated. The second piece, The World of Montuagretta for flute and orchestra, chronicles the trials and tribulations of a young Brazilian transvestite male prostitute who refuses to be cowed by his role in life. After all is said and done, Lindberg almost laconically states that one can ignore the story and simply listen to the piece as a flute concerto.

So it goes for the remaining pieces. In his liner notes, Lindberg spins out rather prolix tales as to his inspiration in producing each and, in the end, dismisses those stories as so much musical casuistry. He seems to be adhering to Stravinsky’s dictate that music expresses nothing but itself. All of these pieces are informed by instrumental virtuosity and a disarming sense of irony. As for the question, for whom does one compose—Lindberg’s answer is plain. One composes to please one’s own inner vision. Whether the results are embraced by the world at large, now or later, is of no consequence. Bravo! The performances on this offering are world-class brilliant. The recording is up to BIS’s best standard—vivid and with their customarily awesome dynamic range. The result is Want List stuff.

William Zagorski, FANFARE
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Works on This Recording

Helikon Wasp by Christian Lindberg
Performer:  Christian Lindberg (Trombone), Christian Lindberg (Voice)
Conductor:  Christian Lindberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2003 
Length: 16 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Language: Swedish 
The World of Montuagretta by Christian Lindberg
Performer:  Sharon Bezaly (Flute)
Conductor:  Christian Lindberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swedish Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 20 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: 2001 - 2002. 
Condon Canyon by Christian Lindberg
Performer:  Christian Lindberg (Trombone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stockholm Chamber Brass
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2000 
Length: 11 Minutes 21 Secs. 
...Ty solen är uppe! by Christian Lindberg
Performer:  Christian Lindberg (Trombone)
Conductor:  Robert Sund
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orphei Drängar
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1999 
Length: 9 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Language: Swedish 
Behac Munroh by Christian Lindberg
Performer:  Christian Lindberg (Trombone), Ole Edvard Antonsen (Trumpet)
Conductor:  Christian Mandeal
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Basque National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2004 
Length: 16 Minutes 35 Secs. 

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