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Pettersson: Barefoot Songs, String Orchestra Concertos / Lindberg


Release Date: 03/30/2010 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 1690   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Allan Pettersson
Performer:  Anders Larsson
Conductor:  Christian Lindberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nordic Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



PETTERSSON String Concertos: No. 1; No. 2. Barefoot Songs (orch. Dorati) 1 Christian Lindberg, cond; Anders Larsson (bs); 1 Nordic CO BIS 1690 (72:21)


Difficult to say whether the eight (of 24) Barefoot Songs on this BIS disc owe their gorgeousness to Allan Pettersson’s wistful melodies or Antal Dorati’s Read more sensitive, empathetic (and very extensive) orchestrations. Who cares? The result is a lushly morbid collection of very fine orchestral songs with a central-European Romantic heart and a darkly Scandinavian air surrounding them. Anders Larsson’s baritone is nicely suited to this music. Everyone of these Barefoot Songs makes one wish that Dorati had orchestrated all 24—and then regret that Pettersson only set two dozen of his own Barefoot Poems (of over 100) to music in the first place.


Then again, that might be too heavy a program for an Allan Pettersson disc—which is where the refreshing astringency of the Concerto No.1 for String Orchestra (1949) comes in. Pattersson’s prescription for the performers was: “Expression, great urgency, wildly alternating and striking rhythms take precedence over accuracy of intonation in a dense mass of sonority. So do not reduce the tempo in order to get the details pedantically correct.” The Nordic Chamber Orchestra under Christian Lindberg (a famous trombonist during the daytime) gets both right: urgency and accuracy. Not at breakneck speeds and certainly never pedantic.


Concerto No. 2 for String Orchestra wasn’t performed until 11 years after its 1956 composition, perhaps because Pettersson thought it a cutting-room-floor project. Michael Kube’s fitting description from his liner notes points out that “passages in the third movement seem like parts of a rejected development section from the first movement of the earlier Concerto No. 1 for String Orchestra.” Throw in overt references to Barber’s Adagio for Strings and you have a touching and tender, albeit episodic work that fits with Petterson’s paean to music from the soul (and by extension against avant-garde excess): “When will the angel come and give back the song to your heart, so simple and so clear that a child will stop crying?”


FANFARE: Jens F. Laurson
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Works on This Recording

1.
Barefoot Songs (24) by Allan Pettersson
Performer:  Anders Larsson (Baritone)
Conductor:  Christian Lindberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nordic Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943-1945; Stockholm, Sweden 
Date of Recording: March, 2007 
Venue:  Tonhallen, Sundsvall, Sweden 
Notes: Orchestrated by Antal Dorati 
2.
Concerto for Strings no 1 by Allan Pettersson
Conductor:  Christian Lindberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nordic Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949-1950; Sweden 
3.
Concerto for Strings no 2 by Allan Pettersson
Conductor:  Christian Lindberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nordic Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1956; Sweden 
4.
Barefoot Songs (24): Suite by Allan Pettersson
Performer:  Anders Larsson (Baritone)
Conductor:  Christian Lindberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nordic Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943-1945; Stockholm, Sweden 

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