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Atterberg: Symphonies No 4 & 6 / Jarvi, Gothenburg

Atterberg / Hesselink / Gothenburg Sym Orch
Release Date: 03/26/2013 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 5116   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Kurt Atterberg
Performer:  Sara Troback HesselinkPer Högberg
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Kurt Atterberg was a wonderful, genuinely romantic composer with a distinctive melodic gift and a genuine sense of humor. His “Dollar” Symphony (No. 6) won first prize in American Columbia’s “Spirit of Schubert” symphony competition of 1928, hence the nickname. The runner-up was Franz Schmidt’s deathly dull Third Symphony, so even if the judging was shot through with the usual nationalist bias and BS, it looks like they got it right somehow.

What this music has to do with Schubert is anyone’s guess—it’s just typical Atterberg, a delicious confection in three movements with an absolutely hilarious finale, complete with fake fugues and other fun-filled goodies. The work has been lucky on
Read more disc, starting with Beecham’s 1928 premiere recording. Toscanini played it too, but in modern times we have superb readings on BIS, as well as Ari Rasilainen on CPO as part of the label’s complete symphony edition. This performance is as good as the best of them: spontaneous, impulsive, and exciting, and terrifically recorded in SACD multi-channel sound.

The Fourth Symphony “Sinfonia piccola” is just that: a charming opusculum in four pithy movements lasting less than 20 minutes. Suite No. 3, for solo violin, solo viola, and strings, derives from theatrical music to one of those fuzzy symbolist plays by Maurice Maeterlinck. The music is sweet, gentle, and well, fuzzy and symbolist (although it firms up for the waltz at the end). En värmlandsrapsodi is one of those luscious bits of nature painting that Atterberg could crank out at the drop of a hat. Not that there’s anything casual about it: the piece is extremely beautiful and well-crafted. All of these remaining performances are excellent; it’s great to report that Neeme Järvi seems to be back on top form again. I wouldn’t say that this is better than Rasilainen in the symphonies, but it’s just as good, and worth collecting.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 6 in C major, Op. 31 "Dollar Symphony" by Kurt Atterberg
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927-1928; Sweden 
2.
Symphony no 4 in G minor, Op. 14 "Sinfonia Piccola" by Kurt Atterberg
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1918; Sweden 
3.
Suite no 3 for Violin, Viola and Strings, Op. 19 no 1 by Kurt Atterberg
Performer:  Sara Troback Hesselink (Violin), Per Högberg (Viola)
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1917; Sweden 
4.
A Värmland Rhapsody, Op. 36 by Kurt Atterberg
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1933; Sweden 

Sound Samples

Symphony No. 6 in C major, Op. 31, "Dollar Symphony'': I. Moderato
Symphony No. 6 in C major, Op. 31, "Dollar Symphony'': II. Adagio
Symphony No. 6 in C major, Op. 31, "Dollar Symphony'': III. Vivace
En varmlandsrapsodi (A Varmland Rhapsody), Op. 36
Suite No. 3, Op. 19, No. 1: I. Prelude
Suite No. 3, Op. 19, No. 1: II. Pantomim
Suite No. 3, Op. 19, No. 1: III. Vision
Symphony No. 4 in G minor, Op. 14: I. Con forza - Tempo commodo -
Symphony No. 4 in G minor, Op. 14: II. Andante - Tranquillo -
Symphony No. 4 in G minor, Op. 14: III. Scherzo -
Symphony No. 4 in G minor, Op. 14: IV. Finale: Rondo

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Great listening August 9, 2014 By Jerry G.  (Edgewater, CO) See All My Reviews "I purchased this and vol. 2 with symphonies 2 and 8. Both are excellent, and I highly recommend both." Report Abuse
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