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Atterberg: Complete Symphonies / Rasilainen, Et Al


Release Date: 02/22/2005 
Label:  Cpo   Catalog #: 777118   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Kurt Atterberg
Performer:  Satu VihavainenGabriel Suovanen
Conductor:  Ari Rasilainen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony OrchestraHannover Radio Philharmonic OrchestraStuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 5 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 5 Hours 30 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

These works are not just footnotes in 20th century symphonic literature, but are real contenders for greatness...Lovers of the symphony rejoice: here's another mighty nine!


Listening to Kurt Atterberg's symphonies together in sequence (the collection was previously released on five separate discs--type Q1958, Q5032, Q2147, Q3148, and Q6782 in Search Reviews) you're certain to be impressed by the composer's consistently imaginative melodic invention and powerfully effective orchestration. These works are not just footnotes in 20th century symphonic literature, but are real contenders for greatness. While Atterberg doesn't possess the sort of stunning, out-of-nowhere originality
Read more of Sibelius (whose music at times Atterberg's resembles), he does make marvelous use of already existing techniques to construct some brilliant, evocative, and always highly enjoyable works.


A strong Nordic strain runs thoughout the symphonies, from the folkish No. 1 to the grandly epic No. 9 "Sinfonia Visionaria". Nos. 2 and 7 both offer captivating narrative drama, while the Fifth ("Sinfonia funebre") uses a cyclic concept in a manner similar to Mahler's Sixth. Probably the most immediately impressive is No. 3, whose second movement is so grippingly cinematic you easily could think the symphony's "West Coast Pictures" subtitle refers to a Hollywood studio. Nos. 4, 6, and 8 present Atterberg's lighter side, with bucolic pleasantries in the Fourth ("Sinfonia piccola") and Sixth, while the Eighth offers Sibelius Sixth-style modal harmonies in crystalline textures.


All nine symphonies (as well as the symphonic poem Alven) feature vivid orchestral writing (the Ninth showcases Atterberg's considerable skill in handling large choral forces), as well as Atterberg's penchant for building perfectly-timed, irresistibly exciting climaxes. Conductor Ari Rasilainen clearly has immersed himself in the composer's world, leading powerful and highly idiomatic performances with the Frankfurt, Stuttgart, and Hanover orchestras. CPO maintains consistently spacious, high-impact sound throughout the series. Lovers of the symphony rejoice: here's another mighty nine! [2/24/2005]
--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Symphony no 1 in B minor, Op. 3 by Kurt Atterberg
Conductor:  Ari Rasilainen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909-1911; Sweden 
2. Symphony no 2 in F major, Op. 6 by Kurt Atterberg
Conductor:  Ari Rasilainen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911-1913; Sweden 
3. Symphony no 3 in D major, Op. 10 by Kurt Atterberg
Conductor:  Ari Rasilainen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hannover Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914-1916; Sweden 
4. Symphony no 4 in G minor, Op. 14 "Sinfonia Piccola" by Kurt Atterberg
Conductor:  Ari Rasilainen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1918; Sweden 
5. Symphony no 5, Op. 20 "Sinfonia funebre" by Kurt Atterberg
Conductor:  Ari Rasilainen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919-1922; Sweden 
6. Symphony no 6 in C major, Op. 31 "Dollar Symphony" by Kurt Atterberg
Conductor:  Ari Rasilainen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hannover Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927-1928; Sweden 
7. Symphony no 7, Op. 45 "Sinfonia Romantica" by Kurt Atterberg
Conductor:  Ari Rasilainen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1941-1942; Sweden 
8. Symphony no 8, Op. 48 by Kurt Atterberg
Conductor:  Ari Rasilainen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944-1945; Sweden 
9. Symphony no 9, Op. 54 "Sinfonia visionaria" by Kurt Atterberg
Performer:  Satu Vihavainen (Mezzo Soprano), Gabriel Suovanen (Baritone)
Conductor:  Ari Rasilainen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Philharmonic Orchestra,  Prague Chamber Chorus,  North German Philharmonic Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1955-1956; Sweden 
10. Älven, Op. 33 by Kurt Atterberg
Conductor:  Ari Rasilainen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929; Sweden 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 A New Discovery July 6, 2013 By Kenneth G. (Grand Rapids, MI) See All My Reviews "I first heard the 2nd Symphony on Cable TV "Music Choice". Wow that was great music and the 2nd has become my favorite of Kurt Atterberg's 9 symphonies. Actual I like all of them except the 9th that is choral like the mighty 9th of Beethoven. However it is choral throughout the symphony and on the somber side. The symphonic compositions of Atterberg cover the period from 1910 to 1956. Although Atterberg lived until 1974 he wrote no additional symphonies. Many of the symphonies are based on local folk melodies but I felt there was also a relation to what was occuring in history at the time of composition [NOTE: this is my observation only since the notes covering each symphony do not contain any references to current history and the composition of the symphony]. The bottom line is I liked 8 out 9 symphonies and on that basis I strongly reccommend the box of complete symphonies as a worthwhile addition to anyones' collection." Report Abuse
 A new find. January 27, 2013 By Richard C. (Lancaster, PA) See All My Reviews "I heard Atterberg's third symphony on my public radio station, WRTI, in Philadelphia a few weeks ago. I do not remember ever hearing any of Atterberg's music before. I fell in love with it. Through WRTI's link to Arkive Music I ordered the boxed set of all nine of Atterberg's symphonies. I've now played them all a few times and am really happy to have found this new (to me) composer. The quality of the recordings is very good and it's a treat to have them in my collection." Report Abuse
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