ALLAN PETTERSSON (1911-1980): Symphony No. 1 (ed. Christian Lindberg [b.1958]), Symphony No. 2.

Catalogue Number: 10N001

Label: BIS

Reference: CD-1860

Format: CD

Price: $19.98

Description: The composer began writing his first symphony in 1951 and, according to Pettersson's widow, still looked at it and made notes and revisions as late as the mid 1970s. There is not one particular guess as to why he never finished it but the best ones are 1) he had gone to Paris where he studied with both Honegger and Leibowitz and was developing his knowledge of composition so fast that he outgrew the unfinished manuscript and/or 2) that it no longer represented his current state of mind and he was moving on to the Symphony No. 2. Actually, it sounds a lot like the second symphony and there are several places where the personal expressivity of Nos. 6 and 7 are foreshadowed. Pettersson left about a third of the 30-minute work in full score, leaving Lindberg and two composition students of Jan Sandstr√∂m's (who transferred the score from handwritten manuscript to computer for finishing a performable score) to choose among the various revisions and try to make sense of the many notes and enigmatic doodles in order to provide something to perform. There is not a note in this recording that isn't by Pettersson and, towards the end, where only a short score was left, that's how it is performed, giving an appealing, chamber-like intimacy to the symphony's final pages. A 58-minute DVD (NTSC region 0) is included, which has rehearsal footage, much on the way the score was edited and biographical material on Pettersson up to around 1951 (and also excerpts from a long Swedish radio interview with him from 1975). A postscript notes that the 16-bar gap in the manuscript referred to in the film was filled at the very last minute by the discovery of an unknown manuscript copy which had those bars; an emergency recording session got them into their rightful place for the CD release. Norrk√∂ping Symphony Orchestra; Christian Lindberg.


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