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Lars-Erik Larsson: Symphony No. 1; Music for Orchestra; Lyric Fantasy / Helsingborg SO, Manze

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> Symphony No. 1 in D Major, Op. 2 - I. Allegro moderato
> Symphony No. 1 in D Major, Op. 2 - II. Adagio
> Symphony No. 1 in D Major, Op. 2 - III. Scherzo
> Symphony No. 1 in D Major, Op. 2 - IV. Finale
> En vintersaga (The Winter's Tale), Op. 18 - I. Siciliana
> En vintersaga (The Winter's Tale), Op. 18 - II. Intermezzo
> En vintersaga (The Winter's Tale), Op. 18 - III. Pastoral
> En vintersaga (The Winter's Tale), Op. 18 - IV. Epilogue
> Musik for orkester (Music for Orchestra), Op. 40 - I. Andante teneramente - Tranquillo - Allegro molto
> Musik for orkester (Music for Orchestra), Op. 40 - II. Andante elegiaco
> Musik for orkester (Music for Orchestra), Op. 40 - III. Allegro
> Pastoral - Pastoral
> Lyrisk fantasi (Lyric Fantasy), Op. 54 - Lyrisk fantasi (Lyric Fantasy), Op. 54

Notes & Reviews:

A Master of Classical Modernism Rangström, Wirén, Pettersson, Atterberg, Peterson-Berger: these names represent high points in Swedish music history and have found a discographic home on cpo. Today I would like to add another important name to this Swedish Olympus of composers: Lars-Erik Larsson. Along with Dag Wirén, Larsson currently continues to number among the most popular composers of classical modernism in Sweden. Their popularity of course is explained in part by the fact that both continued to abide by the tradition of tonality without being epigonic reactionaries. Andrew Manze, to whom cpo owes a wonderfully inspired edition of the Brahms symphonies, is now presenting a new recording with Larsson's most important symphonic works as performed by his very own Helsingborg Orchestra. One of Larsson's three symphonies forms the focus of each of the three CDs. And now, to begin, the first symphony. Brimming with natural freshness and youthful new beginnings, it reflects Larsson's enthusiasm for the first two symphonies of Sibelius and in melodic respects, especially in its last two movements, is also guided by Carl Nielsen. Even in this early work Larsson displays mastery commanding respect.

MusicWeb International, 25th June 2014
Music of substance and stature, eloquently played and beautifully recorded; a new and significant journey has just begun.


More Larsson, Please
I was introduced to his works by way of the Lyric Fantasy. This disc contains an exceptional performance.
Submitted on 07/01/14 by Johcafra 
If you like Siblius...
Swedish composer Lars-Erik Larsson is not well-known outside of his native country, but this new series from CPO may change that. Larsson is part of the generation immediately following Sibelius, and follows him stylistically as well.

Larsson's works are decidedly neo-romantic, with rich harmonies and expansive melodies. His Symphony No. 1, written in 1927, is the centerpiece of the album. This four-movement symphony is a youthful work, full of excitement and high spirits. And yet it's also tightly constructed, with clear-cut melodies and masterful (albeit straight-forward) orchestration. To my ears, the overall sound resembles the symphonies of Nielsen, with a more lyrical bent.

The other works help present a more rounded portrait of the composer. The Music for Orchestra, written two decades (and world war) after the Symphony, has a sparer, more somber sound. Larsson stretches the limits of tonality, and imbues a restless energy into the work.

Four Vignettes to Shakespeare's "The Winter's Tale" is an attractive, tuneful work, reminding me Larsson's colleague, Dag Wiren, in its beautiful simplicity.

Andrew Manze leads the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra with authority. He's made a deep study of Larsson's music, and that understanding ensures that these works receive sympathetic readings. This is a strong start to what should prove to be an important series. Larsson's music deserves a place alongside that of his more famous Scandinavian colleagues.
Submitted on 11/04/14 by RGraves321 
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