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Lars-Erik Larsson (1908-1986): Symphony No. 2; Variations Op. 50; Barocco Suite Op. 64 / Helsingborg SO, Andrew Manze

Album Summary

>Larsson, Lars-Erik : Symphony no 2, Op. 17
>Larsson, Lars-Erik : Variations for orchestra, Op. 50
>Larsson, Lars-Erik : Barococo (Raa-rokoko) for orchestra, Op. 64
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The second volume featuring a selection of orchestral works by Lars-Erik Larsson, considered one of Sweden's notable 20th century composers yet little heard outside his homeland. The Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra led by Andrew Manze continues their introduction of his works, here including Larsson's forays into twelve tone composition in the 1970s.

Gramophone Magazine, January 2016
The players of the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra are put on their collective mettle and, under Andrew Manze's firm and clear direction, they shine... splendid sound once again from CPO, in the warm acoustic of Helsingborg's Konserthuset.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Helsingborg Concert Hall, Helsingborg, Sweden (04/04/2011-04/08/2011).



Reviews

Manze continues strong Larsson series
I was favorably impressed by the first volume of Lars-Erik Larsson on all counts. The music was well-constructed, the conductor and orchestra played with authority, and the SACD recording was superb.

Volume 2 reinforces my initial impressions, while further fleshing out my understanding of this still relatively unknown composer. Lars-Erik Larsson may have been highly respected and influential in Sweden, but not so much outside of Scandinavia.

Larsson was never very happy with his second symphony and withdrew it after its premiere in 1937. It would not be heard again until it was performed on Swedish Radio in 1973, and reached a larger audience via its first recording in 1988 (with the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra).

I actually prefer Larsson's second symphony to his first. The three-movement work is built on a few easily identifiable motifs, that expand outward in a logical progression. It instantly engaged me, and I had no problem following the course of the music. Larsson's straightforward orchestration doesn't call attention to itself, its transparency ensuring the motifs remain in the forefront of the listener's attention (and makes them easy to follow).

Rounding out the album are two shorter orchestral works, the 1973 Barococo Suite for Orchestra, and 1962 Variations for Orchestra. Larsson experimented with different styles throughout his career. The Variations are one of his 12-tone works. But Larsson didn't just blindly adopt Schoenberg's system. His is a freer interpretation of dodecophonic composition, more in line with Berg (also sections reminded me of Bartok).

The neo-classical Barococo is a delightful work that has a certain joie de vivre quality. Larsson's adaptation of earlier musical forms did little to stifle his originality. On a neo-classical musical spectrum, I'd place Barococo somewhere between Prokofiev's "Classical" Symphony and Stravinsky's "Pulcinella."

The Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra is well familiar with Larsson's music with authority (see above), and so is Andrew Manze. And that familiarity makes all the difference in these performances, I think. Larsson wrote three symphonies, so I'm assuming there will be at least one more volume in this series. I can't wait.
Submitted on 08/08/16 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>Larsson, Lars-Erik : Symphony no 2, Op. 17
  • Conductor: Andrew Manze
  • Ensemble: Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Helsingborg Concert Hall, Helsingborg, Sweden (04/04/2011-04/08/2011)
  • Running Time: 13 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1936-1937

>Larsson, Lars-Erik : Variations for orchestra, Op. 50
  • Conductor: Andrew Manze
  • Ensemble: Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Helsingborg Concert Hall, Helsingborg, Sweden (04/04/2011-04/08/2011)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Larsson, Lars-Erik : Barococo (Raa-rokoko) for orchestra, Op. 64
  • Conductor: Andrew Manze
  • Ensemble: Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Helsingborg Concert Hall, Helsingborg, Sweden (04/04/2011-04/08/2011)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern