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Symphonies - Released April 6, 2018 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Exceptional Sound Recording
The symphonies of Swedish composer Allan Pettersson cannot easily be classed as conservative or progressive, and it is no surprise that they have been gaining new performances outside Sweden. They are monumental, rather dark, and suggest the sound of a Mahler who had lived to hear atonality more than an avatar of the Scandinavian tradition: Pettersson organizes works around large-scale contrasts and an attempt to encompass vastly different materials. The two works here are quite different but are representative of his style, and they receive fine performances from the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra under Christian Lindberg. These works, like most of Pettersson's other symphonies, are in a single movement: the track listings on the album denote mere breaks in the music. The Symphony No. 5, however, retains aspects of the traditional four-movement form. Sui generis as far as form is concerned is the Symphony No. 7, from 1967. Early commentators took it as a throwback to tonality, and in fact it works toward tonal resolution at the end. But the earlier instances of tonal chords are not resting places at all, but moments that point toward someone else, and there are passages of vast, dark, Mahlerian chaos. Sample the section denoted Bar 255 here for an idea of Pettersson's orchestral canvas. The key to interpretation of his music is a sense of the long line, and here Lindberg excels; moreover, he gets from the Norrköping Symphony a bright edge in the very high string writing that Pettersson favors, just one of the superb regional ensembles Sweden has produced over the years. Strongly recommended for those enamored of the Scandinavian school. © TiVo
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Symphonies - Released March 3, 2017 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica
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Symphonic Music - Released September 6, 2011 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica
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Classical - Released September 24, 2013 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 in E minor is one of the most frequently played and recorded works in the history of classical music, and the appearance of yet another recording practically requires a legal defense. Christian Lindberg's hybrid SACD with the Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra offers a clear sounding reading in the audiophile format, and anyone who is looking for a solid performance where every note is audible need look no further. However, the reason for performing the Fifth hardly seems compelling. Indeed, it has simply become obligatory for all orchestras to get it into their discographies, and the fledgling Arctic Philharmonic is apparently getting this chore out of the way as fast as it can. Fast is the operative word for the first movement, too. Lindberg's tempo is excessively brisk, and he whips through it with such speed, one can barely count the pulse under Tchaikovsky's syncopations. Lindberg follows convention in the remaining movements, so his tempos are predictable, even though he cranks up the bombast in the Finale beyond expectations. Still, it's unclear that this version of the Fifth is necessary, and the fierce competition of recordings isn't reduced by its presence. The suite from the ballet Swan Lake is provided as appealing filler, though most listeners won't care much about it unless they are impressed by the symphony. They may be on hearing it, but in most respects, Lindberg's interpretation is quite comparable to other mainstream recordings and nothing to get excited about. © TiVo
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Symphonies - Released January 1, 2016 | BIS

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
As Christian Lindberg and the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra progress through the 16 symphonies of Allan Pettersson, they confront some of his densest and darkest music, particularly in his works of the 1970s. The Symphony No. 13 (1976) is a single movement that is unrelenting in its contrapuntal activity, tragic in its expressions of restlessness and violence, and almost brutal in its physical demands on the musicians. Indeed, the work runs without break for over an hour, and the writing is a continuous unfolding of ideas that are in conflict with few moments of resolution, only to be replaced by more episodes of severe but ever-changing counterpoint. Yet this knotty work holds a kind of fascination, because the slow but steady generation of ideas has an overall consistency that makes sense, especially after repeated hearings, and once the listener has absorbed Pettersson's abrasive harmonies and angular melodic lines, the piece makes sense, though perhaps more through its own momentum than through any identifiable themes or progressions. Lindberg and his orchestra give the symphony a committed reading that demonstrates their virtuosity and resilience, and BIS' super audio recording makes all the musical strands perfectly clear and provides a spacious acoustic to accommodate Pettersson's massive sonorities. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 6, 2015 | BIS

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
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Symphonies - Released September 4, 2012 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
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Classical - Released June 5, 2012 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released November 30, 1996 | BIS

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Classical - Released January 1, 2001 | BIS

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Classical - Released January 31, 1988 | BIS

Booklet
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Concertos - Released September 30, 1997 | BIS

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Symphonies - Released February 4, 2014 | BIS

Booklet
Despite its imposing length, Allan Pettersson's Symphony No. 9 is an intensely concentrated work, built on a simple chromatic scale heard at the beginnning, and developed into 70 minutes of astonishing contrapuntal activity and fertile regeneration. While tonal in a technical sense, this symphony is harmonically complicated and frequently dissonant, so listeners should expect a challenge to their sense of key and form, notwithstanding the oddly serene resolution of the piece in F major. Even more important are the listener's resilience and sitzfleisch, because this long single-movement work is a bracing experience, with much of the music flying by at breathtaking speed and with fierce, persistant energy. Christian Lindberg and the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra demonstrate their ability to play with exacting precision and virtuosic brilliance, and it's an extraordinary display of cohesion, because the ensemble moves unnervingly as a single entity. The hybrid SACD is packaged with a DVD of a documentary on Pettersson, "Människans röst" ("Vox humana"), made for Swedish televion with English subtitles. © TiVo
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Classical - Released March 31, 1993 | BIS

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Classical - Released August 20, 1999 | ECM New Series

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Classical - Released January 1, 1984 | BIS

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Classical - Released January 1, 2007 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet
Trombone virtuoso Christian Lindberg has had over 80 concertos written for him. Lindberg admits that there are parts, sometimes large parts, of the three concertos recorded here that are virtually unplayable, but he has mastered them and offers no indication of stressful exertion; he and the Oslo Philharmonic, conducted by Peter Rundel, play with style and apparent ease. Berio's Solo for trombone and orchestra is the most traditionally modernist piece, with a spiky harmonic language and angular melodic contours. It's virtuosically impressive, but is not one of the composer's most substantial works. The Xenakis concerto Troorkh is the most striking piece on the CD. It demonstrates the composer's remarkable skills as an orchestrator, which allow him to draw such otherworldly sonorities from the orchestra that they sound like they could only have been produced electronically. The concerto keeps the trombone at the upper extreme of its register for mercilessly long stretches, set against massive, granitic blocks of orchestral sound, to a genuinely dramatic and awe-inspiring effect. Turnage's concerto Yet Another Set To is occasionally reminiscent of Bernstein, and it offers the audience the most hooks; its repetitions make certain gestures memorable, and the incorporation of skewed jazz licks gives listeners a sense of familiar territory. The sound quality of the SACD is excellent -- clean and spacious, with good balance between the soloist and orchestra. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2008 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet
The music of British composer John Pickard (born 1963) is notable for the brilliance of its orchestration and its unflagging inventiveness. He writes in a freely tonal idiom that gives his works an immediate accessibility, and the three pieces here are idiomatically related, but have strongly differentiated characters. The Flight of Icarus, while not specifically programmatic, is based on the imagery of Icarus' and his father Daedalus' escape from Crete, their flight over the sea on wings made of wax and feathers, and Icarus' fall to death after he flew too close to the sun. The story provides a dramatic narrative framework and the opportunity to write soaring, ecstatic music depicting flight; it's a wonder, in fact, that not more composers have turned to this myth for inspiration. Pickard's work has a relentless energy that's partly generated by the work's rhythmic drive and partly by the profligacy of its motivic ideas, which keep tumbling out in reckless profusion. Pickard's use of percussion is especially effective, and the scoring frequently has a shimmering iridescence that captures the exhilaration of flight and the play of light in the sky and on the water. The Spindle of Necessity, based freely on Plato's ideas of the afterlife, is a concerto for trombone accompanied by strings and percussion. It's a more serene and reflective work, and trombone virtuoso Christian Lindberg plays it with technical assurance and depth of feeling. Channel Firing is a sober but passionate reflection on Thomas Hardy's poem of the same name, which describes the emotions stirred by hearing gunnery practice just before the First World War. Even though it doesn't have Icarus' sonic brilliance, it's the most expressively varied and emotionally engaging selection here. Martyn Brabbins leads the Norrköping (Sweden) Symphony Orchestra in hugely energetic and exuberant performances. Pickard's work demonstrates his imaginative and orchestrational mastery in the genre of the modern tone poem, and his music should strongly appeal to mainstream concert audiences. © TiVo
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Classical - Released April 8, 2020 | EUROPEAN GRAMOPHONE

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