Larsson: Symphony No. 1, etc.

Album review
Larsson: Symphony No. 1, etc.

Helsingborg Symphony, Manze

Larsson: Symphony No. 1, etc

Label: CPO
Media: CD
Genre: Classical

Lars-Erik Larsson was born in Sweden in 1908 and died in 1986. The pieces here are very conservative and often beguiling. The symphony, from 1928, is genial and almost completely tonal. There are hints of Grieg and Sibelius, but the mood is brighter, and the writing is void of existential angst. The second movement sounds almost like the opening of Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony with its cheerful melodies and triplet feel. Four Vignettes to Shakespeare’s ‘The Winter’s Tale’ has a swaying pastorale where the winds take turns with the melody; then there’s a strings-only 5/4 vignette that’s as charming as can be. Music for Orchestra, symphonic in length, is from the late 1940s, and the harmonies are more advanced but still user-friendly. There are hints of William Walton and Hindemith, similar to the latter’s Symphonic Metamorphosis. It’s a little less convincing than the other pieces, but it provides a needed contrast in the middle of the disc. Lyric Fantasy from 1966 ends the program. The strings inhale and exhale, introducing a horn solo that is answered by a flute, in turn joined by oboe and clarinet, each instrument turning the tonality mysteriously, delectably. The sound is gorgeous, and this orchestra plays splendidly.

More Info

  • primary artist, Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra
  • primary artist, Andrew Manze
  • composer, Lars-Erik Larsson

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