Pettersson - Symphonies 5 & 7 | BIS BIS2240

Pettersson - Symphonies 5 & 7

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Label: BIS

Cat No: BIS2240

Format: SACD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 27th April 2018



Norrkoping Symphony Orchestra


Christian Lindberg


Pettersson, Allan

Symphony no.5
Symphony no.7


Norrkoping Symphony Orchestra


Christian Lindberg


A characteristic trait in Allan Pettersson’s music is the use of strong contrasts – shifts between an enormous intensity and calm relaxation, between complex and violently dissonant passages and peaceful, simple melodies and harmonies. This certainly applies to both works recorded here by the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra and Christian Lindberg – the composer’s Fifth and Seventh Symphonies.

Premièred in 1963 and 1968 respectively, these two symphonies contributed substantially to Pettersson’s public standing during the 1960s. The Fifth earned him the music prize of the newspaper Expressen, while at the same time Pettersson’s extensive use of traditional harmony, particularly in the slow ending of the work, caused a number of commentators to criticize it as ‘outmoded’. In 1964, the symphony probably contributed to Pettersson being selected as one of the first recipients of a public remuneration scheme for composers, which guaranteed them a lifelong minimum income.

Four years later, the first performance of Symphony No.7 was conducted by Antal Doráti, the dedicatee of the work. The event is often described as Pettersson’s ‘breakthrough’, and Doráti’s recording of the work in 1969 with the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra earned the performers and the composer a ‘Swedish Grammy’ Award. Pettersson’s Seventh remains the most recorded and most frequently performed of all of his works. It is heard on disc in a performance from what are widely regarded as the leading Pettersson interpreters of our time.


The Seventh has needed a good modern recording for some time, and finally it has one. ... The Norrköping players are once again on superb form, responding to Lindberg’s advocacy just as keenly; but then this music is in their blood. ... Lindberg’s understanding of the idiom may be incontestably the deepest of any previous interpreter; but what caught my ear as much in both symphonies was the orchestral balance, with so much of the detail coming through as never before. Simply wonderful.  Guy Rickards
Gramophone July 2018

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