Allan Pettersson: Symphony No.6

Album cover art for upc 7318599919805
Label: BIS
Catalog: SACD1980
Format: SACD / CD Hybrid

Norrköping Symphony Orchestra / Christian Lindberg

Allan Pettersson (1911-1980): Symphony No. 6 (1963-66)

Among the symphonies by Allan Pettersson, the Seventh is often accorded a special importance, partly because of the immediate success it enjoyed at its first performance, in 1968, but also because it has come to be perceived as more closely associated than other works with the personal life of its composer. As a result, Symphony No.6, which was premièred less than a year before the seventh, has come to be overshadowed by its successor. It is nevertheless an imposing work: an almost hour-long single-movement symphony in which the composer established a specific, self-contained musical style which would serve as a basis for the three symphonies that followed in quick succession. Allan Pettersson's Sixth forms a compelling and singular edifice, with its slow introduction, a first part characterised by intense activity on a motivic level and a slower second part reminiscent of an immense coda and remarkable for Pettersson's extensive use of the melody from Han ska släcka min lykta ('He will extinguish my light'), the last of his own Barefoot Songs. Christian Lindberg - 'whose affinity with Pettersson's idiom is manifest' (Gramophone) - has previously conducted the three Concertos for String Orchestra on BIS, as well as the first ever performance and recording of the First Symphony. This work was begun in the late 1940s, but although the composer never completed it, he never abandoned it either. Christian Lindberg oversaw the preparation of a performance edition based on Pettersson's sketches, and his recording of the results was received with great interest at its release in 2011, with critical accolades including the seal of approval from International Record Review ('Outstanding'), ('10/10/10') and Scherzo magazine ('Disco excepcional'), and praise for both Christian Lindberg and the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra.

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