Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Wilhelm PETERSON-BERGER (1867-1942)

Vid kejsar Cadigans hov (1903)
Prinsessan Epinée (1903)
Romans för violin och orkester (1915)
Jämtland (1900)
Lawn Tennis (1896)
I skymningen (1896)
Dedikation (cello solo) (1895)
På gräset under lindarna (1923)
Till rosorna (1896)
Berceuse (cello solo) (1891)
Menuett (1917)
Om många år (1914)
Andante ur Violinsonat nr 2 (1889)
Danslek (1903)
På fjället i regn (1893)
Till Eros (1935)
Karl-Ove Mannberg (violin)
Ola Karlsson (cello)
Östersunds Serenadensemble/Lennart Hedwall
rec. studio 3, Swedish Radio, Stockholm
PROPRIUS PRCD 9127 [63.21]


This is a disc of wind music arrangements of pieces from the composer's cycle of piano solos Frösöblomster (in the original best experienced in the hands of Noriko Ogawa on Bis) as well as from a variety of stage works and other piano albums. They stand in the company of Macdowell and Grieg. These are interspersed with like-minded tracks with violin and cello solos accompanied by wind orchestra. The music has clearly been selected for easy grace and serenade-like pleasure rather than symphonic exertion and epic effort. Purist issues such as whether movement extracts from larger works should be played separately seem somehow quite irrelevant in this undemanding company.

Teutonic manners are the order of the day at first - more sartorial Vienna than Stockholm svelte. Vid kejsar Cadigans hov, Menuett, På fjället i regn and Danslek are in the sprightly wind serenade tradition running from Mozart to Richard Strauss. The Prinsessan Epinée and Till Eros (the latest work here) are cooler - more clearly Scandinavian in their light melancholia - but still noticeably serenade movements.

The softly rounded contours of the thoughtful Jamtland describe a moorland scene in which loneliness and the warm attributes of human conversation meet. The game in Lawn Tennis must have been the least competitive of sets for it is more graceful than energetic. If you are looking for contrast to the poetic and reflective then I skymningen should satisfy in its Nordic Rossinian japes although even these are exorcised in favour of a sauntering wander at 00.43. På gräset under lindarna suggests folk-style holidays but with nothing crude or unmannered intruding - the crinoline is pristine, no nettles and no painful emotions. Till rosorna with its prominent flute and oboe parts continues the mood. Om många år is deeper with some regret mixed in but not enough to raise a tear; only sufficient to prompt a moment's backward look.

The Romans for violin and orchestra breaks the mould and is noticeably lighter, lifted by the easy grace of the solo part. The arrangement of the andante from the Violin Sonata No. 2 is of a piece with the general mood - more Dvořák and early Suk than anything heaven-storming. The title track, Dedikation for cello solo is of similar warmly coaxed type as is the Berceuse, also a cello solo.

The arrangements are largely by Lennart Hedwall with a few the handiwork of Ola Karlsson and Nils Holmstedt. The notes are only in Swedish.

There is nothing here to hector or even mildly perturb the listener. This is music that can be overheard, a pleasing backdrop to conversation on a mellow Scandinavian night in good company.

Rob Barnett


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