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Bo LINDE (1933-1970)
Violin Concerto Op. 18 (1958) [26:15]
Cello Concerto Op. 29 (1965) [30:03]
Karen Gomyo (violin)
Maria Kliegel (cello)
Gävle Symphony Orchestra/Petter Sundkvist
rec. 5-7 March 2003; 26-28 April 2004, Gevaliasalen, Gävle, Sweden
first issued on Swedish Society Discofil, 2005
NAXOS 8.557855 [56:18]

The Swedish composer Bo Linde was a student of Lars Erik Larsson in Stockholm. His energies were poured into the production of music for orchestra, chamber ensemble and voice. He was no adherent of serial technique or dodecaphony.

Linde is as much a songster as Walton. Indeed this Violin Concerto at many points echoes with the aspirational romance and the jagged drama of the Walton concerto. This is a work in which the soloist is in incessant action - never marking time, always purposefully pressing forward. Perhaps that is a weakness of the work; namely that there is insufficient variation between its two big movements although the lovely cradle-rocking lento that ends the work redeems all. There are no discords here and plenty of evidence of the composer’s proud claim that ‘I write in very beautiful triads’. I associate neo-classicism, which the notes claim for Linde, with terse desiccation. There is none of that here. Textures are clean but this is an overwhelmingly romantic work with more echoes of the violin concertos of Prokofiev, Miaskovsky and Barber than of Stravinsky. A lovely work and one which has captivated me since I taped Karl Ove-Mannberg’s performance with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Stig Westerberg in July 1977.

The Cello Concerto was written for Guido Vecchi who also recorded the Frederick Jacobi concerto - a very different work. Vecchi, who was principal cellist of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra had his performance of the Nystroem Sinfonia Concertante issued in a Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra centenary box by Bis. Kliegel gives a gutsy performance recalling the sort of soulful tone we get from Arto Noras and while this work is more edgy and angular than the Violin Concerto Kliegel finds and expounds the work’s lyric strata. The surrounding punctuation is stormy and gritty. This time there is plenty of contrast across the three movements. This is well illustrated by the mood-change between the ethereal end of the first movement and the convulsive Portsmouth Point activity of the start of the central movement. The finale manages to be both lyrically saturated and mistily valedictory.

The Linde scene is set rather well by Ulf Jönsson although I wish he could have volunteered more dates and a longer list of works. Also I don’t for one moment buy the suggestion that Linde was a neo-classicist.

A cracking disc with the technical side splendidly managed and two romantic-dramatic concertos full of explosive action and searing and sunny lyricism. Not to be missed.

Rob Barnett



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