Classical Editor: Rob Barnett                               Music Webmaster Len Mullenger:

Symphony No 6 Sinfonia Semplice (1951) [24.02]
Symphony No 3 (1939) [33.31]
Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra,  Herbert Blomstedt
rec Concert Hall, Stockholm, 22 May 1960 (No. 6); 1 Dec 1966 (No.3)

Rosenberg's eight symphonies have struggled to make much headway beyond Scandinavia. There has been no complete recorded cycle and no movement in that direction. The two symphonies recorded here are isolated projects caught on the wing as benignly opportunistic spin-offs from concert performances in Sweden.

The Sixth is in a single movement though (pleasingly) banded into four. Its title lays claim to simplicity but it is a far from untroubled work. Combining tense writing for the strings with liberating lyricism from the woodwind it represents a struggle between the intensity and angst of Hindemith (e.g. in his Harmonie der Welt Symphony) and the tuneful abandon of Nielsen especially in his woodwind writing. In its passage Rosenberg sings the braying malediction of the trolls with as much malignance as Tubin was able to release in his Symphony No 6.

The Third symphony is based on Romain Rolland. It was originally presented on Swedish Radio with a narrator. It is a sweeter apple than the Sicxth. In a true four movements it runs to approaching 35 minutes. In this work the delight of woodwind and 'music box' innocence collide with violent stamping offbeat convulsions which Rosenberg adorns, without embarrassment, with cymbal crashes. Efflorescent writing for the French Horns lends this symphony the sort of ecstatic eloquence also to be found in Nielsen's Helios and Fifth Symphony and Louis Glass's Fifth.

At mid-price well worth tracking down.

Rob Barnett

In case of difficulty available from at price of USD16.50 per CD.

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