This disc is marked
'Contemporary Classical' but the music
it presents is far from what you might
conventionally expect from that label.
It is only contemporary in a similar
sense to the 'modernity' of Swiss composer
Richard Flury or of the 1970s music
of George Rochberg. In fact it's pretty
much in the classical-romantic 'frame'.
Jeverud studied at
the Swedish Royal College of Music (1982-1989)
and has written a considerable amount
of music in most media. He speaks, in
his credo printed in the booklet, of
atonality as a signal adopted by some
composers to show that they are serious
and have ambitions. Jeverud takes the
view that the line between art and entertainment
should be easily spanned. As he points
out, the artistic world is now much
more accommodating of a wide spectrum
of styles. Certainly the Swedish National Council
for Cultural Affairs show that in
the most eloquent way by financially
supporting this disc.
With the exception
of the more classically-orientated String
Trio and the piano solo that gives the
disc its name, Jeverud's adopts a language
that would have been instantly accessible
to composers of the Franckian Belgian
or French 19th century schools. There
is a strangely elusive and very brief
'foreword' to the first movement of
the Quintet where the solo violin sings
a tentatively climbing Bergian theme.
Otherwise think in terms of the Chausson
Concert. Jeverud’s music is tumultuously
impassioned, gracious and kindly. The
latter quality can be heard in the second
movement of the Piano Trio. It's there
also in the very touching echoing theme
of the Quintet the first movement of
which has a grand Brahmsian swell and
surge. The Quintet's finale is dancingly
joyous in much the same way as Brahms'
Fourth Symphony. This fugally playful
splendour will confuse musical archaeologists
in ages to come.
The nine choral songs
are predominantly set in the language
of Peterson-Berger and of the Brahms'
volkslieder with a dominance of honeyed
unison singing. This is offset by the
occasional alternation of textures arising
from the separation of men and women
in a spatially differentiated dialogue.
It is all very sweetly romantic, rounded,
lyrical, innocent and uncomplicated.
It was a sensible idea to intersperse
the groups of songs with chamber music.
By way of contrast the Bo Bergman settings
are both starkly sombre (Masque)
and chant-like (Foolish fire and
Among the chamber works
the String Trio stands out for its searchingly
Beethovenian manner which it blends
with a haunting Mozartian sweetness
recalling the contented dialogue of
the K364 Sinfonia Concertante.
Music for bygone parlours touches
on Beethoven's style in the fourth and
eighth symphonies with volatile transitions
into a grand Waldstein manner.
All texts are given
in both the sung Swedish and in English
translation. How much more useful these
Phono-Suecia discs would be if only
the sung words and the translation into
English were printed side by side. The
company resolutely refuses to do this.
contemporary music comfortably adopts
the mantle of the nineteenth century