One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,416 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS

Wilhelm PETERSON-BERGER (1867-1942)
Arnljot - opera (excerpts) (1910) (Introduction Act I - Arnljot's Greeting Song; Thing March; Waino's First Song; Gunhild and Arnljot - Encounter in the Wilderness; Waino's Second Song; Arnljot's Dream Vision; Tormod's Song; The Death of Arnljot) [53:14]
Erland Hagegård (baritone) - Arnljot; Karin Langebo (soprano) - Waino; Edith Thallaug (mezzo) - Gunhild; Björn Asker (baritone) - Tormod; Kåge Jehrlander (tenor) - Sigurd; Male Chorus of Stockholm Philharmonic Choir; Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra/Okko Kamu
rec. 16-18 May 1973, Stockholm Concert Hall, Sweden. ADD
first issued on LP - EMI Sweden E061-34925.
STERLING CDO-1082-2 [53:14]
Experience Classicsonline

Peterson-Berger - better known on record for his symphonies - here demonstrates a sure dramatic hand. He has the ability to imbue ancient characters with a convincing vital humanity.

Arnljot is an eleventh century tale set in Jämtland in Sweden. Arnljot has been promised these many years to Gunhild. He has been away at sea a-viking. It's a long and convoluted saga but comes to a crown in Arnljot's conversion to Christianity. He suffers death in battle after a return to duty and to Gunhild.

There's a steady Delian-Tannhauser glow to Arnljot's Greeting while the romping and echoing fanfares of the Thing March make it a memorable entry. Waino's First Song is surgingly Puccinian - very exciting and delivered with a burning flame in the voice by Langebo. There is drama and nuance in the dialogue between Arnljot and Gunhild. The music is threaded through with the classic Swedish romantic impulse - listen to Hagegard in his long 'high hills' solo in the Encounter. The Dream Vision sports high strings pianissimo with colder ripples cross-cutting the texture. In its choral close there is a return to the confident singing gold of the Swedish lyrical mainstream. Tormod's Song is brief and another one of those stalwart bardic hymns: patriotic and yeoman sturdy. The Death of Arnljot is the longest track and closes the sequence in convincing form.

The words as sung in their original Swedish and with parallel English translation are in the booklet. There's also a note by that eminence of Swedish music, Lennart Hedwall who also provided the rounded concert-endings for these excerpts.

Arnljot was premiered in Stockholm on 13 April 1910. It is performed every year at the summer festival in the open air auditorium at Jämtland on the island of Frösö. Quite apart from two wondrously inventive and unmissably lyrical symphonies (2 and 3) there are other stage works: Ran, Domedagsprofeterna (1919) (there's an orchestral suite on CPO) and finally Adils und Elisif (1927).

This disc certainly leaves you wanting to hear the whole thing - why not record the next summer festival performance - maybe even a DVD?

The recording is now just over a quarter century old but holds up pretty well and certainly there is no distortion.

The Peterson-Berger Society can be contacted via their website.

Rob Barnett

Comment received:

I just read your review of the Arnljot highlights disc (originally issued by Swedish EMI). I bought the LP when it was first issued and a couple of years ago I transferred it to CD so I can now play it again without the pops and clicks.

Just a couple of comments: Erland Hagegård, the cousin of the better known Håkan Hagegård, a couple of years after this recording changed to tenor and was for some years one of the best in the country. I still think though that he should have remained baritone. His greeting song is rather impressive, though Sigurd Björling, the great Wagner singer in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, is even more monumental in his recording from early 1940s.

Concerning the annual Arnljot festival at Frösön, which started in 1935 and has been held every year since then, apart from the war years, this is not the opera that is performed but P-B's libretto as spoken drama and in line with P-B's wish all the actors are amateurs.

It is a long time since the opera was played, I believe it was 1960, when the Stockholm Opera mounted it with the original sets to mark 50 years since its first performance. Sixten Ehrling conducted and Sigurd Björling was Arnljot with a fine cast of assisting singers. It was broadcast and recorded by Swedish Radio and was once available as a 3-LP set on Caprice (CAP 1341-43), but has never been reissued on CD. I have never heard it but the technical quality is said to be OK. Who knows, some day it may pop up.

Goran Forsling


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount




Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.