PISTON: Symphony No. 6. JONES: Symphony No. 3 "Palo Duro Canyon" ALBERT: Symphony No. 2.
London Symphony Orchestra / Lance Friedel, cond.
BIS SACD 2118 TT: 78:08

MARTINSSON: Open Mind, Op. 71. Orchestral Songs on Poems by Emily Dickinson, Op. 82a. A. S. In Memoriam, Op. 56b. Concerto for Orchestra, Op. 81.
Lisa Larsson, soprano. Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra / Andrew Manze, Sakari Okamo, cond. (Concerto).
BIS SACD 2133 TT: 73:17

INGMAR BERGMAN: Music from the films (Bach, Scarlatti, Mozart, Chopin, Schubert, and Schumann.
Roland Pöntinen, piano. Arwnhammar Quartet. Torleif hedeen, cello.
BIS SACD 2377: TT: 78:28

BIS has has another winner, a multi-track recordings of three important American symphonies performed to perfection and recorded with state-of-the-art sonics. Walter Piston wrote eight symphonies and here we have the most popuoar, No. 6. It is a masterpiece, very "American" sounding. The other works are lesser-known. Samuel Jones (b. 1935) has had a notable career as a composer, conductor and educator. His music is heard only on a few recordings, which is unfortunate. His Sympony No. 3, composed in 1992, is subtitled Palo Duro Canyon. There are six varied brief movements and it begins with electronic sounds of wind. It is a fascinating work, beautifully orchestrated. Jones is known best for his large choral works. Perhaps some of these could be recorded along with his other symphonic woks? The third composer, Stephen Albert, was born in 1944 in New York and died in a car accident when only 51, at the height of his career. He was considered a maverick, but had strong support from Carlo Maria Giulini, Gerard Schwarz and Mstislav Rostropovich. He was composer-in-residence in both Seattle and Washington. He was commissioned by Yo-Y Ma to write a cello concerto available on Sony. . His half-hour Symphony No. 2 written in 1992, has very much of an "American" sound. All of this music is worthy of your attention, with the London Symphony in virtuoso form under Lance Friedel. The recording was made April 2017 i London's Henry Wood Hall. Kudos to producer Robert Suff who gives us a sonic blockbuster. Don't miss this one!!

Rolf Martinsson (b. 1956) is a major figure on Sweden's musical scene, known particularly for his concertos for trumpet which have been recorded for BIS by Hakan Hardenberger. Now we have this SACD of some of his later works. Martinsson has a close association with soprano Lisa Larsson and for her he wrote his ten songs on poems of Emily Dickinson (Songs of Love, Songs of Nature, Songs of Life), and they are on this disk. We also have a 10-minute concert overture called Open Mind, and A. S. In Memoriam, the composer's tribute to Schoenberg's Transfigured Night. The revised version recorded here had its premiered with Neemi Järvi conducting. The 2008 Concerto for Orchestra was commissioned by the Royal Stockholm Orchestra. We surrey can assume these are authoritative performances, very well presented. However, I found little of lasting interest here.The recordings were made 2015 and 2017 in Stockholm; audio is excellent.

The CD of music used by Ingmar Bgman in many of his films is rather odd. Music waas very important to Bergman and he used is wisely in his films nd thetre music.We have many familiar classics including works by composers listed above. Many of these were written for keyboard and they feature pianist Roland Pöntinen wih occasional assisance from members of the Stenhammar Quartet. Excellent audio, generous playing time, but a rather weird assemblage of familiar music.

R.E.B. (September 2018)