PETTERSSON: Violin Concerto No. 2. Symphony No. 17 (fragment).
Ulf Wallin, violin. Norrköpping Symphony Orchewtra / Christian Lindberg, cond.
BIS SACD 2290 TT: 61:06

GRIEG: Psalms, Op. 74. Ave maris stella, EG 150. From Holberg's Time, Op. 40. BULL: Säterjäntans söndag. GRONDAHL: Song\, Op. 3 No. 1. LANG: The Last Spring.

Audun Iverson, baritone. Edvard Grieg KOR. Hakon Matti Skrere / Pauo Robinson, cond.

BACH: English Suites
Masaaki Suzuki, harpsichord
BIS SACD 2281 (2 disks) TT: 152:43

Several; yeas ago this site mentioned a recording of Swedish composer Allan Pettersson's Symphony No. 7 with the Norrköpping Symphony Orchestra, directed by Christian Lindberg (REVIEW) . Pettersson (1910 - 1980) had a tragic life as outlined in that review. He composed profusely, 16 symphonies, a number of concertos and chamber music. All have been relatively neglected by audiences and record companies. BIS is attempting to correct that and already has released this same orchestra and conductor in many of he composer's works including 10 symphonies and 3 concertos for springs. Violin Concerto No. 2 was composed in 1977, revised late. It includes quotations from two of the composer's songs. It is a tortured extended musical statement. There are four sections: Opening, Tempo II, A Tempo, and Cantaando. Treacherous high harmonics prevail, and i is unlikely major violinists will choose to play this unusual work (Isabelle Van keulen is the other violinist who recorded it) .Surely we may assume Ulf Wallin, soloist on this new issue, does what can be done with this music, and the Swedish orchestra offers strong support. Excellent audio in this recording made January 2018 in Sweden's Louis De Geer Concert Hall, and engineers have captured the performance with with a natural sonic perspective. Approach with caution!

As detailed in program notes for this new Chandos SACD, Edvard Grieg was not a religious man, but he did write Four Psalms for mixed chorus and baritone soloist. This reverential work opens the disk, and it is followed by other Norwegian choral works. The only other one by Grieg is his brief Ave Maris Stella. Most unusual is the composer's familiarHolberg Suite originally for strings arranged for chorus by Jonathan Rathbone. Also we have music of Ole Bull, Agathe Backer Grondahl, and David Lang. The Edvard Grieg Kor consists of eight singers and is Bergen's professional vocal ensemble. They sound wonderful, and the recording made August 2018 in Bergen's Domkirken, captures their pure sound perfectly. Complete texts and translations are included. An unusual issue, highly recommended.

Masaaki Suzuki i(b. 1954) is one of the leading Bach specialists of the day. He has recorded voluminously : dozens of Bach cantatas as conductor of the superb period instrument Bach Collegium Japan. He also has performed as soloist on piano, harpsichord and organ. On this new disk he turns his attention to the six Bach English Suites. He plays a harpsichord described as "by Willem Lrpesbergen, Utrecht, 1982, after enlarged Ruckers. 2 manuals, 2 x 8, 1 x 4, FF - f'''. I'm not sure just what all this means, but the instrument makes a lovely sound. The recording was made July / August 2016 in Japan's Kobe Shoin Women's University Chapel, and the engineers have presented an ultra-clear, defined audio picture.

R.E.B. (May 2019)