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Ture Rangstrom: Symphony No. 1 / Dityramb & Vrhymn
Ture Rangstrom, Michail Jurowski, Norrkoping Symphony Orchestra
Ture Rangstrom: Symphony No. 1 / Dityramb & Vrhymn
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
  •  Track Listings (6) - Disc #1


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Tense music from Sweden...really 3 1/2 stars
Evan Wilson | Cambridge, Massachusetts United States | 10/31/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Another obscure composer heard from, courtesy of CPO. Rangstrom was one of the enfant terribles of early 20th century Swedish music. One can understand that description based on this recording, although it also suggests that the Swedish musical culture of that time must have been VERY conservative. All three pieces on this disc are a reflection of the composer's admiration for August Strindberg.The major piece on the disc is Rangstrom's 1st symphony in the uncommon key of C# minor. It is a very tense piece which indulges in a bit too much Wagnerian chromaticism for my taste. Rangstrom reveals a solid ability for creating brooding atmosphere, but fails to understand that it neads to be leavened occasionally. The themes are short but not terribly memorable and he tends to let varied orchestration take the place of thematic development. The best movement is the second where Rangstrom lets his bardic tendencies break through; the weakest a rather dull scherzo.The smaller pieces on the disc offer a better listening experience. Rangstrom's first orchestral piece was Dithyramb and it's a very effective piece. It evinces the same atmosphere as the symphony, but the thematic content is better and a more aggresive rhythmic element keeps the proceedings moving along. The Spring Hymn is an interesting, if perhaps not wholly success ful piece. It has several nice themes which seem to break off when you really want them to continue. These are contrasted with gloomier material which reflects the "programme" of a funeral which occurs on an early spring day. There is something fascinating and frustrating about the piece and I'm sure I'll return to it often trying to figure it out.All three pieces are played well by the orchestra, but I felt the conductor may not have lived long enough with the symphony to give the best performance of it. There is more contrast to be found there, as well as more juice to be rung from many of the phrases. Still, it's not a piece one finds on disc that often, so if you're in the mood for dark northern moods...don't let my quibbles stop you."