アッテルベリ:交響曲全集 (Atterberg: Complete Symphonies) Box set, CD, Import
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第2番 5番 ７番 8番 9番が気に入った
5番は悲劇的 7番はトランペットとフルートが美しいメロディを奏でる ダイナミックでいい
生きた年代も近代になりプロコフィエフ ラベル メシアンといった層の厚い時代でオリジナリティ一杯の作風です
Atterberg's music has a "grandness," an expression of life and effective blending of the full range of human emotion that differentiates it from any other composer that I know of. Memorable forms and often thick, beautiful orchestration guarantee you will revisit this music. And it is difficult not to, even a casual listener is easily drawn in. Atterberg takes you on a journey through a world, not in the sense of Mahler however, it's never exaggerated, instead the music is always focused, and above all, effective.
This music can be difficult to describe to a new-comer. With most composers a certain "quality" comes to mind immediately; the symphonies of Bax for example have a very nature-esque quality which I love. Much of Tubin's symphonic work dwells in a somber world of dark human emotions. The music of Sibelius inspires a rugged, Finland landscape. But Atterberg defies these limits to my ears, listening to these discs for the first time was like opening a box of candy. I never knew exactly what I would get, but from the other discs I knew it would be wonderful. This is a very enduring cycle; every symphony is something special and unique. In particular I recommend listening to the third and sixth to begin with.
I found myself listening to his 3rd symphony one day. It was glorious, picturesque, hypnotic, and extremely powerful. I immediately looked at the various selection of CDs and decided, based on that strong initial impression and reaction, to just go all out and pick up this complete set.
I'm glad I did. This is without question one of the greatest collections for one composer's symphonies by one conductor in existence. There is no hesitation there. It's truly incredible. If you love sweeping romanticism with wonderfully woven melodic segments, colorful orchestration, humor, boundless expressiveness, and cohesiveness, then you'll adore Atterberg. The quality of the writing is almost impossibly consistent. Sound and performances are top rate. Rasilainen pulls every drop of beauty out of the score that Atterberg has made available to him.
While Atterberg may be the purveyor of a particular musical fashion, and not possess an overwhelmingly distinct voice, he has still made music that is endlessly listenable. Buy with confidence.
It was a decision I do not regret.
Atterberg's [pronounced AH-ter-ber-E] complete symphonies has to be the best CD purchase I have ever made, out of a collection of 700 some classical CDs. There's nothing revolutionary about Atterberg's music. He takes what has been done already and does it better, to the extent that this in and of itself is the revolutionary component of the works. Sometimes, it can even be frustratingly simple, such as how he ends a movement or work with a V, I. Yet the depth, the color, the masterful orchestration: Atterberg's music is worth hearing, whether you are drawn to serialism or Baroque music. Every time I hear his symphonies, I wonder again and again: how does he do it? He siphons every last drip of gorgeous Scandinavian tones, textures, and cattails out of the orchestra that I think, not even Sibelius had this talent for orchestration, not even in Lemminkainen. And the music always goes right where you want it to go, perfectly, yet without you knowing it's going there. Not cliché, so transient.
Here's the best I can describe it: his symphonies have the color of Respighi's and Holst's large orchestral works, the depth and broadness of Sibelius, the gushing of Mahler, the structured melodrama of Tchaikovsky when not filled with the skipping Swedish joy of Alfven, and the brooding development of Rachmaninoff. Some have compared Atterberg's music to John Williams; perhaps the relationship in that case is in Atterberg's clearly presented grand thematic material, but further associations are hazy.
Atterberg is attentive to every instrument in the orchestra; playing these works must be a real joy for all. The majestic sound demonstrates a mastery of orchestral writing. The melodies and harmonies dance across the orchestra, from one section to another. They exude Sweden. Atterberg's violins, when not taking up sweeping themes, are shimmering and pulsating like the stars of a clear night sky. Atterberg's cellos and basses move the symphonies like the ocean undercurrent. Atterberg's flutes leap like broken rain droplets against the waters of an inlet. Atterberg's bassoons gently sway and murmur like the creaking of a wooden fishing boat tied to the dock for the night. Atterberg's horn emanates the peace of a wooded bog on a small island. Atterberg's other brass instruments are like the rocks that rise above the low tide waves that daily brush against the masses. Atterberg's thematic progressions are like climbing a summit, where the view becomes ever more incredible, and yet, just as you think you are at the top, there appears another stretch to ascend with more phenomenal views. Putting all this together, Atterberg's full orchestra is like playing the colors of the brilliant Swedish northern lights (and that is what he composes in the last moments of his third symphony!).
When I buy a complete symphonies set, I am sometimes overwhelmed and do not know where to go with it. So hopefully this plan will help those who wish to listen:
A) Start with the sixth symphony. It has clear melody, clean orchestration, and simple but compact rhythm. Atterberg composed this for an international contest commemorating Franz Schubert, and Atterberg won with this symphony. (Originally, the contest called for a completion of his unfinished symphony, but it was so controversial, that the idea was dropped.) Atterberg decided not to show at the awards banquet since he didn't want to applaud the victory of another composer. How surprised he was the next morning when he saw the newspaper headlines! Another catch to this story that is less well known is another of his works he submitted, a chamber work, received third place.
B) Then listen to the third. This is the capstone masterpiece in a symphony cycle with several masterpieces. The first and third movements are gentle and have soaring, gorgeous moments, while the second is a loud storm, reminiscent of Britten's storm in Peter Grimes. No movement, no, no movement, compares to the last. Atterberg at his pinnacle for soaring gorgeous colorful orchestration: the twinkle of heavenly bodies at the gust of a chilly breeze, the retired contemplations of fish along the outer banks of a harbor inlet, then the applauding grandeur of the cued sun illuminating the twilight sky, a color scheme no advanced digital art could ever render accurately. Evidently, only the first two movements were in the original premier. The third movement came a year later. It was originally a suite, and only after the premier of the first two movements did Atterberg expend it into a symphony with three movements.
Here are Atterberg's programme descriptions of the three movements:
THE FIRST MOVEMENT (in lied form) strives to recreate the mood at the seaside on a calm sunshine-saturated day when the heat haze over the surface of the water makes it impossible to judge distance, and when the sea swells are rolling, in spit of complete calm.
THE SECOND MOVEMENT, `Storm', is arranged in `symmetrical sonata form (i.e. the first theme, second theme, developmental phase, second theme, first theme, and coda passage). The first motif, development, and coda strive to represent impressions of the violent power of a storm among the islands of the outer archipelago. The second theme endeavors to capture the feeling of seeing the calm placid water in a fjord, while the rumble from the open water of a distant black and threatening sea is hardly heard.
THE THIRD MOVEMENT. In the tranquility of evening, when only the swells move the surface of the sea, the eye is enraptured by the fabulous display of colours in the endless view over sea and land; the colours fade towards midnight, the calmness becomes even more complete until at last the night winds slowly begin to blow. The colours in the north-east become stronger, the wind becomes brisker, the sun rises majestically over the mountains, first in cold nuances, then warmer and warmer.
C) The second symphony is stylistically similar to the third, with the first and second movements containing triumphant and broad, yet gentle sections. The second movement is especially colorful, and is my second favorite movement of all the symphonies. It concludes with a blazing theme ice skating across the clouds. The last movement was written after a frustrating performance of his Suite No. 1 that went sour due to poor musicianship. Thus, it's sort of a loud and forceful, though not angry, response, ultimately recalling themes earlier in the symphony. Personally, I think the symphony was satisfactory without the third movement, as Atterberg original had it, and I often stop the work after listening to the first two movements, but then again I'm thankful for the additional movement regardless of its appropriateness in this symphony.
D) The first symphony sets the foundation for the second and third. This is one of his three four-movement symphonies. Thus, we're treated to a scherzo that is well-worth its insertion. The second movement resembles the slow, broad movements of Atterberg's other symphonies that are lush with surging ecstasy. Usually, a composer's first symphony pales in comparison to later ones, but this is a wonderful first symphony right on the tail of the majestic second and third.
At this point, you may wish to listen to the River piece, included as an extra work in the complete symphony set. It's a lively, natural trek across the Scandinavian mountains to the shore.
E) The eight symphony is Atterberg's other four-movement work. All melodies are based on Swedish folk tunes. Once again, a pleasant, light, but fulfilling Scherzo, and a complementary slow movement that is more exploratory and dismally curious in nature than previous slow movements. It reminds me of mists in a Swedish bog at night. The first and fourth movements jerk you around a bit, and I never have completely warmed up to them. Maybe it is because of the juxtaposition with the two inner movements.
F) The fifth symphony, the "funeral," is written in a darker, more abysmal style with more dissonance and conflict than what the listener is used to for Atterberg. The second movement, however, is characteristic of his slow movements, though with much restrained hope: mournful and longing. The forward-movement leading to the climax leaves the listener clinging to every chord progression and does not fail to deliver a fulfilling revelation at the end with a thematic call of the brass and shrilling, pulsating strings. The counterpoint amongst the strings is also gripping. The third movement recalls moments of conflict from the first movement and the serenity from the second, but ends with a heavy waltz, sort of like dancing in 3/4 time with Death himself, except he weighs 500 pounds.
G) The fourth symphony is a smaller work consisting of four movements; like the eighth, the movements are based on Swedish folk tunes. The highlight is the second movement, which is the slow movement; it's soft and introspective. The other three movements are loud and violent, as well as short without the full development present in most other symphonies.
H) The seventh symphony, which is the Romantic, was where I started when I got the set. However, it was difficult listening at first. The first and third movements are loud and heavy on the brass, symbols, and drums/timpani. The second movement is typical slow-movement Atterberg. In time, I came to appreciate it, too, but it's a trifle harder to when I'm treated to music the likes I've never heard before in most of his other symphonies.
I) The ninth symphony is different than the previous eight symphonies. It's more of a cantata of Norse mythology. The writing is somewhat peculiar for Atterberg. The work alternates between violence and stillness, all leading up to the final doomsday battle. The symphony employs several soloists and a chorus.
If you find that you have enjoyed this symphony set and want to hear more, the Piano Concerto and the Horn Concerto may be logical next steps. Also, try some of Atterberg's chamber pieces. He wrote a piano quintet that is an arrangement of the sixth symphony. I believe most of his out-of-print chamber music CDs are now available on MP3 if you have trouble finding the albums.
Also, if you haven't heard them yet, listen to
Melartin's Symphonies 3 and 4
Alfven's Symphony 4
Sibelius' Lemminkainen Suite
Madetoja's Symphony 2
Wilhelm Peterson-Berger's Symphony 2 & 3
Kaljo Raid's Symphony 1
Eduard Tubin's Symphonies 2, 3, and 4
Ture Rangstrom's four symphonies
Lars-Erik Larsson's Symphony 3 and Winter's Tale
Oskar Lindberg's Florez and Blanzeflor and other tone poems
Edvin Kallstenius' Dalarapsodi
Alan Pettersson's Symphony 7 (the "dark" Atterberg)
George Lloyd's Symphonies, especially 4 and 8, also 5 and 7 (British)
Mosolov Symphony in E Major (Soviet)
Howard Hanson's seven symphonies, especially 2, 3, and 4 (American)
Del Tredici's In Memory of a Summer Day (American)
And of course, Atterberg's other works, including concertos and chamber pieces
The last two are neo-romantic American composers, the former adopting a deliberate Scandianvian style and the latter having immense depth, color, and intricate tonal structure in his music.
The orchestration, style, and depth of the aforementioned pieces are well compatible with Atterberg's works.
If interested in exploring more Atterberg music, I've compiled a list of recorded works available:
After this CD purchase, I became an immediate Atterberg completionist- all recordings of all his music. Will I ever find a composer who impresses me like this all over again? I hope so.
Finally, his five operas are Missing in Action. Who will bring these to the stage, or at least a recording studio? Unfortunately, the opera genre is the least likely to take risks. I will be tickled pink even if one is recorded in my lifetime.
What astounds me about Atterburg more than anything else is that he managed to write so much superb music while holding down a difficult full-time day job...from which he had to be forced to retire.