Under Tonsättarens Taktpinne: Svenska tonsättare dirigerar egna verk – FST 100 år

Kurt Atterberg, Lars-Erik Larsson, Ingvar Lidholm

The 15th volume in Carl-Gunnar-Åhlén’s and Caprice Records’ Collector’s Classics series is released in connection with the 100-year anniversary of FST – The Swedish Society of Composers. On this triple CD box, we get to meet three prolific Swedish composers who all made groundbreaking contributions as conductors: Kurt Atterberg, Lars-Erik Larsson och Ingvar Lidholm.

One can imagine how the buyer of this volume of Collector’s Classics scratches their head after opening the package, and on the outside of the booklet and generously spread over the triptych-shaped CD holder, seeing only pictures of chairs and tables in an old-fashioned Viennese-style cafe. And starting to ponder, “What does this mean? The influence of Swedish fika on the art of music? The necessity of coffee? Without coffee – no musical life?” The explanation is less trivial, however. The three café interiors document the historical premises of the most important decision of Swedish musical life during the 20th century: the foundation of The Swedish Society of Composers (FST).


This event took place in the popular cafe on the Hotel Continental on Vasagatan in Stockholm, which was demolished forty years later and replaced by two consecutive new hotel buildings of the same name. After that Friday on November 29, 1918, when the association was founded, the public’s respect for the composer profession began to rise, albeit slowly at first. More important than raising the profession’s status was that FST managed to negotiate decent conditions for the composers, especially since new mass media such as the gramophone record and the nationwide Swedish Radio’s monopoly had been established. Thanks to these new media, some composers could even live handsomely off of their composing.

In this volume’s 66-page booklet, Carl-Gunnar Åhlén, supported by Kurt Atterberg’s chronicle in FST’s 25th anniversary publication from 1943, describes the circumstances surrounding the society’s foundation in the popular café. Before that, Swedish composers had been battling each other for opportunities as far back as anyone could remember. And no wonder, they all competed on a market that was, compared to today’s dimensions, exceedingly small. But, as by a magic spell on this evening, they shook each other’s hands, buried the hatches, and tied new friendships.

The fact that a society was established at all, owes much to Atterberg’s employment as an engineer at the patent office! Yes, you read that correctly. His rather special professional career, and his social rise and fall is described in detail in the booklet, as well as why he, like his colleagues Lars-Erik Larsson and Ingvar Lidholm, have been chosen as conductors of their own works on each of their CDs in the album. Atterberg claimed that a composer was preferable as an interpreter of his music, rather than a professional conductor. Thus, all three of these composers were enrolled in FST’s first recording project in 1948, also on Atterberg’s initiative.

Atterberg himself is represented by all of his commercial 78 rpm phonograph recordings, including the 6th symphony with the Berlin Philharmonic (and due to a technical mishap, the 2nd movement unfortunately ended up in the wrong place on the disc – for proper playback of the symphony on CD 1, play tracks 1-8-2 consecutively). This recording was made ten years after the foundation of FST.

Another ten years later, in October 1938, Radiotjänst’s then 30-year-old musical director and in-house composer Lars-Erik Larsson performed the poetic suite Dagens stunder (Moments of the Day), which begins “his” CD. The success of this suite was unprecedented, which soon led him to extract four of the program’s seven musical elements, creating the classic Pastoral Suite, Op. 19.

Ingvar Lidholm perhaps represents the Swedish Radio’s happiest time in the 1950s, when the medium was stronger than ever thanks to the interaction between the regional and national cultural policies.

In addition to the story of FST’s creation, the commentary in the record booklet also seeks to make a piece of little-known Swedish cultural history visible, focusing on the three selected composers’ respective activities as conductors.

© Carl-Gunnar Åhlén 2019

Selection, audio transfer & processing, and texts: Carl-Gunnar Åhlén
Mastering: John Hyttnäs
Graphic design: Eva Åhlén och Carl-Gunnar Åhlén
Translation to English: Erik Hamrefors

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Show playlist

    • 1.
      Symphony No. 6 in C Major, Op. 31, Dollar Symphony: I. Moderato Music: Kurt Atterberg

    • 2.
      Symphony No. 6 in C Major, Op. 31, Dollar Symphony: II. Adagio Music: Kurt Atterberg

    • 3.
      Symphony No. 6 in C Major, Op. 31, Dollar Symphony: III. Vivace Music: Kurt Atterberg

    • 4.
      Horn Concerto in A Minor, Op. 28: II. Adagio Music: Kurt Atterberg

    • 5.
      De fåvitska jungfrurna, Op. 17 (abbreviated version) Music: Kurt Atterberg

    • 6.
      Symphony No. 4 in G Minor, Op. 14: I. Con forza Music: Kurt Atterberg

    • 7.
      Piano Concerto in B-Flat Minor, Op. 37: I. Pesante allegro Music: Kurt Atterberg

    • 8.
      Suite No. 8, Op. 34:1, Suite pastorale in modo antico: I. Preludio Music: Kurt Atterberg

    • 9.
      Suite No. 8, Op. 34:1, Suite pastorale in modo antico: II. Aria Music: Kurt Atterberg

    • 10.
      Suite No. 8, Op. 34:1, Suite pastorale in modo antico: V. Serenata Music: Kurt Atterberg

    • 11.
      Suite No. 8, Op. 34:1, Suite pastorale in modo antico: VI. Giga Music: Kurt Atterberg

    • 12.
      A Värmland Rhapsody, Op. 36 Music: Kurt Atterberg

    • 13.
      Ballad and Passacaglia, Op. 38 Music: Kurt Atterberg

    • 14.
      Dagens stunder: Pastoral Suite, Op. 19: I. Overture, Part 1 Music: Lars-Erik Larsson

    • 15.
      Dagens stunder: En dag Music: Lars-Erik Larsson

    • 16.
      Dagens stunder: Pastoral Suite, Op. 19: II. Overture, Part 2 Music: Lars-Erik Larsson

    • 17.
      Dagens stunder: Jorden sjunger Music: Lars-Erik Larsson

    • 18.
      Dagens stunder: Unused music 1 Music: Lars-Erik Larsson

    • 19.
      Dagens stunder: Siesta Music: Lars-Erik Larsson

    • 20.
      Dagens stunder: Pastoral Suite, Op. 19: III. Romance Music: Lars-Erik Larsson

    • 21.
      Dagens stunder: De två tonerna Music: Lars-Erik Larsson

    • 22.
      Dagens stunder: Pastoral Suite, Op. 19: IV. Scherzo Music: Lars-Erik Larsson

    • 23.
      Dagens stunder: En eftermiddag Music: Lars-Erik Larsson

    • 24.
      Dagens stunder: Unused music 2 Music: Lars-Erik Larsson

    • 25.
      Dagens stunder: Människans hem Music: Lars-Erik Larsson

    • 26.
      Dagens stunder: Unused music 3 Music: Lars-Erik Larsson

    • 27.
      En vintersaga, Op. 18: I. Siciliano Music: Lars-Erik Larsson

    • 28.
      En vintersaga, Op. 18: II. Intermezzo Music: Lars-Erik Larsson

    • 29.
      En vintersaga, Op. 18: III. Pastorale A & B Music: Lars-Erik Larsson

    • 30.
      En vintersaga, Op. 18: IV. Epilogue Music: Lars-Erik Larsson

    • 31.
      Symphony No. 2, Op. 17: Finale: Ostinato Music: Lars-Erik Larsson

    • 32.
      Cantata for Recitative, Choir and Orchestra. Op. 30, Det röda korset: I. Nu är det fastlag Music: Lars-Erik Larsson

    • 33.
      Cantata for Recitative, Choir and Orchestra. Op. 30, Det röda korset: II. Nej, ingen fåfäng gråt i denna tid Music: Lars-Erik Larsson

    • 34.
      Cantata for Recitative, Choir and Orchestra. Op. 30, Det röda korset: III. De svarta korsen Music: Lars-Erik Larsson

    • 35.
      Cantata for Recitative, Choir and Orchestra. Op. 30, Det röda korset: IV. I denna svarta korstid låt oss höja Music: Lars-Erik Larsson

    • 36.
      Cantata for Recitative, Choir and Orchestra. Op. 30, Det röda korset: V. En gång din stolta bölja Music: Lars-Erik Larsson

    • 37.
      Cantata for Recitative, Choir and Orchestra. Op. 30, Det röda korset: VI. Var då välkommen, fastlag Music: Lars-Erik Larsson

    • 38.
      Cantata for Recitative, Choir and Orchestra. Op. 30, Det röda korset: VII. Var då välkommen, fastlag! Music: Lars-Erik Larsson

    • 39.
      Cantata for Recitative, Choir and Orchestra. Op. 30, Det röda korset: Så lyft mig, vår! Music: Lars-Erik Larsson

    • 40.
      Laudi for Mixed Choir a cappella: Laudi I (Book of Job 14:1-2) Music: Ingvar Lidholm

    • 41.
      Laudi for Mixed Choir a cappella: Laudi II (Book of Joel 2:12-13) Music: Ingvar Lidholm

    • 42.
      Laudi for Mixed Choir a cappella: Laudi III (Psalms, psalm 177) Music: Ingvar Lidholm

    • 43.
      Canto LXXXI Music: Ingvar Lidholm

    • 44.
      Mutanza Music: Ingvar Lidholm

    • 45.
      Nausicaa ensam Music: Ingvar Lidholm

    • 46.
      Introduction and Innsbruck, ich muss dich lassen Music: Ingvar Lidholm

    • 47.
      Greetings from an Old World Music: Ingvar Lidholm

  • Total playtime

CD/digital // CAP 21920 // classical //