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Allan Pettersson



Allan Pettersson (1911–80) was one of Sweden’s greatest composers of symphonies. Towards the end of his life he received great critical success, and during the 1970s he was described in the press as ‘the leading symphonist of our country, a world figure’, as well as ‘one of Scandinavia’s greatest symphonists’. He began his musical career as a viola player, and during the 1940s was a member of the Stockholm Concert Society’s orchestra (now the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra) after studies in Stockholm and in Paris. It was during this time that he started composing in earnest, taking lessons with Karl-Birger Blomdahl, among others. His début as a composer came with a 1950 radio broadcast of his Fugue in E for oboe, clarinet and bassoon, and in the autumn of that year Pettersson took leave of absence in order to compose. The following year, he went to Paris once again, this time to complete his studies in composition. He received tuition from Arthur Honegger, Olivier Messiaen and Darius Milhaud but the most important of his teachers was René Leibowitz. Conductor as well as composer, Leibowitz was probably the leading advocate of Arnold Schoenberg and of twelve-tone music in France. Leibowitz’s teaching was based on twelve-tone technique but included composition, musical analysis and orchestration. After a period of intense study, Pettersson returned to Sweden in 1952 and thereafter devoted himself exclusively to composition.

The first symphony that Pettersson completed was Symphony No. 2 (1952–53), which was premièred in 1954. He had earlier started on a symphony, but never completed it. The symphony became his natural mode of expression, and his 15 works in the genre hold a central role in the Swedish symphonic repertoire. The last of them, Symphony No. 16, was completed in 1979, the year before Pettersson’s death.
 



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Allan Pettersson - Symphony No. 14
BIS2230
In their series of Allan Pettersson’s symphonies, Christian Lind...
  
Allan Pettersson – Symphony No.13
BIS2190
Beginning his first (never completed) symphony in 1951 and worki...
  
Allan Pettersson – Symphonies Nos 4 & 16
BIS2110
Empfehlung, Klassik-Heute.de ‘La Clef’ ResMusica.com The phy...
  
Pettersson: Symphony No. 9
999231-2
  
Pettersson: Symphony No. 6
999124-2
  
Pettersson: Symphony No. 15 - Das Gesegnete, das Verfluchte
999095-2
  
Pettersson – String Concerto No.3
BIS1590
Classics Today: outstanding.
  
Allan Pettersson — Eight Barefoot Songs, etc.
BIS1690
Klassik Heute 10/10/10.
  
Pettersson: Barefoot Songs / Concerto for Strings Nos. 1 and 2
CAP21739
  
RilkeEnsemblen
CAP21738
  
Allan Pettersson - Seven Sonatas for Two Violins
BIS1028
Classics Today 10/10; Penguin Guide 3 stars.
  
Pettersson: Symphonies Nos. 10 & 11
999285-2
  
Pettersson: Symphony No. 2 - Symphonic Movement
999281-2
  
Pettersson: Symphony No. 7
999190-2
  
Pettersson: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4
999223-2
  
Pettersson - Symphonies 8 & 10
BIS880
BBC Music Magazine: outstanding; Penguin Guide 3 stars.
  
Pettersson - Symphony No.3 & 15
BIS680
  
Pettersson - Vox Humana
BIS55
  
Pettersson - Symphonies No.7 & 11
BIS580
Gramophone: outstanding; Penguin Guide 3 stars.
  
Pettersson: Symphony No. 14
999191-2
  
Mozart: Bassoon Concerto / Pettersson: Symphony No. 7
CAP21411
  
Pettersson - Symphony No.5
BIS480
Penguin Guide 3 stars.
  
Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra 75 years 1914-1989
BIS421-24
  
Pettersson: Concerto for Strings No. 1 / Symphony No. 12,
CAP21369
  
Pettersson: Sonatas for 2 Violins
CAP21401
  
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