Swedish Grammy "Classical Ensemble of the Year" 2005.
Born in 1921, the composer Ingvar Lidholm is the doyen of Swedish music. We recently released three CDs as a survey of his orchestral works, and now the time has come for this two-disc set of his music for choir a cappella. Containing the absolute majority of Lidholm’s works in this genre, this release is also a documentation of the unique collaboration between the composer and the renowned choral conductor Eric Ericson. Most of these works, starting with Laudi from 1947, were actually written for the Eric Ericson Chamber Choir, an ensemble which has been described as ‘the Mercedes of the choral world’ and which is used by conductors such as Muti, Abbado and Levine for concerts and recordings. With the EECC as his instrument, Lidholm has created a choral style which is both virtuosic and expressive while often exploring moral issues, for instance in The Persians, a setting of a scene from Aeschylus’s tragedy, which in Lidholm’s opinion deals with ’the curse of power-mad leaders throughout history, not least in our own time.’ Texts from or about classical antiquity have often provided Lidholm with inspiration, for instance in Greek Gravestone and Two Greek Epigrams. Another major source of material has been the Swedish playwright August Strindberg: ‘demented and deranged in many ways, a fantastic inspiration’. Lidholm has used texts by Strindberg in various works on this release, such as the extracts from the opera ‘A Dreamplay’, in which the choir has an important musical function. These recordings, made between February 2003 and April 2005 with the composer taking an active part, might be considered the climax of almost 60 years of collaboration between two great makers of music: Eric Ericson and Ingvar Lidholm.
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