Magnus Lindberg burst onto the contemporary music scene in the 1980s with his early work Kraft (as in "power", and not the American food conglomerate and inventor of Velveeta cheese by-product substance), an avant-garde spectacular that took the "sound mass" procedures of Berio or Xenakis and wedded them to an explosive rhythmic energy. He's broadened his style since then, taking in tonal elements and even the occasional tune, but the rhythmic vitality remains, and his coloristic gifts, his ear for ever new and remarkable instrumental sound combinations, have only increased. Aura is a four-movement symphony as indescribable as it is a joy to hear. Dedicated to the memory of Lutoslawski, the piece shows its composer similarly possessed of a vibrant, communicative personal musical language. Although it plays continuously for about 37 minutes, newcomers to Lindberg's sound creations should start with the finale, a sort of dance that begins with simple tunefulness before finding itself in a sort of riotous minimalist hell. It's hugely fun, as is the entire work.
Jakob Lindberg was born in Sweden and developed his first passionate interest in music through the Beatles. After studying music at Stockholm University he came to London to study at the Royal College of Music. Under the guidance of Diana Poulton he decided towards the end of his studies to focus on Renaissance and baroque music.
This CD features Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra with two major important works by Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg. The composer himself plays the solo part in the Piano Concerto (1990-94). The large-scale orchestral piece KRAFT (1983-85) features the Toimii Ensemble, in which Lindberg plays piano and percussion. This group was founded by Lindberg and Salonen in 1981 and has provided the composer with a laboratory for his sonic development. KRAFT meant for Lindberg the compositional breakthrough and earned him the UNESCO rostrum in 1986 and the Nordic Music Prize in 1988. Magnus Lindberg here performs on piano as a member of the Tomii Ensemble.
The Swedish lutenist, Jakob Lindberg, developed his first passionate interest in music through the Beatles. He started to play the guitar and soon became interested in the classical repertoire. From the age of 14 he studied with Jörgen Rörby who also gave him his first tuition on the lute. After reading music at Stockholm University he went to London to study at the Royal College of Music. Here he further developed his knowledge of the lute repertoire under the guidance of Diana Poulton and decided towards the end of his studies to concentrate on Renaissance and Baroque music.
Oskar Lindberg was a composer of popular organ and choral works. I have previously reviewed his Requiem, an impressive score of richly melodic bent. It is hardly surprising he veered towards these particular genres, as he was organist at the Engelbrekt Church in Stockholm for forty years. He also taught music at the city’s Royal College of Music. A homebird by inclination, he never strayed further afield. His orchestral music includes one symphony, two rhapsodies, four suites, five symphonic poems and six small orchestral pieces. Two of the works on this release, the Symphony and Fiddler Per, He Fiddled are receiving their world premiere recordings.
Christian Lindberg is perhaps the first classical trombonist to maintain a successful full-time performing career as a soloist. Though now considered among the instrument's foremost exponents, he actually took up the trombone fairly late, only starting playing at age 17 after hearing recordings by the great jazz trombonist Jack Teagarden. By 19, Lindberg was the principle trombonist of the Royal Opera Orchestra in Stockholm. But he left that position after just a year, saying he was bored playing in an orchestra.