Review by Edvin February 14, 2008 (10 of 11 found this review helpful)
|For those of you who bought the first instalment in this series of four SACD's this one will come as a bit of a surprise I think. This is Bo Linde in a lighter mood, but no less masterly.
Let me first say that I have heard three of the four pieces several times before but not any of the previous performances have been close to these superb interpretations from the provincial but excellent Gävle orchestra and conductor Petter Sundkvist. At last we can hear this music as Bo Linde intended it to be played.
I would also like to say that all of you, us, who complain about yet another Mahler 6 - well, here is an alternative! This music will not shake your foundation, but it will give you an hour+ of pure enjoyment.
First, A Merry Overture. An early piece and the only piece that I haven't heard before. My mind turned immediately to the Lyrita catalogue and Francis Chagrin's Helter Skelter Overture. An early piece brimming with life and positive emotions. Linde was an admirer of Britten but this sounds more like Walton and his overture Scapino. But I actually like this better because of the contrasts and the tunes. (And I love Walton).
The Musica Concertante is a masterpiece. The rollicking opening sets the stage with some wide spread string harmonies. It is so beautiful and shows Lindes genius to a full extent. The form and development is not at all original, but the soundscapes and changes are. The music is inventive and full of surprises, and I love the "Bolero Trombone". You must remember that Linde was a young composer and that he was constantly struggling with impressions from the outside world. Linde was born in 1933 and died in 1970. The finale is remarkable and I love those horn syncopations near the end. Some chamber music like interplay, and then they really give the music a lift-off!
The Suite Variée was written during a holiday in Spain and Linde called it the Bacardi Suite. A diverse suite in five movements, all entertaining and musically satisfying. On the surface it may seem shallow and like "light music", but it is more than that. Maybe not a masterpiece like the concertos or the Musica Concertante, but rewarding nevertheless. Brilliantly written and played, and yet again Walton springs to mind. The finale reminds me of the fugue in the Spitfire overture. I also think that many American listeners will find great pleasure in this music as it often reminds me of Walter Piston in his prime.
The last piece is a real find. When Linde was young he often heard a band play in the park and this is his loving compliment to the older days. I myself heard similar bands play in my home town and can recall these summer afternoons with an ice cream and grown up people everywhere. It is a charming suite, endearing even. Your heart will melt.
The sound is excellent and I recommend this SACD with all my heart. I love it. Really love it. In some ways this is what music is all about.
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