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Pettersson: Violin Concerto No. 2, Symphony No. 17 - Wallin, Lindberg

Pettersson: Violin Concerto No. 2, Symphony No. 17 - Wallin, Lindberg

BIS  BIS-2290

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Orchestral


Pettersson: Violin Concerto No. 2, Symphony No. 17

Ulf Wallin (violin)
Norrköping Symphony Orchestra
Christian Lindberg (conductor)


In terms of genre, Allan Pettersson was uniquely single-minded: during his entire career as a composer (1953–80) he produced only a dozen or so works that were not symphonies. By name, Violin Concerto No. 2 is one of these, but it is fair to say that it straddles the divide. Pettersson himself remarked: ‘In reality my work was a Symphony for violin and orchestra. From this results the fact that the solo violin is incorporated into the orchestra like any other instrument.’ It should therefore not come as a surprise that Christian Lindberg has chosen to include this massive 53-minute work in his acclaimed and award-winning series of Pettersson’s symphonies, realised in collaboration with the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra.

The concerto was written in 1977, 28 years after its predecessor, the Concerto for Violin and String Quartet(1949). In that work, written while Pettersson was still studying, the composer was experimenting with radical ideas that are not to be found in his later compositions. Concerto No. 2 is rather characterized by the central role given to one of Pettersson’s Barefoot Songs–a trait that appears in several other mature works. Throughout the score, the song ‘The Lord walks in the meadow’ provides motivic material but is also quoted extensively. The hugely challenging solo part was first performed by Ida Haendel in 1980, and is here taken up by Ulf Wallin, who with an extensive discography has already proved himself to be one of the most intrepid violinists of today. The disc closes with Pettersson’s last musical thoughts: a 207-bar long fragment generally regarded and referred to as a sketch for the composer’s Seventeenth Symphony. The fragment has been performed in public on one or two occasions, but it is only now that a wider public is given the opportunity to hear it.

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PCM recording

Recorded in January 2017 (Symphony) and in January 2018 (Concerto) at the Louis de Geer Concert Hall, Norrköping, Sweden, 24/96

Executive producer: Robert Suff

Recording producers: Martin Nagorni (Arcantus Musikproduktion) (Concerto); Hans Kipfer (Take5 Music Production) (Symphony)

Sound engineers: Fabian Frank (Arcantus Musikproduktion) (Concerto); Stephan Reh (Symphony)

Recording equipment: BIS’s recording teams use microphones from Neumann, DPA and Schoeps, audio electronics from RME, Lake People and DirectOut, MADI optical cabling technology, monitoring equipment from B&W, STAX and Sennheiser, and Sequoia and Pyramix digital audio workstations.

Post-production: Editing and mixing: Martin Nagorni (Concerto); Hans Kipfer (Symphony)
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Comment by Dissonance - September 12, 2019 (1 of 1)

Hmm, interesting release. Pettersson’s Second Violin Concerto is surprisingly lyrical and easy-to-follow work. The work’s enormous length poses real challenges for any violinist and Ulf Wallin copes with those triumphantly. Great tone and emotion in sound. The unfinished fragment to Symphony No. 17 is a fascinating bonus forming a balanced pair with the Concerto. If just Pettersson would have lived a bit longer...

Having listened in stereo BIS’s high-res PCM recording (24-bit / 96 kHz) is excellent with plenty of detail and huge dynamic range. Warmly recommended.