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SlatterFan - Peterson-Berger Flowers of Frösö: Message Board

SlatterFan's Comments

Welhelm Peterson-Berger (1867-1942) is little known outside Sweden, but his music is well worth discovering. He wrote large scale works including symphonies and operas, and also numerous miniatures for piano. His Flowers of Frösö are in a similar vein to Grieg's Lyric Pieces. Peterson-Berger published 21 pieces in all, in 3 books. To my taste they have a great deal of charm and are beautifully written. There are some lively and witty pieces in the books, but I ran out of time trying to polish them, so here are three gentle ones:

Book 2 No 2 Jämtland [region in northern Sweden]

Two themes alternate, the main one increasing in richness and passion each time it appears, and the other a mysterious pipe call. The last pipe call gently ends on the dominant, merging with the final chord. This suggests to me the moment of arrival at the end, following gradually increasing anticipation and re-awakened love for Jämtland.

Book 3 No 3 Landskap i aftonsol [Landscape after sunset]

Perhaps the main parts of the piece in three flats paint the colors of the scene, while the two very gentle sections in C major express the feelings of the onlooker.

Book 2 No 6 Minnen [Reminiscences]

The last piece in the second book. What magic P-B creates with the familiar ABA form, especially in the way he subtly varies the austere A theme.

Ideally, you would also have had Greetings to the Sun, his most famous piece, the daintily scampering Lawn Tennis, and Entry into Sommarhagen, where the composer pokes fun at himself by having a trumpet call announce his arrival at his holiday home, followed by a jaunty march theme as he swaggers in with an entourage. Sorry, but there's always next year!

I believe this music is under copyright for another year, but it is available inexpensively from Abraham Lundquist in Stockholm.

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Name Date Comment
Mel / dannylux 2011-08-24 14:30:07 Thanks very much for posting these wonderful pieces for us. You play them beautifully. I look forward to hearing more.
David 2011-08-23 21:22:24 Hi Julian,

I was unaware of this composer and his piano music. These pieces you present here are gorgeous, and so very convincingly played. I believe you served Peterson-Berger very well with your recording. Thanks for posting these picturesque pieces.

wr 2011-08-23 02:46:30 My goodness, that's beautiful stuff! You play it so well that I easily lost myself in the music - you have a gift for evoking the music behind the notes. And yes, more, please.
Julian (SlatterFan) 2011-08-22 17:47:18 Thanks everyone! Andy -- I will definitely try to get the other pieces recorded.
kck 2011-08-22 10:16:38 Lovely. It "sounds" like Sweden! I like CB's description quite a bit. Just beautiful.
Inlanding 2011-08-21 13:48:36 Such a beautiful piece of music. I very much enjoyed this - your playing is superb.
Cinnamonbear 2011-08-21 12:24:48 Oh, Julian! Please do record and share the other ones when they are ready! Jamtland reminds me of the Swedish hyms we used to sing in church every Sunday with those sweet melodies and harmonies. Landskap also has a wonderful folk feel--it sounds like summer tundra, with rolling rocky terrain covered with springy moss, sprinkled with lichen and tiny wildflowers. Minnen is so poignant and stoic, yet finishes with such a satisfying, pleasant feeling. You play these with such understanding! Thank you for introducing me to this composer. I had to listen twice, and it won't be the last time, either!
jeffreyjones 2011-08-20 12:06:17 I love this!! Thanks for all the information about this great forgotten composer, this is really charming music and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing it for the first time.