Pettersson Symphony No. 7
The intense and gripping seventh symphony is Allan Pettersson’s most beloved. The symphony was premiered in 1968 by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and it is here interpreted by its Conductor Laureate, Alan Gilbert.
About the video
- Published online 30 January 2022.
- Filmed 29-30 January 2020.
- The video is approximately 45 minutes.
Allan Pettersson composed based on life – “the cursed, the blessed”. His symphonies, including sixteen that were completed and a seventeenth that was not, are often epic in nature and charged with dramatic contrasts.
Symphony No. 7 is in the form of one long movement, a cohesive flow of dark shadows from the wind instruments and lovely, soothing strings. Several quietly repeated chords recur from the brass section throughout the symphony, feeling threatening at times – and like a caress at others. The symphony was premiered in 1968 by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Antal Dorati.
Here, American Alan Gilbert leads the orchestra in this charged symphony. The recording was made in January 2020. It had its premiere on SVT’s Kulturstudion (”Culture Studio”) in November 2020 and was available on SVT Play during the first part of 2021. Now, two years after the recording, this marvellous interpretation is republished on Konserthuset Play. Alan Gilbert is chief conductor of the Hamburg NDR Elbphilharmonie and Music Director of the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm. Gilbert was chief conductor of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra from 2000–08 and he is now its Conductor Laureate.
In the 1940s, Allan Pettersson was hired as a violist with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, but he had already started composing in the 1930s. He never gave up his strong personal starting point and consistently viewed himself as an outsider. There is a frequently cited quotation from Allan Pettersson: “I feel that I more closely relate to criminals, so-called criminals, than to other people, not because of their so-called crimes but because of their longing for freedom, their anxiety, pain, and sense of exclusion.” And this is what we hear in his music.
Allan Pettersson Symphony No. 7
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
Alan Gilbert conductor
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