TORBJÖRN IWAN LUNDQUIST (1920-2000): Suites of Music from the Films Adventures of Nils Holgersson and Gösta Berlings saga (Rec. 1962 and 1966).
Catalogue Number: 03U051
Reference: CDS 1117-2
Description: Two hugely enjoyable suites of lush, sumptuous Romantic film music by a major composer for the concert hall (he was drawn to the symphony in particular; there are 8 extant examples, including the powerful 3rd and 4th, 10U009) who scored a considerable number of films because he enjoyed doing so and was frequently asked to, as well as as a matter of financial expediency. The Adventures of Nils Holgersson was a textbook of Swedish geography in the form of a fairytale novel by Selma Lagerlöf (1858-1940), a highly regarded Swedish author. The lavish 1962 film adaptation made ample use of breathtaking aerial views of the Swedish landscape, and was presumably a large-scale family-friendly affair, not unlike the live action Disney adventures from around the same time. The music is colorful, warm and appealing, with what seem to be some Disneyish episodes of drama and adventure ("Rated PG for episodes of mild peril", one imagines). Two main themes, a genial waltz and a more 'serious' secondary subject are reworked in a variety of scenes. At times, presumably entirely coincidentally, there is a noticeable kinship with Arthur Bliss' scores for stage and screen. Gösta Berling’s Saga was the first published work (1891) by Selma Lagerlöf, adapted into a radio drama series in 1966. The story is a semi-autobiographical period piece, the author writing of the society in which she grew up, and Lundquist's music incorporates a traditional cavalier's song, folk inflections and a number of courtly dances in a rich, neo-romantic historical tapestry (if Nils Holgersson made him the Swedish Bliss, the folk modality here makes him the Swedish Vaughan Williams). Lundquist's symphonic credentials are evident in his imaginative, 'symphonic' orchestration in both suites; this is clearly not a film composer who needs the services of an orchestrator to color between the lines. Members of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra; Torbjörn Iwan Lundquist.