KARL-BIRGER BLOMDAHL (1916-1968): In the Hall of Mirrors (Swedish-English texts. Margareta Hallin [soprano], Barbro Ericson [alto], Sven-Erik Vikström [tenor], Anders Näslund [baritone], Bengt Rundgren [bass], Swedish Radio Choir, Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra; Sixten Ehrling. Mono. June 8/9, 1966), Dance Suites No. 1 for Flute, String Trio and Percussion and No. 2 for Clarinet, Cello and Percussion, Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano.
Catalogue Number: 11M078
Reference: CAP 21424
Description: The two Dance Suites were in fact written to accompany dance pieces, and consist of a succession of 'scenes' in contrasting character. Although only three years apart, they straddle an important boundary in the composer's output; the first is very clearly influenced by neoclassical Stravinsky; t he second adheres more closely to the 12-tone idiom adopted by the composer during the 1950s. Never a strict adherent of serialism, Blomdahl never abandoned a rich sense of tonally based harmonic organization, however, and sumptuous textures. Even in the 1955 Trio one senses these characteristics. A predominantly somber, elegiac work in four movements, three slow and an unsettled, vigorous scherzo, its dark hues and atmospheric nostalgia are far more apparent than the free dodecaphony on which the piece is founded structurally. In the Hall of Mirrors places modernistic and apocalyptic texts by Erik Lindegren, written against the backdrop of World War II, in a large-scale setting for soloists, choir and large orchestra, which incorporates elements drawn from jazz and blues into a modernistic, dodecaphonic idiom, placing even its decidedly modernistic approach in the public forum, the better to comment on the brutality of the past decade. Mourning alternates with furious anger in the music; the texts are always presented with the utmost clarity, the vehemence of the huge forces subsiding abruptly to hand over the message to the painfully lamenting poems. Tobias Carron (flute), Kjell-Inge Stevensson (clarinet), Bernt Lysell (violin), Björn Sjögren (viola), Ola Karlsson (cello), Anders Loguin, Anders Holdar (percussion). Original 1992 release.