Allen Pettersson – Symphony No. 12 delivers emotionally

This is not music for the faint of heart. Allan Pettersson’s 12th Symphony delivers almost a solid hour of unrelenting outrage and compassion for the downtrodden of society. And even if you don’t understand the words the chorus is singing, the singers’ delivery gives you their emotional impact.
Petterson set nine of Pablo Neruda’s poems (in Swedish translation). The composer was working on the symphony when Neruda was killed in 1973, caught up in a Chilean military coup. Significantly, the poems were inspired by a fatal demonstration by Chilean workers in 1946.
Petterson, who came from a working-class background, connected emotionally with Neruda’s poetry. And that connection is apparent in this symphony.
The work is a single movement, although each poem has sort of its own section. Pettersson’s in top form, here. The orchestra has a big, powerful sound, and the chorus is expansive in both texture and harmonies.
Christian Lindberg’s superb traversal of Pettersson’s symphonies has prepared him well. This is a complex work. It places great demands on the performers. And it places great demands on the conductor, who must keep the energy high and the music focussed.
Lindberg — and the gathered ensembles — succeed admirably. This is an intense, and intensely satisfying, musical experience from beginning to end.
However, you purchase (or listen to) this release, do so in the highest audio resolution possible. Pettersson is quite subtle in his orchestral colors and it’s the small audio details that can make or break the listening experience.
A major addition to an already excellent series.

Allan Pettersson: Symphony No. 12 “The Dead in the Square” 
Swedish Radio Choir; Eric Ericson Chamber Choir 
Norrköping Symphony Orchestra; Christian Lindberg, conductor 

More Recent Posts

  • Marking COVID Remembrance Day on May 25

    This year, radio stations around the country are marking May 25 as COVID Remembrance Day. Several WTJU hosts will mark the occasion by airing the music of some artists who have passed away. We’ve all gone through a very difficult year. And while it’s not over, here at WTJU, we want to take a moment […]

  • WTJU 91.1 FM to Receive $20,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

    WTJU 91.1 FM has been approved for a $20,000 Arts Education grant to support the development of an online jazz history curriculum. Adapted from WTJU’s Jazz at 100 radio series, this project will creatively engage students around the unique story and passion of jazz music. WTJU’s project is among the more than 1,100 projects across […]

  • 39 Tomorrow’s Warriors, the Sound of London, Part 2

    Tags: , , , , , ,

    Shabaka Hutchings In the last hour, we began to explore the new London scene anchored by a broadly diverse set of players who share encouragement by the innovative educational group Tomorrow’s Warriors. We featured music by Nubya Garcia, one of three tenor stars who are breaking out of the scene and in this hour we’ll […]

  • New Blues News – 5/11/2021

    New Blues News – 5/11/2021 Reverend Shawn Amos – The Cause Of It All (Put Together Music): “We brought the ancestors into the room,” says The Reverend Shawn Amos, likening himself to the griots of West Africa, a class of traveling poets, musicians, and storytellers who keep oral tradition alive, binding the people together with […]

  • New Jazz News – 5/11/2021

    New Jazz News – 5/11/2021 Airmen of Note – The 2021 Jazz Heritage Series (Self-produced): “The spring season for The U.S. Air Force Band buzzes with excitement, as each of the performing flights prepares for upcoming virtual concerts and educational outreach missions. For the Airmen of Note, the spring means the blossoming of the annual […]