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Anders Eliasson

Anders Eliasson

Anders Eliasson was born in 1947 in the province of Dalecarlia in Sweden.
From 1966 – 1972 he  studied at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm with among others Ingvar Lidholm (composition) and Valdemar Söderholm (harmony and counterpoint).

As far back as the 70s Eliasson was recognized as one of the most interesting Swedish composers. His orchestral works Canto in Lontanza (1977), Turnings (1978) and Canto del vagabondo (1979) were particularly acclaimed, as well as the wind quintet La fièvre (1978) and the whole series of shorter instrumental solo pieces called Disegno.


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Then came Ein Schneller Blick…ein kurzes Aufscheinen. Eliasson has not provided any clear explanation of the title, to his mind music is mysterious. Perhaps it has to do with the moment of inspiration. The violins are like a swarm of tones, like a billowing cloud of birds; the music moves as if it were one single body. Beautiful passages by the cello usher in tranquillity. There is something hopeful in this music.
Östra Småland 17 November 2003/ Lena Svensson

…The first measures strike up with an unusually minimalist and frenetically repetitive rhythmical energy. But Ein Schneller Blick… quickly branches off into something considerably more sophisticated in its depth… The work is more refined with a middle movement that really is “tranquillo” (calm) and with an almost fiddler-like drive in the concluding presto.
Camerata Nordica brings out above all the expressivity of the music, and the same can be said of the soloist Levon Chilingirian in the violin concerto.
Dagens Nyheter 26 January 2005/Sara Norling

…The new CD from Caprice Records is a little miracle… The spatiality and the sound definition of the individual instruments are fantastic! … I take notice of his deep feeling for the borderlines between law and freedom, expressive intensity and introspective calm, seriousness and satire. … Eliasson´s music is extraordinary insofar as it never takes any detours via images or quasi-descriptions. It strikes the receptors in the listener directly. Especially when he writes for strings.
Aftonbladet 9 February 2005/Mikael Strömberg

Anders Eliasson: Ostacoli, Concerto per Violino ed Orchestra d’archi, Ein schneller Blick…ein kurzes Aufscheinen.
Camerata Nordica/conductor and soloist: Levon Chilingirian




…Anders Eliasson occupied the seat of honour with the natural right of the master with his single-movement Sinfonia per archi. Only a master can keep a melody going for 40 minutes without lapsing into clichés. And his singing declamation for strings, supported by the leading note, and an almost overwhelming sense of yearning, swept along the conductor and the musicians in a flow that could not be stopped by the double bar line after measure 824.

Svenska Dagbladet 20 February 2006/Carl-Gunnar Åhlén

This is highly intense music, drawn taut in an arch form, where the high strings have the leading role… The work stresses emphatically that Anders Eliasson is a composer whose emotional strength can only be tamed by a feeling for formal balance. Niklas Willén and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, who played superbly, also seemed to be extraordinarily inspired.

Dagens Nyheter 20 February 2006/Thomas Anderberg

Anders Eliasson: Sinfonia per archi
Swedish premiere: 18 February , Stockholm New Music, Berwald Hall, Stockholm/Swedish Radio S.O. cond. Niklas Willlén.


Concerto for Alto Saxophone and String Orchestra  

The concert’s greatest reward was the original performance of the Swedish composer Anders Eliasson’s saxophone concerto….Eliasson has created a multi-facetted musical universe which doesn’t really sound like anything else you’ve heard, and which is permeated by his deep musical pathos of honesty and truth. Eliasson’s music is profound without being wooden, intense without being hysterical, and it is constantly inspired by explicitly humanistic aspirations, a desire to move, disturb and, at best, heal. Eliasson’s concerto is accessible and yet completely free from the banal, and the expressive solo line is skilfully integrated into the singularly vibrating, sparkling, caressing string section. That the 30 minutes-plus for which the concerto lasts feels considerably shorter also testifies to an effective and consistently executed dramaturgy, a clarity of thought and feeling that is rarely seen in contemporary music.”

Hufvudstabladet, 2 July 2003/Mats Liljeroos


Concerto for Violin, Piano and Orchestra

Eliasson’s Concerto glows of hope

The reputation of contemporary music for being ugly and cold could hardly have gotten a better retort than Anders Eliasson´s newly composed Double Concerto. A neoclassical allegro in concertante style followed by a lyrical adagio… In comparison with the composer’s Violin Concerto from 1993 one is struck by the tone language seeming much less tormented: the lyrical character is intact, but now it seems to be illuminated by a shimmering glow of hope… Everything is so skilfully and transparently wrought that we do not notice the dense texture: Anders Eliasson can really get elephants to dance.
And the trio out front at the podium, the superb soloists Roland Pöntinen and Ulf Wallin, as well as Stefan Solyom – absolutely sure of himself with respect to rhythm and sound – kept the piece dancing from beginning to end.

Dagens Nyheter, 7 May 2006/Thomas Anderberg

The result is a work that is predominantly lyrical in character, at times with the airy colours of spring…There is an Eliassonian poetry in the work, whose playability should be rewarding for the soloists.

Svenska Dagbladet 7 May 2006 /Lars Hedblad

Anders Eliasson: Concerto for Violin, Piano and Orchestra
Swedish Premiere: Swedish Radio S.O., cond. Stefan Solyom, sol. Ulf Wallin and Roland Pöntinen, Stockholm, Sweden 5 May 2006



Genuinely Romantic

…You perceive how well composed it actually is, so sensitive to detail and so eminently playable…Some people would probably describe the late Eliasson´s composing as neoromantic. But drop the prefix neo. This music is genuinely romantic and, unlike many contemporary composers who write in a similar style, without a doubt has its roots in the romantic tradition. There is no sentimental veneer, no kitschy showiness.
It is the material itself that speaks, not the style. Moreover, the soloists Ulf Wallin and Roland Pöntinen achieve superb precision in their playing and the accompanying orchestra under the direction of Johannes Gustavsson was a model of flexibility.

Göteborgsposten 10 November 2006/Magnus Haglund

Ulf Wallin piano, Roland Pöntinen piano
Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra/cond. Johannes Gustavsson
9 November 2006, Gothenburg Concert Hall, Sweden


Symphony No 4

The Discovery of a Masterpiece

In the masterly Symphony No. 4 Eliasson creates an organic symphonic process, sometimes forceful and violent, at other times soft and billowing. The course of events really has the multiplicity of nature, on the same level as Sibelius. But despite the complexity of the music, the musical development is easy to follow as Eliasson masters an intelligible motif technique that is at the same time entirely his own and highly developed… Moreover, the instrumentation of the work is fantastic, so the orchestra under the experienced direction of Christoph Poppens will get to resound in full for the first time this evening.

Straubinger Tagblatt 15 January 2007/Michael B. Weiss

Anders Eliasson: Symphony No. 4
World premiere: Bavarian Radio S.O./cond. Christoph Poppen
12 January 2007, Herkulessaal der Residenz, Munich, Germany


Gehrmans Musikförlag

Short reviews
Only a master can keep a melody going for 40 minutes without lapsing into clichés.

Svenska Dagbladet/Carl-Gunnar Åhlén
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