CDS 1020-2 Otto Olsson (1879-1964): Symphony in G minor, Op. 11. Gävleborg Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mats Liljefors
This must be heard to be believed. It is nearly impossible to grasp or understand the background of this monumental symphony. In an interview with the composer just before his death he was asked about his works, nothing in the shelves? Or in a drawer? No, nothing, said Otto Olsson. Not a word about this colossal work! It was indeed found in a drawer after the composer died. It is hardly possible to believe that the composer could really have forgotten this work. It does indeed have monumental proportions. It is unique also in structure. The whole work is nearly 58 minutes long, rather like a Bruckner symphony! The adagio in more than 23 minutes alone! And it must be heard to be believed. Here is nothing else that one of the greatest romantic adagios of all times, regardless of country. At least in Sweden this work ought to be played as a standard work for all our orchestras.
It is really a shame that the Otto Olsson did not find any more time or inspiration to write more symphonies. I can promise all listeners an experience beyond most when hearing the great theme in the third movement played by the whole orchestra together from about middle of the slow movement. Also the other movements have greatness. The remarkable scherzo and the Mendelsohnian monumental theme that ends the work. I once heard that a symphony could be measured in quality if it contains also memorable solos. Well, this symphony has it all. Even a full measured choral fugue! Please, listen to this work and you will have an experience of your life. Similarities with other composers? Not really, perhaps Sibelius in the outer movements.
Otto Olsson (1879-1964)
Symphony in G minor, Op. 11 - Lento - Allegro molto - Scherzo (Fuga) - Allegro vivace - Adagio
- Finale - Presto