Thursday, October 27, 2011

Eric Ericson – Virtuoso Choir Music

It is quite easy assumption that legendary choirmaster and conductor Eric Ericson is a successor of great Swedish tradition of the joint singing. Sweden has always lively musical culture – both folk and artistic. And great choirs were natural element of musical live in the country where basic form of prayer and social behavior across centuries was singing. Conducting the choir is never the same as conducting the orchestra. Choirmaster is more teacher than conductor and best choirs are always connected with best leaders.
One of best choir conductors of 20th century is Eric Ericson. Born in 1918 he was studied in best conservatory in Sweden - Stockholm Kungliga Musikhögskolan and after graduating he improved his skills abroad in Switzerland, Germany, England and USA. From 1951, for forty years he was principal conductor of Sangsällskapet Orphei Drängar in Uppsala University (before Ericson the chief of this famous male choir was Hugo Alfvén). On initiative of Eric Ericson in 1951 was established also Swedish Radio Choir for which he was choirmaster until 1982.

Eric Ericson – Virtuoso Choir Music (1978)

There is a lot of recordings made by choirs conducted and mastered by Eric Ericson. His name is featured as choirmaster of vocal ensembles in numerous recordings of other conductors. Among many records of Ericson’s choirs one set is exceptionally rich. It is released by EMI in 1978 set of 4 LPs entitled Virtuoso Choir Music (Virtuose Chormusik). The choirs immortalized on these records are Swedish Radio Choir and Stockholmer Kammerchor. Vocal perfection and flexibility, dynamic precision and scale of expression of two choirs lead by Eric Ericson make this album everlasting testimony on music potential of the seventies.
Huge program of this album comprises mainly works of 20th century composers. There is variety of highly exacting works by modern French composers – Epithalame by Andre Jolivet, 7 Chansons by Francis Poulenc, 5 Rechants by Olivier Messiaen, Ariel’s Choir from Shakespeare’s „Tempest” and „Messe” by Frank Martin. Only German composer is Richard Strauss presented in two choral works: Die Göttin in Putzzimmer with lyrics by Friedrich Rückert and Der Abend to poem of Friedrich von Schiller. Contemporary music is present in three compositions from ItalyIl coro delle malmaritate and Il coro dei melsmmogliati by Luigi Dallapiccola and Tre composizioni corali by Ildebrando Pizzetti and one Swedish work Elegi by Lars Edlund.
Early music works are represented by Claudio Monteverdi’s Sestina „Lagrime d’amante al sepolcro dell’amata” and Thomas Tallis’ Spem in alium, first sung by Stockholmer Kammerchor, second by Swedish Radio Choir. Perfection of sound required in contemporary works and discipline of early music mark out the space for vocal artistry of Eric Ericson’s choirs.

No comments:

Post a Comment