Sunday, May 18, 2003


The US premiere of rebellious Swedish composer Sven-David Sandstrom's 'High Mass' (1993-94) for soloists, world voices, VocalEssence Chorus and Orchestra, was given at the Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis, on 3 May 2003. I am pretty sure that this work hasn't made it to the UK yet. Let me know if you have different information. Bruce Hodges' MusicWeb review of the event can be found here. His own judgement is that "this might possibly be one of the greatest choral works of the last twenty years or so. Time will give it more perspective." The Oratorio Chorus and Concert Orchestra's 2001 performance at Indiana University (where Sandstrom is a professor) is available online. The LSO played one of Sandstrom's Symphonies (No 2, I believe) some time back, and I have a hazy memory of a London outing for 'Mute the Bereaved Memories Speak' (a requiem) too, but I can't recall who did that. 'Hear my Prayer' (his Purcell adaptation) and 'Es ist genung' (extending an initial idea by Buxtehude) were played on BBC Radio 3's 'Baltic Nights' slot on February 21. They are available on BBC Radio 3 web playback. Sven David is not to be confused with the younger Jan Sandstrom, who is the composer of the well-known 'Motorbike Concerto' for trombone and orchestra.

MusicWeb's editor, Marc Bridle, adds: "In July I should be carrying reviews of a Sciarrino series in New York (including his opera, 'Macbeth'), Henze's new opera from Salzburg in August, and in September Rautavaara's new opera, 'Rasputin', from Helsinki."

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