Saturday, January 1, 2011


Dear friends, music lovers, and Pettersson fans,

For all of the dozen or so (well, maybe a little more) Allan Pettersson fans on this planet, we know that in 2011 this great 20th century Swedish symphonist celebrates his 100th birthday. Hopefully Pettersson’s centennial will provide the impetus for conductors and orchestras to program his works, but in my opinion at least, I’m not terribly optimistic. Nevertheless, to honor Pettersson’s big 100, my goal is to listen to all of his orchestral works, as well as the Barefoot Songs and Seven Sonatas for two violins, and to blog about it. Although there is still a while to go, I have decided to give myself sufficient time to make it through this project without completely sacrificing my mental health (if you are familiar with Pettersson’s music you know what I mean). 

The plan is this: I will listen to each work in the order Pettersson wrote them. Sources of recordings include my personal collection, the local libraries, and the online Naxos Music Library. If multiple recordings or versions of the work in question exist, I will compare them and include that in the blog as well. I am currently trying to procure the scores for all of the works I plan to listen to, but despite my seemingly great resources (Helsinki University and Sibelius Academy libraries), the only scores I have readily available here are the Barefoot Songs and the Seventh Symphony. In my parent’s home back in the States I have the scores for Symphonies 5-8, but that isn’t much help to me now! Each work/recording will be listened to multiple times. My thoughts, feelings and reactions to each piece will then show up here. I will also try to give a fairly detailed description, in a hopefully not too pedantic manner, of the musical argument(s) presented in each piece. 

A few other things worth mentioning: my musical training is sorely lacking in theory, musicology, or analysis. Therefore I will keep technical discussions of the music to a minimum, although it will pop up every now and then. If you’re curious to know more about Pettersson, or about me, check out the other sections on this page. In the links section you can find some other hopefully informative webpages.
Finally, I encourage everyone to leave comments or feedback! I know that there are Pettersson fans out there who know this music better than I do and can speak more eloquently about it. Please share your thoughts! For those of you who haven’t heard Pettersson’s music and are curious, I accept no responsibility should the usage of antidepressants be required after listening…

The Barefoot Songs begins the journey, and will be the subject of my next entry. Talk to you then!


  1. Hi, I just wanted to say that your blog has been very helpful to me as I contemplate dipping a toe into the ocean of Pettersson. I'm looking forward to your reviews of the "big" symphonies! Thanks again.

  2. I've really enjoyed your blog and I look forward to your review of Lindberg's 6th. Just wondering who are your favorite composers?