— Solo Concertos

* indicates a withdrawn piece
** indicates juvenilia, withdrawn and not available

Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Homage to Michelangelo

Date of composition: Stockholm/Rome/Stockholm, 22 August 2016
Instrumentation: violin solo / 2*.2*.2.2* / 4.2.3.0 / timp, 2 perc, hp / str
[piccolo, cor anglais, double bassoon]
- Percussion instruments (2 players): crotales, bass drum, cassa chiara [side drum] without snares, tambourine.
1. Allegro agitato
2. Adagissimo
3. Molto vivace
Duration: c. 25 min.
Dedication: To Paul Waltman
Commissioned by: Norrköping Symphony Orchestra
Publisher: Swedish Music Information Centre, Stockholm.
First performance: 11 May 2017, De Geer Hall, Norrköping. Paul Waltman (violin) and Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, conducted by B. Tommy Andersson.
About the piece: This concerto for violin and orchestra is composed in honour of the inspired artistry of Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564). For many years, I have regularly travelled in Italy and have frequently had the privilege to enjoy his masterpieces in situ. His art is so alive and vibrant, even after all those years, and it has made a strong impact on me. Since I am quite impressionable to extramusical influences, I have nourished the thought of paying a tribute to this Italian renaissance master through my music. When I was commissioned to compose this piece, I immediately saw an opportunity to fulfil my desire.
…..The most expected way to go about this mission would probably be to compose music inspired by specific works of art, but I have chosen a rather different path. Everyone knows that Michelangelo was a sculptor and painter, but it is not as widely known that he also wrote more than 300 poems. Many of them are in the formal rhyme scheme of a sonnet and about 30 of them are inspired by his friendship to the young nobleman Tommaso Cavalieri (1509–87), who became a lifelong and close friend. Among these specific sonnets, I picked out five that I set to music in a song cycle titled Sonetti di Michelangelo, for baritone and piano, finished 24 January 2016 (Sonnets No. 77, 60, 80, 89, 83).
…..All of the melodies that I created for these songs are used in the violin concerto. Thereby I managed to create the link to Michelangelo I was seeking, inspired by his own words and emotions. But the music is also very much inspired by my own experience of Michelangelo’s visual art. During the composition process, I visited the Sistine Chapel in Rome several times, where I have always been particularly fascinated and awed by the paintings covering the ceiling, and I also revisited a number of other paintings and sculptures. However, I do not want to limit the listener’s experience by linking the music to any specific works of art. This violin concerto is rather an attempt to celebrate the universal beauty of Michelangelo’s art.

Albertus Pictor, concerto for organ and strings

Date of composition: Rome/Stockholm, 30 August 2014
Instrumentation: organ solo and string orchestra
- This piece can be played on any three-manual organ, as long as the instrument has the required sound qualities and is loud enough. It should even be possible to play on a two-manual instrument, if a good combination system is available. The registrations indicated by the composer in the organ part should be followed as closely as possible. Preferably, the organ should have a stoplist that includes at least one 16ft flue stop in the Hauptwerk (such as a Borduna, or a Principal), as well as Trumpets 16+8ft. A set of pedal reeds 16+8+4ft is required.
- The size of the string orchestra should be adjusted to the organ in question. The sound of the strings should be experienced as rich and powerful in the room, regardless of the size of the orchestra. With a large symphonic organ in a concert hall or in a cathedral, a large string section is needed (approx. 14 First Violins, 12 Second Violins, 10 Violas, 8 Violoncellos, and 6 Doublebasses). But in a smaller room, with a not as loud organ, a small string orchestra could be enough (approx. 6 First Violins, 6 Second Violins, 4 Violas, 4 Violoncellos, and 2 Doublebasses).
Duration: 21 min.
Dedication: To Hans-Ola Ericsson
Commissioned by: Olof Boman, for Glogerfestpillene (Gloger Music Festival), Kongsberg, Norway
Publisher: Swedish Music Information Centre, Stockholm
First performance: 22 January 2015, Kongsberg Church, Kongsberg, Norway. Hans-Ola Ericsson (org.), String orchestra, Peter Szilvay (cond.)
About the piece: This organ concerto is inspired by paintings of Albertus Pictor (Albrekt the Painter, c. 1440–1507), the most famous painter in late medieval Sweden, known for his wallpaintings in 37 churches in central Sweden. His murals are made in a secco technique, and the style is different from other contemporary painters by an unusually vibrant and moving expression.
…..The music is inspired by eight specific images. The first motif returns at the end to complete the piece, and to remind us of the ever-spinning wheel of life. Here are the nine sections of the organ concerto. They all follow one another without interruption.

1. Rota Fortunae
The Wheel of Fortune, or The Wheel of Life (Livshjulet), was a widely used allegory in medieval literature and art. The music is inspired by the painting in Härkeberga Church. Death spins the wheel. On the way up on the wheel, on the left-hand side, you can see a young man. On the top you can see a man at the peak of life, and on the way down, on the right-hand side, you can see an ageing man on his way to the grave. At the foot of the wheel is a dead body in a shroud. The scene is accompanied by a jester, who plays the flute and the drum.

2. Virgin Mary and Infant Jesus
Albertus Pictor’s interpretation of this classic motif in Floda church. Both Mary and the child have haloes, nowadays dark, but originally they were undoubtably brightly red. The red paint pigment he used was made of red lead, which through time has darkened to a brownish, almost black colour. The scene is very peaceful and Mary looks like a ordinary mother, who plays tenderly with her little boy. Golden rays of glory radiates behind them.

3. Jonah and the Sea Creature
This painting is to be found in Härkeberga Church. Here we can see two simultaneous events in the same picture, a typical medieval feature. First, to the right, the fully dressed prophet Jonah being thrown into the sea and engulfed by something resembling a crocodile cross-bred with a giant snake. Then, to the left, a naked and pale Jonah being spitted up by the sea creature three days later.

4. A Knight Playing Chess with Death
This lugubrious picture is painted in Täby Church, in a corner of the staircase leading up to the organ loft. The motif inspired Ingmar Bergman to a famous scene in the 1957 film The Seventh Seal, where the knight Antonius Block plays chess with Death personified. In fact, the character Albertus Pictor actually appears in this film, in a dialogue with Jöns, Antonius Block’s henchman, while painting a church mural.
…..A text in Medieval Swedish was earlier to be found on the painting: “Jak spelar tik mat”. It is now obliterated, but we know of it from earlier writings on Albertus Pictor. In modern language it would be: “Jag spelar dig matt! / I put you into checkmate!” (says The Grim Reaper).

5. The Green Dragon
Albertus Pictor’s paintings are full of grotesque animals, demons, and strange creatures. A visibly enraged green baby dragon, painted in Härnevi Church, flaps its wings and roars.

6. Angels
The paintings in the ceiling of The Holy Trinity Church (Helga Trefaldighets kyrka) in Uppsala are rather unusual for Albertus Pictor. Here are no biblical tales, no strange or burlesque figures. Instead we see more than 60 angels, apparently guarding the church and praying for its visitors, an overwhelming and uplifting sight. Nowhere else are so many angels to be found.

7. Phoenix
In medieval religious iconography, Phoenix is a symbol for the death and resurrection of Christ, but also for chastity, hope, and the church itself. This painting, in Härkeberga Church, is Albertus Pictor’s only rendition of this motif. We can see a white bird, something between a raptor and a parrot, sitting in orange flames.

8. The Man of Sorrows
In the later Middle Ages, The Man of Sorrows (Smärtomannen) was a popular devotional image. During the renaissance, it was gradually replaced by the pietà motif. In Härnevi Church we can see the suffering Christ with his crown of thorns and bleeding wounds. A halo surrounds his head, nowadays black but originally brightly red, just as in the case of Virgin Mary and Infant Jesus. With his golden hair he looks like a man from Northern Europe. The Gregorian chant Jesu dulcis memoria is woven into the music.

9. Rota Fortunae (as above)

— Click on the images for a larger view

Reflections, for soprano saxophone (or clarinet) and orchestra

Date of composition: Stockholm, 29 December 2003
Instrumentation: soprano saxophone solo (or clarinet) / 2.2*.2.2 / 2.2.0.0 / str
[cor anglais]
- Recommended size of the string section: 14.12.10.8.6
- Minimum size of the string section: 6.6.4.4.2

Duration: 12 min.
Dedication: To my friend Anders Paulsson
Commissioned by: Svenska Rikskonserter
Publisher: Edition Norsk Musikforlag A/S, Oslo, 2009 (N.M.O.12688)
First Performance: 3 and 4 April 2004 in Alseda Church and Jönköping Concert Hall (Elmia). Anders Paulsson (sopr. sax.), Jönköping Sinfonietta, B. Tommy Andersson (cond.)
Recording: Phono Suecia PSCD 178 (released 2009). Anders Paulsson (sopr. sax.), Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, B. Tommy Andersson (cond.)
About the piece: Reflections is an hommage to two significant British composers from different periods, John Dowland (1563–1626) and Benjamin Britten (1913–76). The music consists of a set of variations on a song of Dowland, My Thoughts are Wing’d with Hopes, (No. 3 from The First Booke of Songs and Ayres, published in London 1597).
xxxAs a young viola-player, I played Benjamin Britten’s beautiful piece Lacrymae — Reflections on a Song of Dowland, opus 48, for viola and piano (1950). The way Britten relates to Dowland’s music — full of respect and love — made a deep impression on me. In my piece Reflections, I borrow both the title and the approach from the 20th-century-master, Britten, although my musical language is different.
xxxThe tonal material is limited to a mode, derived from the melody notes of the song (G, A-flat, B-flat, B, C, D, E-flat and F), with an additional F-sharp. Rhythmically, it is a play with various proportions of time divided into three (3/2, 3/4, 9/8, 9/16, etc) and ambiguous three-piece rhythms (hemiolas, etc) which are also typical of the renaissance music. After a lyrical opening in the spirit of the song, the music gradually intensifies up to a short, impetuous cadenza. The piece ends in the same poetical mode as the beginning, this time with direct quotations from the song.

Lyssna på ljudklipp (mp3)

Apollo, concerto for percussion solo and orchestra

Date of composition: Stockholm, October 1995
Instrumentation: percussion solo / 2*.2.2*.2* / 4(2).2.0.0 / str
[piccolo, bass clarinet, double bassoon]
- Recommended size of the string section: 14.12.10.8.6
- Minimum size of the string section: 6.6.4.4.2
- When performed with large string section, the two horn parts should always be doubled (4 horns).
- Percussion instruments in the solo part (one player): log drum (slit drum) with two deep notes, 2 wood drums (wood tom-toms), guiro, 4 wood-blocks, 2 piccolo wood-blocks (very small), bamboo chimes (wood chimes), large bass drum, pedal bass drum, 6 drums (bongos, congas, tom-toms, boo-bams or any other drums with good sound), 2 tam-tams with different timbre and pitch (low and medium), 2 deep Thai-gongs in A-flat and B-flat, large sizzle cymbal (suspended), medium cymbal (suspended), small splash cymbal (suspended), 2 Peking opera gongs, 4 Almglocken, 4 metals (choose objects of powerful sound, for exemple pipes), crotales (2 octaves), 2 suspended tambourines, rain maker, maracas (small).

Duration: 17 min.
Dedication: To my dear friend Markus Leoson
Publisher: Edition Norsk Musikforlag A/S, Oslo, 2009 (N.M.O.12686)
available on sale:
Study score (A4), N.M.O.12686A / ISMN 979-0-065-11850-5
Piano reduction & Solo part (A4), N.M.O.12686D / ISMN 979-0-065-11867-3
available on hire:
Conductor’s score (B4), N.M.O.12686B / ISMN 979-0-065-11851-2
Orchestral parts (B4), N.M.O.12686C / ISMN 979-0-065-11852-9
First performance: 7 January 1996 (CD-recording), Tonhallen, Sundsvall. Markus Leoson (perc.), Sundsvall Chamber Orchestra, B. Tommy Andersson (cond.)
Recording: Caprice CAP 21466 (released 1996). Markus Leoson (perc.), Sundsvall Chamber Orchestra, B. Tommy Andersson (cond.).
About the piece: The Greek god Apollo is a subject of many myths, some of them describing his innumerable amatory adventures. As the god of Light, Medicine, Poetry and Music, he is frequently associated with sternness and self-control, in contrast to Dionysus, the god of Wine and Ecstasy. But there is a twin relationship between these gods. Both of them search for fire on the borderline of the permissible. This is the starting point of the piece — passion one doesn’t speak about, Apollo’s relationship to Cyparissos, Hyacinthos and Admetos.
xxxThe concerto is made up of six distinct parts with bridge passages in between. The musical content is all the time related, but with perpetual metamorphoses. The tonal material is limited to two modes in the form of a nine- and an eight-tone scale. Apollo is symbolised by violent cascades of dotted rhythms on metal instruments. These rhythms, in various guises, permeate the whole piece. The mood alternates between explosive force, romanticism, playfulness and self-revealing dismay. Apollo was written expressly for and dedicated to Markus Leoson, inspired by his fantastic interpretative capacity and virtuosity.

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Concerto for Horn and Orchestra

(based the Sonata for horn and piano, 1985)
Date of composition: Malmö, 21 September 1993
Instrumentation: horn solo / 2*.2*.2*.2 / 2.2.0.0 / timp / str
[piccolo, cor anglais, bass clarinet]
- Recommended size of the string section: 14.12.10.8.6
- Minimum size of the string section: 6.6.4.4.2

1. Misterioso, a piacere —Allegro energico
2. Lento
3. Vivace
Duration: 20 min.
Dedication: To Henrik Nilsson
Publisher: Edition Norsk Musikforlag A/S, Oslo, 2009 (N.M.O.12690)
available on sale:
Study score (A4), N.M.O.12690A / ISMN 979-0-065-11862-8
Piano reduction & Solo part (A4), N.M.O.12690D / ISMN 979-0-065-11869-7
available on hire:
Conductor’s score (B4), N.M.O.12690B / ISMN 979-0-065-11863-5
Orchestral parts (B4), N.M.O.12690C / ISMN 979-0-065-11864-2
First performance: 17 April 1994, Luleå Cathedral. Johan Ahlin (horn), Luleå Symphony Orchestra, B. Tommy Andersson (cond.)
Recording: Phono Suecia PSCD 178 (released 2009). Sören Hermansson (horn), Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, B. Tommy Andersson (cond.)

Lyssna på ljudklipp (mp3)

Concerto per pianoforte, fiati e percussione

[Concerto for piano, winds and percussion]
Date of composition: Stockholm, 17 April 1984
Instrumentation: piano solo / 3*.2*.2*.2* / 2.1.1.1 / timp, 1 perc
[piccolo, cor anglais, bass clarinet, double bassoon]
- Percussion instruments (one player): bass drum, clashed cymbals, tambourine, 2 tom-toms, triangle, large tam-tam.
Duration: 20 min.
Dedication: To Patrik Bartosch
Publisher: Swedish Music Information Centre, Stockholm
First performance: 29 June 1984, Arkivmuseet, Lund. Patrik Bartosch (pno.), Nordic Youth Orchestra, B. Tommy Andersson (cond.)

* Concerto per viola ed orchestra piccola

[Concerto for viola and small orchestra]
Date of composition: Sjömarken, 25 March 1983
Instrumentation: viola solo / 2.0.2.2 / 2.0.1.0 / hp / strings without violas
2 Movements
Duration: 17 min.
Dedication: To Margareta Hedlund and my viola-playing friends (Margareta Hedlund was B. Tommy Andersson’s viola teacher and mentor at Borås Music School)

** Concerto for flute and strings

Date of composition: Sjömarken, 1976
Duration: c. 10 min.
Score lost