C1604. SERGIU CELIBIDACHE Cond. Swedish Radio S.O.: Symphony #2 in C (Schumann), Live Performance, 28 Oct., 1962, Vienna; 'Facetter' Symphony #3 (Blomdahl), Live Performance, 27 Sept., 1969, Stockholm. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-669. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
"It seems that Karl-Birger Blomdahl must be one of the first Swedish composers, if not the very first, to adopt twelve-tone technique, as we will see in this work. Aside from this, his most famous symphony, he also composed some notable operas and ballets, as well as some electronic music on magnetic tape. The work is in one movement with sections listed as: Largamente-Tranquillo, Ma Fluente-Prestissimo-Allegro-Largamente. This Symphony #3, written in 1950, leaps all the way into 12-tone techniques with Blomdahl's own dodecaphonic stylings, a reaction to the strict conservatism of Schonberg's approach. This is 'must' for lovers of the symphony form.
From the opening of the work there's an atmospheric, ethereal air of mystery to the music. I mean atmospheric not in the sense of being background music or sound effects, but of creating a palpable sound world. There is foreground detail and large scale detail, things like solos from flute, viola or cello, but also a full orchestra sound, a large fiery ball of composite sound, always with focus. The music swells and recedes, boils to life and cools off.
What we again have here is a work that lives and breathes, changes at turns, presents an entire palate of colors and expressions in one sound world. There are passages where the work sounds far more traditional, where things come into clear focus of a few bright, clean colors, but also passages of a much darker intensity,
There's something magical here about this symphony, a work that begins with flute and unfolds bit by bit to give us an incredibly full 23 minutes of very well-crafted music. Despite the 12-tone nature of the work, there is still a certain romanticism about it in the sense that it feels solidly based in Classical Music Tradition, with some forms and a style that might be familiar, but with challenges and innovations of its own."
- Fugue for Thought, 27 Sept., 2016
"Celibidache was the most phenomenally gifted musician. He could shape a piece any way he liked, and did....of his musicianship, his ability and his showmanship there can be no doubt. His intellect was prodigious - he spoke fifteen languages, or it may have been thirty. Who knows? He was a truly, truly great musician. He was certainly a character and conductor one can't ignore in terms of the development of conducting in the second half of the twentieth century".
- Norman Lebrecht
"The transcedentally-endowed Romanian conductor, Sergiu Celibidache, studied Philosophy and Mathematics at the University of Bucharest. In 1936 he went to Berlin and continued his studies, largely concerning himself with wave mechanics, but also with musical studies. He wrote his doctorate on Josquin des Pres. From 1939 to 1945 he studied and the Berlin College of Music under Fritz Stein, Kurt Thomas and Walter Gmeindl.
After completing his studies, Sergiu Celibidache was immediately able to work with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra because the orchestra's previous conductor, Wilhelm Furtwängler, was suspected of collaboration and received no permit for public performances. For three years, he conducted most concerts of the famous orchestra and proved his exceptional personality. After Wilhelm Furtwängler's return as the head of the orchestra he mainly worked as a guest conductor without committing himself to any single orchestra for a long period because his demands were almost impossible to fulfill, and he himself was not willing to make any concessions to his musicians or audience. At first, he continued to work mainly with Berlin orchestras - the Philharmonic Orchestra and the RIAS Berlin Radio Orchestra. After the appointment of Herbert von Karajan as the principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Celibidache did not conduct the orchestra again for another 37 years.
1948 saw the debut of Sergiu Celibidache in London. Then he frequently conducted in Italy. From 1959 he was regularly invited by the Stuttgart Radio Orchestra. From 1960 to 1962 he held master courses at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena; the young conductors were extremely keen to be admitted. In 1962 he became the director of the Stockholm Radio Symphony Orchestra, which he completely rebuilt. From 1973 to 1975 he was the primary permanent guest conductor of the French Orchestre National. In 1979 he became the director of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, which he made one of the best orchestras in the world. In Munich he held master courses in orchestral conducting. Despite his severe illness he didn't stop conducting until a few months before his death."
- Zillah D. Akron