Rolf Martinsson: Late Romantic - Expressive - Lasting (2019)

Remy Franck / Pizzicato - Remy Franck's Journal About Classical Music

Aug 5, 2019

Record cover artwork for INTO ETERNITY





  • Lisa Larsson

    – soprano

  • Malmö Symphony Orchestra

  • Paul Mägi, conductor

SACD REVIEW - Into Eternity (BIS-2323)

PIZZICATO - Remy Franck

This portrait album by Swedish composer Rolf Martinsson, born in 1956, opens with the opulent-powerful, virtuoso and post-Wagnerian piece Opening Sounds op. 94, which premiered the Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen for the inauguration of its new concert hall in 2014. The piece is delightfully and brilliantly performed by Malmö Symphony Orchestra.

The song cycle "ich denke dein ..." was commissioned by the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Netherlands Philharmonic, the Helsinki Philharmonic and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and is dedicated to Lisa Larsson, who also sings the songs on this record. Martinsson used poems by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Nähe des Geliebten & Die Liebende Schreibt), Rainer Maria Rilke (Liebes-Lied & Blaue Hortensie) and by Joseph von Eichendorff the already often set poem Mondnacht.

Coupled with idyllic nature considerations, this hymn reminds of the love of Richard Strauss, with a dash of operetta and some Kurt Weill embellishments, which is mentioned only for the location of the music, which has quite a personal character and is sung by the soprano Lisa Larsson with a sweet, harty voice.

She interprets Eichendorff's Mondnacht with extraordinary sensitivity and makes the moon shine with the purest of voices. A brilliant achievement in a work whose recognition value and expressiveness really are bound to make it a repertoire piece.

Tour de Force op. 95 was written for the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and premiered in 2015 under Nikolai Znaider. It is a highly dramatic, threatening work of about 10 minutes, very characteristic and in the surround sound of this recording from Malmö extremely effective and accordingly sustainable.

The Into Eternity op. 103, which gives its title to the SACD, uses a text by Karin Boye and was composed to the Malmö Symphony Orchestra for the inauguration of its new concert hall. This work is also dedicated to Lisa Larsson. The first part is purely symphonic and uses a late romantic orchestral language typical for Martinsson, brilliantly and wonderfully orchestrated; The voice is added in the second part, and the piece then mutates into an opulent orchestral song, which moves from dreaminess to passion and finds an etherial conclusion.

This record must thus be described as very successful, with attractive music of a sophisticated composer whose music is directly accessible.

Rolf Martinsson is represented by Gehrmans Musikförlag

Photography by Louise Martinsson and video by Tord Martinsson

© Rolf Martinsson 2019. All rights reserved.