Various - Swedish Contemporary Music (LP Fylkingen)

Another impressive collection of compositions by Swedish composers on the ever reliable Fylkingen label, this time concentrating on (bar one track) straight piano rather than electronics. 

Mats Persson and Kristine Scholz perform Persson's 'Refractions' for two pianos. For many years his compositions investigated the concept of refractions in sound rather than light. So a piece may be played through and then at any time be 'refracted.' What you hear is sparse but exacting; detailed and tight. I wouldn't have guessed the source of inspiration for the work but given the sleeve notes' explanation flashes of rainbow colour do come to mind while listening to it. The power of suggestion, but this time backed up by a very impressive track. 

In a similar vein, Jan Sandtröm's 'Campagne In Campi Aperti' ('Bells Over Open Fields') for single piano has a similar analytical and detailed feel to it but more of a drift. He studied counterpoint in the mid-70s so that gives you an idea of what to expect. This composition was commissioned by 'National Institute for concerts.' 

Lars Sandberg studied with Xenaxis at the Sorbonne. 'Fall' was his first attempt at making a recording based on a set number of pitches rather than a progressive composition that's played through. It's in two parts. The first part is the piece itself and the second part is a re-view of the first part. Pretty impressive and rather quiet. 

Tommy Zwedberg's 'Hanging' is the only tape piece on the album but oddly fits in perfectly. Using a 20 second recording of a folk instrument, the stråkharpa', he's assembled a collage that swells into a climax and tumbles back down into its elements, blubbing and squirting along the way. Interesting way to end a largely piano album! 

I don't know who presses up Fylkingen's records but they always do a good job of it. Just as well given the high quality of the recordings. HM

Contact: www.fylkingen.se