Barry Brenesal <[log in to unmask]> replies to me:
>As I recall, Atterberg also entered an international contest for the best
>symphony, with a panel of judges that included Nielsen, Glazunov, and one
>other--Casella or Respighi, perhaps? In any case, he won, only to announce
>afterwards that he'd deliberately tailored the work to present qualities
>that would appeal to just those judges. It was nonsense, because Atterberg
>always sounds like Atterberg; but the comment effectively allienated a
>significant portion of the international musical community. Atterberg
>loved thumbing his nose at power bases.
A few things aren't exactly as I recall it here. I have never heard that
Glazunov was in the jury. Though Nielsen was, and also Max von Schillings.
In MA:s library there is a bunch of paper conatining the corresponace
around the 6th symphony. Columbias competition was announced to be in
regard to Franz Schubert, and Atterberg has used Schubert as model for his
symphony, this is especially apparent in the slow movement. And I think it
is that that is meant with that Atterberg made a work that "would appeal to
just those tastes". But that this should be the goal for the works and the
criterion of judging was part of the competition and therefore naturally
publically announced. It may at first seem as there was insiding with
Atterberg and the jury as he and Nielsen were personal friends, and in a
telegram to Atterberg Nielsen wrote the day before the finale decisions:
"Drei Werke vorlaeufig, auch Ihre. Ich kaempfe und hoffe." The day
thereafter (22.06.1928): "Sie haben gesiegt!". In a letter a few days
later Nielsen wrote that he and von Schillings had choosed Atterbergs
symphony not by personal or national reasons but only "efter vor bedste
overbevisning". Still I think most would agree that the 6th symphony
despite the colourful instrumentation and the firm symphonical form,
provides lesser symphonical substance than symphonies 2, 3 and 4.
One could wonder what Czeslaw Marek, the guy who the lost the final in
Columbias competition for Atterberg, had had for kind of reputation today
if he had won.
>Musically, I think he had far more to say than he ever mentioned with his
>mouth. His 5th (which was asked about) may be available from Caprice on
>CD, as it was on LP--a fine recording, with Ehrling conducting.
Atterberg is a very interesting composer, there I agree. He has really
shown that music doesn't need to be atonal or dissonant to be modern *and*
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