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Erik Bergman
1911 - 2006
E. Bergman
Erik Bergman (24/11/1911 - 24/04/2006), a Finnish composer (born in Nykarleby). He has always been a pioneer of the Finnish music life. His roots are in the romantic era, in the 1960s he was named the enfant terrible of Finnish music and in the 1990s he has been called the grand old man of modernism. He studied the twelve-tone technique in the 50s with Wladimir Vogel in Switzerland and even adopted total serialism in some of his works. Later he arrived at his own, personal style in which tone colours and the search for new expressive means play an important role.
Erik Bergman has always been fascinated by the human voice. Choral works constitute the majority of his oeuvre and especially male-voice choir a cappella has been his core instrument. Bergman has exploited the whole gamut of vocal resources on a sliding scale from speech to song, and his spectrum is remarkable ranging from the mischievous to the mystical.
Bergman is an exceptionally prolific composer who apart from vocal music has composed a number of works for orchestra which provide a comprehensive cross section of his main stylistic periods. Since the 1970s Bergman expanded his scale to concertos and chamber music. He is constantly on the move; he has a deep interest in remote cultures and is untiring in his search for the new.
Requiem över en död diktare
Composed in:1970
Musical form:free
Text/libretto:Bengt V. Wall (in Swedish)
In memory of:Gunnar Ekelöf
Requiem över en död diktare (opus 67), translated: Requiem for a dead poet, is for baritone, mixed choir and instrumental ensemble (2 trumpets, 2 trombones, percussion (2 players), organ. Duration: 16'. Commissioned by the Stockholm Church Opera Society. In memoriam the Finnish poet Gunnar Ekelöf (1907 - 1968)
Sela is usually said to mark the end of Bergman's dodecaphonic period, but his idiom continued to be founded on the rich use of chromaticism. The 1960s were in a way a long transition towards the new stylistic period beginning in the 1970s. This transition was dominated by vocal works using the most varied of subjects and scorings. Examples are The Birds (1962) – a setting of a poem by his wife, Solveig von Schoultz – (1970), Requiem över en död diktare (1970), Missa in honorem Sancti Henrici (1971) in medieval mood, Samonthrake (1971) with its dramatic element, and the Hathor Suite (1971) drawing on ancient Egyptian texts.
Author:Kimmo Korhonen
Gunnar Ekelöf