For the past twenty years, while maintaining an unsurpassed career as a trombone soloist and in tandem with being a sought-after conductor, Christian Lindberg has also been composing. Previous releases of his music have earned him critical praise: the reviewer in American Record Guide ‘was captivated by his interesting ideas and rich harmonic language’ while his counterpart on German website Klassik-Heute characterised Lindberg as ‘a marvellously deft, self-reliant composer’.
The present disc is the third BIS release dedicated entirely to Lindberg’s music, and features some of his more recent works. In his own liner notes, Lindberg describes his method of working, and explains the background of the three pieces recorded here with the Odense Symphony Orchestra. In regards to Steppenwolf, his viola concerto, he was attracted by the solo instrument’s ‘melancholic and deep qualities … offering an opportunity to compose something that could never be expressed in the same way with, for instance, a violin’. In a classical, three-movement concerto form, the work isn’t programmatic as such, but while composing it, Lindberg was reminded of the novel by Hermann Hesse. The title of the following piece, on the other hand, refers to a previous composition by Lindberg himself. Composed for a television project involving music as well as dance, the fifteen-minute Tales of Galamanta uses material from the ‘arte commedia’ Dawn from Galamanta. Peking Twilight, the closing work on the disc, was composed for the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, and celebrates the city of Norrköping itself (with the nickname Peking) as well as the orchestra, which Lindberg has collaborated with on many occasions. The work also testifies to Lindberg’s long-standing affection for the city’s soccer team, with the team chant appearing in various guises throughout the piece.