Netzel, Sandström & Tarrodi: Piano Concertos
Peter Friis Johansson, piano;
Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra;
Ryan Bancroft, conductor
BIS Records BIS-2576

The Swedish pianist, Peter Friis Johansson, has combined with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra to bring us three premiere recordings of Swedish concertos, two modern, one from the early 20th Century. Most well-known of the composers is Sven-David Sandström, whose Five pieces for piano and orchestra dates from 2017. This work is robust, virtuosic and energetic, full of contrasts of dynamic and mood. The last work on the disc is the Piano concerto no 1 by Andrea Tarrodi. Subtitled Stellar Clouds, the work dates from 2015, a moody textural piece that is thoroughly engaging across its seven movements.

Alternately virtuosic and filmic, it lives up to its evocative title. The first work on the recording is the Piano concerto by Laura Netzel, who was one of Sweden’s most performed composers at the beginning of the 20th century, although known primarily for salon miniatures. The concerto is Netzel’s largest work, and it was unfinished at her death. Johansson has completed Netzel’s concerto adding just 116 bars to ensure the structure of the work will satisfy the listener. This recording highlights an ongoing and thriving musical culture in Sweden and is highly recommended. – James Nightingale