By Helsinki Chamber Choir, Herman Wallen, Iida Antola, Jarno Lehtola, Markus Nieminen, Nils Schwe, Nils Schweckendiek, Piia Komsi, Riko Eklundh, Sampo Haapaniemi, Sirkku Rintamaki, Susanna Tollet, Tuomas Katajala, Tuula Paavola, and Valter Maasalo. By Erik Valdemar Bergman. Classical. CD. Naxos #BIS-2252. Published by Naxos (NX.BIS-2252).
In his later years often described as the grand old man of Finnish modernism, Erik Bergman (1911-2006) was among the first in Finland to use compositional methods such as twelve-tone technique, serial music, choral Sprechgesang and aleatory counterpoint. His specialty was choral music, and a large part of his huge production involves a choir in some form. This recording focuses primarily on his works for mixed choir that have not appeared on disc before, and gives a broad picture of his production for the medium over a period of more than 60 years. Born to a Swedish-speaking family, many of Bergman's settings were of poems in Swedish, but he was a true internationalist and this two-disc set also includes works with texts in Italian, Norwegian, English, German, and naturally, Finnish. These are here performed by the Helsinki Chamber Choir, Finland's only professional chamber choir, under its artistic director Nils Schweckendiek.