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Dag Wirén (1905–1986) is one of the most important Swedish composers of his generation.
He is associated mainly with a charming serenade for string orchestra from 1937, but he also
composed five symphonies, five string quartets, stage music and a great deal more. A detailed
works list and discography are available on www.dagwiren.se.
The Little Serenade for guitar from 1964, which is Wirén’s only solo work for the instrument,
was inspired by his daughter Annika, who at the time had started studying guitar with the
legendary Svea Hammarberg in Stockholm. Hammarberg was also the one who provided the
composer with fundamental knowledge about the guitar’s capabilities and limits. That same
year Gehrmans Musikförlag published a printed edition of the piece. The person trusted with
editing the score was another Swedish guitar pioneer, Roland Bengtsson, who also recorded
the serenade in 1965.
The edition from 1964 is well done and one may wonder what now leads us, almost sixty years
later, to publish another. Our primary motive is a desire to make the piece more accessible
for the guitarists of today, and a hunch that an edition in English would have better chances
reaching an international audience. A few suspected printing errors have also been corrected
and/or commented on.
Jan-Olof Eriksson supplied me with a copy of the composer’s manuscript and has thereafter
been a sounding board for me during my work on the new edition, as has Göran Söllscher.
Without these colleagues and their familiarity with Dag Wirén’s guitar serenade the result
would have been less than satisfactory. It has further been invaluable to be able to consult with
Annika Wirén about almost anything regarding her father and his music.
Mats Bergström, 2023
Koncentration och rytmisk vitalitet och pregnans är huvuddrag, som är gemensamma för nästan alla verk av Dag Wirén, oberoende av deras karaktär i andra avseenden. Här finns influenser från fransk 1900-talsmodernism och nordisk tradition. Hans musikantiska ådra liksom det gedigna hantverket har gjort honom till en mycket populär tonsättare både hos musiker och publik.