Lars-Erik Larsson

In his constant striving for the greatest possible simplicity in musical style, Lars-Erik Larsson exploited his remarkable technical and formal skill. This simplicity, in conjunction with a stream of melodic inspiration and a lyrical-poetical attitude, has made Lars-Erik Larsson one of the most popular Swedish composers of all time.

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Larsson tried various means of expression during his creative life. Representative of the neo-classical style in the earlier works, is the Saxophone Concerto (1934), while a following period, primarily lyrical-romantic, is notable chiefly for the Pastoral Suite
(1938), the music from A Winter’s Tale (1938) and the choral work God in Disguise (1940), all of which, more than any other works perhaps, have won great popularity for the composer even with the public at large. 

A more radical tendency marks Music for Orchestra (1949) and the Violin Concerto (1952), two peaks in Larsson’s production, as well as Three Pieces for Orchestra (1960) and Orchestral Variations (1962), in which he applies a personal twelve-tone technique while keeping his lyrical and melodic vein. 

In an intermediate position stylistically is the much-noted series 12 Concertini (1953-57), one for each of the orchestra’s instruments, the string orchestra parts have been designed with a view to amateur orchestras. Larsson’s production during his later years can be described as something of a synthesis of features from the earlier stylistic periods. The Lyric Fantasy (1967) has a melodic inwardness which puts the Pastoral Suite in mind, whilst Due Auguri (1971), is characterized by an exuberant and ingenious humour, as is the playful pastiche suite Barococo (1973).