The British Journal TEMPO(founded 1939 by Boosey & Hawkes, now Cambridge press UK, Issue 64 July)


More recently still, Sören Hermansson, a hugely gifted horn player, with an impressive string of premieres to his credit, unveiled Samuelsson´s concerto for horn and wind orchestra The Horn in the Wind at a concert at Nybrokajen 11, Stockholm, in October 2009.

Once more cast in a single unbroken span of around 18-19 minutes duration, the concerto – to quote the composer again – `walks through a windy, varying landscapes´constructed from light and airay textures for the winds, brass and a very busy percussion section. Samuelsson wanted to avoid the archetypal bombast of so much of the traditional wind-orchestral repertoire while also showing that  ´more modern´ sounds can express feelings like for example passion, not only music of more traditional kind´. Taken together, this amounts to a not insignificant mission for the concerto which not unsurprisingly needs concentrated attention throughout. The accompaniment, which includes an amplified double bass, is deftly scored and while there are at times sonoritites typical of the medium, these are relatively few, the feel being modernistic and linear overall, textures changing with the gusts and eddies of the musical flow at times with gossamer lightness. Through it all, the soloist flies along, sticking obsessively to his leggiero, misterioso lines despite some hefty buffeting. The tension between soloist and ensemble makes the musical ride a turublent but reward one. Staffan Larson directed the Stockholm Wind Orchestra with great skill through a difficult score with Hermansson a commanding presence behind the mouthpiece.

Guy Rickards

Tempo 64 (253)  42-57  Cambridge University Press