Performances

Click the links for more information.

2017-11-04 Hong Kong
Double Bass Concerto No. 1

2017-11-23 Melbourne
Ich denke Dein...

2017-11-25 Melbourne
Ich denke Dein...

2017-11-28 Stockholm
Suite Fantastique

2017-12-10 Amsterdam
Carillon

2017-12-17 Vienna 1:2
Garden of Devotion

2017-12-17 Vienna 2:2
Garden of Devotion

2018-01-18 Kristiansand
Poem for Orchestra No. 1

2018-02-01 Katowice
Bridge - Trumpet Concerto No. 1

2018-02-01 Polish Radio Live Broadcasting
Bridge - Trumpet Concerto No. 1

2018-02-14 Malmö
Shimmering Islands

2018-02-15 Malmö
Shimmering Islands

2018-02-15 Palma de Mallorca
Ich denke Dein...

2018-02-24 Giresta
Suite Fantastique

2018-03-02 Växjö
Airy Flight

2018-03-03 Tingsryd
Airy Flight

2018-03-04 Hultsfred
Airy Flight

2018-03-11 Dalby
Lukaspassionen

2018-04-04 Arboga
Tidig gryning

2018-04-05 Västerås
Tidig gryning

2018-04-07 Södertälje
Tidig gryning

2018-04-08 Örebro
Tidig gryning

2018-04-13 Vänersborg
Suite Fantastique

2018-05-23 Stockholm
Ich denke Dein...

2018-05-24 Stockholm
Ich denke Dein...

2018-06-18 Amsterdam
Garden of Devotion
CD recording, Challenge Classics

2018-06-18 Amsterdam
To the Shadow of Reality
CD recording, Challenge Classics

2018-06-18 Amsterdam
Kalliope
CD recording, Challenge Classics

2018-06-18 Amsterdam
A. S. in Memoriam
CD recording, Challenge Classics

2018-06-21 Kaiserslauten (10.00)
Double Bass Concerto No. 1

2018-06-21 Kaiserslauten (13.00)
Double Bass Concerto No. 1

2018-06-22 Dillingen
Double Bass Concerto No. 1

2018-06-30 Zürich
Arrangement on Songs by Alexander von Zemlinsky

2018-07-03 Zürich
Arrangement on Songs by Alexander von Zemlinsky

2018-09-16 Lerum
Tidig gryning

2018-09-23 Växjö
Tidig gryning

2018-11-28 Zürich
Arrangement on Songs by Franz Berwald

2018-11-29 Zürich
Arrangement on Songs by Franz Berwald

2018-11-30 Zürich
Arrangement on Songs by Franz Berwald

2018-12-16 Helsingborg
Arrangement on Songs by Franz Berwald

2019-01-17 Malmö
Opening Sounds

2019-01-19 Malmö
Opening Sounds

2019-02-05 Malmö
To the Shadow of Reality

2019-05-10 Estonia
Ich denke Dein...

2019-05-11 Estonia
Ich denke Dein...

2019-05-12 Estonia
Ich denke Dein...

2019-06-13/14? Winterthur
A. S. in Memoriam

2019-06-13/14? Winterthur
Arrangement on Songs by Alexander von Zemlinsky

2019-09-05 Malmö
New piece (semi staged)

2019-09-06 Malmö
New piece (semi staged)

2019-09-07 Malmö
New piece (semi staged)

2019-10-25 Växjö
Till skuggan av en verklighet

2019-10-25 Växjö
Arrangement on Infelice by Felix Mendelssohn

2019-10-26 ??
Till skuggan av en verklighet

2019-10-26 ??
Arrangement on Infelice by Felix Mendelssohn

2019-10-27 ??
Till skuggan av en verklighet

2019-10-27 ??
Arrangement on Infelice by Felix Mendelssohn

2020-09 Stockholm
Amy Foster


Ongoing Work

A concert opener - HSO co-commission. World premiere 2017-05-18 with the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Stefan Solyom at Helsingborg concert hall.


Dreams

Dreams - detailed information
Article by Tore Ericsson 1995-08-24
from Malmö Symphony Orchestra concert programme
(English translation by Tryggve Emond)

Film music has become one of the most important genres of the 20th century. Directors often leave it to the music to convey the emotional content of a film scene. The genre has also begun to live a partly independent life somewhere between opera suites and symphonies. Film music has even, more and more often, begun to appear on concert programmes. To my knowledge, however, it is quite unique that a film has inspired a piece of symphonic concert music in its own right. Martinsson did not try to compose any kind of alternative film music or to follow in detail a dramatic course of events when he took Akiro Kurosawa's film Dreams as a point of departure. He rather used certain images in the film to make them grow freely in symphonic independence, altogether on musical terms.

Martinsson composed Dreams for a big orchestra but concentrated on light timbres: celesta, harp, piccolo and violin dominate, though orchestration and timbre span a large range. There is some recurring material, but no leitmotif is developed. On the whole, obvious, regular repetition is avoided on all levels. Instead, Martinsson aimed at expressions for travel and change. A sonata or rondo ending might have sabotaged completely the feeling of being always on one's way. Changeability is reflected not just formally but in the composition technique as well. Martinsson himself talks about "polytechnique", which he distinguishes from e.g. Schnittke's "polystylistics", where a stylistic element has an intrinsic value as an identifiable element - an artistic effect can be made of a chorale followed by a tango, both preserving their respective associations to a church and a turn of the century whorehouse. Martinsson endeavours instead to make the technique work just below the surface: a fugue need not be identified as such, but is useful when the temperature of the movement is to be heightened. In principle, any technique may follow any other, provided that they contribute to the overall expression.

In spite of the constant changeability there is an overall harmonic-tonal state in this music. In his preparatory work Martinsson started from a harmonic complex around chords that form different orders of two minor thirds and one fourth. These were made to grow into polyphonous complexes, which may take the form of scale, mode or series, and so on. The important thing for the listener is that the harmonic state of tension is quite easy to recognize without identifications of the parts.

Kurosawa's film Dreams has no plot in the ordinary sense. The film consists instead of eight relatively independent episodes - dreams. Though no plot runs through all the episodes, there are several connections between the parts. Martinsson has preserved the order of episodes, even if he otherwise lets the music run its own course.

I - Signs

In this introductory part I have gathered the important motifs and expressions of the piece in some sort of "musical ingress" or overture (comment by composer).

II - Sunshine in rain

In the first episode a boy happens to attend "the wedding parade of the foxes", which is performed when it is raining while the sun is shining. He then has to go to see the foxes at the end of the rainbow in order to apologize. The rain connects in various ways with later episodes. Precipitation in the form of peach blossoms and snow plays a central part later on. But so does un-raining water in the form of puddles and rivers. Above all, Martinsson proceeded from the image of sunlit rain.

III - The Garden of Peaches

The (same?) boy's family have cut down the trees of their peach garden. He is lured out among the tree stump by a young girl with jingling bells tied to her feet and is accused by the spirits of the trees. The thought that he will never more see the peach trees blossom makes the boy weep. The spirits allow him to see it once more. The air is whirling with peach blossom petals. The music mirrors the movement.

IV - The Snowstorm

Some men walking in the mountains are surprised by a snowstorm. They cannot find their camp but sink down into the snow, exhausted. One of the men sees the snow goddess tempting him to fall asleep in the snow. But the snowstorm calms down. The men find their camp. The music principally portrays the snow goddess.

V - The Tunnel

An officer in a uniform without any badges of rank walks through a tunnel of concrete. He meets a menacing dog with something resembling ammunition tied to his back. As the officer reaches the other side of the tunnel he hears something. A soldier comes marching, later followed by a whole platoon. It is evident that they are all dead without really being aware of it. The tunnel appears to be a sort of Styx. The music contrasts sharply with the other episodes - the usually dominating light timbres and the polyphonous, often economically orchestrated structure is here replaced by heavy, homophonous chords, pounding throughout the orchestra.

VI - Crows

A man is seen at an exhibition of paintings by van Gogh. He walks into a painting of a cornfield with crows and meets van Gogh himself. In this scene, as in the final scene, there is a personal conversation going on. This marked individuality is indicated by Martinsson by means of a solo violin.

VII - Mount Fuji in Red

Mount Fuji erupts violently. People shout that the nuclear power stations nearby have exploded. The music breaks the normal third-fourth harmonics of the composition and roars with much denser, cluster-like sounds.

VIII - The Crying Demon

After the disaster the land is laid waste. On the poisoned ground monstrous flowers sprout. The man from the van Gogh scene meets a friendly demon (a man changed by radiation) and also sees other, much more unfriendly demons. The first demon changes (for the worse) and starts to chase the man. Martinsson ignores the initial, statically monstrous moods and concentrates on the change and the chase.

IX - The Village of the Water Mills

The last episode of the film takes place in a peaceful village, completely dominated by gigantic watermill wheels, overwhelming greenery and the presence of water everywhere. The man talks with an old man who is busy repairing a millwheel. A colourful funeral procession is seen at a distance. Martinsson returns to the earlier conversational form by means of the solo violin. The music connected with the goddess in the snowstorm episode returns as well.

During Martinsson's work with his composition, Kurosawa's film functioned only as a source of inspiration and a mediator of images, which were then given independent musical expression. The composition forms a continuous flow. The listener is seriously advised against listening for borders and parts. The important thing is the journey and the musical bloom of the images.