Here is an approximate English translation of Pär's Swedish text.
It might not be a good idea to review a concert that you have attended and hosted as a member of the board of the Chamber Music Friends in Allhelgonakyrkan but I'll do it anyway. And call it some thoughts.
But what to choose from the evening of February 17, 2018 when a total of 14 (!) musicians in collaboration with the Gunnar and Judith de Frumerie's Stipendiefond ( Scholarship Fund) presented a bouquet of Gunnar de Frumerie's outstanding chamber music; a small festival 110 years after Gunnar's birth.
Perhaps his second piano sonata from 1968 with the phenomenal Martin Sturfält. Wonderful first movement (Allegro elegiaco).
Or the intimate collaboration between Ylva Larsdotter, violin; Amalie Stalheim, cello and Bengt Forsberg, piano, in piano trio nr two.
On the other hand, thirteen of his songs were performed, to texts by, in particular, Pär Lagerkvist. Ingrid Tobiasson, who jumped in at short-notice (thank you Ingrid, with whom I have danced hambo - or was it schottis - on my way up to the festival in Arjeplog) and Jacob Högström sang these short short works with great empathy. Works with amazing piano pieces, congenially interpreted by Thomas Schuback.
"I think the songs will make him immortal," wrote Bengt Forsberg in Friends, the scholarship's small letter about Gunnar.
But finally what remains in my memory and heart, Musica per nove opus 75 from 1976, the final work of the concert.
Besides being unique music with a string quartet, wind quartet and piano, the work has a distressing background. Bengt Forsberg explained how and why Gunnar De Frumerie wrote his Music for nine. I will try to reproduce Bengt's words.
At Gunnar's home they are waiting for Karin, Gunnar's beloved sister and cellist, to play Brahms. Karin doesn't arrive and worry increases. Finally the awful message - Karin has died in a car accident on her way to the rehearsal.
Without being the classical program music the four movements describe what has happened.
In the first movement - Andante Maestoso - Allegro con Brio - we hear how Gunnar and the others walk back and forth and are increasingly concerned. They stop, listen and wonder what has happened.
The second movement is an Andante Tranquillo - a homage to Karin de Frumerie with a beautiful cello solo, performed with a big warm sound by the evening's cellist Amalie Stalheim. In this solemn movement, De Frumerie has placed pieces of chamber music by Johannes Brahms, one of both Karin and Gunnar's soulmates, whom they often performed.
In the third movement - Allegro misterioso - we experience the horrendous car journey. It's goes fast, maybe a little awkward, there's poor visibility. We hear perpetual traffic, the speed is increased, the alarm increases. Then a sudden crash. A long general pause - and then a little stabbing chord, where life is extinguished.
But the last movement - Andantino con moto - is despite that, a bright, shimmering light, as a sort of reminder of a loved one.
Musica per nove was performed this evening without a trace of sentimentality but with the tenderness and intimacy that Gunnar de Frumerie felt when writing the work.
A big thank you to Ylva Larsdotter, violin; Maria Winiarski, viola; Amalie Stalheim, cello; Jesper Julin, double bass; Siobhan Parker, oboe / English horn; Magnus Holmander, clarinet; Bodil Kindlundh, bassoon; Martin Thorell, trumpet and David Huang, piano.
Pär Trehörning (translation by V. Van Note)