Petr Eben - A Composer Portrait (1992)

Petr Eben

Johannes Landgren

Four decades on from the founding of Opus 3 Records by Bo Hansson and Jan-Eric Persson, Footprint is proud to launch a series of re-mastered editions of some of this iconic audiophile labels most cherished recordings – beginning with this portrait of the Czech composer Peter Eben.

Eben was a neo-expressionistic composer whose music continues to exercise a lasting influence on the choral and organ world more than a decade after his death. He explored the relationship between improvisation and composition like few other composers in history. His music was born of intense faith and rigorous craftsmanship, one reason he is often spoken of as a Czech counterpart to Olivier Messiaen.

That music made a huge impression on the Swedish organist Johannes Landgren, who travelled to Prague to study with Eben and performed the composer’s complete works for the first time in Sweden. At the heart of this portrait of the composer originally released in the early 1990s are Landgren’s performances of the monumental organ masterworks including the hymn of gratitude Laudes and his work inspired by Marc Chagall’s stained-glass windows, Okna.

Also included on this portrait of Peter Eben are the composer’s madrigals Desire of Ancient Things, his song of praise to the sun Cantico delle Creature and the extended aria based on texts from the Old Testament, Lied der Ruth featuring soprano Helena Ek.

Per Sjösten’s re-masterings from Opus 3’s original analogue tapes (using the company’s single Blumlein stereo microphone) are accompanied by extensive documentation including the 123 pages of Landgren’s thesis on Eben’s work and its interpretation. An essential release for anyone interested in twentieth-century or organ music, and the start of a major new series for Footprint.

- Andrew Mellor

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Johannes Landgren

JOHANNES LANDGREN was born in Lapponia (the north part of Sweden) in 1961. He began his studies at the School of Music and Musicology at the Gothenburg University in 1980. In 1985 he got his degree in Church Music, in 1987 he received his soloist diploma in organ repertoire and organ improvisation, in 1990 he finished his studies in choir pedagogy, and in May 1997 he presented his dissertation on Petr Eben´s organ music. 
The recent years Landgren has been teaching at the Göteborg School of Music and Musicology (within Göteborg University). As organist and conductor he has toured in many countries in Europe and made a number of CD-recordings and broadcast recordings both in Sweden and abroad. At present he conducts postdoctoral research at the Faculty of Arts at Göteborg University, and is active as a freelance organist and conductor.
As a conductor and organist Johannes has toured around most of Europe, with great success. He has participated in many international competitions and festivals. A.o. he did win three prestigious awards in the Prague Days of Choral singing in 1994: His chamber choir ”Varbergs kammarkör” was awarded with the first prize in the chamber choir competition, the ”Grand Prix” for the entire competition and Johannes himself was awarded as the best conductor of the competition. He has, as conductor and organist, made recordings for radio and Television in Sweden, Belgium, Ireland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Finland and Estonia. He has also made more than twenty CD recordings, including renaissance, baroque and contemporary music. The CD:s have achieved splendid reviews and one of the biggest newspapers in Sweden also awarded one of the CD:s the title ”recording of the year”. Together with, among others, Håkan Lewin Johannes has toured in most countries of Europe, in the USA and Russia and also made several TV- radio- and CD recordings. At present Johannes Landgren is conducting research at the faculty of fine, applied, and performing arts, Göteborg University. He is also professor of organ and organ improvisation at the School of Music and Drama at the samr University, Guest Professor at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm as well as freelance musician.

Photo: Anders Nicander, from Artist's website.

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Petr Eben - A Composer Portrait (1992)

Petr Eben

Johannes Landgren

Analog Recording Equipment: Telefunken M15
Digital Converters: Horus, Merging Technologies
Financial Support : This production has received support from the Swedish Arts Council
Mastering Engineer: Per Sjösten - Analog Master Tape to DSD 256 Transfer with no processing used (DSD 256), with gentle dynamic processing (DXD)
Mastering Room: Sound Processing Studio, Göteborg, Sweden
Producer: Bo Hansson
Recording Engineer: Bo Hansson
Recording Location: Recorded on Jan. 18 and 19, 1991; April 2, 1991; June 8, 1991; and July 5, 1991
Recording Software: Pyramix, Merging Technologies
Recording Type & Bit Rate: Analog

This album was recorded to Analog tape. It was then transferred to the DSD bit rate indicated above.

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OP9102: Petr Eben - A Composer Portrait
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Tracks.
1.
Laudes - Largo
Petr Eben
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2.
Laudes - Allegro solenne
Petr Eben
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3.
Laudes - Fantastico
Petr Eben
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4.
Laudes - Gravamente
Petr Eben
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5.
Desire of ancient things - On an Air of Rameau
Petr Eben
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6.
Desire of ancient things - By the Pool
Petr Eben
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7.
Desire of ancient things - A Tune
Petr Eben
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8.
Cantico delle creature
Petr Eben
00:05:19   Select quality & channels above
9.
Okna - Blue Window
Petr Eben
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10.
Okna - Green Window
Petr Eben
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11.
Okna - Red Window
Petr Eben
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12.
Okna - Golden Window
Petr Eben
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13.
Song of Ruth
Petr Eben
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