Bittere Erde (2019)

Petr Eben

Johannes Landgren

Footprint’s re-mastering of recordings from Bo Hansson, co-founder of the legendary Swedish audiophile label Opus 3 continues with this collection of four impassioned works by the ‘Czech Messiaen’ Peter Eben, beginning with his impassioned and urgent masterpiece for choir and organ, Bittere Erde.

Eben’s score takes its lead from poetry by Jaroslav Seifert written as Czechoslovakia faced its darkest days at the start of World War II. The music converts patriotism into an expression of deep and resounding love for one’s home, communicated here in a railing but faultless performance from the choral forces of Musica Vocalis, who relish all the colour and poignancy of the Czech language under Johannes Landgren’s direction.

Landgren, Eben’s prophet in Sweden, moves to the organ bench for a thrilling performance of Eben’s song of protest for organ and trombone, Two Invocations (featuring Lars-Göran Carlsson) and the Due Preludi Festivi that explore the composer’s fascination with the hinterland between composition and improvisation. Per Karlsson joins Landgren for Eben’s Landscapes of Patmos. Though inspired by images of the apocalypse, these colourful canvasses for organ and percussion teem with dancing joy and dark foreboding in performances of extraordinary colour and vitality.

Per Sjösten’s re-mastering from Opus 3’s original Analog Master Tapes – which used the company’s trademark single Blumlein stereo microphone – are accompanied by extensive documentation including the 123 pages of Landgren’s thesis on Eben’s work and its interpretation. Footprint is proud to release this rediscovery of outstanding music caught in recordings of distinction.

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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Bittere Erde (2019)

Petr Eben

Johannes Landgren

Analog Recording Equipment: Telefunken M15 Analog Tape Recorder
Digital Converters: Horus, Merging Technologies
Mastering Engineer: Per Sjösten, Analog to DSD 256 Transfer
Mastering Room: Sound Processing Studio, Göteborg, Sweden
Producer: Bo Hansson
Recording Engineer: Bo Hansson
Recording Location: Recorded on October 7, 1992; March 21 and 22, 1994; and May 4, 1994
Recording Software: Pyramix, Merging Technologies
Recording Type & Bit Rate: Analog

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OP9301: Bittere Erde
00:56:13   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
Bittere Erde - Das Lied der Frauen und Manner
Petr Eben
00:04:47   Select quality & channels above
2.
Bittere Erde - Das Lied vom Heimatland
Petr Eben
00:05:15   Select quality & channels above
3.
Bittere Erde - Das Land der Armen
Petr Eben
00:06:34   Select quality & channels above
4.
Two Invocations - I
Petr Eben
00:05:21   Select quality & channels above
5.
Two Invocations - II
Petr Eben
00:06:02   Select quality & channels above
6.
Due preludi festivi - Festivo I
Petr Eben
00:01:48   Select quality & channels above
7.
Due preludi festivi - Festivo II
Petr Eben
00:02:07   Select quality & channels above
8.
Landscape of Patmos - Landscape with Eagle
Petr Eben
00:03:38   Select quality & channels above
9.
Landscape of Patmos - Landscape with the Eldest
Petr Eben
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10.
Landscape of Patmos - Landscape with Temple
Petr Eben
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11.
Landscape of Patmos - Landscape with Rainbow
Petr Eben
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12.
Landscape of Patmos - Landscape with Horses
Petr Eben
00:07:15   Select quality & channels above

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