- Symphony No. 4, Op. 27
- Symphony No. 5, Op. 38
- Oscarsbalen, ballet suite, Op. 24a
Even at his roughest and toughest, twentieth century Swedish composer Dag Wir�n is no bully boy modernist composer. While his writing is polished, his lines are clean and his shapes are focused, Wir�n is still tonal, still melodic, and still readily comprehensible. This doesn't make Wir�n any less a modernist -- his acerbic asides and mordant humor mark him out as a man of his time -- but clearly Milhaud meant more to him than Mahler, Hindemith meant more to him than Stravinsky, and Schoenberg meant nothing to him at all. In this well-chosen disc of two symphonies and a ballet suite by Wir�n, Thomas Dausgaard and the Norrk�ping Symphony present a fair and persuasive case for the composer. If you tend to favor the lighter side of Prokofiev, try the sardonic "Oscarbalen Suite" with its perky themes and pungent colors. If you lean toward the more compact Walton, try symphonies "No. 4" and "No. 5" with their terse themes, concise forms, and driven tempos. If you tend to favor the massive and the monumental symphonies of Hilding Rosenberg or if you lean toward the anguished and agonized symphonies of Allan Pettersson, skip Dag Wir�n. In comparison, his music may seem like too little and too light. Still, captured in CPO's clear sound, Dausgaard and the Norrk�ping Symphony's alert performances will be mandatory listening for fans of twentieth century Swedish orchestra, if only to put the symphonies of Rosenberg and Pettersson in context.