#223– October 30, 2023
On the occasion of the 80th anniversary of Swedish composer and conductor Daniel Börtz, Sinfonia 10 is our Composition of the Week.
Sinfonia 10 was finished in 1992 and premiered one year after, on March 15, 1993, at Stadsteatern Stockolm, Sweden, by the Stockholms Blåsarsymfoniker under David Porcelijn.
The music is scored for a large wind orchestra, including doubling players at alto flute, contra-bassoon, contrabass clarinet, bass saxophone, piccolo trumpet, as well as a very large percussion section with 7 players.
Sinfonia 10 is written in one single movement. It has a duration of 18 minutes. The music is available on rental at Gehrmans Musikförlag.
“Sinfonia 10 consists of one movement, but several sections can be distinguished; these sections follow one another without interruption. The symphony begins with subtle timpani roll. The timpanist rolls pianissimo possibile (ppp) and then builds to a crescendo.
Progressively more instruments join in, increasing the texture accordingly. Starting with the tuba, it expands to clarinet. The massiveness makes the music feel unwieldy. The music moves forward into a faster tempo after about four minutes and becomes more playful. Musical embellishments are part of the notation here. Everything culminates in a passage written for solo percussion, returning to the calm of the beginning. The work reaches its end after a few solos by various wind instruments, lingering on a sudden ending.”
Daniel Börtz studied at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, taking composition lessons from Hilding Rosenberg from 1961. He also worked with Karl-Birger Blomdahl and Ingvar Lidholm. In the 1970s and 1980s, he taught orchestration at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. From 1998 to 2003, he was President of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. Börtz has composed chamber music, orchestral works (including several concertos), twelve symphonies and several operas, including Backanterna (The Bacchantes, 1990), premiered in 1991 at the Royal Opera of Stockholm and directed by Ingmar Bergman, as well as Goya, premiered in 2009.
His opera Marie-Antoinette was performed fifty times to packed houses after its premiere at Stockholm’s Folkoperan.
Other works by Daniel Börtz for winds include:
• Prelude for Brass
• Concerto for Bassoon, Wind Instruments, Percussion, Celesta and Harp (written for the American Wind Symphony Orchestra)
• Concerto Grosso No 2 (written for the American Wind Symphony Orchestra)
• Divertimento Serio (12 saxophones)
• Five Songs – Three Poets (chamber winds)