Harald Sæverud

His full name was Harald Sigurd Johan Sæverud, but the New Groves puts brackets around the ‘Sigurd Johan’ bit, indicating optionality: they are therefore left out when cataloguing as far as I’m concerned! You can spell the last name with a ligature between the ‘a’ and ‘e’ -though the New Groves uses two distinct letters. Perhaps there’s a typographical reason for doing so, but Wikipedia is happy to use the ligature. Last.fm does not, but they’re always odd -and in any case have at least 10 different ways of referencing the same man! So: on these pages, as in my collection, the ligature is very much in use, despite the New Groves’ rather lackadaisical approach to typesetting his surname.

As you can tell from the photo at the left, he lived to an advanced age. His dates are actually 1897 to 1992, so he was practically 95 when he died. He was born and died in Bergen (Norway) and was, for much of the 20th Century, that country’s most lauded composer. His style ranges from being (early on) quite tonal and decidedly late romantic to an astringent atonalism in the 1930s. Post-war, his style developed into what New Groves describes as ‘freely tonal’, with ‘extensive polyphony and thematic material that often grows by degrees from concentrated motifs’.

 


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Music Plays from my collection
(since January 9th 2021)

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