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Hambraeus, Bengt

Hambraeus, Bengt

Hambraeus, Bengt, prominent Swedish composer, organist, musicologist, and pedagogue; b. Stockholm, Jan. 29, 1928. He studied organ with Alf Linder (1944—48), and also pursued training in musicology at the Univ. of Uppsala (1947-56; M.A., 1950; Fil.Lic, 1956) and attended the summer courses in new music in Darmstadt (1951–55). After service with the Inst. of Musicology at the Univ. of Uppsala (1948–56), he joined the music dept. of the Swedish Broadcasting Corp. in Stockholm in 1957, where he later was head of its chamber music section (1965–68) and production manager (1968–72). He subsequently was a prof, at McGill Univ. in Montreal from 1972. In 1967 he was made a member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm. In addition to his numerous articles and essays, he publ. Codex Carminum Gallicorum (Uppsala, 1961), Portrait av Bach (with others; Stockholm, 1968), and Om Notskrifter (Stockholm, 1970). Hambraeus is one of the pioneering figures of the Swedish avant-garde. His Doppelrohr for Tape (1955) was one of the earliest electronic pieces by a Scandinavian composer. While he has found inspiration in both the Western and non-Western musical traditions, he has pursued an adventuresome course in his oeuvre.


dramatic: Opera: Experiment X, church opera (1968-69; Stockholm, March 9, 1971); Se människen, church opera (1970; Stockholm, May 15, 1972); Sagan, radio opera (1978-79; Swedish Radio, Aug. 31, 1980); L’Oui-dire (1984–86). ORCH.: Concerto for Organ and Strings (1948); Kleine Musik for Oboe, Strings and Timpani (1949); Rota for 3 Orchestral Groups, Percussion, and Tape (1956-62; Stockholm, May 27, 1964); Transfiguration (1962-63; Swedish Radio, Feb. 20, 1965); Rencontres (1968-71; Swedish Radio, Sept. 8, 1971); Pianissimo in due tempe for 20 Strings (1970-72; Uppsala, April 16, 1972); Invocation (Ames, Iowa, Nov. 11, 1971); Continuo a partire de Pachelbel for Organ and Orch. (1974-75; Nuremberg, June 15, 1976); Ricordanza (1975-76; Norrköping, April 29, 1977); Parade for Wind Orch. (1977); That Harmony for Brass Band (1983); Quodlibet re BACH (1984; Toronto, March 15, 1985); Litanies (1988-89; Stockholm, May 13, 1990); Piano Concerto (1992); Horn Concerto (1995-96; Swedish TV, March 27, 1999); Quatre tableaux, chamber concerto for Oboe, Strings, and Percussion (1998). CHAMBER: Concerto for Organ and Harpsichord (1947–51); Music for Ancient Strings for String Ensemble and Harpsichord (1948); 3 string quartets (1948–67); Musique for Trumpet (1949); Kammarmusik for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Viola, and Harpsichord (1950); Recitativ och Koral for Violin and Piano (1950); Giuco del Cambio for Flute, English Horn, Bass Clarinet, Vibraphone, Harpsichord, Piano, and 3 Percussion (1952-54; Stockholm, Jan. 29, 1955); Komposition for Studio II for Vibraphone, Chimes, 3 Percussion, Piano, Harpsichord, and Organ (1955); IntroduzioneSequenzeCoda for 3 Flutes and 6 Percussion (1958-59; Stockholm, Dec. 11, 1959); Segnali for Electric Guitar, Harp, Violin, Viola, Cello, and Double Bass (1959-60; Swedish Radio, April 8, 1962); Mikro-gram: 7 Aphorisms for Alto Flute, Viola, Vibraphone, and Harp (Stockholm, Dec. 4, 1961); Notazioni for Harpsichord, 3 Flutes, English Horn, Bass Clarinet, 3 Trumpets, 3 Trombones, Celesta, and 6 Percussion (1961; Stockholm, March 17, 1965); Notturno de vecchi strumenti for Soprano Recorder, Crumhorn, Alto Bassoon, Viola d’amore, Bass Gamba, Clavichord, 2 Glockenspiels, and Tambourine (1961; Stockholm, Nov. 17, 1963); Transit II for Horn, Trombone, Electric Guitar, and Piano (Malmö, Nov. 30, 1963); Advent: Veni redemptor gentium for Organ, 4 Trumpets, 4 Trombones, and Percussion (1975); Jeu de cinq for Wind Quintet (1976; Toronto, Feb. 24, 1977); Relief—haut et bas for 2 Flutes, 3 Horns, Trombone, 2 Percussion, and 2 Double Basses (1979; Montreal, April 10, 1980); Strata for 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets, 2 Basset Horns, 2 Bassoons, 2 Horns, and Double Bass (1979-80; Stockholm, Sept. 20, 1980); Sheng for Oboe and Organ (1983; Toronto, Sept. 12, 1984); Monologo for Flute (1984); Trio Sonata for Free Bass Accordion, Trombone, and Prepared Piano (1985); Mirrors for Oboe and Tape (1986–87); Night Music for Guitar and Percussion (1988); Dos recercadas for Guitar and Cello (1988); Cinque studi canonici for 2 Flutes (1988); Nazdar M J for 3 Trumpets, 4 Horns, 3 Trombones, Tuba, Timpani, and Chimes (1989); Archipel for 15 Instruments (1997); Clarinet Quintet (1997–98). keyboard: piano:Toccata (1947–49); Cercles (1948); Klockspel (1968); Carillon: Le Recital oublié for 2 Pianos (1972–74); Tre intermezzi (1984); Vortex for 2 Pianos (1986). organ:Koralforspel (1948); Toccata pro tempore pentecostes (1948); Introitus et Triptychon (1949–50); Musik (1950); Liturgia (1951–52); Permutations and Hymn: Node surgentes (1953); Constellations I (1958), II with Tape (1959), III with Tape (1961), and IV with Percussion (1978); Interferenzen (1961–62); Tre pezzi (1966–67); Nebulosa (1969); Toccata pro organo: Monumentum per Max Reger (1973); Ricercare (1974); Icons (1974–75); Extempore (1975); Antiphonie (1977); Livre d’orgue (4 vols., 1981); Voluntaryon a Swedish Hymn Tune from Dalecarlia (1981); Variations sur un thème de Gilles Vigneault (1984); La Passacaille erranteautour Haendel 1985 (1984); Pedalexercitium (1985); Après-Sheng (1988); Cadenza (1988); Riflessioni (1999). VOCAL: Cantigas de Santa Maria for Soprano, Alto, Baritone, and 3 Instrumental Groups (Stockholm, Dec. 17, 1949; also for Chorus and Organ, 1950); Triptychon for Chorus (1950); Spectrogram for Soprano, Flute, Vibraphone, and Percussion (1953); Antiphonies en rondes for Soprano and Orch. (1953); Psalmus CXXI and CXXII for Soprano and Organ (1953); Gacelas y casidas de Federico Garcia Lorca for Tenor, Flute, English Horn, Bass Clarinet, Vibraphone, Bells, and Percussion (Stockholm, Jan. 23, 1953); Crystal Sequence for Soprano Chorus, 2 Trumpets, Vibraphone, Bells, Percussion, and 12 Violins (1954); Responsorier for Tenor, Chorus, Congregation, and 2 Organs (1964; Uppsala, June 16, 1966); Praeludium, Kyrie, Sanctus for 2 Choruses, Soloist, 2 Organs, and Congregation (Stockholm, Aug. 13, 1966); Motectum archangeli Michaelis for Chorus and Organ (Stockholm, Oct. 15, 1967); Nonsens for Chorus (1970); Inductio for Soprano, Alto Mixed Chorus, 3 Trumpets, and 3 Trombones (1979; Montreal, Feb. 8, 1980); Alpha—Omega for Chorus and Organ (1982); Constellations V for 2 Amplified Sopranos, Chorus, and Organ (1982-83; Nuremberg, Sept. 16, 1983); Symphonia sacra in tempore passionis for Soloists, Chorus, Winds, and Percussion (1986; Montreal, March 6, 1987); Apocalipsis cum figuris secundum Duerer 1498 for Bass, Chorus, and Organ (1987; Nuremberg, Oct. 7, 1988); 5 Psalms for Chorus (1987); Echoes of Loneliness for 4 Choruses (1988).electronic:Doppelrohr (1955; Cologne, May 30, 1956); Fresque sonore (1956–57); Visioner over en svensk folkvisa (Swedish Radio, Nov. 13, 1959); Intrada (1976).


P. Broman, N. Engebretsen, and B. Alphonce, eds., Crosscurrents and Counterpoints: Offerings in Honor of B. H. at 70 (Göteborg, 1998).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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