DAG WIRÉN (1905 - 1986)
The Swedish composer and critic Dag Wirén (1905–86) was a student of Sabaneyev’s in Paris, where he came under the influence of Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Honegger. Ranging from the neoclassically attractive to the frankly commercial (a 1965 Eurovision Song Contest entry), extreme clarity and formal craftsmanship within tonal boundaries was the distinguishing feature of his output. He used to be fond of saying his first desire was to entertain and please, to create listener-friendly “modern” music. That, however, he could on occasion be serious and weighty is suggested by the profundity and climax of the slow movement of the G major Serenade (1937). A rhythmically joyous work otherwise celebrated for its tricky scherzo and “signature tune” finale. He wrote it for the Stockholm Chamber Orchestra.