, June 2000
"This enjoyable concert gets off to a bracing start with the August S”derman piece, its raucous fanfares and rhythms reminiscent of those in Rossini's William Tell Overture. Wilhelm Stenhammar's radiant, lyrical interlude is a good change of pace, followed by the simple, folk-inspired compositions of Lars-Erik Larsson. Wilhelm Peterson-Berger is remembered more as a feared music critic than as a composer; what a surprise, then, to discover four charming pieces from his collection inspired by Grieg's Lyric pieces. Dag Wir‚n's Serenade for Strings bubbles over with good humor, particularly evident in its joyous final movement. Hugo Alfv‚n was the best-known composer outside his own country and is represented here by his most famous work, the Midsommarkava (Midsummer Vigil), and a few lesser-known pieces.
Conductor Okko Kamu won the Herbert von Karajan conducting competition when he was only 22.It's good to have new recordings from him, as he is a conductor of great energy and insight. This is a beguiling collection, and it shouldn't matter if you already have a recording of the Midsommarkava: this extremely rambunctious one (with a soulful, lyric central section) will give another compelling view. The sound is very good, offering a mid-hall perspective, clear definition, and a lot of warmth. And all these pluses are offered at budget price."