Swedish composer Bo Linde, a conservative in the days of serialist repression, committed suicide in 1970 at the age of 37. His work remains little known, at least outside of Sweden, but a few recordings of his larger instrumental works have revealed a composer of unusual melodic talents. This album of songs, by the absolutely distinctive soprano Susann Végh, is in Swedish only, texts, booklet, and all. For the non-speaker, however, it is still enough to whet the appetite for more of Linde's music. Comparisons have been drawn between Linde and Benjamin Britten, and the tonal palettes of the two composers are indeed similar. But these songs are entirely different in effect from Britten or anyone else. Both lyrical and highly rigorous, they are very concise; most are just a bit over one minute long. Even the final ABC-resan, at 12 minutes plus, consists of a series of brief gestures not unlike the shorter songs. The piano part is active and sometimes ends with a phrase summing up the musical events of the song. Appearing on Sweden's Lovestream label, this release is apparently intended for that country's domestic market. But it points the way to fertile new ground for singers everywhere.
AllMusic Review by James Manheim
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