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Lev Lindgren

   “It’s a late evening in November, and not a soul in the streets. Darkness is hiding in the alleys, and rain is drizzling down. It feels as if time has taken us 800 years back. Old lopsided houses shadow gloomily on a cobblestone road. We have got a presentiment of the fearful Middle Ages.

   These mirages vanish into the air all of a sudden. One could sense breath of the modern Stockholm from an underground train passing the Old Town on its way from towards the city centre, taking us back to the present-day reality.

   Rumble of train wheels fades far away. Instead, we hear church bells resounding through strained silence of the Old Town as it settles back into its side streets winding in their course...”                          A Rosenkrans. Prelude "The Old Town" by L.Lindgren

    "There is an old castle by the sea. It has all gone to ruin. Its walls are gaping with empty window holes. A birch is sticking up on the debris of the roof. The vast waters of the sea can be seen behind the castle. It is morning. The sun has risen. Still the cool of the morning feels in the air.  The horizon looks prominent, and the water level seems to be above the shore. It feels like its masses, completely still, are about to overflow. The colours are missing their clearness. (…) There is a ringing in the ears of silence. The time has stopped for a moment…”                                                                                                                                                                 A.Rosenkrans. Prelude "The Vast Sea" by L.Lindgren op.11 no.1

    Piano compositions by L.Lindgren. Writing solely piano music, as a composer/performer, he has chosen quite an original way, which is non-typical for composer tradition in Sweden. Despite of almost a century difference, L.Lindgren is congenial to Emil Sjögren and Wilhelm Stenhammar. Nevertheless, not only Swedish piano music tradition is his nature, but also Russian for the composer is born and used to live in Russia for a long time.

    “The Scandinavian music influence, Edvard Grieg first of all, feels in L.Lindgren’s compositions. Also, impressionistic features are visible in several of his sketches – in his scenes of Stockholm’s city life, of its landscape and architecture. However, it would not be right to confine his works to the Scandinavian school only. L.Lindgren is a master of piano miniature. In this respect, he continues the traditions of the Russian school, especially of Skryabin and Lyadov (…) His professional pianism, the tonal beauty of his performance, his musical agogics, his rhythmical unboundedness – all this indicates him belonging to the Russian pianistic school (…) By drawing upon music traditions of the last century beginning, L.Lindgren is trying to return to that starting point where traditions of gradual cultural development were broken, when afterwards new music striving, inconstancy and often unfruitful attempts had started.”

    One piano concerto, two sonata-fantasies, two ballades for piano and numerous sets of preludes and piano miniatures are among L.Lindgren compositions. Starting from 2004, the composer more often performs with his own works. His appearance on one of the major stages in Sweden, the Stockholm Concert Hall, was a great success for him both as for composer and for performer. His piano miniatures, his ballades, amongst which is the notable no. 1, "Die vier apokalyptischen Reiter" ("The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse"), and his preludes from "Scenes of Stockholm" cycle had met with a favourable reception from the audience. After this concert J.Söderberg wrote: “L.Lindgren’s music bears influence of Scriabin works, of impressionists, and quite unusual of jazz. His comprehensible, stylistically unbounded, audacious and impeccably performed preludes from "Scenes of Stockholm" catch the breath of not so much rapidly changing city, quite often for the worse, as of nostalgically memorable to many of its citizens Stockholm of twenties and thirties, of already last century”.

    In Moscow L.Lindgren has performed more than once. His concerts in Russian Academy of Sciences Central Congress Hall, the Gnesin State Musical College and the Academy of Music, the Central House of Art Workers and the A.A. Bahrushin State Central Theatre Museum are still remembered.

    ”A small reception room of the old age-old mansion is cram-full. The picturesque, colourful and frank music of distinct style wins all hearts. (…) Very unusual accords and concords, unexpected techniques used, beautiful combinations of various pedalling types and length of low-pitched sounds create images of the distant land of Sweden. (…) L.Lindgren compositions give performers a great chance of their artistic interpreting. The improvisational style of his works, with collages and impressionistic sketches, captivates the audience agitating.” (I. Zatravkina, Moscow State Pedagogical University, Associate Professor, PhD)

    "When listening to his music one admires unbounded beauty of images it creates in the mind’s eye. Perhaps, each of us has different images, but they are all heart-warming, sunny and clear like thaw early in spring or a first love. (…) The wonderful preludes captivate at once (op.16, nos.1,2). They are so sincerely transparent, so serene of happiness, SO FULL of KINDNESS that all wear and tear of life fades away and one feels extraordinary ease of the sudden freedom. It feels like being one-on-one with an always wonderful WORLD – in harmony and iridescence of the magical sounds. (…) L.Lindgren “Scenes of Stockholm” awake a very special feeling. (…) A green oasis in the middle of the urban life, an ages-old steamship, the former residence of Prince Eugene, a church on Riddarholmen Island, where he so brilliantly succeeded in "stopping time", have become close, yet mysterious and inviting. It is quite true that all a talented person must be talented in everything. L.Lindgren the composer is a virtuosic performer as well, an Artist with a world-view out of the ordinary and beyond question a true poet. It was pleasant to learn that he writes verses solely in Russian. And what a wonderful verses! I have heard from one of my friends calling his poetry being sombre, and I atilt disagree to this. The profound philosophy of a man understanding the diversity of life around, the strife of the light and the dark, the whole range of the deep feelings – all this can be found in L.Lindgren revelations. And the main of it is the great love to life we are granted. This is the love that unite his poetry, his creations and of course his music.” (Kiseleva N., Honoured Cultural Worker of the Russian Federation. CDRI - The Central House of Arts Worker. In the Music World. Preludes of Glory)

    Apart from concert tours, L.Lindgren recorded 8 CDs in 2004-2007. It is also worth mentioning his collaboration with the Swedish tenor D.Malm which resulted into the Russian romance programme, consisted of Rachmaninov’s and Cui’s works (a rare case when L.Lindgren performed only as a pianist), introducing Stockholm music-devotees to the part of their oeuvre less known in Sweden.

    Time and again L.Lindgren's music has been broadcasted on a Swedish public radio channel. After the concerts in Moscow in October of 2006, the Voice of Russia radiocasted his interview as well.

    However, L.Lindgren does not confine himself to the music pursuits only. He made himself known as an artist in April of 1998. His first exhibition took place at the Russian Culture Society of Stockholm. One of its organiser and the society’s Head of Art Division L.Oganesyan commented: “On April 4 our compatriot L.Lindgren made his début. The uncommonness of this event was the fact that he performed in three different roles – as an artist, as a poet, and as a musician. 100 graphic works, 30 collages and several paintings were offered to the audience. (…) Being is a quite precise decryption of his work, L.Lindgren unforgettable series (“Are you a Bird?”, “Kitay-gorod”, “The cats” and many more) looked more vivid against his own music he and poems he performed and recited, bringing three arts together. (…) It is worthy of note that refused to sell his works. All of them are very cinematic in form and fact. Views of mostly late autumn or winter workaday Moscow, depicted on almost all his graphic works, create a peculiar world and rhythm, clear only to those born and raised in this city, to those valuing its fanciful and sometimes disagreeable image, not the accustomed one of the pictorially pompous capital-megalopolis.”

    In connection with L.Lindgren's concert in Moscow at the A.A. Bahrushin State Central Theatre Museum, some of his graphic works were exhibited there.

    Recently, L.Lindgren's book "Professor P. and the Travel to World’s End" with almost all his graphic works, collages and other drawings was published in autumn of 2007. The following year his other book "Da Capo" became something of a sequel of the previous one. At the same time, his two books of poems "The Birds Play" and "The Kitay-gorod Epos" were reissued, being initially published in 1998.

    We hope to be able to post on this web-site many of L.Lindgren works – his music, his music essays, his graphic works and poems, and so on. We also hope to have the possibility of introducing you to his new records and works. All materials are posted here with the consent of the composer. Our editorial staff would like to show appreciation of APIS records and ALM/Swedish Piano Society kind help in providing the records and materials for this web page. We would also like to thank everyone who has been helping us in its development.