John-Edward Kelly Plays Anders Eliasson
2012 release. Anders Eliasson shines as a brilliant light among the hundreds of composers I have worked with. There is no composer whose music I have performed more frequently, nor whose music has touched me more deeply. I had never even heard the name before the summer of 1984. While discussing Swedish music with Sven-David Sandström at Stockholm's Cafe Opera, I asked whether he might suggest any outstanding Swedish composers. He became unusually introspective and penciled Anders' name and number on the back of a paper napkin, saying "This is the best composer in Sweden." I was so surprised by his comment that I stopped at the next payphone to call Anders. An hour later, I was in front of his door in Stockholm's Gamla Stan. Anders Eliasson's music speaks of a vast, multidimensional inner tone world, at once intricately complex and sublimely translucent. It is a musical microcosm whose myriad structures are distilled from and support the whole, in which no single element is left to chance. The rich culture and energy of each moment circumscribe an inner sphere which is intrinsically intimate, even when starkly dramatic. Anders Eliasson lives for and through his music. He expects his audience not to celebrate him, but to listen. I have seen Anders storm out of a rehearsal because the conductor failed to correct a wrong note, and refuse acknowledgment after a poor performance; but I have also seen him moved to tears by heartfelt playing, no matter who wrote the music. He is innately warm, but can also be unpleasantly direct; and he lacks -- even disdains -- today's conspicuous skills of self-promotion. Indeed, he has stated often that "It is about the music, not me". I once witnessed him composing, and his total immersion into his work -- as though driven by a great spiritual force -- was both touching and inspiring. His labor of love is an ongoing wellspring of creativity, the fruits of which have joined the greatest treasures of my heart. I know that the listener able to open his heart's ear to this extraordinary music shall find himself drawn into the magnificent corridors of Anders Eliasson's musical world. It is a very special place. Performed by: Arcos Orchestra, John-Edward Kelly (conductor, alto saxophone), Bob Versteegh (piano), Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Leif Segerstam (conductor).