Summary of Career and Style Periods
Childhood and Youth
Composer of the Society
To Soar Like Mozart
From Åkarp to International Recognition






Summary of Career and Style Periods


Keeping his distance from extremely progressive trends in the development of twentieth-century art music, Larsson often returned to the following statement.


I want to write music that is beautiful.



And he succeeded. Among Swedish composers of this century, Larsson died as the most performed and most loved by his own people, even byÝ many who were not familiar with his name, but knew of his music.[1]Ý



Lars-Erik (Vilner) Larsson was born in Åkarp, Sweden May 15, 1908 and died in HelsingborgÝ December, 12 1986. He recieved his Certificate in organ performace, in Växjö, 1924. Receiving a certificate of this sort does not require enrollment in any particular school or institution. The certificate is earned after auditioning for a organist at any major cathedral. From 1925 to 1929 Larsson was a student at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, studying composition with Ernst Ellberg and conducting with Olallo Morales. In 1929 Larsson received a major grant from the Swedish Government, which allowed him to continue his studies in composition. Larsson went to Vienna where he studied with Alban Berg and later continued on to Leipzig for studies with Fritz Reuter. 1930-31 Larsson worked as a theater coach at Royal Theater in Stockholm, continuing teaching music in Malmö and Lund during the succeeding year. In addition to the teaching, Larsson was also a music reviewer at the Lunds Dagblad, 1933-1937.


By the performance of the Sinfonietta för stråkorkester op.10 on April 5, 1934, at the fourth concert of the twelveth ISCM's (International Society for Contemporary Music) festival, held in Florence, Italy, Larsson acquired international recognition, leading to increasing international promotion of Larsson's compositions during the 1930s.[2] The Sinfonietta was preceeded on the concert by a Phantasy Quartet op.2 by Benjamin Britten, a Piano Trio by Heinrich Neugeboren, a Quartettino by Leopold Spinner, a Sonata for violin and piano by Jaroslav Jezek, Five Lyric Pieces by Hans Erich Apostel and a Cantata by Richard Str¸zenegger.[3] Sten Broman gave a detailed report onÝ the matter.


The twenty-two piece orchestra entered the stage and the first movement of the Sinfonietta was played in such a tempo and with such confidence that the audience started to wake up again...the piece was the last one, on a program that lasted through midnight. Larsson's composition came as a refreshing breeze and left a strong impression on a, up to that point, sleepy gathering of listeners. The last movement was followed by standing ovations.[4]


Between 1937-43, Larsson worked for the Swedish Radio as conductor, composer and producer. Significant compositions from this period are Pastoralsvit and Förklädd gud. Larsson continued to conduct the Swedish Radio Chamber Orchestra until 1953. From 1945-47 LarssonÝ was employed as a supervisor for theÝ for Swedish Radio Orchestras. Larsson was professor of composition at the Royal Academy of Music , Stockholm from 1947-59, which preceded his position as director of music at Uppsala University, 1961-66. In addition to his employment Larsson was active in various organizations throughout his career. From 1939-63 Larsson was on the board of the Föreningen Svenska Tonsättare (Swedish Composersí Society) and between 1942-47 Larsson was the Associated Chairman for the same organization. Larsson has during his career received various prizes and awards for his contribution to the music life of Sweden.


As a composer, Larsson has continuously switched between Nordic- romantic, neo-classical styles and more experimental ways of expression, such as poly tonality and dodecaphonical procedures. Larssonís earlier workswere composed in a romantic style with influences of Sibelius.[5] To Herbert Connor, Larsson explained his early passion for Sibelius. Fourteen year old Larsson heard Sibelius conducting his Seventh and First symphonies, with the Copenhagen Philarmonic Orchestra, performing in Malmö. Especially the first symphony made a strong impression on Larsson, which verifies Larsson's attraction towards neo-classical forms, rather than forms involving more elaborate developments and transformations as in the seventh symphony.


I was on cloud nine. I think this experience had a strong impact onÝ my development as a composer. Of similar importance was my confrontation with Stenhammar's Sonata for Violin and Piano, a-minor, which I heard performed by the composer and Henri Marteau.[6]


Törnblomís discussion of Larssonís music corresponds with Larssonís own statement.


An unquestionable Nordic tone color is heard in his music, without making obvious use of, or coping Swedish folk music - he is not a national-romantic composer such as Alfén, Atterberg or Pettersson-Berger. Still, there is something blond and light about his music, which is perceived by the listener as reminiscence of Nordic music, even though there are not any analytical details in particular that confirms such use. Ethnically, his art appears to be related to Carl Nielsen and Vilhelm Stenhammar. His musicality seems to be inherited from Sibelius as well.[7]


After studying abroad, new styles started to make their way into Larssonís compositions.Ý Even though Larssonís studies with Alban Berg (1929-30) did not immediately make a significant change in Larssonís style of composing, Larsson's visit to Vienna introduced him to both Schönbergís twelve tone techniques as well as Hindemithís neo-classical style. By using twelve-tone techniques in 10 tvåstämmiga pianostycken (1932), Larsson became the first composer in Sweden who made use of such techniques.[8] However, this phase was not long lasting and the use of dodecaphonic forms would only appear periodically through Larsson's career.


I have always felt insecure towards methods of composition associated with the Vienna School. But there are times when I am seeking for a strict and formal clarity, I feel forced to attempt dodecaphonic procedures.[9]ÝÝ


From the same period appears an unfinished string quartet with strident tonality, resembling Hindemith. Of greater significance is the Sinfonietta för stråkar (1932). This composition is completely non-romantic and the overall linear features and monotonous rhythms in the outer movements indicate that baroque features have been of significance. The Sinfonietta is characterized by a harsh aggressiveness, unusual to the general lyricism found in Larssonís compositions. The Sinfonietta was succeeded by several successful compositions, each one with an increasing warmth and neo-classical elegance; Konsertuvertyr no.2 (1934), Saxofonkonsert (1934), Liten serenade för stråkar (1934), Divertimento (1935) and Pianosonatin no.1 (1936).[10] Wallner summarizes this style period as follows, interpreting the Saxophone Concerto as the most traditional of them all.


The piano sonata,op.16 is the last one in a group of compositions, which all resemble each other, concerning the form and fundamental moods. To this group belongs the Sinfonietta (1932) with which Larsson earned his international reputation and the ISCM conference in Florence, 1934; the Saxophone Concerto; Serenad för stråkorkester; Divertimento för kammarmusik and Konsertuvertyr nr.2. Softest of them all is the Saxophone concerto, most harshness is found in the Sinfonietta, which with its slow movement also shows neo-baroque features and something of a strict sacred style (the material taken from a mass which only remained in sketches.)[11]

Simultaneously, attempts to compose large scale works were less successful and both the Symfoni no.2 (1937) as well as the opera Prinsessan av Cypern (1930-37) were criticized for their mix of too many styles within each composition respectively, their lack of independence and unification as individual pieces, and weaknesses in main ideas. These compositions were withdrawn by the composer. The Symphony was later revised and performed during the 1970ís. Parts of both the Symfoni no.2 and the opera emerged as individual pieces: Ostinato and 3 Operabilder, respectively.


With the employment at the Swedish Radio, Larsson went through another style period.[12] During this period he would produced his most popular compositions and thereby establish his name among Swedish music lovers. An article by Håkan Dahl and Tore Ljungberg, published just after Larsson's death, highlighted this fact.


A progressive and avant-garde composer who becomes loved by the people and viewed as being humble, sometimes said to be too modest with his music. How could that happened?[13]


The reasoning for this shift, was a combination of various incidents and changes in Larsson's career. Starting 1937 and until the first half of the 1940's, Larsson focused on works commissioned by the Swedish Radio, theaters or film productions, and more or less abandoned attempts of composing anything of personal intention. In cooperation with Hjalmar Gullberg and Pontus Boman, Larsson developed a new form of music program for the radio; the lyric suite. The program consisted of the reciting of poems, integrated with pieces of music. Compositions written for these programs are Dagens Stunder (1938), which later became revised as the Patoralsvit for concert performance; Senhöstblad (1938), from which Intima miniatyrer for string quartet emerged; and the cantata Förklädd gud (1940). In all these compositions, as well as in the music for Shakespeare's A Winter Tale (En vintersaga), a warm Nordic romanticism appears, specially in the slow movements. The Pastoralsvit is a masterful piece in all aspects, created by refined balance between melody, harmony, rhythm, form and instrumentation. Still, the elegance of Larsson's neo-classical style is maintained in the faster movements.


During World War II, Larsson composed a few pieces of lighter entertainment character as well as some cantatas, all for the purpose of maintaining hope and courage within the nation while the Nazis occupied the neighboring countries of Norway and Denmark. Especially popular was the Obligationsmarschen which in a version with the Norwegian words "Norge i r¯dt, hvitt og blått" ( Norway in red, white and blue) became the anthem for the anti-nazi movement in Norway. Larsson also composed music for approximately twenty film productions during the war.


Both the position Larsson held at the Swedish Radio and his contributions to entertainment music during the years of war made him a composer accessible to every person's life. He therein became a significant part of the cultural life of Sweden. The war did, however, have an impact on Larsson's productivity, when it comes to production of works with stronger compositional values. Not until the middle of the 1940's did major compositions, such as Stråkkvartett no.1 (1944) and Symfoni no.3 (1945, withdrawn), appear again.


With the Violincello konsert (1947) still another change in Larsson's style of composing took place. In the Musik för orkester,op.40, one of Larsson's most prominent compositions, the new style had grown mature enough to be determined as being influenced by Hindemith. In addition to the tendencies towards poly-tonality, an irregular but increasing use of thematic metamorphosis developed. Generally speaking, musical expression in terms of the relationship between tension and release gained increasing attention, resulting in a more dramatic style of writing. In the Violin konsert (1952) these features are combined with the romantic traditions of the concerto genre.[14] The style of the work is frankly rhapsodic, having little to do with the spirit or shape of sonata form, but making conspicuous use of the thematic inter-relation. The introduction to the first movement, for example, contains a rhythmic motif which recurs prominently in the finale. The opening movement is composed of two ideas; A, which muses quietly and B with vigorous rhythms. Second movement also consists of the ideas, set symmetrically, with a central section incorporating material from the first movement. Such reference is more prominent in the last movement, giving contrast to the single melody upon which the movement is based. In Missa brevis (1954), which can be characterized as archaic music, Larsson continued to explore the possibilities of combining older styles of composing with a modern tone color, a technique which was present already in the Saxophone Concerto. The Mass employs both elements of Palestrina's polyphony as well as renaissance organum.[15] Especially the Bendictus makes use of organum techniques.[16] Simultaneously, the Kyrie features poly-tonality, and sections where all twelve pitches of the chromatic scale have been given equal importance.


Another contribution to broader audience, and in this case, to a broader group of performers - amateurs, is Larsson's 12 Concertinos. The series was composed on Larsson's own initiative, in order to create a stimulating and challenging solo repertoire for advanced amateurs. For these concertinos, Larsson returns to his light and elegant neo-classicism from the 1930's, but combined this with new features which were established in Larsson's Musik för orkester, op.40.[17] Neo-classicism is evokedby the application of simple forms, standing in close relationship with sonata form. In the Concertino for Clarinet Larsson openly confirms his intentions by the dedication "Homage à Mozart". The opening allegro of this concertino was first composed and submitted to Radio Genève for the Mozart Jubilee in 1956.[18] Many of the twelve concertinos, especially the Clarinet Concertino, can now be considered as standard solo repertoire. The series is a significant and extremely appreciated contribution to the repertoire for amateurs.


At the end of the 1950's, after a few years of no new productions, compositions by Larsson started to appear again, presenting still another compositional style. This time Larsson finally approached a more thorough dodecaphonic form than in the 10 tvåstämmiga pianostycken (1932) and the Kyrie of Missa brevis (1954). In contrast to Schönberg's twelve tone-technique, based on a single series of twelve pitches, Larsson's point of departure was a succession of chords; either four augmented triads (each chord consisting of three pitches) or three diminished seventh chords (each chord consisting of four pitches). Compositions based on this technique are the Adagio för stråkar, op.48 (1960, premiered in radio 1961 with the subtitle Hjalmar Gullberg in memorial), 3 orkesterstycken, op.49 (1960) and Orkestervariationer, op.50 (1962). They all stand in contrast to the light popular music which Larsson composed during his years at the Swedish Radio. They also present a more serious and organized character of Larsson as a composer.


With the Soluret och urnan,op.53 (1966) and the Lyrisk fantasi,op.54 (1967), Larsson began to work his way back to neo-classical ideals. Smaller chamber music pieces, called by Larsson Kleinkunst, appear along with neo-classical elements in an increasing improvement of Larsson's treatment of form. The orchestral works from early 1970's - Due auguri,op.62 (1971) and Råårokoko,op.64 (1973) are musical puns where Larsson twists around the usual compositional common practice, but still showing complete compositional control.[19] The title Råårokoko is a pun in itself. The piece was dedicated to a music society located in Råå - a suburb of Malmö. Altogether, Larsson literally spelled out the dedication to the music society mentioned above, with a composition in the style of rococo. Simultaneously, if the beginning of the title was spelled, "Rå," it would translate to "raw" or "crude." The title, therefore, humorously indicates the application of authentic (raw) and plain rococo techniques.[20] In the preface of the score to Due auguri, which was dedicated to the two-hundredth anniversary of the Royal Academy of Music, Larsson verbally explained his humorous use of conventional praxis. Larsson's comments on the composition was published in the Royal Academy of Music's yearbook of 1971, as well. Concerning the two movements, Omaggio conservatorio and Ricamo all'ACCADEMIA, he wrote:


To provide a commentary to these two felicitations would be something like a dramatist revealing his plot in the program or the writer of a whodunit identifying the villain in the preface. Similarly I would be underrating the incontestable competence of an illustrious congregation if I were to explain that this tribute to my old Conservatory takes the conservative form of a fugue whose precipitate flight eventually takes it right off the rails, as has occasionally been known to happen in composition classes.


Nor need I mention that the passacaglia theme on which I have woven my tribute has been provided by the Academy itself. The fact that it never really became a passacaglia at all, Das hört jeder Esel, to quote the words of Johannes Brahms, an Academy member manqué who, it will be recalled, was a consummate master of the from.


Finally it should hardly be necessary for me to point out that these "due augari" have nothing whatsoever to do with ornithology. If however the features of the gentle listeners should happen to betray something resembling a smile - not to be confused with the augur's leer - then the composer will have succeeded in his aim, which like that of the third opponent in another academic context, has been to relieve somewhat the general seriousness of the ceremony. Failing this he can only lament in the words of Frida's minstrel, who


Thought that a jester

might be allowed

to sing in a gentler

and milder way...[21]


Larsson, had because of his many changes from one style to another, often been criticized for the lack of exclusiveness and for not paying attention to the general development of western art music at the time. However, Larsson was during many decades one of the major Swedish composers of art music who managed to satisfy a broad audience.[22]


Larsson's shifts between styles , form lighter entertainment to more serious, music can interpreted, criticized in many different ways. Still, Larsson remains as the composer who reached out to his audience and became more loved than most other of his colleagues. He managed to do this without sacrifice of any of his artistic profile or letting his music lead towards mediocrity.[23]


Even though orchestral pieces such as Musik för orkester,op.40, Violin konsert, op.42 and Orkestervariationer, op. 50 are unquestionably significant contributions to their respective genres during the time then they were written, Larsson's strength as a composer is found in smaller instrumental pieces of more intimate character. In these types of pieces Larsson approaches a Mozartian ideal; sophisticated changes of color, avoidance of heavy characters, light rhythms in the accompaniments and unifying patterns of form, based on ABA.[24] All three movements of the Saxophone Concerto have their basic foundation in the ternary form ABA, presented as sonata form or as modification thereof, with a more or less emphasis on a developmental section derived from preceding presented material. Asked by Kajsa Rootzén, in 1936, whether or not Larsson ever had had the desire to write a ballet, Larsson states his concerns of form:


Yes, of course I would like to write a ballet. That is something that has been appealing more than once, but find me a good libretto, will you. I have, for example, systematically gone through all of H. C. Andersen's writing, without finding anything suitable. See, I do not want it to be too pantomimic, but rather something that allows a strict and unifying form. Because, "form" is something I am very concerned with, in all kinds of art. - In this context, form is not the equivalence of restriction. Instead, it rather represents fundamental stability and balance. [25]


Later, discussing the structure of his Violin Concerto op.42 (1952), Larsson's concerns about form had reached another level of maturity.


It fascinated me in the Violin Concerto to demolish the conventional concerto form and then rebuild the structure by letting each movement emerge from within themselves. Still, the sonata form is still present in the background, as a unifying device.[26]


Early evidence of a departure from the conventionally strict form and structure is found already in the Saxophone Concerto (1934). Larsson's approach to form appears to be an endless evolution from conventional to less conventional structure, throughout his career.


Larsson's counterpoint has been described as to exist but not to be seen, referring to its appearance within a thicker texture. According to Larsson's own statement I want the music to be alive, it should not drag along the ground , it has to fly;[27] his music is lacking any kind of brutal effects or extreme expressions. Larsson's emotional spectum stays within witty spirituality, light romantic colors and meditative and elegiac moods. His true respect for the craftsmanship found in Mozart's music, through Larsson's years as professor in composition, has been inherited by the younger Swedish composers as Maurice Karkoff, Bo Linde, Jan Carlstedt and Hans Eklund[28]. Maurice Karkoff, expressed his respected for his former professor, in a letter to Larsson on the 11 December 1986, a few weeks before Larsson's death.


Too bad to hear that you are not well. You should know that all those principles that you taught and which sometime have been forgotten, begin to return; Recapitulation, variation, contrast, clear melodic texture and light rhythms, where the continuing pulse of sixteenth notes is of significance. Development and relaxation, I feel now and then that I succeeded in using those elements that you taught with excellence[29]


With the same respect does Hans Eklund state his appreciation of Larsson's pedagogy.


He never forced us to write in a particular style or follow a certain school. Still, he made sure that we grow aware of formalities and the craft of composition. "I will try to teach you everything I know, then you can do what ever want with it". When progression was absent he supportively said, "do not let them get you, there are better days to come".[30]


Jan Carlstedt proclaims recognition for Larsson's achievements as a composer, during revolutionary decades.


Lars-Erik Larsson was active during decades, which were clothed with continues changes, anxiety, and increasing indecisiveness. Despite this, Larsson maintained a steady approach toward his own destination. While other composers tried by different means to depict the darkness of the time, Larsson balanced by maintaining lighter styles, preserving hope. His fundamentals stayed within harmony. However, during 1950s and 1960s evil forces would get a grasp on even Larsson, but not for a extensive period of time. Once again would Larsson's lyrical writing flourish, and like the bloom of summer give colors and scents, deprived by the winter.[31]






Childhood and Youth


In the article Hur jag började, Larsson begins by claiming that the peace reached in Utrecht 1713 became his destiny. He further clarified the meaning of this somewhat arbitrary statement by providing an explanation from his youth.


At fifteen years of age, his relation to music had increased to a level of preoccupation, which was considered not "healthy" for a young man of that age, still in high school. Subsequently, he failed in both mathematics and history. Continuing, Larsson admited that it might seem strange to fail in a class like history, where no specific talent is necessary in order to pass. Even so, Larsson humorously explains that the reason for his failure probably had to do with his lack of understanding of digits and thereby he was not able to understand the significance of memorizing certain years of history. Following the failures he dedicated himself to his studies. Larsson decided to concentrate on history since he cared less for mathematics, knowing that by passing only a history make-up exam, he would have enough credits to graduate.


Finally, the day of the examinations arrived. During one intensive hour Larsson had to satisfy the history Professor's curiosity until a devastating question was asked: When was the peace reached in Utrecht? On this question Larsson was unable to provide the Professor with any kind of information. The Professor therefore gave Larsson an ultimatum, saying that if Larsson passed in mathematics he would let him pass in history too, but if Larsson failed in the mathematics he would he would fail him in history as well. Larsson admits that, due to the fact that he never had been taught the propaedeutics of philosophy, he could not at once grasp what a harsh sentence he just had been given. However, at the same time Larsson understood that the Professor unconsciously had done him an extraordinary favor. In conversation with his parents the night before the examinations, Larsson had learned that if he did not pass his examinations, his parents would consider him finished with school. They would allow him to dedicate his time for studies in music. Larsson also knew that his examination in mathematics, which he had written just before the history examination, was not going to be a pass.


Subsequently, the peace held in Utrecht had become Larsson's destiny, but he did not leave school defeated. It was not a victory either, but at least Larsson gained the feeling of freedom and could now continuo his studies in music at a more serious and concentrated level. In the same article, Larsson continued by describing his musical experiences during his childhood and early youth.


From the age of six years Larsson studied the piano. A few years later Larsson switched from the piano to the violin, which he continued to practice seriously throughout elementary school. The orchestra at school, with a significant size of 30-40 players, rehearsed once a week. However, this single occasion each week devoted to music making did not fulfill Larsson's needs. Subsequently Larsson, still in grade school, founded his own orchestra, located in his hometown åkarp.At the beginning, the instrumentation of his orchestra was five violins, clarinet, piano and harmonica. Larsson confessed that with money which was supposed to cover purchase of a geometry book, he bought a triangle. Larsson justifiedthis misconduct of financial resources by pointing out that the triangle he bought had a much more stimulating sound than triangles that were illustrated in the geometry book. About the same time Larsson convinced one of his brothers to start playing the trumpet. So full of energy and inspiration, Larsson could not wait until his brother had acquired a grasp of what trumpet playing was all about. After taking only a few trumpet lessons, Larsson placed his brother in the orchestra, hoping he could instruct his brother to contribute with the three pitches he knew, at harmonically appropriate places. The effect might not have been that extraordinary, but at least another color had been added to the existing instrumentation. Concerning the repertoire, Larsson tried to recall at what age he started to write down his musical ideas, determining that he probably began to compose at the age of nine. His orchestra mainly played his own arrangements or compositions.


About the same age, in cooperation with a friend, Larsson started the publishing company åkarps musikförlag. The idea of the company was coincidentally inspired by a five-pointed drawing pen, accidentally found in a drawer by his friend. The company's survival was secured by the fact that Larsson's friend was supposed to write poetry which was expected to be set to music by Larsson himself. In addition to the poems, Larsson's friend was responsible for drawing up the staves - with red ink. The first edition was published, titled Solnedgång (Sunset). The title had an unconscious strong symbolic meaning. Further editions published by åkarps musikförlag were never to be seen. Even the first edition has long ago been lost, and has unfortunately not been accessible to scholars and researchers for further examination and evaluation of one of Larsson's very first attempts to compose.[32] The poetry, however, which was the foundation for that first edition of music, is included in a short article from 1941.[33]


Larsson continued to describe the nature of his earlier compositions which came into existence at his parents' home in åkarp. These works were either songs or pieces for piano or violin. The title Sonata was frequently used for those compositions. Larsson admits however, that it was only after studies with professor Ellberg at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm that he completely knew and understood the concept of the sonata form.


A few days after finishing grade school, Larsson was registered as a student of Herman åkerberg (organist and professor in music), in order to study organ. This distinguished pedagogue and musician had educated a significant number of students, who at the time were holding positions as organists at various places throughout the country. Larsson clearly remembered his first appointment with Mr. åkerberg. Even though Larsson was more than pleased with the facts that he now finally was going to do what he had always dreamed of, one thing worried him. Larsson had stopped for several years taking piano lessons and his playing had therefore mostly consisted of improvisations on themes of others and of his own. When he now was asked to show his talent at the keyboard, Larsson simply sat down and started to improvise, not knowing what else to play. Unfortunately, Larsson had not been asked to perform any particular composition. Larsson was later told that åkerberg had at first been somewhat confused, but somewhere into the improvisation realized that Larsson was playing a trick on him. After his performance, Larsson waited with anxiety for his fate. åkerberg, however, was not as disappointed as Larsson had thought and more improvisations were to follow, on both piano and organ. Larsson was accepted as a student of Herman åkerberg.


Larsson points out that the years that followed, studying with åkerberg became one of the most stimulating periods in his life. After years of boredom in school, Larsson was now filled with enthusiasm and even hours of daily scale exercises were executed with pleasure. After one year of studies with åkerberg, Larsson left for Växjö, where he during the preceding year earned his degree in organ performance. Thereafter, Larsson was admitted to the Royal Academy of Music in order to study counterpoint and composition.


Larsson did not describe his past further than that. Concerning his compositions and further music making throughout his career, Larsson made no additional comments as to what is written in his manuscripts. If he could in words have expressed what he wanted to be said with his music, he explained, he would have become an author instead of a composer. This statement naturally leads into the discussion of program music. Larsson expressed his surprise about how often composers (including himself) are asked to submit comments about their composition for the program notes, when a new composition is premiered. Larsson clarified this to say that he did not have in mind those compositions which, by the composer's intent, were provided with program notes in order to explain what incidents or stories that have given inspiration for the work (it is usually the war anyway). Larsson's criticism is only directed towards a producer's request for commentaries, which forces composers to unnaturally make something up just to please producers and the audience. Larsson recalls one incident in particular, after listening to a premiere of a composition by a composer making his debut. The composition could be described as absolute music with clear structure, presented in a convincing performance. However, by reading the program notes which suggested that certain moods experienced out in the wilderness,or elsewhere , had inspired the composer to write the piece, Larsson had difficulty in conceiving such associations by listening to the performance. Afterwards, when Larsson asked the composer about the notes, he received the following response: Frankly, I had on idea of what to write, but they (the producers of the concert) insisted on having something written in the program.[34]


When Larsson was asked by the journal Musikvärlden to submit the above-paraphrased article about himself and his composing, he almost found it appropriate to respond the same way the young composer did after the performance. In order to follow common sense though, Larsson saw it as natural to just start where it all began, in åkarp, and described his earliest musical experiences. In contrast to other articles in the same series, written by his colleagues, Larsson decided to not mention which of the composers in musical history he most appreciated. By so doing, Larsson avoided being redundant and furthermore explained that most of the major composers through history have had a significant impact on the development of western art music, in one way or another. On the other hand, Larsson took exception to musicians who glorify everything composed by major composers. Without being too critical, Larsson stated that he rather appreciated a prominent work by a minor composer ahead of a less significant work by a major composer. Nor, did he prefer one specific form or style of composing ahead of another. He admitted having tried many different forms, but was most interested in the style of composing which he was using during a that particular time. Rarely did Larsson find complete satisfaction with his compositions. His next opus was, as a matter of fact, only another attempt, to reach a new level of perfectionism.


Larsson concluded his article by pointing out that development of new forms and styles of music has accelerated tremendously during the twentieth century. Therefore music can not evaluated objectively in our own time. Composers have decomposed as well as combined older patterns of form. The sense of confirmed tonality has been broken apart, as far as concerns twelve tone procedures. Even the intervals have been divided into microtones with as many as six units between a whole step of the diatonic scale. Larsson further determined that a composition's chances of survival into the future is not related to style or style period in which it has been written. Whether or not it is a work of complex large scale or only a simple melody, a composition's uniqueness is evaluated by how ingeniously it is written.[35]


Composer of the Society


An article published in the periodical Nutida musik provides additional insight into Larsson's opinions concerning his role as a composer in society.[36] The article examines in what ways he wants to reach out to his audience, and how the situation is for Swedish composers in general.


According to Larsson, the Swedish composer cannot make a living by only composing. A few composers though, when their future belongs to the past, can begin to make a living out of composing. The have like a squirrel succeeded in collecting enough food in order to survive the winter".[37] Further, he does not try to reach a certain group of listeners or performers with his music. Larsson wants to reach as many kinds of people as is possible. Thus far, it appears, he has received the appreciation and type of contact with his audience which he had hoped for. During the late 1960's discussions and opinions concerning composers' efforts to approach a broader audience, and becoming a part of every man's life, were daily topics for discussion in Sweden.


The gap between so called "art music", "pop" and "folk music" was also a highly discussed issue. Did these trends and opinions have an impact on Larsson's composing? Larsson explains that the only thing that mattered was his own most complete and honest approach to whatever he decided to write or was asked to produce.[38] In the context of the appearance of a "pop" version of Larsson's Romans,from Pastoralsviten, which appeared on the Swedish "top-ten list" of pop music in the early 1980s, Larsson's criticism indicates similar opinions concerning other musicians' use of his music.


To integrate pop music with classical music is a good way to increase the interest in art music among teenagers. I have approved Wellander's recording. He has by no means vandalized my music.[39]


In general, however, he did not express any great respect for the genre of popular music.


Pop music? No, like a mayfly - it dies after a day.[40]


Still, paradoxically enough, Larsson appears as the creator of the most popular type of art music in Sweden. Evidently, he knew the thin line between light (popular) art music and pop.


Larsson was also asked if he in his music presents any moralistic, idealistic (non-musical) messages. Larsson's answer refers to his statements above, indicating that his goal is to reach as many people as possible with his music. Thereby, it seems most likely that Larsson had no intent in imposing any non-musical ideas within his compositions. This conclusion appears to be relevant, considering Larsson's modest interest in musical ideas presented in the form of program notes. Similarly, Larsson has not been influenced by contemporary phenomena such as multi-media. Still, Larsson indicated that he interestingly follows the development of new genres and ways of expression within all art forms that contain elements of sound. In conclusion, Larsson defined his function as composer, towards society, to carefully develop and make use of the talent which he had been given by nature[41].


As a composer, composing with audience needs and satisfaction in mind, Larsson was frequently asked to write for special occasions. Larsson wrote Lyrisk fantasi op.54, 1967, commissioned by his publisher Gehrmans Musikförlag AB, for its seventy-fifth anniversary. For the hundred anniversary of the new governmental institution he contributed Soluret och urnan 1966. When the Academy of music celebrated its two hundred anniversary in 1971, Larsson wrote the humorous Due augure.[42] Musik för orkester was written for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Malmö Orchestra Hall Association, 1950.[43] Could too much composing by commission jeopardize more personal ideas? Does not that take time from a composer's realization of private projects?


There is always a chance that could happened. At the same time does it bring along some good aspects of composing. They always have a deadline, so one is forced to be diligent and get things done. For example, the motive for one of the most popular sections of the Pastoralsvit had been in my mind for a long time, without becoming really defined or applicable for anything. First when I received the commission for the Pastoralsvit from the Swedish Radio, this material finally came to use.[44]




Some of Larsson¥s most significant compositions have even established themselves as representative anthems for Sweden and Swedish culture. Expectively, Larsson is one of the composers who has appeared most frequently on the programs for the Nobel prize ceremonies. Movements from Pastoralsvit have returned throughout the decades; the Romance three times (1946-63), the Scherzo (1956 and 1969), the Overture (1977). Even the Epilogue and Siciliana from En vintersaga, and the Porologue of the Förklädd Gud have appeared during the past years. It is obvious that primarily movements of mellow character have been chosen, but exceptions can be found. In 1948, the Symfoniska Ostinato was performed, honoring the Swedish Nobel prize winner, chemist Arne Tiselius. In 1953, when Lady Churchill was handed the Nobel prize in litteratur, representing her husband Winston Churchill, Festmusik op.22 was performed.[45] Far away from pride and acheivements, Larsson¥s music has also represented a nation in grief and fear, as when Prime Minister Olof Palme had been assassinated. During the week of the assassination Helsingborg¥s Symphony Orchestra was scheduled with a light and virtuostic program, featuring youth soloists. The administration found such a program inappropriate, and by a last minute change Larsson¥s Pastoralsvit became a part of the memorial cermony for that evening.[46]




To Soar Like Mozart


When Larsson reached the age of sixty Swedish Television portrayed him in a special program dedicated to his sixtieth birthday. Larsson's Förklädd gud was also shown in a television version. Göran Bergendal portrayed Larsson in the article Att flyga som Mozart (To soar (fly) like Mozart). The title of the article refers to Larsson's own words I want the music to be alive, it should not drag along the ground , it has to soar.[47] As a pedagogue and instructor Larsson made effort to impose this same philosophy to young students who have attempted and performed his works. Larsson at one occasion stopped by Professor Wibergh's piano studio at the Royal Academy of Music, and soon concluded that Wibergh's student had certain difficulties with figurative passages. Larsson suggested:


Imagine a necklace of pearls. Suddenly the thread breaks and all the pearls fall in all the way, my name is Larsson and thank you very much.


The student, subsequently, reflected upon the above statement and all technical difficulties disappeared. An audience in Salzburg found Larsson's music to shine and glimmer with weightlessness.[48] According to musicologist Göran Bergendal the most obvious appeal to Mozart is heard in Larsson's Concertino for Clarinet (0p.45). As mentioned earlier, Larsson tries to avoid heavy characters (maestoso, grave). Even the slow movements of Pastoralsvit or Förklädd gud or the epilogue in En vintersaga, have a soaring character, even though the tempo is slow.[49] In the second movement of Pastoralsvit, this soaring profile is maintained by homophonic texture in the accompaniment, supporting a stepwise melody line. Larsson emphasizes this weightlessness by orchestrating the beginning and end without the contra basses, who only participate with pizzicato for the middle portion of the movement. With the Pastoralsvit and the Förklädd gud Larsson, unlike most other modern Swedish composers, has reached out to an comparably large audience. He explains:


I want to write beautiful music. I want to give people a chance to listen to music in the old fashion way. That does not mean that music can not be complicated, but complicated compositional procedures should not be of the nature which might bother the listener.[50]


Larsson himself pointed out a particular occasion which influenced him significantly, providing him with a point of departure for a major part of his compositional style - a performance of Mozart's "Eine kleine Nachtmusik".


I went to my first concert in Vienna, after arriving for my studies there...Managed to get a ticket for the Vienna Philharmonic. On the program was this (demonstrating "Eine kleine Nachtmusik" on the piano), and I will never forget what an experience that was. It gave me an ideal to follow.[51]


At the age of sixty years Larsson had been one of the major Swedish composers of his time for thirty-four years. This fame started in Florence in 1934 when Larsson, 26 years old, had his Sinfonietta performed and received with gratitude at the International Society of Contemporary Music conference. His years at the Swedish Radio and the creation of the program "the lyrical suite", turned his name into a concept of musical life in Sweden. He was also, through his teaching at the Royal Academy of Music, the one composer who guided and developed the next generation of Swedish composers. A few years prior to the age of sixty, Larsson settled down on Lidingö (island north of Stockholm) in order to devote all his time to composition. Larsson expressed his appreciation of final retirement from a busy career, " .... settled down - I have experienced so much". In addition to the Lyrisk fantasi,op.54., which was premiered in the fall of 1967, Larsson had dedicated the past year before his sixtieth birthday to what he secretly call spring cleaning. Larsson referred to the six hundred pages of music he delivered to the publisher just before his birthday. It was a revision of hundreds of pages of music which Larsson wrote already in the 1930's. The composition he talks about so secretly appears to be the opera buffa Arresten på Bohus. The list of works compiled by Svensk Musik[52], 1994, indicates two dates for this composition (1938 and 1968), which corresponds to the date of his sixtieth birthday as well as his statement that he had revised a composition from the 1930s by improving the instrumentation. Thirty years of experience had given him completely new concepts concerning instrumentation, so that one hundred pages of this music had to be completely revised. He was searching for different and new colors in his instrumentation than had been the case during the 1930's. He furhter expressed his need to reach completeness in his music: After one hundred years, when someone finds this piece of music, I think it looks best if it is completed ( He is probably comparing his situation with Franz Berwald's Drottningen av Golconda.)[53] This opera, according to Layton's article on Berwald in the New Grove Dictionary[54], was probably composed by revising and compiling material for earlier unpublished works and sketches from Berwald's youth. The list of works following the same article indicates a composition date of 1864 and a second publication date, April 3, 1968, the hundredth anniversary of Franz Berwald's death). Arresten på Bohus was not premiered until December 1980.


The opera was more or less forgotten. In the middle of the 1960s, I found my unfinished opera and completed it. I do not want to have any unfinished works in my drawers. I do not wish that someone after my death completes a composition that I started.[55]


Bergendal's conversation with Larsson continues through a discussionof instrumentation, then to minimalistic music and the ways composers use instrumentation to change timbres as means of expression. Larsson admits that he dislikes certain aspects of such composing, by Ligeti and others, for example:


I understand what they try to express, and it is expressed in a good way, but it is expressed for a too long period of time and it is too exaggerated. This static music is fascinating, but such a specific technique should only be used periodically. One is just waiting for something to happen. It is like the calm before the storm, but the storm never occurs. It is the changes of colors that make the art, as the day goes through light and shadows.



Bergendal determines that Larsson uses both pointillism as well as minimalism when he composes, but he never applies one or the other separately for an entire composition. These techniques are only part of Larsson's means of expression and are used within whatever the overall format or style might be.[56]


Another recognizable feature throughout Larsson's career is the alternation of simple and more complex styles of writing. These styles independently define each period of Larsson's life. In the book Lars-Erik Larsson och hans Concertinor[57], Bo Wallner recognized the same atlernations of styles and entitled the introductory chapter Det enkla och det svåra (Simplicity and complexity). Larsson has preferred simplistic styles throughout his career, but periods of more complex music have interrupted the former, thereby creating an continuously alternation between two contrasting elements in the composer's choice of compositional procedures.


As a student he was an unknown romantic composer influenced by Sibelius. After studies abroad, an attempt at composing in a dodecaphonic style appeared in 10 tvåstämmiga pianostycken (1932). During the following years, a kind of Mozartian simplicity characterized compositions of the 1930's, such as Saxofonkonsert,op.14 (1934) and Pianosonatin no.1,op.16 (1936). From this classical period of his writings romantic features reappeared, now mixed and influenced by Swedish folk music, as in Patoralsvit op.19 (1938) and Förklädd gud, op.24 (1940). After World War II his compositions continued towards greater complexity and Hindemith's polyphony emerged in Musik för orkester,op.40 (1948). By the mid 1950s Larsson was back to neo-classicism for the Concertino serie,op.45 (1953-7). These were later followed by Larsson's own designed twelve tone technique in the early 1960s, best presented in Orkestervariationer,op.50 (1962) and Soluret och urnan,op.53 (1966). Just before celebrating his sixtieth birthday he seemed to be on his way back towards simplicity once again (Lyrisk fantasi,op.54 1966). So, how do all these shifts toward complexity correspond to Larsson's own ideal described as to soar like Mozart? Larsson responded to Bergendal concerning this seeming contradiction:


No, I am not soaring at all during those periods, I am then more bound to the ground. I am standing there, maybe for the sake of regaining new energy. But I long for taking off again, just I long for the joy of music making - to know myself again.


Continuing to defined the concept concerning his urge for simplicity:


To make the best possible out of extreme simplicity, everything has to be properly done. A lot of work, over and over again. Sometime I get stuck, disappointed. It feels as if I have not been ambitious enough from the beginning. I have to start over again. Try other possibilities. And there, often close to the original idea, I gain a convincing feeling and it seems as if I am soaring[58].


From åkarp to International Recognition


In 1983 Sixten Nordström interviewed Larsson before the performance of Förklädd gud with the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philharmonic choir at the Day of World Music, Saturday, October 1, 1983. Larsson recalled the premiere of the composition, when he himself conducted the Swedish Radio Orchestra and choir. Olof Molander was narrator and the solo parts were sung by Kerstin Lindberg-Thorlind and Hugo Hasslo. For the broadcast performance in 1983 Yuri Ahronovitch conducted, Max von Sydow was narrator and as soloists Hillevi Martinpello and Carl-Johan Falkman appeared.


Most of the compositions written during World War II, while working for the Swedish Radio, were fast productions, normally written within four weeks. Förklädd gud, however, was a extensive project, taking a year before it was completed. A major reason for this lengthy process was his high respect for Hjalmar Gullberg's text. Many attempts were made before Larsson finally worked his way to a composition that could present Gullberg's text in the cantata. Still, he admits that he did not expect this composition to become one of his greater successes. But the years of performances and recordings suggests that this is the case. Reports from STIM (Information center for Swedish music) verify performances of Förklädd gud in Germany, Australia and Portugal. The text has been translated to both English and German.


The interview continues with questions concerning Larsson's earliest musical inspirations. He credited his father's piano playing as the major source of inspiration. Larsson's father was trained as an organist, but in order to make a living, he started by helping his brother run a store and eventually ended up as a farmer. At home, in Larsson's family, the piano was well used and Larsson early on listened to his father playing Beethoven, especially the Sonata in F minor. Was he a natural talent at the piano? By his own account, an immediate interest for playing was lacking, even after his older sister began to study the instrument. Larsson was six years old when by sitting down now and then to improvise, he began to gain interest in playing the piano. At the age of sixteen, while taking his examinations for a degree as organist, he performed Chopin, Mendelsssohn, as well as a toccata which he composed himself. He, however, indicated no interest in becoming only a pianist. Professor Olallo Morales, from whom Larsson studied score reading at the Royal Academy of Music, expressed his astonishment when he learned that Larsson did not belong to the piano performance department, but instead was focusing on composition. To Morales question why not become a pianist ? Larsson responded honestly I can not stand the boredom of every day practice. Instead, compositions such as his En spelemans himlafärd,op.1 (1927), Symfoni no.1,op.2 (1927-8) and Konsertuvertyr no.1,op.4 (1929) were composed and performed at the Academy. The premiere of the First Symphony was conducted by the composer, in a performance at the Academy.[59]


Larsson entered his studies with Alban Berg, which were to follow, with hesitation.

...and any Einf¸hrung in twelve tone was not what I got. Berg only lectured in traditional style and at one occasion Berg even expressed his admiration for Brahms! Instead, my experience of contemporary writing was presented by Hindemith. I heard him perform his own Viola Concerto, in Vienna. That was the kind of music and inspiration which I was looking for. When I told Berg about the concert, Berg answered "Ja, er ist sehr maschinell". I guess I can agree with that.[60]


Obviously, Larsson's studies abroad were unsatisfactory, but Larsson's experience with Alban Berg was probably not the only reason for dissatisfaction. Later, Larsson regretfully commented upon his studies abroad.


I was working too much, not pursuing any social life. I guess I was too young.[61]


Graduated from the Academy of Music in Stockholm and returned from the year abroad, Larsson found himself back were he started - at his parents in åkarp. He could not find as many private piano students as he had hoped and his composing did not see any progress. The situation was more or less depressing for him. Not until the Sinfonietta,op.10 of 1932 could Larsson begin to see improvements of his situation. The successful international debut with the Sinfonietta at the ISCM conference in Florence (1934) gave him the kind of publicity and encouragement which he had been waiting for. Even though he remained in his, so to speak, isolated hometown of åkarp, the days after the conference in Florence meant progress and more success, with performances of his music in Stockholm, Göteborg, Lund and Malmö.


With the appointment at the Swedish Radio (1937-53), Larsson's most productive period had began. Larsson says it was also the most fatiguing time of his life. Even though Larsson was soon promoted, relieving him from any kind of administrative appointments and leaving him with no obligations other than composing and conducting, commissions from film productions started to come in. Larsson found it interesting to work with film, which for him, was a new genre. The number of film productions asking for his music, however, soon became overwhelming. Within six years Larsson had composed the music for approximately thirty films. If it had not been for my tax payments, I do think it was always worth the time. For some productions, however, such as Herr Arnes penningar and Sucksdorf's Det stora äventyret, Larsson pronounced his enthusiasm.


After the war and through the 1950s, Larsson continued to produce such significant compositions as Violoncello Konsert,op.37 (1947), Violin Konsert,op.42 (1952), Missa brevis,op.43 (1954) and the Concertino serie, op.45 (1953-7). Even so, there was a decrease in Larsson's productivity, due to his appointment as professor in composition at the Royal Academy of Music In Stockholm (1947-59) and to the fact that the early years of his employment at the Swedish Radio had been too intense. Additionally, Larsson had also become involved in various organizations and musical societies (Tonsättarföreningen, STIM, Stiftelsen Stockholms Konserthus and so on). But the teaching was tremendously stimulating.[62] Larsson began giving classes in instrumentation, form analysis and composition. Soon he, according to his own wishes, was promoted to concentrate only on composition.


Larsson's employment as Director of music at the Uppsala University (1961-66), put further limitations on his opportunities to compose.


Now afterwards, I am not so sure I should have taken that position. At the time, I was even uncertain whether or not I was going to apply for the position or not. Finally, Kurt Atterberg (composer) called me up and convinced me to apply, especially since my pension from the Academy was got going to start to pay for another fourteen years. But I was still very indecisive....after all, it turned out to be an experience that I do not regret and many entertaining occasions were brought along with that position.[63]


After 1966 fifty-eight-years-old Larsson did nothing but compose. An extensively large production of music had finally brought Larsson to financial independence. He could from a financial standpoint have been able to dedicate his entire time to composing even earlier, but many of the other challenges that he confronted throughout his career were interesting enough to not let them pass. As a composer alone, Larsson composed Aubade,op.63 (1972), Stråkkvartett no.3,op.65 (1975) and more during the 1970's .


After retiring, Larsson returned to his origin, the province of Skåne, and settled down in Helsingborg. The view over ÷resund and the summers at Jonstorp became delightful moments for Larsson. Calm and satisfied, he did not miss out on the good things in life. Now and then he allowed himself a trip across the strait to Denmark, ordering a shrimp sandwich.


I have worked a lot during my years. Now my philosophy is; I work only if I have the inspiration.[64]


Sixten Nordström's 1983 interview,made at Larsson's summer resort in Jonstorp, suburb of Helsingborg just three years before Larsson's death, concluded with the question will any new compositions appear during the 1980s ?

Larsson: - Only if my appetite for composing returns. Maybe..., so far, it has not returned.[65]



Copyright © 2002

[1]"Lars-Erik Larsson död." Sydsvenska Dagbladet - snällposten, 28 December 1986.

[2]Sohlmans Musiklexikon, 5 vl. 2nd ed. by Hans åstrand. Stockholm: Sohlmans Förlag AB, 1977. "Larsson, Lars-Erik" by Göran Bergendal.

[3] Nicolas Slonimsky, Music Since 1900, 5th ed. (New York: Schirmer Books, An Imprint of Macmillan publishing Company, 1994).

[4]"Lars-Erik Larsson död." Sydsvenska Dagbladet - snällposten, 28 December 1986.

[5]Sohlmans Musiklexikon, 5 vl. 2nd ed. by Hans åstrand. Stockholm: Sohlmans Förlag AB, 1977. "Larsson, Lars-Erik" by Göran Bergendal.

[6]Herbert Connor, Samtal med tonsättare, (Stockholm: Natur och kultur, 1971),p.21.

[7]F.H. Törnblom, "Lars-Erik Larsson," Studiekamr. 31 (1949): 75-76.

[8]Sohlmans Musiklexikon, 5 vl. 2nd ed. by Hans åstrand. Stockholm: Sohlmans Förlag AB, 1977. "Larsson, Lars-Erik" by Göran Bergendal.

[9]Herbert Connor, Samtal med tonsättare, (Stockholm: Natur och kultur, 1971), p.25.

[10]Sohlmans Musiklexikon, 5 vl. 2nd ed. by Hans åstrand. Stockholm: Sohlmans Förlag AB, 1977. "Larsson, Lars-Erik" by Göran Bergendal.

[11]Bo Wallner, Lars-Erik Larsson och hans Concertinor. (Stockholm: Radiotjänst, 1957),p.10.

[12]Sohlmans Musiklexikon, 5 vl. 2nd ed. by Hans åstrand. Stockholm: Sohlmans Förlag AB, 1977. "Larsson, Lars-Erik" by Göran Bergendal.

[13]"Lars-Erik Larsson, Pastoralsvitens skapare död: hans musik gick rakt in i våra hjärtan." Göteborgs-Posten, 28 December 1986.

[14]Sohlmans Musiklexikon, 5 vl. 2nd ed. by Hans åstrand. Stockholm: Sohlmans Förlag AB, 1977. "Larsson, Lars-Erik" by Göran Bergendal.

[15]Sohlmans Musiklexikon, 5 vl. 2nd ed. by Hans åstrand. Stockholm: Sohlmans Förlag AB, 1977. "Larsson, Lars-Erik" by Göran Bergendal.

[16]Göran Bergendal, "Det eviga sökandet: en vandring längs med Lars-Erik Larssons musik," Konsertnytt (special 1988/89): 3-12.

[17]Sohlmans Musiklexikon, 5 vl. 2nd ed. by Hans åstrand. Stockholm: Sohlmans Förlag AB, 1977. "Larsson, Lars-Erik" by Göran Bergendal.

[18]Herbert Connor, Svensk musik 2. Från Midsommarvaka till Aniara, (Lund, Sweden: Bonniers, 1977), p.313.

[19]Sohlmans Musiklexikon, 5 vl. 2nd ed. by Hans åstrand. Stockholm: Sohlmans Förlag AB, 1977. "Larsson, Lars-Erik" by Göran Bergendal.

[20]Göran Bergendal,"ªGatumusik´ på hög nivå," Tonfallet (n12 1973):7.

[21]Lars-erik Larsson, Due auguri. 1. Omaggio Consevatorio 2. Ricamo all'accademia, Kungliga Musikaliska Akademien. årsskrift (1971):40.

[22]Sohlmans Musiklexikon, 5 vl. 2nd ed. by Hans åstrand. Stockholm: Sohlmans Förlag AB, 1977. "Larsson, Lars-Erik" by Göran Bergendal.

[23]"Lars-Erik Larsson, Pastoralsvitens skapare död: hans musik gick rakt in i våra hjärtan." Göteborgs-Posten, 28 December 1986.

[24]Sohlmans Musiklexikon, 5 vl. 2nd ed. by Hans åstrand. Stockholm: Sohlmans Förlag AB, 1977. "Larsson, Lars-Erik" by Göran Bergendal.

[25]Lars-Erik Larsson - ung komponist med publiktycke. Svenska Dagbladet, 11 October 1936.

[26]Anders Tykesson, "Lyrisk expressionism och sträng kontrapunkt: några skeden i Lars-Erik Larssons skapande," årsskrift Kungliga Musikaliska Akademien (1987):31.

[27]Sohlmans Musiklexikon, 5 vl. 2nd ed. by Hans åstrand. Stockholm: Sohlmans Förlag AB, 1977. "Larsson, Lars-Erik" by Göran Bergendal.

[28]Sohlmans Musiklexikon, 5 vl. 2nd ed. by Hans åstrand. Stockholm: Sohlmans Förlag AB, 1977. "Larsson, Lars-Erik" by Göran Bergendal.

[29]Jan Axel Carlstedt, Ingmar Milveden, and others. "Lars-Erik Larsson ha gått ur tiden," Musikrevy 42 (n2 1987): 69-70.

[30]Jan Axel Carlstedt, Ingmar Milveden, and others. "Lars-Erik Larsson ha gått ur tiden," Musikrevy 42 (n2 1987): 69-70.

[31] Ibid.

[32]Lars-Erik Larsson Hur jag börjande," Musikvärlden,(1946):2-5.

[33]Kim (sign). "Lars-Erik Larsson," Röster i Radio/TV (n17 1941):8.

[34]Lars-Erik Larsson Hur jag börjande," Musikvärlden,(1946):2-5.

[35]Lars-Erik Larsson Hur jag börjande," Musikvärlden,(1946):2-5.

[36]P.G. Alldahl, and others. Den svenske tonsättarens situation," Nutida musik 14 (n2 1970/71):30

[37]P.G. Alldahl, and others. Den svenske tonsättarens situation," Nutida musik 14 (n2 1970/71):30

[38]P.G. Alldahl, and others. Den svenske tonsättarens situation," Nutida musik 14 (n2 1970/71):30

[39]"Lars-Erik Larsson, Pastoralsvitens skapare död: hans musik gick rakt in i våra hjärtan." Göteborgs-Posten, 28 December 1986.

[40]"Larsson i 6A." Aftonbladet, 8 April 1985.

[41]P.G. Alldahl, and others. Den svenske tonsättarens situation," Nutida musik 14 (n2 1970/71):30

[42]Stig Jacobsson, Musiken i Serige, (Västerås: ICA-Förlaget AB,1975), p177.

[43]Göran Bergendal, 33 Svenska komponister, (Falun: Göran Bergendal och J.A. Lindblads bokförlag AB, 1972).

[44]Lars-Erik Larsson. Söndadsproträttet, Stockholms-Tidningen 13 March 1949.

[45]Bengt Olof Engström, "Musik att få Nobelpris till" årsskrift Kungliga Musikaliska Akademien (1987):169.

[46]Göran Bergendal, "Det eviga sökandet: en vandring längs med Lars-Erik Larssons musik," Konsertnytt (special 1988/89): 3-12.

[47]Göran Bergendal, "Att flyga som Mozart," Röster i Radio-TV 35 (n.19 1968):20-21.

[48]"Musiken måste sväva." Dagens nyheter, 26 June 1983.

[49][49]Göran Bergendal, "Att flyga som Mozart," Röster i Radio-TV 35 (n.19 1968):20-21.

[50]Göran Bergendal, "Att flyga som Mozart," Röster i Radio-TV 35 (n.19 1968):20-21.

[51]Berit Berling, "Han föder glupsk fågelunge med musik," Röster i Radio TV 25 (n.4 1958):43.

[52]Svensk Musik - Swedish Music Information Center. Lars-Erik Larsson Verkförteckning April 1994. Stockholm : 1994.

[53]Göran Bergendal, "Att flyga som Mozart," Röster i Radio-TV 35 (n.19 1968):20-21.

[54]New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 20 v. Ed. by Stanley sadie. London: Macmillan, 1980, "Berwald, Franz" By Robert Layton.

[55]"Lars-Erik Larsson, Pastoralsvitens skapare död: hans musik gick rakt in i våra hjärtan." Göteborgs-Posten, 28 December 1986.

[56]Göran Bergendal, "Att flyga som Mozart," Röster i Radio-TV 35 (n.19 1968):20-21.

[57]Bo Wallner, Lars-Erik Larsson och hans Concertinor. (Stockholm: Radiotjänst, 1957).

[58]Göran Bergendal, "Att flyga som Mozart," Röster i Radio-TV 35 (n.19 1968):20-21.

[59]Sixten Nordström, "Lars-Erik Larsson," Konsertnytt (n1 1983/84): 20-22.

[60]Sixten Nordström, "Lars-Erik Larsson," Konsertnytt (n1 1983/84): 20-22.

[61]Göran Bergendal, Moderna tonsättarprofiler, (Stockholm: Göran Bergendal och J.A. Lindblads,1967), p.120.

[62]Sixten Nordström, "Lars-Erik Larsson," Konsertnytt (n1 1983/84): 37-38.

[63]Sixten Nordström, "Lars-Erik Larsson," Konsertnytt (n1 1983/84): 37-38.

[64]"Lars-Erik Larsson död." Sydsvenska Dagbladet - snällposten, 28 December 1986.

[65]Sixten Nordström, "Lars-Erik Larsson," Konsertnytt (n1 1983/84): 20-22, 37-38.