Departing From Tonality
In a discussing of contemporary influences upon Larsson's compositions, it is noteworthy to consider that Larsson belongs to a generation having their early career framed by two world wars. Traveling abroad to northern and middle Europe was considered something extraordinary for the son of an ordinary Swedish middle class family. Larsson was provided with a grant, which he used to explore the novelties of composition in Europe during 1929/30. He had a vision that Alban Berg would guide him along into unknown territories of twentieth-century music.
I brought with me my compositions - a symphony, a concert overture and some other things - and he (Alban Berg) flipped through them and asked:
- Why did you come to me?
I did not know what to say... I had the expectation that I was going to be introduced to the most progressive elements in the twentieth-century music and learn something about the way he composed. But that was not at all the case. I had to compose some themes and work with variation techniques. Sometime I wanted to include more progressive elements, but then he would correct me and explain that, at that particular point, it was out of context from my process of learning.
Maybe Larsson was too naive, thinking that the world acknowledged avant-garde composer would find a twenty-one year old blonde youngster from Sweden ready for the most progressive elements in western art music. Berg probably determined that his young student from Sweden had to be more exercised in conventional forms of writing before it was time to move on towards Berg's own experiments in untouched territories.
Bergís approach might have emerged through Berg's own past, which in contrast to many of his predecessors, indicates that Berg had spent a great deal of time studying. Berg showed no extraordinary talent in music as a child. His brother and sister, on the other hand, sang and played the piano. However, after he experienced a performance of Beethoven's Fidelio around 1900, he showed an increasing interest in music. His first compositions were three songs that he later brought to Schönberg, who took strong interest in him as a student. The first public performance of Berg music appeared in 1907. Many young students, among them Larsson, might have had the vision that this "new" twelve-tone technique could be approached without a considerable amount of experience in more conventional methods of composing. Berg himself never lost contact with his past, conventional procedures and norms.
The Violin Concerto, his last completed work which was written on commission in 1935 exemplifies such conventional influences. The concerto falls well beyond a tone row unified by rhythms. The tone row itself is partly a palindrome. The work is divided into two movements, both of which are divided into major sections making up the following form: 1)Andante - Allegretto, 2) Allegro - Adagio. The concern for symmetry is obvious by allowing the andante and the allegretto be balanced by the next faster tempo than the allegretto, the allegro and the next slower tempo to the andante, the adagio. The climax, in regard to the tempi of the piece, is placed around 60-70% point of the work. Stylistically, this is an example of the so called "Golden section", used as a general concept among painters in order to create a focus somewhat to the right of the middle. In the same way it corresponds to Mozartís way of creating a climax closer to the end by having motives becoming shorter and shorter further into the development and by having a recapitulation shorter than the exposition. This is also similar to opera buffa and where resolution of the plot appears closer to the end than to the middle. In the allegro of the Violin Concerto the climax is also emphasized by a pedal point on F, which functions as a dominant to the general tonal center of Bb, thereby maintaining a sense of tonal center within the application of dodecaphonic procedures.
In the adagio a chorale serves as the basic compositional element. The chorale is set in alternating sections of serial counterpoint in the strings and homophonic chorale in the winds, respectively. Here, the clarinet without vibrato is meant to imitate the sound of the organ. The folk song, which is introduced in the end of the allegretto, returns of the end of the adagio. By combining a folk song with a constructed tone row within the same piece, Berg shows his abilities to unify contrasting elements. The alternation of serial counterpoint and homophonic texture in the chorale also identifies the capability to combine completely different styles. Further, it indicates Berg's concern for formal symmetry beyond the tone row and by the details discussed, his respect for the past is verified. Yet his progressive nature allowed him to add a saxophone into the instrumentation of this composition.
Even if the lessons with Berg did not practically constitute anything new, Larsson obviously was influenced through his association with Berg. Evidence of this can be seen in Larsson's 10 tvåstämmiga pianostycken (1932), in which dodecaphonic writing is applied throughout the composition.
As seen in the Saxophone Concerto, the bass line is periodically released from the function of being a harmonic foundation. This seems to indicate one step further away from the music Larsson wrote before his studies abroad. His lack of using key signatures and relying only on accidentals in both orchestra parts and in the solo alto saxophone part points to Larssonís opposition towards defining particular key center and fundamental tonalities. It would be apparent that, Larsson did not leave Berg's studio without being partly influenced by atonality. Ironically, a few years after writing the Saxophone Concerto, Larsson is found criticizing the Viennese School. At the same time, however, he express a positive attitude towards this style as a useful techniques.
I am somewhat skeptical towards Schönberg's twelve-tone system. But I do believe in the "freedom" created through Schönberg's progressive ideas................ the strict tonal style of writing brings limitations. After all, the atonal trends have brought more freedom to the art. If I start a composition in D major, why should this D major feel as a handcuff, concerning the melodic line, when I continue? No, I think it is relieving that we have come that far, so one can allow the melodic line to develop on its own, independently, sliding in and out of any angles, following its own impulses.
Larsson hesitated to utilize more complex system of rules, and further describing his confrontation with micro-tones.
A few years ago I was in Prague and listened to Alois Haba demonstrating his quartertone system on a piano specially constructed for such a system. Everyone listened very devoutly, me too, and with confusion, at least I did. I do not want to deny that some of what was played could be heard as beautiful sonorities, but even so, it appeared extremely incomprehensible to me. What good does it do to bound the music into still another system, in addition to the one already in existence?
In 1936 Larsson expressed with relief his belief that many of the revolutionary attempts and urges of uncontrollable exaggerations within the Vienna School had started to calm down and that composers need to remain sensitive to the audience for whom they are writing.
Because, even if the audience should not be spoiled in their weakness for the recognizable and the conventional, they should not have to confront complexities (problems of the professional composer's world) on the edge of comprehension, when visiting a concert hall.
Paradoxically, Larsson would construct a own dodecaphonic system which he applied to his compositions in the late 1950ís. He stated that he had been searching for such integration between his own music and the foreign elements through the use of a dodecaphonic system.
I have found a need for composing according to more strict rules. I want to have things in order on my working table.
It appeared as if I had finally reached the ideal I had been searching for during decades, without giving up anything of my own identity.
The struggle, search, and final applicable understanding have been partly described by Larsson in his own article on his mass Missa brevis. Connor interprets Larsson's article "Missa brevis" and the corresponding struggle with a new style as analogous to that between Mozart and Bach.
The confrontation of Schönberg's twelve-tone style and the technique of serial writing must have been as big shock for you as it was for Mozart approaching Bach's style of writing. By analyzing Mozart's preludes and fugues, written just during his first confrontation with Bach's compositions, one does not find much of his personal style. Only later on did Mozart find a syntax of his own light and gallant style and Bach's strict counterpoint. Reading your description about the composition procedures and struggle involved composing Missa brevis, it seems as if you were close to surrender to the pressure, which serial thinking put on you.
Not only did Larsson find a mature way of approaching dodecaphonic elements, but later, as a professor at the age of forty years, he seems to have come to some understanding of Berg's pedagogical philosophy, which Larsson had experienced earlier.
It is a disadvantage for the students to have a rather young professor like myself. Resistant, old fogies with parched, senile and rigid opinions can tease and provoke to wild and fruitful opposition. But what if the professor is on the same wavelength as his students and does not at all disagree with progressive ideas? Their chance of provocative revolution is somewhat taken away from them. Anyhow, I think they prefer it the way it is.
Other than the Viennese school, other influences can be found which account for the breaking up of tonality in Larsson's writing. Larsson's own statement regarding being inspired at an early age by Sibelius's symphonies after having attended a concert, suggests influences of modality. According to Törnblom, the use of progressive tonality in Carl Neilsenís symphonies might as well have had the same impact on Larssonís general approach to key schemes.
Ethnically, his art appears to be related to Carl Nielsen and Vilhelm Stenhammar. His musicality seems to be inherited from Sibelius as well.
Associations can be drawn between Larsson and Béla BartÛk (1881-1945). If BartÛk's music can not always be explained in a specific key, there are always certain clear tonal centers. The Piano Concerto no.1 (1926) makes use of pedal points to establish different key areas, which follow each other in an arch shape. This piece does have key signatures, but is the last piece in BartÛk's repertoire to make use of such. Later pieces are similar to Larsson's Saxophone Concerto in that they do not confirm any certain tonality by the use of key signatures. BartÛk does not stand out as a complete contrast to the Viennese school. He expresses his relation to Schönberg's music in a letter of November 1920.
Of Schönberg I know only his Klavierst¸cke...His music is a little foreign to me, but he has demonstrated some new possibilities in music which had only been hinted at before him.
Even though Larsson reached an acceptance of such progressive elements in his own compositions, he still expressed, a year and a half before his death, opposition to music that was too "modern." He listened less and less to music. The old music he knew too well already and the new music appeared too complicated for him. "One has to protect one's ears." Nevertheless, atonal influences, as heard in the Saxophone Concerto, must have sounded modern to both himself and Swedish audience of 1934. A review of the concertoís premier in Norrköping mentions the modern composerís urge to seek new ways of expression, conflicting with the composerís final capitulation to tradition.
Somewhere, a few years ago at an art exhibition, a confused gathering of spectators stood watching a "piece of art," consisting of a label from a beer bottle attached to a unpolished piece of wood, which had been ripped off from a ordinary sugar box. It was called dadaism. Nowadays such extreme ideas have disappeared form the visual art, if now it ever was appropriate to consider such an item to be a piece of art. Now it appears in music instead, in our music, even though the most threatening occurrence of such has already been defeated elsewhere in Europe. Still, the import continues and the national constellation of such is thereby stimulated. Last Tuesday at the symphony concert Norrköpings Orkesterförening presented a few examples in this genre. Among other works, a composition by Jörgen Bentzon called Variations on a Danish folk song was performed. (Poor folk song, not only the Danish one, but folk songs in general. They always have to support the "composers" when their inspiration is lacking. The folk songs are arranged for choirs, orchestrated for ensembles, they are turned inside out and upside down, in order to create the foundation for something "new"). It is true that occasionally one could hear a melody, especially in the strings, but when the piano and the little and big drum did everything to suffocate the tiny melody, the beautiful song was lost. Then, when the instrumentation became more soloistic; violin, big and little drum, when the above described beer bottle label was nailed on a piece of wood from a sugar box, appeared in front of my eyes. Such humiliation of the audience should not appear at a respectable concert program. It sometimes appears as if it is a necessity to completely overload the listeners with obscure novelties. That was the case at this concert. The "folk song" was preceded by a concerto for saxophone and string orchestra, composed by the Swedish composer Lars-Erik Larsson. Even this piece contained perplexities, but remained within the definition of music, in spite of partial occurrence of obscurities. It was at least possible to make some sense out of the second and third movements. The former had even some delighting sections. See, it is interesting to realize that even if modern composers make every effort to abandon the essence of music - timbre and beauty, they have to return to it at some point, probably with bitter self-mastery. The solo part was performed by the soloist of the evening, Sigurd M. Rascher, who convincingly mastered his instrument with great virtuosity. The fact that the soloist's talent was often more seen than heard, was due to the distracting accompaniment. In the concluding concerto by Glazonouv, again for saxophone and string orchestra, the soloistís warm sound and refined technique was featured in a larger extent, but at that point all the preceding dissatisfaction had reduced my recipiency.
In other words, Larssonís concerto was viewed as a fairly progressive composition, and was not, therefore, accepted as a comprehensible piece of music. The Concerto, which today appears mild in its approach to twentieth-century elements, was not appreciated by the local newspaperís music critic, accustomed to attending more traditional concerts. In Berlin, however, three days after the premiere of Larssonís concerto, a completely different degree of contemporary composing appeared. By way of contrast Larssonís Concerto would here have appeared in the light of being a highly innocent and comprehensible collection of simple phrases and pretty melodies.
30 November 1934 Symphonic Suite from the unfinished opera Lulu by Alban Berg to Frank Wedekindís plays, Erdgeist and Die B¸chse der Pandora, dealing with an inflammable seductress whose three husbands and a lesbian admirer all meet violent death, and who herself is disemboweled in London 1889 by Jack the Ripper, to the harrowing sound of a dodecaphonic chord symbolizing the tearing of her entrails in the duodenum measuring 12 fingerbreadths between the stomach and the jejenum, the entire score deriving from a basic 12 tone series, is performed for the first time in Berlin under the direction of Erich Kleiber.
It would have been interesting to see how the above quoted critic of a Swedish local newspaper would review the premiere of Symphonic Suite by Larssonís former teacher Alban Berg. Whatever the criticís approach and opinions would have been, he or she would have disappointed someone, as Berlin reviewers did. These contemporary elements caused as much confusion in Berlin as in Norrköping. In Die Musik, Berlin, January 1935, a journalist attacked the reviewers - racists besides of the premiere of Bergís Symphonic Suite.
The accounts of the performance of Alban Bergís symphonic suite from his opera Lulu demonstrate the ideological confusion and lack of artistic understanding of the majority of Berlin critics. It is significant that one of the most degraded foreign yellow newspapers, the Neues Wiener Journal, was able to quote several Berlin reviewers who seemed favorably inclined toward the émigré Musikjuden.....Such reviews are inadmissible in our age of directed public opinion, for they befuddle the mind and hinder the rebuilding of our culture. The National Association of the German Press would do well to reexamine basically the fitness of these reviewers for their jobs.
Larssonís Concerto faired better in ÷stergötlands folkblad of 28 November, 1934, where the it was just barely removed from associations with Dadaism.
Linear Counterpoint and Harmonic Fluctuation
Instead of being passionately thrilled by the Vienna school, Larssonís attention was drawn to the music of Hindemith.
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.
There are many similarities between the general characteristics of Hindemith's and Larsson's careers as composers. Both composers had tendencies toward complicated styles of writing in their early years, progressing to simpler elements in the later part of their careers; Hindemith's second String Quartet, for example, was found too difficult to play. Larsson attempted twelve-tone techniques as early as in his op.8. Simultaneously, there are indications of Larsson applying Hindemithís style of writing in the early 1930ís.
From the same period, as op.8 (1932), appears an unfinished string quartet with strident tonality, resembling Hindemith.
The programmatic element in Mathis der Mahler with its new harmonic language confirms that, like so many other composers in the early 1930s (among them Larsson), Hindemith was seeking a warmer and more humanistic manner of writing.
Some twenty-five years after the 1920ís, Hindemith revised three principal works of that decade (Das Marienleben 1923, Cardillac 1926, and Neues vom Tage, 1929), because of a change in his conceptions of tonality. Similar, Larssonís new concept of instrumentation in the 1960ís led to the previous mentioned revision of Arresten på Bohus in 1968. Further, Larsson's concertino series from the mid 1950ís on confirms his new approach to neo-classicism in the 1930ís. They both contributed to the offering of repertoire for amateurs. The major contribution from Larsson in this regard was the concertino series, op.45, which troughout was designed for amatuers. Gösta Percy makes a parallel between this opus and Hindemith's series of Kammermusik and the sonatas from the 1920ís. Larsson state 1958 that writing with limitations such as intending works for performance by amateur players, adds difficulties in the compositional process. However, by restricting oneself through such discipline, purity and simplicity emerges. These are characteristics which Larsson normally expected from his composing, and therefore such discipline suites his style in general.
Lennart Bagger-Sjöbäck reports that Larsson's concertinos have been well received and extremely appreciated among the amateur orchestras around the country. The composer Sven-Erik Johanson statement confirms the same.
The twelve concertinos seem to be a mixture of both the "old" Larsson and the "new" Larsson, still being stylistically unified. "Maturity" is a accurate label, and mature is that composer who can compose with a modern style, with full artistic values, and still limit himself to simplicity. The lyrical musician Lars-Erik Larsson has, with his concertinos, accomplished a significant deed, for this era, whos seeds will become fruitful for both amateurs and professional players during decades to come.
Hence, Hindemith and Larsson have in common a philosophy of practical music, "Gebrauch musik," and music of pedagogical. Larsson stated:
Something that I have had in mind for a long time is a piano method, for young players. By that I do not have in mind a collection of boring exercises which smells pedagogical sweat long way. No, music that is meant to inspire piano students should not be done with "only your left hand".
Larsson's ideals resulted in the composing of Lätta spelstycken,op.56 and Fem pianostycken, op.57.
In an interview with Larsson, Herbert Connor finds similarities between Larsson and Hindemithís philosophy concerning learning how to compose. Larsson agreed to what Herbert Connor implied.
Who would a professor in composition teach if not by letting his student develop through a improving artistic consciousness?
Larsson says, in other words, that to learn the craft of composition one has to study form, harmony, counterpoint and have self discipline.
In contrast to other prominent composers, Larsson and Hindemith made themselves known through small scale genres, as chamber music, rather than through grand operas and symphonic forms. Hindemith's use of folk music, however, contrasts with Larssonís denial of any influences of that sort.
Instead, Larsson inherited two main characteristic traits from Hindemith style of composition by attending Hindemithís concert performance of his own Viola Concerto.
Larsson's visit to Vienna introduced him to both Schönbergís twelve-tone techniques as well as Hindemithís neo-classical style.
Musicologist Göran Bergendal has recognized Hindemithís neo-classical style as being an influence in Larssonís compositions from the early 1930ís.
More important (than the Vienna school) was Larssonís confrontation with Paul Hindemithís music; Larsson had an opportunity to see the composer soloist in his own Viola Concerto. This performance introduced Larsson to a style of fresh, sometime witty, sometime strident and up front modernism, which would remain as an influence in Larssonís composition during years to come. Among other, the baroque-like Sinfonietta op.10 (1932) strident sonorities and motorious rhythms, verifies such influence. The outer movements are overwhelming in their expression of intense energy and frenetic impelling forces. The aggressive, almost frightening scherzo is flanked by a ponderous baroque-like largo, resembling a movement of a concerto grosso.
Hindemith would later on, in his Craft of musical Composition, defined these characteristics as; linear counterpoint and harmonic fluctuation. Concerning the latter, Hindemith declared a devotion to tonality and the triad.
The triad can never be avoided for more than a short time without completely confusing the listener.
With the same philosophy, but expressed in different words, Larsson often stated the same concern of maintain his music comprehensible for the listener. He sometime declared his intentions simply and brief.
I want to write music that is beautiful.
At other occasions, Larsson expressed himself more explicitly.
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.
The harmonic relations that Hindemith presents in Underwiesung im Tonsatz in 1937, emerge in Hindemith's composition prior to that date, thereby providing Larsson with compositions from which Larsson could have been influenced. Subsequently, an orthodox use of Hindemith's chord groups, and, as a result a strict increase/decrease of harmonic tension is not likely to be found in the Saxophone Concerto, but the philosophy of fluctuation between various degrees of consonant and dissonant sonorities is present.
Teddy Nyblomís report on the international performances of Larssonís Konsertouvertyr nr.1, a year after the completion of the Saxophone Concerto, indicates the overall influence of Hindemith.
A year after Larssonís international recognition at the ICMS festival in Florence, 1934, he was accomplished with still another recognition of the same status. Larssonís Konsertouvertyr nr.1 was nominated by the international jury to be the only new composition to be presented at the music festival in Karlsbad and Prague. Hence, Konsertouvertyr nr.1 was featured on the immense master program at the music festival. The piece recalls the style of Hindemith and that is probably why it was selected. the critics of modern music insinuated that the pulse of modern time is maintain through every measure of this composition, and the praised it as one of the most significant contemporary compositions. 
The non-functional harmonic structure in the Saxophone Concerto indicates, as well, Hindemithís impact on Larssonís composition. In the opening five bars of the concerto there is a sense of harmonic fluctuation, created by a increase/decrease of the dissonance between the accompaniment and the solo part.
A possible model for this structure can be found in Hindemith's Konzertmusik für solo-Bratsche und größeres Kammerorchester, op.48 (1930), which Larsson heard performed by the composer in 1930. In this work, Hindemith begins with a full score in unison, descending from an A to a F#. Thereafter a various and alternating degree of dissonance and tension takes place, until an open fourth (C# and F#) appears before the solo entrance at bar 18. Mid way through the first solo episode a F major chord appears at bar 35 and this section finally comes to a close on a C major chord at bar 87, with the indication Halten. In between these major sonorities a non-functional progression appears, creating various levels of tension and release. Thus, the movement represent the application of harmonic fluctuation. In the second movement this structure continues to be of significance. The movement opens with a repeated C7 chord (bar 1-5) with an additional Ab, which through the repetition resolves to an A. Mid way through the movement, at the double bar a C# major chord appears. This stable sonority and the opening is dispersed with an arched shaped succession of tension building dissonance and resolving consonance.
In Larsson's concerto, throughout the first theme area (bars 1-25) and transition area (bars 26-46), it is evident that phrases begin and end with resolved and stable sonorities, contrasting the progression of each individual phrase through various degrees of tension. A theoretical determination of such a procedure might seem unnecessary since inherent in all music of earlier periods, harmonic tension and release appear according to an arch shaped form. Contrasting, Hindemithís harmonic fluctuation and the back and forth reactions between consonance and dissonance employed by Larsson, is the progression through apparently non-functional harmony. In a similar fashion, the closing section (bars 80-107) employs this same concept by concluding with clearer sonorities at structurally significant points (such as the downbeat of bar 84, 88, 91 and 92.) The analysis found in chapter III, determined that the transition (bars 26-46) in the first movement finally established the tonal stability for the secondary theme (bars 47-79) which had been lacking in the primary theme area (bars 1-25). The secondary theme (bars 47-79) further increases in chromaticism, arriving at a more atonal closing section (bars 80-107). Within a large scale perspective these alternations between dissonance and consonance, progressing from one thematic area to another, also resemble harmonic fluctuation.
Concerning linear counterpoint, Hindemith's Konzertmusik für solo-Bratsche und größeres Kammerorchester, op.48 (1930), appears as a possible model for Larsson's application of the same technique. Bar 1-18 feature contrapointal texture, where each part is horizontally independent and therefore not bring about any functional harmony. Each part is double or in octaves within the same instrument family (e.g. bass clarinet doubling clarinet, violoncello doubling double bass, etc.). At bar 23-34 the same texture re-appears, now intensified by the soloistís participation. In the second movement linear counterpoint continues to be the major texture featured throughout the movement, but doubling parts has now been substituted with additional independent contrapointal lines.
The use of linear counterpoint in the Saxophone Concerto is most obvious in the closing sections (bars 80-107) of the first movement. The bass line begins with an contrary motion of the top voice (bars 80-81), which is decorated with preceding sixteenth-notes. A single inner voice contributes with a independent ascending line, reaching the departure for a sequential section after two measures (bars 80-81). The nature of this sequential section (bars 82-87) is a combination of an independent descending line of thirds in the inner voices, while the outer voices appear through a more traditional contrapuntal texture (bars 82-87). Further, contrary motion is to be found between the inner voices and the bass line (bars 84, 86-87), while the top line grows more independent from bar 84-87. In other words, a varied linear contrapuntal structure prevails where the harmonic and cadential hierarchy is suppressed by the interaction between the bass line and upper voices, and their individual arrival points and departures.
The use of descending and ascending bass lines in the primary theme area the first movement (bars 1-25) , be considered a result of the use of a linear technique. The same structure continues in the bass line through the transition (bars 26-46). Descending/ascending structure of the bass line even returns for the second half of the secondary theme area (bars 62-78). This structure is maintained throughout the development (bars 110-183), where voices are presented in independent linear structure, eliminating functional harmony.
First in the finale, after more conventional voice leading in the Adagio, does linear structure regain its dominance over a completely functional harmonic progression. Still, Hindemith-like strident sonorities found in the first movement is limited by more frequent use of functional harmony towards cadential points.
No matter what sources of influence, Larsson seems to be aware of new features of composition appearing in his own time. Still, Larsson approaches every element with caution and with a personal integration - while attempting a middle course. Even if he wished, Larsson would never soar as gallant as Mozart. Nor would he, like Beethoven, be quoted by the future as "the man who sailed the wide shoreless sea .......to its limits". But Larssonís music will always be appreciated and heard somewhere between ("in the middle course of") soaring birds and sailing boats.
Göran Bergendal, "Lars-Erik Larsson på lyssnarens sida," Tonfallet (n4 1989):9-13.
New Grove Dictionary, Berg, Alban, by George Perle.
"Lars-Erik Larsson - Ung komponist med publiktycke." Svenska Dagbladet, 11 October 1936.
Lars-Erik Larsson - ung komponist med publiktycke. Svenska Dagbladet, 11 October 1936.
Lars-Erik Larsson - ung komponist med publiktycke. Svenska Dagbladet, 11 October 1936.
Anders Tykesson, "Lyrisk expressionism och sträng kontrapunkt: några skeden i Lars-Erik Larssons skapande," årsskrift Kungliga Musikaliska Akademien (1987):38-39.
Herbert Connor, Samtal med tonsättare, (Stockholm: Natur och kultur, 1971), p.21.
Lars-Erik Larsson. Söndadsproträttet, Stockholms-Tidningen 13 March 1949.
Herbert Connor, Samtal med tonsättare, (Stockholm: Natur och kultur, 1971),p.21.
 F.H. Törnblom, "Lars-Erik Larsson," Studiekamr. 31 (1949): 75-76.
Documenta Bart¢kiana. vol 5, (Budapest: Akademiai Kiado), 1964-), p.100.
"Larsson i 6A." Aftonbladet, 8 April 1985.
"Teater & Musik." ÷stergötlands folkblad, 28 November, 1934.
 Nicolas Slonimsky, ed., Music Since 1900, 5th ed. (New York: Schirmer Books, An Imprint of Macmillan Publishing Company, 1994), p.376.
Nicolas Slonimsky, ed., Music Since 1900, 5th ed. (New York: Schirmer Books, An Imprint of Macmillan Publishing Company, 1994), p.377.
 Sixten Nordström, "Lars-Erik Larsson," Konsertnytt (n1 1983/84): 20-22.
 Sohlmans Musiklexikon, 5 vl. 2nd ed. by Hans åstrand. Stockholm: Sohlmans Förlag AB, 1977. "Larsson, Lars-Erik" by Göran Bergendal.
New Grove Dictionary, "Hindemith, Paul; works of 1933-63," by Ian Kemp.
Donald J. Grout and Claude V. Palisca, A History of Western Music, 4th ed. (New York : W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1988), p. 831.
Gösta Percy, Konserterande för alla instrument, Musikrevy 13 (1958):83.
Berit Berling, "Han föder glupsk fågelunge med musik," Röster i Radio TV 25 (n4 1958):43.
Lennart Bagger-Sjöbäck, "Hur har det gått med Lars-Erik Larsson's concertinor," Musikrevy 14 (1959):212.
Herbert Connor, Samtal med tonsättare, (Stockholm: Natur och kultur, 1971),p.25.
 Herbert Connor, Samtal med tonsättare, (Stockholm: Natur och kultur, 1971), p.20.
Herbert Connor, Samtal med tonsättare, (Stockholm: Natur och kultur, 1971), p.20.
 Sohlmans Musiklexikon, 5 vl. 2nd ed. by Hans åstrand. Stockholm: Sohlmans Förlag AB, 1977. "Larsson, Lars-Erik" by Göran Bergendal.
Göran Bergendal "Lars-Erik Larsson på lyssnarens sida," Tonfallet (n4 1989):10.
Paul Hindemith. The Craft of Musical Composition, vol 1, eng. trans. by Arthur Mendel. (New York: Associated Music Publishers, Inc., 1945)
Paul Hindemith. The Craft of Musical Composition, vol 1, eng. trans. by Arthur Mendel. (New York: Associated Music Publishers, Inc., 1945), p.115
"Lars-Erik Larsson död." Sydsvenska Dagbladet - snällposten, 28 December 1986.
Göran Bergendal, "Att flyga som Mozart," Röster i Radio-TV 35 (n.19 1968):20-21.
Teddy Nyblom, De nya herrarna. (Stockholm: Nyblom, 1959),p.292-3.