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Symphony No. 9 (Pettersson)

Allan Pettersson wrote his Symphony No. 9 in 1970.

The symphony is his last composition preceding a nine-month stay in hospital (starting September 1970);[1] it is also his longest symphony.[2] There is one movement, though it divides into a number of smaller sections that follow each other with at most nominal pause but usually none.[3] The notes to the cpo recording identify 17 such sections, partially for analysis.[4]

Much though not all of the material in the symphony is based on the ascending scale motif heard at the very beginning, played by bassoons, violas and cellos.[3] The concluding bars of the symphony[5] are described by Peter Ruzicka as a Canto whose main theme goes from violins and cellos to violas in unison, and which ends in a slow cadence into F major.

Pettersson dedicated the symphony to Sergiu Comissiona and the Gothenburg Symphony, who premiered it on 18 February 1971 [3][6] and had commissioned it for the 350th Anniversary of the Founding of the City of Gothenburg.[3]

The miniature score was published in 1989 by Nordiska Musikforlaget of Stockholm[7] and runs to 385 pages.



  1. ^ "Pettersson Bio". Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  2. ^ the average length in the three commercial recordings so far is around 70 minutes.
  3. ^ a b c d Meyer, Andreas K.W., translated by Susan Marie Praeder: notes to the cpo recording.
  4. ^ Meyer: "The tracks are in no way to be understood as separate movements but do represent attempts to identify breaks or turning points in the score."
  5. ^ cpo recording, track 17, from three measures before rehearsal 208 in the score to the end - about 5 minutes
  6. ^ Rapoport, Paul (September 1976). "Allan Pettersson's 9th Symphony". Tempo, New Series (118): 47–9. JSTOR 944238.
  7. ^ "Permanent Link for Cornell Card of Score". Retrieved 25 January 2010.