Lars Hallnäs

  • Stockholm, Suède, 1950
  • Compositeur

[traduction française non disponible]

Swedish composer, born in 1950. Nephew of composer Hilding Hallnäs (1903-1984). Started composing in 1968. The years 1968-74 studied with Danish composers Mogens Winkel Holm and Per Nörgård, and later with Ingvar Lidholm at the Music High School in Stockholm. 1975-76 studied electronic music at Intituut vor Sonologie in Utrecht. 1974 and 1976-79 studies of musicology, and 1976-83 of philosophy, Ph.D. 1983. Taught and did research in computing sience 1988-2000, since then is active in the same capacities in interaction design.

After a prolific output in the 70’s, having one of the most distinctively individual voices among Swedish composer during this decade, Hallnäs was quiet for ten years from 1983 to ’93. Returning to music, he started pretty much where he left off, with a song-cycle on a poem by early 19th century Swedish poet, Erik Johan Stagnelius.

His music is on the one hand distinguished by great beauty: it is sensuous, often longing and retrospective in character. (In early pieces there are many allusions, and also quotations, but the view is hampered by distortion — “history seen through glasses which are not quite clean”.) On the other hand, it is calculated, matter-of-fact, severe. A striving for purity seems to be a common feature. It is an austere music, at times not far from ascetic.

For Hallnäs the actual process of composing starts with putting inctricate formal problems in rows, and the major part of his work consists of finding feasible solutions to the problems. He thus achieves an objective attitude which is balanced against a slightly sentimental character. His music thrives on this tension between the abstract and the melodic. The same tension is also reflected in the choice of material and method.

Björn Nilsson