John Fernström (1897-1961)
String Quartets Nos. 5 & 8

Hans Söderberg
String Quartet No 1


611 852-002 2 CD

486 572-002 4 Digital Reissue


John Fernström
StringQuartet No. 5, Opus 81
1. I. Improvisation ? Allegro moderato
2. II. Ostinato
3. III. Burlesk ? Allegro molto
4. IV. Finale

String Quartet No. 8, Opus 93
5. I. Andante
6. II. Allegro non troppo
7. III. Andante un poco sostenuto
8. IV. Allegro moderato

Hans Söderberg
String Quartet No. 1
9. I. Allegro energic
10. II. Intermezzo, largetto
11. III. Allegro vivo
12. IV. Lento
13. V. Allegro con brio

Recording Date: March 1985
Recording Location:
Helgeandskyrkan, Lund, Sweden
Produced by: Henrik Hallén and Jesper Buhl
Balance Engineer: Göran Finnberg
Format: DDD Stereo

Recording Information

John Fernström was born 1897 in Ichang, China, where he also spent the first ten years of his life at the mission his father directed. He came to Sweden in 1907 and started to study the violin at the Conservatory in Malmö. He was with the Symphony Orchestra of Helsingborg from 1916 until 1932, with some interruptions for studies; first as a violinist, later as one of its leading conductors.

Fernström studied the violin with Max Schlüter in Copenhaguen and with Issay Barmas in Berlin, and between 1923 and 1930 he studied composition in Copenhaguen with Peder Gram. In 1930 he studied conducting in Sondershausen, Germany.

He was the principal conductor of the Malmö Broadcasting Orchestra between 1939 and 1941 and from 1948 until the end of his life, 1961, he was the director of the Conservatory in Lund and the Lund Symphony Orchestra, both of which he initiated.

In 1951 he founded the Nordic Youth Orchestra, which still today is an almost compulsory step for all young Scandinavian musicians on their way to become professional musicians. In 1953 he was elected member of the Swedish Royal Musical Academy.

Ever since childhood, he had a very active interest in painting, which he also studied in Paris. His production is impressing, both in terms of diversity and size, be it music, paintings or poetry. He wrote 12 symphonies, 8 string quartets, many other chamber music pieces, concertos (among which two violin concertos, a basoon concerto and a clarinett concerto), two operas, and a large number of songs and choral pieces. His autobiography, "Jubals son och Blodsarvinge" appeared in 1967, and appeared in a new edition in 1998.

Scores to Fernström's music are available from The Swedish Music Information Centre (select English language, then the tab "Contemporary Classical". Then search on fernstrom.).

Söderberg, born 1937 in Malmö, studied composition with John Fernström, and took his degrees as music teacher and church musician. For many years Söderberg teached music theory and composition at the Academy of Music in Lund.

Söderberg has a large and varied production of works, mostly chamber and orchestral. Many of his orchestral works are for one or more solo instruments and string or full orchestra.

When one listen to Söderberg’s works one will easily be caught by the high degree of tonal quality and well crafted instrumentation technique. This is emphasized in his “Arietta” for vibraphone and strings, his “Concertino” for marimba and strings, and his “Concerto” for marimba, Vibraphone and orchestra available from Norsk.

For more information about Fernström, visit "fernstromonthe", click here