I’ve had Elfrida Andrée: Fritiof-Suite, Symphony No. 2 in A minor. Stockholm SO, Gustaf Sjökvist. Sterling CDS-1016-2 (1995) in my collection for almost two decades, and it didn’t leave a strong impression back then, but it’s when I saw that it was the odd-CD out sandwiched between CDs that I’ve reviewed, of Barry Anderson on the left side, and of Louis Andriessen on the right side (I have a number of CDs by Louis’ father Hendrick, but they are not yet on the shelf either because they are part of collection CDs which are shelved elsewhere, or because I’ve bought them recently and haven’t yet listened). “Pe’l piacer di porle in lista”, for the pleasure of adding her to the list: there’s something of Don Giovanni in every collector (or there’s something of a collector in every Don Giovanni). So it was time to give a new try and a review to Elfrida Andrée.
And in fact I must have mellowed over the years and, after listening so much to both the towering giants and the “minor masters”, must be now more open and welcoming to even the minor beauties that minor composers have to offer, and I’ve enjoyed the music of Elfrida Andrée. It may be derivative of Mendelssohn in the Symphony from 1879 and generic late-romantic in the Fritiov-Suite (from an opera project with later Nobel-prize winner Selma Lagerlöf), but within those limits the music is enjoyable nonetheless and in the Suite, offers moments of beautiful lyricism and great epic sweep that do rise above the generic and point to Sibelius.