Karl-Birger Blomdahl was the natural middle point within the peer group Måndagsgruppen, where new music and new composition techniques were thoroughly discussed during the 1940s. He became a leading music debater, he fought to found an electronic music studio in Stockholm (EMS) and to transform the radio's musician resources into a full-fledged symphony orchestra with its own studio. He strongly asserted the right of origin of modern music on the radio and in concert programs. He was an innovative composition professor at the Academy of Music in Stockholm and in 1965 became head of Sveriges Radio's music department. Today, his compositions, which were often received by the public as incomprehensible novelties, have become classics with an obvious place on concert stages.

Already the works from the 1930s reveal solid craftsmanship and the early 1940s works reflect the studies in baroque music a neoclassicalConcerto Grossoand it often playedAdagio from Waking Night. Further on comes influence from Hindemith, Bartok, Stravinsky, which is noticeable inSymphony No. 2andPastoral suite for strings(1948) - the first work that the friendship with the poet Erik Lindegren resulted in. While Blomdahl had previously claimed that literature and music could not be reconciled, Lindegren and the rest of the circle around the magazine Prisma opened his ears to this genre as well, and Lindegren contributed texts to the oratoryIn the hall of mirrors, the operasAniara(1958) andHerr von Hancken(1962-64) and the cantata...the journey in this night(1966). In some of these works, the composer also makes connections to blues and jazz, not infrequently for a parodic purpose.

WithSymphony No. 3 – Facetshe broke through internationally (ISCM 1951) with a personal and varied tone. Also later orchestral works such as the balletsSisyphus(1954) andMinotaur(1957), reveals a rich and vital imagination with massive expressive power.

Stig Jacobsson/Swedish Music