Books about Wirén

12 Chapters about Dag Wirén

Lennart Reimers (ed.), Edition Reimers, 1995, ISBN: 9173701165

12 chapters about Dag Wirén – Starting in Fjugesta, via Paris and Ireland, and back to Sweden with Danderyd and Björkö as his final destination – this was Dag Wirén’s geographical route. 

Musically, he blazed a trail starting from his Cello Sonata of 1931, written for Gustav Gröndahl, via symphonies, chamber music, film music, and the famous Serenade for String Orchestra, all the way to the Flute Concertino, commissioned by Swedish Radio in 1972. In 12 Chapters about Dag Wirén, Dag Wirén’s (1905–1986) famous credo, “I believe in Bach, Mozart, Nielsen, and absolute music,” is studied from different points of view. Six writers, who all were close to the composer, unite in their opinions about a composer whose work through its clarity and asceticism represents music that is at once timeless and extremely personal.

Dag Wirén – a Pathfinder

Martin Tegen (ed.), Gidlunds Förlag, 2005, ISBN: 91-7844-680-5

On 15 October 2005, Dag Wirén would have turned 100. He is seen today as one of the most outstanding Swedish composers of the 20th century, and it would therefore appear to be high time to study his contributions. He himself thought that the instrumental works to which he assigned opus numbers were most important, but he also produced a great quantity of music for theatre productions and film. Added to this, he was also a music critic for seven years. He first became known to a wider audience through his Serenade for String Orchestra (1937), just as Hugo Alfvén became known for his Midsommarvaka (1903); both works were incidentally written when the composers in question were 31 years of age, and they are both the two most performed Swedish orchestral works internationally. The breadth of Wirén’s mature artistry spans from the gravity and concentration of his Fifth Symphony (1964) to the popular tones of “Annorstädes vals” (Absent Friends), which was the Swedish contribution to the Eurovision Song Contest in 1965.

Dag Wirén – a Pathfinder concerns Wirén’s work as a composer and critic, together with glimpses of contemporary schools of thought in Paris and in his home country.