Ludvig Norman

Symphony No. 3


Oulu Symphony Orchestra
Johannes Gustavsson, conductor



Sleeve notes in English



August 2022

Catalogue No.:
ODE 1391-2


Track listing

CD 56:46
Ludvig Norman (1831-1885)
1 Concert Overture in E-flat major, Op. 21 (1856) 8:30
2 Funeral March, ‘To the Memory of August Söderman’, Op. 46 (1876) 6:46
3 Overture to Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, Op. 57 (1881) 10:25
Symphony No. 3 in D minor, Op. 58 (1881) 30:05
4 I. Allegro appassionato ma non troppo presto 12:09
5 II. Andante cantabile 7:52
6 III. Allegro molto commodo 4:27
7 IV. Allegro molto 5:21

Complete description

This album includes a large portion of the orchestral works written by Ludvig Norman (1831–1885), ‘The Swedish Brahms’, including his masterpiece work, Symphony No. 3, performed by the Oulu Symphony Orchestra under Johannes Gustavsson. Ludvig Norman was a highly fascinating artist who inspired a generation of Swedish composers and was widely respected, although his 3rd Symphony was premièred only after the composer’s death.  


Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Ludvig Norman (1831–1885) went at the age of to study at the famous Leipzig Conservatory, where his teachers included Ignaz Moscheles (piano) and Julius Rietz (composition). Having returned to Stockholm as a professional musician and composer deeply inspired by his impressions of musical life in Leipzig. Norman is often considered to be among Sweden’s premier symphonists after A. F. Lindblad and Franz Berwald (1796–1868). His contribution to the Swedish orchestral repertoire comprises three symphonies, three overtures and a Funeral March. Stenhammar described the composer’s 3rd Symphony as “full of beauty” and even claimed that he valued it more than “any of Brahms’s symphonies”.


Oulu Symphony Orchestra is Finland’s northernmost symphony orchestra, originally founded in 1937 and municipalized in 1961. The present name, Oulu Sinfonia (Oulu Symphony Orchestra), was adopted in 2005. The orchestra has 61 professional musicians. The repertoire of the Oulu Symphony Orchestra is based on classical subscription concerts and completed with diverse contents such as opera, cinematic concerts, world music and jazz concerts as well as concerts for families and children. The orchestra also steps out of its home base in various formations taking its music to various locations around the town. The orchestra’s Chief Conductor since January 2022 has been Rumon Gamba who took up the post after a long tenure by Johannes Gustavsson (2013–2021). During the past decades, the post of Artistic Director was held by Urpo Pesonen, Paavo Rautio, Onni Kelo, Rauno Rännäli, Ari Angervo, Peeter Lilje, Arvo Volmer, Dmitri Slobodeniouk and Anna-Maria Helsing. Principal Guest Conductors have been John Storgårds, Susanna Mälkki and Jaakko Kuusisto.


Johannes Gustavsson is noted for his energy, charisma, poise and sensitivity – qualities that have put him in serious demand as a symphonic and operatic conductor across the Nordic region and beyond. He works regularly with all the major orchestras in his native Sweden as well as in Finland and Norway. He has held senior conducting posts at the Oulu Symphony Orchestra, Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, the Västerås Sinfonietta, the Nordic Chamber Orchestra and at Wermland Opera. Since 2017 Johannes has been Artistic Leader of the Norwegian National Youth Orchestra. Johannes was born in 1975 in Vänersborg and studied at the Norwegian Academy of Music with Ole Kristian Ruud and Olav Anton Thommessen. He took additional lessons from Simon Streatfeild and the great Finnish conducting instructor Jorma Panula. Johannes was the first artist to be awarded both the Swedish Conductor’s Prize and the Herbert Blomstedt Award. He was a prize-winner at both the Solti Conducting Competition in Frankfurt and the Toscanini Competition in Parma.