The music of the Swede Anders Eliasson hasn’t come my way too often, if at all, so I am pleased to ‘discover’ him via this BIS release, and sorry to find that he is deceased (1947-2013).

Symphony No.3 (1989/2010), for soprano saxophone and orchestra, twitters into action, the pulse quick, the energy high, the sax of Anders Paulsson a dominant voice as part of the busy scoring in music that increases in urgency and intensity – with ‘something of the night’ about it – before reaching a cul-de-sac, a time for nocturnal reflection, then speeding with percussive attack into the third section, bringing emotional unrest, before hitting the buffers and entering a ’Lugubre’ movement, lamenting, before the brief final section suggests a ray of hope … but the music stops in mid-air. Paulsson and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra conducted by Johannes Gustavsson give a dynamic account of a dramatic piece.

The rest of the disc is courtesy of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and Sakari Oramo. Eliasson’s Trombone Concerto (2000), with Christian Lindberg as the tireless soloist, is cast as an ever-developing single movement, the trombone, certainly as recorded, embedded/musically integrated into a highly active, incident-packed, orchestra. It’s a great going-places piece, and the journey’s-end arrival yields very effective, satisfied, lyricism.

As gripping as those two works are, Symphony No.4 (2005) is the stand-out opus here, impassioned music of strength, power, pulsation, eloquent expression, and kaleidoscopic concerto-for-orchestra-like scoring; vivid communication (some of the writing is hair-raising: composer chased by demons, maybe) and symphonic line apparent in every bar, given with fantastic dedication and virtuosity by the Stockholmers. I know not if Eliasson Four has had its UK premiere; if not, Oramo and the BBC Symphony Orchestra are just the team to do it.

Meanwhile the superbly performed and recorded BIS-2368 [SACD] will do very nicely for returning to tonal music (the cover gives a clue as to Eliasson’s methods) that doesn’t reveal its secrets easily yet issues an invitation to be more and more involved with it (and a reminder of Oramo’s recent Ravel:

Sakari Oramo extends his contract as Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra.