Lars Sjösten 
(In the Traces of a Loving Couple) 

Piano (1984) 
Till Alfred och Ebba 


 In December 1973 my wife and I left for the province of Värmland (in the west of Sweden) to become engaged. Then we also paid a visit to the home of her childhood in Jössefors, outside Arvika. The bus stopped at the old shop and we entered, only to hear that it was going to be closed for good. We were the last customers! After having made our purchases we walked down the old mill road to the small harbour and I remember coming to a standstill for a long while. There was an altogether unique light over the Glafs fjord and I became in some strange way as enchanted. The old mill was completely still and I got a strong sensation of former times. 

 My wife was born in Gunnarskog, not far from Jössefors where she grew up. Her father, like so many others at this time (the 1920's) left for America when she was quite small. He died in Chicago so then she never got to see him again. Through genealogy we have tried to learn more about him and during the summer of 1983 we spent one week in Jössefors. We wandered about in the neighbourhood and spoke to old people, who told about her father and mother. Strong memories from my wife's childhood welled up in her. 

 The impressions of former times that I had got during the enchanted moment at the old mill now grew stronger. I saw the white water (now regulated), the school, the workmen's dwellings, the smithy, the laundry, the manager's villa, the stable where the father for a time had worked and the cottage where my wife had lived as a child. I could imagine an early Saturday evening in the open space in front of the store, I could hear an accordion and I could hear singing from the chapel, all accompanied by the rush of the white water. When we walked home in the night, it seemed as present times and past merged inside me and as a tone (in a broader sense) was in the air. At that time, I felt I had to try to make music out of these feelings. 

 The composing of this work thus dealt with seeking to realise the tone I had felt and heard inside me. The fact is that the main theme came about on the day after the nocturnal walk. With a concert near at hand I needed to practise and was allowed to use the piano in the Jössefors Community centre. I tried to practise for a while but was soon caught in a search for a tonality that agreed with my feeling. When I went out in the August sun again I had a scale and a few intervals and motifs on a music paper. Afterwards it was left lying at my piano at home in FARSTA. Sometimes I took it out and tried the notes a little. 

 In late autumn 1983 the institution Svenska Rikskonserter (Nation-wide Concerts) gave me a commission for a piano work. After some time I realised that this was the right opportunity to make music out of my experiences in Jössefors. In the summer 1984 I started to work and in October the same year a piano composition in three movements was ready. 

 I don't feel like making a more technical analysis of the work. Instead I hope to have aroused an interest and given an idea of the impressions and feelings that were the source of I ETT KÄRLEKSPARS SPÅR (In the Traces of a Loving Couple). 

FARSTA 3 January 1985 

Lars Sjösten 

P.S. Alfred and Ebba are of course the names of the parents of my wife. 

Copyright © Lars Sjösten

I ETT KÄRLEKSPARS SPÅR (In the Traces of a Loving Couple) is recorded by
pianist Rolf Lindblom on the CD "Tracks of Love", Proprius PRCD 9074.
Proprius Musik AB, 

Box 26111
Sweden. Fax: +46-(0)8 66097 49.

The composition is published by
Hans Busch Musikförlag - Universal Music Publishing AB
Box 55755
S-114 83 Stockholm, Sweden

Tel: +46-(0)8-629 53 70
Fax: +46-(0)8-662 78 50