Pettersson wrote his First Symphony in 1951 at the age of 40. At the time, he was studying in Paris with Leibowitz and Honneger. He had by then composed the 24 Barefoot Songs for voice and piano to his own lyrics, his Violin Concerto #1, and the Concerto #1 for String Orchestra.
For whatever reason, Pettersson did not release the score for this symphony, and it remains unpublished and unperformed. It has been described as a "fragmentary"; Peter Ruzicka is said to have assembled the fragments from Pettersson's papers. The recording company cpo, at least, seems to believe that it will be performed, by indications in their liner notes for the Second Symphony.
Copyright © Mark Shanks, 1996