Peter Bengtson performing Torsten Nilsson’s Crucifigatur (1968)

“Crucifigatur” — “Crucify him!” — is part of the suite “Seven Improvisations for Organ” by the Swedish Composer Torsten Nilsson (1920-1999), organist, composer and the choir master of Oscar’s Church in Stockholm for about 20 years, where his Good Friday oratorio “Nox Angustiae”, of which “Crucifigatur” forms the overture, received its premiere in 1968, achieving cult status during the years to come.

“Nox Angustiae” — Night of Anguish — which depicts the rage and chaos of the original Good Friday in a expressionist manner, is scored for double chorus, vocal soloists and large organ. To add to the experience, the work was always performed in a darkened church at midnight between Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. The performers read the music by faint blue light, but the rest of the church was in complete darkness except for the projection of a graphical leaflet on the ceiling of the church.

This recording was made in 1986 by the Swedish Radio, as part of a live broadcast performance of Nox Angustiae by the Täby Church Chamber Choir under Kerstin Ek. Organist: Peter Bengtson.

(Listening using headphones or a full frequency range speaker system is strongly recommended.)

UPDATE! Listen to the complete work here:

About Torsten Nilsson:

Torsten Nilsson studied at the State Academy of Music, Stockholm 1938-1942, graduating as a church musician and music teacher. He continued his studies with Anton Heiler in Vienna (composition and the organ, 1961 and 1965). As an organist he was also a pupil of Alf Linder. He was organist in Kšping 1943-1953, of St. Mary’s Church, Helsingborg, 1953-1962, and was appointed organist of Oscar parish, Stockholm, in 1962, resigning from this appointment in 1979. He was also the director of the Oscar Motet Choir until 1984. He was Teacher of liturgical singing at Uppsala University, 1966-1970, and at the Stockholm Theological Institute, 1964-1970. He was also teacher of music theory at the Stockholm Citizens? School 1962-1973.

Where Torsten Nilsson is concerned, music does not have any single fount, its sources of inspiration being varied and complicated. Beauty, sensualism and eroticism have their contentious antitheses in anguish, paralysis and fear of death. In character his music often comes close to the scream of desperation, and the masterly composer for the organ has also developed an abundant vocal language. His melodies also glide into elevated, sensuously warm atmospheres. His intense, orgiastic imagination is reflected by the culmination of his music in ecstatic outbursts of sound and dance-like climaxes.

[via Peter Bengtson]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: