Commissioner Styrsö Kammarmusikdagar
Opus Number  78
Category Orchestra
Year 2021
Duration 10
Orchestration String Orchestra (min.43221)
Publisher Gehrmans Musikförlag


Program note

The latin word fretus is both translated as “sea” as well as “trusting, relying on, banking on, depending upon”. In my opinion this describes very well in one word the sea, which the world in deed is depending upon.

So far it is believed that the sea is where all life began and it is today home to up to 80% of all life on earth. We have only discovered an estimated mere 4% of its life, and with an estimation of around 1.4 to 1.6 million species, it’s the most rich ecosystem we have on earth. Phytoplankton swallow about 4 times the amount of CO2 compared to the Amazon Rainforest and life in the sea creates an estimated 50-70% of the oxygen in the world’s atmosphere. However, humans have managed to reduce many species such as tuna fish so that only 2% of the amount of it is left compared to 1970 and through bycatch millions of dolphins, whales, sharks and sea turtles also lose their life, unnecessarily. Moreover the fishing industry is responsible for over half of all plastic pollution in the oceans and this plastic pollution also kills many species. 

In this piece I have described both waves, colourful underwater worlds as well as an ecosystem whose heart is pumping it’s last beats for survival. It is both strong and fragile at the same time, and ever so beautiful, the sea. This piece is dedicated to the oceans of our world.



I greatly enjoyed Cecilia Damström’s “Fretus”. I could see/hear the ocean waves, the splashing against the shore rocks, the clear water surface, but also the darkness, the dangers that occur beneath the surface. Through her music, the composer wants to make us aware of what is happening in our environment. “Fretus” is a touching and very well-written piece.

Per-Håkan Jansson, Vasabladet Friday 4.8.2023

Cecilia Damström’s vibrant and rhythmically powerful Fretus made Styrsö Chamber Soloists evoke the mighty surging and unknown depths of the oceans.

Martin Nyström, Dagens Nyheter 9.8.2021


2021 August 7th World premiere by Styrsö Kammarmusikdagar conducted by Magnus Fryklund – More info

2022 November 1st excerpt performed at Nordic Council Prize Ceremony 2022  More info

2023 February 15th Finnish premiere by Lohja City Orchestra conducted by Jukka Untamala – More info
2023 February 16th Lohja City Orchestra conducted by Jukka Untamala – More info

2023 August 2nd Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra lead by orchestral leader Malin Broman More info

2024 February 13th Hyvinkää Orchestra conducted by Tuomas PiriläMore info