Wilhelm Stenhammar: Piano Music (Hyperion Audio CD)

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Catalogue No: CDA67689
Shop Product Code: 235506V
Piano Music (Hyperion Audio CD)

Status: Usually despatched within 10 - 12 working days

Department: CDs - Save up to 15% - Classical CDs: Instrumental

Publisher: Hyperion

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Stockholm-born Wilhelm Stenhammar was the most outstanding musical personality in Sweden of his time. As a pianist
he brought high-quality music-making to audiences throughout the country through several hundred solo recitals and
chamber music concerts; as music director of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra he created Sweden’s first truly
professional ensemble, persistently championing contemporary Scandinavian composers and introducing his audiences
to numerous new works; and as a composer (like Elgar, largely self-taught) he created some of the most important and
carefully crafted music ever to come out of Sweden, ranging from symphonic works and operas to chamber music and
lieder. The start of Stenhammar’s career was in many ways that of an archetypal Romantic pianist-composer: even as a
child he had already composed numerous pieces for piano, including three sonatas, the first dating from 1880.
Much of his piano music is firmly in the repertoire, including the extraordinary Nights of Late Summer—one of
Stenhammar’s last works. The pastoral title and miniaturist structure belie the enormous emotional range of the piece. It
is a deeply romantic exploration of moods of introspective gloom and wandering desolation. The five short movements
make great demands on the pianist. The Three Fantasies Op 11 from 1895 have become the most frequently played of
Stenhammar’s piano pieces. The musical language is more immediately communicative than in Stenhammar’s other
piano works, something which has without doubt contributed to their popularity.
However, this disc also includes a complete rarity: the early Piano Sonata in G minor. This piece was never published,
and was tracked down by Martin Sturfält in a handwritten copy from 1940 (used for all previous recordings) which
contained a number of mistakes. Sturfält has edited the work for publication, and it is this version that has been
recorded here.
This beautifully played disc is the perfect introduction to Sweden’s ‘national composer’.

Contents and Reviews


Piano Sonata in G minor (1890) [22'02] 1 Allegro vivace e passionato [9'09] 2 Romanza Andante quasi adagio [4'25] 3 Scherzo Allegro molto – Trio Meno mosso (un pochettino) – Tempo I [2'58] 4 Rondo Allegrissimo – Sostenuto – Tempo I, ma più animato [5'26] Nights of Late Summer (Sensommarnätter) Op 33 [15'58] 5 Tranquillo e soave [4'30] 6 Poco presto [2'26] 7 Piano Non troppo lento [2'56] 8 Presto agitato [3'15] 9 Poco allegretto [2'38] Three Fantasies Op 11 [15'00] 10 Molto appassionato – Poco meno, ma agitato – Impetuoso – Presto [5'04] 11 Dolce scherzando [4'42] bn Molto espressivo e con intimissimo sentimento [5'05] Piano Sonata in A flat major Op 12 [23'10] 12 Moderato, quasi Andante [6'09] 13 Molto vivace – Trio Presto – Tempo I – Coda Presto [7'17] 14 Lento e mesto [2'12] br Allegro [7'22]