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Stenhammar - Three Small Piano Pieces

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by techneut, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks Bohumir. I don't think Stenhammar usually sounds especially 'Swedish', whatever that is. Maybe he does here,
    but I think his big works are more influenced by Brahms and other mainstream composers. Actually Swedish native music does
    not seem to have the distinctive sound of Norwegian and Finnish music. But there are some find Swedish composers I'd
    like to explore - Atterberg, Larsson, Wiklund, etc.
     
  2. sejra

    sejra New Member Piano Society Artist

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    OT about swedish music. Have heard Rosenberg - quite cool music, really! And Mankel. Also played two preludes by Mankel. But just the "nice" ones (mostly romantic and not so complicated. It's interresting how Mankel was writing. When I saw his sketches there's normal nice music. But then in the final versions he tried to do something special. Sometimes it's quite exciting.
     
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I have not heard about Rosenberg and Mankel. Will check them out, thanks.
     
  4. musicrecovery

    musicrecovery Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Chris,

    1: Molto tranquillo, semplice (2:22)
    Very bell like tone. Your performance captures a pensive and yet hopeful character. There is such a beautiful approach to the left hand intervals. The balance between melody and harmony is superbly mastered.

    2: Allegro (1:31)
    Very beautiful approach to dynamics. There is a delicacy and yet a crispness and controlled buoyancy to the playing. I sense a relaxed technique and wonderful judgement in terms of the dynaimc level. Everything is in perspective in terms of timing, tone, dynamic level, interplay between hands. Thank you for a very enjoyable performance.

    3: Polska (en miniature) (1:35)
    Perhpas a pinch less subdued. The timing is excellent and the piece moves beautifully.

    Kaila
     
  5. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you Kaila :) Given that I did not spend much time on these, they came out well. They're very undemanding of course.
     
  6. troglodyte

    troglodyte Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thanks for bringing up Stenhammar, this is charming! The most often played piano piece by him here is the B minor fantasy, eg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keSoGQFHiqc (sorry if I break a rule by posting a link, if so I'll remove it). It is apparently not as hard as it sounds (I never tried it). I does sound a bit like Brahms.

    I'm not so sure about Swedish music being overly cheerful. Some folk music is but it is really dance music and is supposed to cheer people up. There is quite a wide spectrum. Sure we don't have a "defining" composer (unless you count Grieg, since Sweden and Norway were one country at the time) but I'm not sure that is a bad thing.

    Chris, make sure you include Peterson-Berger in your list to try. In particular his suite Frösöblomster (flowers from Frösö) is charming and not too difficult. The piece "Sommarsång" in it is performed constantly at student recitals (at least that used to be the case when I attended such). Any Swedish pianist will know it, it almost has the same status as Fur Elise. Me, I never played either of them but I was kind of rebellious in some respects.

    A Swedish favourite of mine is the Chaconne (op 8) by Gunnar de Frumerie, quite impressive but not too hard. A link where you can listen to some samples of his work is:

    http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/w/1685 ... No-2-Op-65

    Joachim
     
  7. troglodyte

    troglodyte Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    The opus number should by 8. Somehow when followed by a parenthesis it became a smiley. :)
     
  8. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yes, isn't our bulletin board clever ! There's a whole list of combinations it automagically converts to smilies. If you want to disable that you can tick
    'Disable BBcode' or 'Disable smilies' underneath your posting. Or set these in your profile.
    I'll check out that Stenhammar phantasie, and see what I can find by Gunnar de Frumerie, whose name I have heard but never his music.
    As for Peterson-Berger, our site founder Robert Stahlbard recorded his Frosomblomster some years ago, but I was not much take with the piece, finding it rather trite. I may want to try out Atterberg's Hostballade no.1, the only of his pieces I can find online. Atterberg was such a great composer, easily Sweden's best IMO. He should be right up there with Nielsen and Sibelius.
     
  9. troglodyte

    troglodyte Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I think he only recorded sommarsång. There is a whole suite left to explore!
     
  10. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I've sampled other items of Peterson Berger's Frosoblomster such as I could find on Youtube. All very pretty and charming but IMO a bit bland and clumsy, and lacking in any distinctive personality. Despite Olaf Hojer's excellent advocacy, it does not make me want to explore this composer.

    The Stenhammar Fantasie is a very good work, with a most beautiful theme (though it seems he milks it just a little too long). This might be worth the
    effort, and indeed from listening to it I would think it is effective and impressive without being extremely difficult.

    Gunner de Frumerie is a real find ! I love what I heard of his etudes on that site you mentioned. Must see what is available of his scores. Drat, and I have so much to do already :x :D

    Thanks for these tips Joachim, it is nice to discuss some 'off the beaten track' repertoire here.
     
  11. robert

    robert Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Great playing Chris and it is true that none of the Swedish classical composers have a distinctive Swedish style or sound. Actually, you have to search for Swedish folk music to find the true spirit of Swedish music and the closest match out of these three Stenhammar pieces is, according to my view, the third.
     
  12. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks Robert. There must be 'real' Swedish folk music but I think composers never took it at face value like Norwegian composers did (Grieg with the Slatter, Tveitt with the Hardanger Tunes). But it's probably not fair to always compare Swedish to Norwegian music. The Swedes have a mind and culture of their own.
     
  13. fluterific00

    fluterific00 Member

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    I'll be interested in hearing these as I have some Swedish in me. It's only in my last name, but it's there. :) I will listen to them when I have some time.
     
  14. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

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    hey, Chris!

    I love Stenhammar!
    I have even imported from Sweden two piano sonatas' score, which I could find nowhere else (and it was really difficult to import these, since the website was in Swedish, and I know beans about it. But the most difficult part was to DISCOVER this website. hehe).

    However I must admit I was a little disappointed, because I thought these were the 3 Pieces Op. 11. :x

    Nice playing!
    It even made me feel slightly like recording pieces again. :D
     
  15. robert

    robert Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yes there is and I think its fair to say that classical composers never paid it much attention. A pity as many of these old folk songs are truly beautiful! I had an idea to take that up many years ago and I made some compositions which are very inspired by Swedish folk songs but as often, I cannot take the time needed and then I'm not sure I am talented enough to pull it off.

    Comparing with Norway, it differs a bit but to be honest, not that much. We live very close and have almost the same language (we understand each other pretty well), share many parts of history and people move and work between our countries without restrictions.

     
  16. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hey Felipe, thanks ! Yeah, why not start again ! A little set like this is great - print out, sit down, record :lol:
    Nice for a change not to have to sweat on a piece for months.
     

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