Tor Aulin – Svenska danser, Op. 32 (Four Swedish Dances for orchestra)
(b. Stockholm, 10. September 1866 – d. Saltsjöbaden, 1. March 1914)
(Four Swedish Dances for orchestra)
Tor Aulin was a prominent conductor and violinist in the flourishing Swedish concert hall culture at the fin de siècle. His wife, Anna Aulin, recounts that his compositional accomplishments were, however, somewhat restricted by his humility and commitment to promoting music by other Swedish composers during his annual tours as leader of the Aulin String Quartet (1877-1912) and as conductor of the Stockholm and Gothenburg Orchestras.1 Yet he was an active composer between 1887 and 1913 and wrote a variety of incidental music, songs, and piano pieces stylistically influenced by the German romanticism of Max Bruch, Robert Schumann, and the Nordic style of his long-term confidant, Edvard Grieg.2 As a concert violinist, Aulin composed most for his instrument: character pieces, string quartets, pedagogical pieces and cadenzas along with his most well-known works, the Violin Concerto No. 2 in A minor, Op. 11 (1892) and Violin Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 14 (1896).
The Swedish folk-fiddle inspired melodies and original instrumentation of the Svenska danser (Vier schwedische Tänze für Orchester) [Four Swedish Dances], Op. 32 (1912-3), places the work firmly in the middle of this corpus of violin music. The four-movement suite was written for violin and piano in 1912, dedicated to a Professor Georg Hüttner and the Philharmonic Orchestra in Dortmund.3 The next year, it was arranged for orchestra and premiered by the Göteborgs Orkesterförening [Gothenburg Orchestra Association] on April 6, 1913, directed by Wilhelm Stenhammar.4 The concert also featured the first performance of another of Aulin’s folk suites, his Gotländska danser (Drie gottländische Tanze), Op. 28 (1910). Like the Svenska danser, these dances were originally written for violin and piano (Op. 23) and only later arranged for orchestra.
Written during a period of ill health, the Svenska danser were among the last of Aulin’s works composed before he died of heart disease in March 1914. At the age of 47, Aulin had suffered through depression, kidney problems, and was left partially paralysed after stroke in early 1913. In a retrospective memorial, his friend, Emil Hansen, gives a harrowing account of the rehearsals for the orchestral suite. After being carried into the rehearsals, Aulin was so overcome with emotion that he was carried out again with one last farewell to his orchestra. …
Read full preface / Komplettes Vorwort lesen > HERE