Peter Jørgensen Gram – Violin Concerto in D Minor, Op. 20
(b. Copenhagen, 25 November 1881 – Frederiksberg, 4 February 1956)
1. Movement p. 1
2. Movement p. 23
3. Movement p. 35
Peter Jørgensen Gram, an important figure in the Danish musical landscape of the early twentieth century, was known primarily as an orchestral conductor and champion of contemporary Danish music. Following his studies with Arthur Nikisch (conducting) and Hans Sitt and Stephan Krehl (theory and composition) at the Leipzig Conservatory from 1904-1907, Gram returned to Copenhagen to teach composition and theory. From 1918-1932, he was appointed chief conductor of the Dansk Koncertforening (Danish Concert Society), an association dedicated to the performance of contemporary Danish works. In 1937, Gram assumed a new role as director of the music department of Danish Radio (now the Danish Broadcasting Corporation), serving in this position from 1937-1951. Throughout the 1920’s and 1930’s, Gram held numerous leadership positions in Danish musical organizations, including the Society for Music Education (1913-1921), the Danish Musicians’ Association (1919-1924), the Society of Danish Composers (1931-1937), the Society for the Publication of Danish Music (1931-1938), and the Northern Union for Composers’ Rights (1931-32; 1935-36).
Gram’s own compositional output was modest yet refined. His orchestral works include three symphonies (1913, 1925, 1954), two overtures (1921, 1927), three titled pieces, Poeme lyrique (1911), Prologue to a Shakespeare Drama (1928), and Intrada seria (1946), two works for solo voice and orchestra, Avalon for Soprano and Orchestra (1916) and The Dream of My Youth for Tenor and Orchestra (1921), as well as two solo pieces for the violin, his Romance for Violin and Orchestra (1909) and the three-movement Violin Concerto in D Minor, Op. 20 (1919).
Highly chromatic, lyrical, intellectual, and at times motivically driven, Gram’s unique compositional style can be viewed in contrast to his famous compatriot, Carl Nielsen, whose mature works abandoned the Romantic aesthetic in favor of Classicist ideals and new European trends. …
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