Dalsland Rhapsodie op.22
Edvin Kallstenius – Dalsland-Rhapsody (Second Swedish Rhapsody), Op. 22
(b. Filipstad/Värmland, Sweden, 29 August 1881 – d. Danderyd/Stockholm, 22 November 1967)
(1936; premiered Vienna, 1938; ca. 8 min.)
The Dalsland-Rhapsody (Second Swedish Rhapsody), Op. 22 by Edvin Kallstenius belongs to a long tradition of works based on Swedish folk melodies. Since the publication of the first collections of folksongs and dance melodies in 1814 (Geijer & Afzelius 1814–18; Åhlström & Afzelius 1814–15, repr. 1972), which were transcribed and edited by literary and musical academics and their assistants, composers have enjoyed ready access to traditional Swedish melodies in printed form. Initially in the 1810s and 1820s, arrangements for solo voice and piano gained popularity for domestic use, as more and more members of the middle and upper classes acquired pianos and performed music at home to entertain themselves and their social circles. In the 1830s, when students at the universities in Uppsala and Lund organized male choruses, folk music arrangements quickly became a core component of the repertoire, a tradition that continues in Swedish choral singing in general to the present day.
Two key developments in the 1840s anticipated Kallstenius’s rhapsody. First, folksongs and dances became popular in theatrical productions, which facilitated the writing of untexted orchestral overtures, dances, and incidental music treating folk themes. The most popular piece of musical theater of this type, Fredrik August Dahlgren’s The People of Värmland (Värmlänningarna, 1846) is still performed frequently today. Equally important, the definition of “folk music” expanded from so-called medieval ballads, fiddle dance tunes, and simple love-songs to include functional work-music. Richard Dybeck, an amateur historian of Swedish cultural history, was the first to publish collections of songs and horn calls used by shepherds (Dybeck 1846, repr. 1974); furthermore, he organized full evening-length concerts of folk music arrangements almost annually in Stockholm and a few other cities between 1844 and 1870, introducing urban audiences to this type of music in settings for orchestra and various smaller ensembles, with and without voices (Danielson & Ramsten, 2013). …
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