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Choir/Voice & Orchestra

Wilhelm Stenhammar was Sweden’s leading composer in the period when Finland was represented by Sibelius and Denmark by Nielsen. Just as these two composers (both of them Stenhammar’s friends) are held to stand above their compatriots of all centuries, so it is not unreasonable to claim the same exalted position for Stenhammar in Sweden.

His output of music was not great, but it all displays a very high level of workmanship and inspiration. His music has a distinctively personal sound, too. He led a busy life as pianist and conductor, working in Stockholm until 1907, then in Göteborg until 1922, then back in Stockholm until his death. His chief works are two symphonies, six string quartets, two operas, many songs and the Serenade for orchestra, which might in effect be considered his third symphony.

He composed few works for chorus, a fact much regretted by choral societies that have sung this music. He was particularly attached to the Swedish poet Oscar Levertin (1862-1906), whom he first met in Berlin in 1891. In that year he set Levertin’s poem Florez och Blanzeflor for baritone and orchestra, with a similar setting in 1905 of Levertin’s Ithaka. His mastery of choral writing is displayed in two settings of Levertin, Folket i Nifelhem (“The People of Nifelhem”) and Värnatt (“Spring Night”), comprising opus 30. Folket i Nifelhem was sketched out in 1911 in the seaside village of Fiskebäckskil, north of Stenhammar’s home in Göteborg, and first performed on 24 February 1913 at a concert of the Göteborg Orchestral Society conducted by the composer. …

for mixed choir, solo quartet, boys’ choir, organ, and large orchestra

I Kyrie g-moll. Adagio (p. 3) – Christe eleison. Etwas fließender (p. 13) – Kyrie eleison. Tempo primo (p. 22)
II Gloria H-Dur. Lebhaft und leidenschaftlich (p. 28) – Et in terra pax (p. 34) – Laudamus te (p. 35) – Gratias. Ruhig (p. 47) – Domine Deus, rex coelestis (p. 54) – Qui tollis (p. 59) – Quoniam (p. 63) –
Sum Sancto Spiritu (p. 68) – Amen (p. 80)
III Credo As-Dur. Breit beginnend (p. 83) – Patrem omnipotentem (p. 88) – Factorem coeli et terra (p. 91) – Visibilium omnium et invisibilium (p. 100) – Et in unum Dominum (p. 106) – Deum de Deo (p. 114) – Genitum, non factum (p. 119) – Qui propter (p. 128) – Incarnatus de Spiritu Sancto (p. 129) –
Homo factus est (p. 130) – Crucifixus (p. 136) – Et resurrexit (p. 138) –
Et in Spiritum Sanctum Dominum (p. 149) – Confiteor (p. 155) – Et vitam venturi. Fuga (p. 162) – Amen (p. 179)
Offertorium B-Dur. In festum Sanctissimi Nominis Jesu. Sehr Ruhig (p. 190)
Sanctus. Breit (p. 199)
Interludium sub conservatione (p. 212) – attacca:
Benedictus D-Dur. Mit größter Ruhe (p. 213) – Hosianna (p. 228)
Agnus Dei h-moll. Sehr langsam (p. 237) – Dona eis pacem (p. 244)

Walter Braunfels, the son of Ludwig Braunfels, a Jewish literary scholar who converted to Protestantism, and Helene Spohr, Louis Spohr’s grandniece, known to Franz Liszt and Clara Schumann, was first musically educated by his mother. At the age of 12 he was a junior student at the Hoch’sches Konservatorium in his native city, then went to Munich to study law and economics, then to Vienna, where he took piano lessons with Theodor Leschetitzky, and back to Munich, where he found his mentor in the famous conductor Felix Mottl and Ludwig Thuille also had an inspiring influence on him….


„Country in the south!
Land of the sun!
my longing goes to you,
I want to sing about you now
as my longing demands of me“

This is the opening quote from the great opera Das Leben des Orest op. 60 by Ernst Krenek, the most famous Austrian composer of the 20th century and „enfant terrible of New Music“1, which today is largely unknown in contrast to his opera Jonny spielt auf, which is also available in recordings. By preceding quotations, as the one above, Krenek symbolizes „one of the many ways of representing his intellectual problems. They are not only music for the sake of music, but also for the sake of its idea. The thinker Krenek can communicate in music, the musician Krenek in words.“2

Matthias Schmidt enthusiastically notes about Krenek’s compositions, for which the composer mostly wrote the libretti himself: „Like a burning glass, essential features of the Austrian musical tradition, especially between Schubert and Mahler, are condensed in Ks. [Krenek‘s] art, which he consistently adapted to the compositional conditions of the 20th century: the finely balanced values of a stylistic pluralism […], the musical criticism of rigidly inserted technical systems, the definition of composing as an act of ‚thinking‘, but finally also the emphatic understanding of music as a language and the work-like character as unifying basis of every artistic creation.“…

Violoncello & Orchestra

I Allegro moderato (p. 1) – Solo cadenza (p. 46)
II Andante maestoso (p. 55) – Adagio (p. 58) – Stringendo molto al Tempo primo (p. 62)
III Intermezzo. Andante innocente, con moto quasi Allegretto (p. 67)
IV Rondo. Allegro (p. 70) – Solo cadenza (p. 98)

As a composer, Donald Francis Tovey was a highly respected outsider in his native Britain. He received his first training from Sophie Weisse (1852-1945), who stood by him throughout his life, actively supported him, and financed the printing of many of his works. Stylistically and in his mastery of large-scale form already fully formed and largely matured with his first Piano Trio, Op. 1, dedicated to his teacher Hubert Parry (1848-1918), he wrote such weighty works from the outset, in continuation of a tradition clearly drawing from Beethoven and Brahms, that his music was quickly subjected to the prejudice of “Teutonic heavyweight” in England, which made him a particularly unfashionable figure in the long term, especially when the First World War viciously divided cultures. Thereafter, Tovey devoted most of his time to his teaching and orchestral education activities in Edinburgh, as well as to popular educational introductions to the great classical works (Essays in Musical Analysis), for which he is best known today as perhaps his country’s most gifted music writer. It was also left to him to realize, in 1932, the first truly adequate completion of the unfinished final fugue from Bach’s Art of Fugue. He composed comparatively little in his later years, and among the late compositions, the present Cello Concerto is the all-superior major work. …

Piece for 2 pianos

  • Stucken, Frank van der

    Pax triumphans Op. 26, Sinfonischer Fest-Prolog für grosses Orchester (arrangement for two pianos by Theodor Bohlman, final chorus with organ or harmonium ad libitum / first print, performance score, 2 copies)

    No. 2594

(arrangement for two pianos by Theodor Bohlman
final chorus with organ or harmonium ad libitum)

Frank Van der Stucken composed Pax triumphans (‘Triumph of Peace’) for a grand choral festival in New York; with this work he also wanted to commemorate the end of the Spanish-American war. (This war which concerned the Spanish colonies in the Philippines and Cuba was fought in June and July 1898 and won by the United States.)

As a motto for the work Van der Stucken chose a verse by Alfred Lord Tennyson: ‘They do not die / nor lose their mortal sympathy / nor change to us, although they change.’ This verse is from the monumental poem In Memoriam A.H.H., which Tennyson completed in 1849 in memory of the sudden death in 1833 of his friend Arthur Henry Hallam.
Van der Stucken dedicated the work to the memory of the German-American Emily Balke-Schmidlapp (1858-1900), who died in a train crash on the Missouri Pacific on 27 February 1900. Her husband, Jacob Godfrey Schmidlapp, was a well-known philanthropist who was active as a board member of the Cincinnati Music Festival Association, which organised the biennial May Music Festival and which Van der Stucken led between 1906 and 1912, and between 1923 and 1927. …

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