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Stenhammar: String Quartets Vol. 1: No. 3 in F major, No. 4 in A minor / Stenhammar Quartet

Audio Samples

>Stenhammar, Wilhelm : Quartet for Strings no 4 in A major, Op. 25
>Stenhammar, Wilhelm : Lodolezzi sjunger, suite from the incidental music, Op. 39
>Stenhammar, Wilhelm : Quartet for Strings no 3 in F major, Op. 18

Album Summary

>Stenhammar, Wilhelm : Quartet for Strings no 4 in A major, Op. 25
>Stenhammar, Wilhelm : Lodolezzi sjunger, suite from the incidental music, Op. 39
>Stenhammar, Wilhelm : Quartet for Strings no 3 in F major, Op. 18
Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

If there is one Swedish composer in the early 20th century who in some way can compare with Sibelius and Nielsen, it is Wilhelm Stenhammar - incidentally a personal friend of both these towering figures in Nordic music. And in Stenhammar's production - which includes songs, piano music and large-scale orchestral works - his string quartets form a special chapter. The seven quartets (of which one, in F minor, was withdrawn by the composer soon after its first performance) were written over the space of 22 years, and mirror Stenhammar's development, from full-blown Romanticism to a more sparse and formally concentrated idiom. As a pianist, Stenhammar worked closely for many years with the Aulin Quartet, the finest Swedish string quartet of its time. (It was the Aulin Quartet that gave the first performances of all Stenhammar's quartets up to and including No.4 in A minor, Op.25.) His familiarity with the medium is evident in these works which have been described as 'the most important written between those of Brahms and Bartók', but which still remain less well-known internationally than they deserve. In a bid to change this, the Stenhammar Quartet here present the first disc in a trilogy which will include the six quartets published during the composer's lifetime, as well as the F minor quartet - for the first time on disc - and other music for string quartet. Making its first appearance on BIS, the Stenhammar Quartet was formed in 2002 and has made a name for itself in Sweden and internationally as interpreters of Stenhammar's music, as well as of core repertoire and contemporary works.

Gramophone Magazine, November 2013
This new recording is more romantic and rhapsodic...This is music not just for Nordic specialists and should be investigated.

The Guardian, 29th August 2013
The performances, bristling with tension and lyrical beauty, are exceptional.

American Record Guide, January/February 2014
Describing this music, I find it helpful. It is emotional, harmonically colorful, chromatic and never ugly. Clearly influenced by Sibelius, Stenhammar's voice is unique. His output is rather small. The Stenhammar Quartet obviously has a deep affinity for these works and plays with great precision and sensitivity. Rarely have I been so emotionally affected by so understated a performance.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Petrus Kyrkan, Stocksund, Sweden (2011-04-??&2011-10-??&2012-).



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Works Details

>Stenhammar, Wilhelm : Quartet for Strings no 4 in A major, Op. 25
  • Ensemble: Stenhammar Quartet
  • Running Time: 9 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1905-1909

>Stenhammar, Wilhelm : Lodolezzi sjunger, suite from the incidental music, Op. 39
  • Running Time: 3 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Stenhammar, Wilhelm : Quartet for Strings no 3 in F major, Op. 18
  • Running Time: 8 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1897-1900