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Edvin Kallstenius (1881-1967): Symphony No. 1; Sinfonietta No. 2; Musica Sinfonica, Op. 42 / Helsingborg SO, Beermann

Album Summary

>Kallstenius, Edvin : Symphony no 1 in E flat major, Op. 16
>Kallstenius, Edvin : Sinfonietta no 2 in G major, Op. 34
>Kallstenius, Edvin : Musica Sinfonica, Op. 42
Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Although as a composer he admired both the sublime and the lyrical Beethoven and was of the opinion that the old forms still had much to say, Edvin Kallstenius (1881-1967) filled those old forms with unique harmonic designs and his own personal content. He avoided rigid commitment to a monolithic tonal language. He was an uncompromising craftsman whose scores contain meticulously precise playing instructions. His first symphony is considered one of the most remarkable symphonies composed in 1920s Sweden. Conductor Frank Beermann leads the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra.

American Record Guide, March/April 2015
A fondness for ancient Greek and Roman mythology and tales dominated the stage in the Baroque period, beginning in Italy and moving into France and Germany. Reinhard Keiser's Pomona (1802) is a fine example of German Baroque. The opera's full title is Sieg der Fruchtbaren Pomona, The Victory of the Fruitful Pomona. The music is quite relaxed, with plenty of gentle melodies to beguile the ear. There is a smiling grace to most of the singers' voices. Near the end of the opera Jupiter has a three-minute recitative with chorus. Kobow treats it as a grand scena, working with the text to find every ounce of meaning, with a tenor voice worthy of singing the Evangelist in one of the great Bach passions. The chorus cannot be faulted; it is the nine soloists. There are frequent obbligato passages with a solo instrument. They are performed exquisitely by soloists of the Capella.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Concert Hall, Helsingborg, Sweden (10/01/2007-10/05/2007).



Reviews

Worth exploring
When I first read about Swedish composer Edvin Kallstenius and his claim that "musical religion is called harmonics everything else is secondary," I thought he might be another Charles Ives. When I heard his music, though, I revised that opinion. If I had to characterize Kallstenius' music in terms of another composer, I'd choose Paul Hindemith.

Like Ives and Hindemith, Kallstenius worked out his own musical theory. While some of his music has a somewhat tonal framework, Kallstenius' harmonies often resolve in unexpected fashion. And though his melodies may seem atonal on first hearing, they're not based on a 12-tone system. Those tones are moving to the internal logic of Kallstenius' harmonic structures.

Does Kallstenius' music work? Indeed it does. Take his first symphony from 1926. There is straight-forward motivic development that keeps the music moving forward. Kallstenius always knows where he's going and how he's going to get there.

Kallstenius was also deeply interested in folk song. His 1946 Sinfonietta No. 2 is a light work, with some folk-like melodic elements. While the harmonies are sometimes quite thick, this is still a more accessible work than the symphony.

The Musica Sinfonica, Op. 42 of 1953 represents a distillation of Kallstenius' musical theory. If it were written a half-century later, I might label it "post-tonal." Kallstenius isn't concerned with tonality, but he's not concerned with avoiding it, either. For me, this work is the most interesting of the three on this album. Even though Kallstenius reminded me of Hindemith, he doesn't sound like Hindemith. Kallstenius' voice is original, and not just for the sake of originality. Kallstenius is simply expressing ideas that could not be written any other way.
Submitted on 12/08/14 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>Kallstenius, Edvin : Symphony no 1 in E flat major, Op. 16
  • Conductor: Frank Beermann
  • Ensemble: Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Concert Hall, Helsingborg, Sweden (10/01/2007-10/05/2007)
  • Running Time: 22 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1926

>Kallstenius, Edvin : Sinfonietta no 2 in G major, Op. 34
  • Conductor: Frank Beermann
  • Notes: Concert Hall, Helsingborg, Sweden (10/01/2007-10/05/2007)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1946

>Kallstenius, Edvin : Musica Sinfonica, Op. 42
  • Conductor: Frank Beermann
  • Notes: Concert Hall, Helsingborg, Sweden (10/01/2007-10/05/2007)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1959