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Franz Berwald
 
 

Franz Adolf Berwald
 
 
Franz Berwald, in full Franz Adolf Berwald (born July 23, 1796, Stockholm, Swed.—died April 3, 1868, Stockholm), the most important Swedish composer of the 19th century.

Born into a renowned family of musicians, Berwald studied violin with his father and composition with J.B.E. Du Puy. After playing in the Swedish court orchestra and touring as a violinist for about 15 years, he lived in Berlin (1829–41) and Vienna (1842). He then returned to Sweden, and from 1846 to 1849 he was in Paris and Vienna, where he attempted to make a name for himself as a composer. He was unable to earn a living in music, however, and from 1850 to 1858 he managed a glassworks in Ångermanland. After scoring a certain success with his opera Estrella de Soria (first performed 1862), he became professor of composition at the Swedish Royal Academy of Music in 1867.



 

Berwald is considered the founder of musical Romanticism in Sweden and was the first important Swedish symphonist. His music, somewhat influenced by Louis Spohr and Carl Maria von Weber, is highly original in its formal construction and use of harmonic resources. His works include five cantatas; concerti for violin (1821), bassoon (1827), and piano (transcribed by Gustaf Heintze, 1908); and four symphonies composed in the 1840s, of which the third, Sinfonie singulaire (1845), is particularly esteemed.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 
 

Franz Berwald was born in Stockholm, the son of a German violinist in the royal orchestra. He was largely self-taught, although he did study music with his father and composition with J.13.E. De Puy. He joined the orchestra as a violinist at the age of 16 and, apart from one brief period, remained there until 1 828. when he composed a Grand septet for clarinet, bassoon, horn, and string quartet.

However, the lack of enthusiasm in his home country for his highly original style provoked Berwald to leave Sweden to try and make a career abroad. Following a tour of Norway he spent time studying in Berlin, and then lived for a period in Vienna, where his opera Estrella di Soria was performed.

He married in Vienna m 1841, and his works were staged to increasingly supportive audiences. In 1842 he wrote a symphony, La serieuse — the only one of his symphonies that he saw performed in his lifetime. On his return to Sweden in that year, however, his reception was cool, and the Royal Opera's production of his operetta Modchaudlerskau in 1845 was a failure. Nonetheless Berwald persevered and produced three more symphonies, including La capricicuse and La singtilii're. The latter in particular, which has only three movements instead of the usual tour, reveals his skill as an orchcstrator, and is perhaps his finest work.





 

Berwald spent a further three years travelling in Europe, where he met with varying degrees of success. In Paris neither the Conservatoire nor the Opcra-Comique showed interest, but in Vienna he did see a performance of his opera Ein Landliches Vcrlobinigsfest in Schwedcti (A Swedish Country Betrothal). Back in Sweden, however, he was disappointed in his efforts to become musical director at Uppsala University, and was also denied the position of court conductor.

Forced by his lack of musical success into a series of jobs to earn his living, Berwald was manager of a Swedish glass factory in Angermanland from 1849 to 1859. Despite the demands made on his time by work, he continued to teach and compose, his output including piano trios, piano quartets, and symphonic poems. In the early 1860s he published some of his chamber works to encouraging reviews, and the Stockholm Royal Opera eventually performed Estrella di Soria in 1862.

He completed one last opera in 1864, Drottningen av Golconda (The Queen of Golconda), and was finally accepted as a Fellow of the Swedish Academy, rising to the post of professor of composition in 1867. This was the pinnacle of his career - but his success was shortlived. Within only a year of his appointment Berwald died of pneumonia.

 
 

Franz Adolf Berwald
 
 
 
 
 
 
Franz Berwald - Symphony No.1 in G-minor "Sinfonie sérieuse" (1842)
 
Symphony No.1 in G-minor "Sinfonie sérieuse" (1842)

Mov.I: Allegro con energia 00:00
Mov.II: Adagio maestoso 11:25
Mov.III: Stretto 18:07
Mov.IV: Finale: Adagio - Allegro molto 23:21

Orchestra: Helsingborgs Symfoniorkester

Conductor: Okko Kamu

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Franz Berwald - Symphony No.2 in D-major "Sinfonie capricieuse" (1842)
 
Symphony No.2 in D-major "Sinfonie capricieuse" (1842)

Mov.I: Allegro 00:00
Mov.II: Andante 11:48
Mov.III: Finale: Allegro assai 20:30

Orchestra: Helsingborgs Symfoniorkester

Conductor: Okko Kamu

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Franz Berwald - Symphony No.3 in C-major "Sinfonie singulière" (1845)
 
Symphony No.3 in C-major "Sinfonie singulière" (1845)

Mov.I: Allegro fuocoso 00:00
Mov.II: Adagio - Scherzo: Allegro assai - Adagio 11:47
Mov.III: Finale: Presto 20:49

Orchestra: Helsingborgs Symfoniorkester

Conductor: Okko Kamu

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Franz Berwald - Symphony No.4 in E-flat major "Sinfonie naïve" (1845)
 
Symphony No.4 in E-flat major "Sinfonie naïve" (1845)

Mov.I: Allegro risoluto 00:00
Mov.II: Adagio 08:54
Mov.III: Scherzo: Allegro molto 15:27
Mov.IV: Finale: Allegro vivace 20:59

Orchestra: Helsingborgs Symfoniorkester

Conductor: Okko Kamu

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Franz Berwald - Piano Concerto in D-major (1855)
 
Piano Concerto in D-major (1855)

Mov.I: Allegro con brio
Mov.II: Andantino
Mov.III: Allegro molto

Pianist: Niklas Sivelöv

Orchestra: Helsingborgs Symfoniorkester

Conductor: Okko Kamu

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Franz Berwald - Piano Quintet No. 1 in C minor
 
Piano Quintet No. 1 In C Minor.

Allegro Molto -
Scherzo Poco Allegretto -
Adagio Quasi Andante -
Allegro Assai E Con Spiritoso.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Franz Berwald - String Quartet No. 2 in A minor
 
Franz Berwald: String Quartet No. 2 in A minor
I. Introduzione
II. Adagio
III. Scherzo
IV. Finale

Copenhagen String Quartet
ensemble, Recorded in the 1960's.

Tutter Givskov, violin.
Mogens Lydolph, violin.
Mogens Bruun, viola.
Asger Lund Christiansen, violoncello.

Copenhagen String Quartet, Danish Chamber music ensemble, created 1957 by musicians from the Royal Chapel: the initiator Asger Lund Christiansen on cello, Givskov as primaria (first violinist), Mogens Lüdolphpå 2. violin (later Mogens Durholm) and Mogens Bruun on viola.The Quartet was for years one of the leading Danish chamber ensembles, and has had a significant foreign tour activity. On Repertory was music by, among other things. Niels w. Gade and Vagn Holmboe, whose quartets, in many cases, was written for the ensemble. The Quartet ended in 1994.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Franz Berwald - Erinnerung an die norwegischen Alpen - Symphonic poem
 
Erinnerung an die norwegischen Alpen - Symphonic poem

Gävle Symphony Orchestra

Petri Sakari

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Franz Berwald - Konzertstück for bassoon and orchestra
 
Konzertstück for bassoon and orchestra

Gävle Symphony Orchestra

Petri Sakari

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Franz Berwald - Sonata in D-minor for cello and piano (1858)
 
Sonata in D-minor for cello and piano (1858)

Piano: Mats Lidström
Cello: Bengt Forsberg

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Franz Berwald - Piano Trio No.2 F minor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Franz Berwald - Estrella de Soria - Ouverture
 
Estrella de Soria, opera in three acts, first performance 9 April 1862, Royal opera, Stockholm.

Libretto: Otto Prechtler, swedish text, Ernst Wallmark

Ouverture

Orchestra: Helsingborgs Symfoniorkester

Conductor: Okko Kamu

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     
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