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Edvin Kallstenius: Symphony No. 1; Sinfonietta No. 2; Musica Sinfonica

Kallstenius / Beermann / Helsingborg Sym Orch
Release Date: 11/11/2014 
Label:  Cpo   Catalog #: 7773612   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Edvin Kallstenius
Conductor:  Frank Beermann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Edvin Kallstenius studied the natural sciences prior to receiving musical training from Stephan Krehl in Leipzig from 1904 to 1907. He was a music critic and from 1928 to 1946 served as the Swedish Radio music archivist in Stockholm. Additionally, he was a member of the executive board of the Swedish Society of Composers from 1933 to 1961 and of the Copyright Association from 1932 to 1957. 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, he filled these old forms with his unique harmonic designs and his own personal content. Throughout his life he held to a personal style that was rigorous but rich in innovations. He avoided rigid commitment to a Read more monolithic tonal language by resorting to melodic intensity reinforced by harmonic expansions and interaction between introverted romanticism and gestures of greater vigor pointing toward expressionism. He was an uncompromising craftsman whose scores contain meticulously precise playing instructions. His music is not always easy to follow; he himself was held to be brusque and obstinate and was nicknamed »Gallsteinius« (Mr. Gallstone). His first symphony is one of the most remarkable symphonies composed in Sweden during the 1920s. After the symphony’s premiere Ture Rangström wrote, »Kallstenius is not a charming composer who invites one to applaud.« But the composer’s honesty, intentionality, and feeling did not escape him: »He does not play the coquette with his modernism.« In any case, in our Swedish discovery series his music always holds in store particularly interesting finds! - cpo Read less

Works on This Recording

Symphony No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 16 by Edvin Kallstenius
Conductor:  Frank Beermann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; Sweden 
Sinfonietta No. 2 in G major, Op. 34 by Edvin Kallstenius
Conductor:  Frank Beermann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra
Musica Sinfonica, Op. 42 by Edvin Kallstenius
Conductor:  Frank Beermann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Worth exploring December 8, 2014 By Ralph Graves (Hood, VA) See All My Reviews "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." Report Abuse
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