Franz Adolf Berwald (23 July 1796 – 3 April 1868) was a Swedish Romantic composer. He made his living as an orthopedic surgeon and later as the manager of a saw mill and glass factory, and became more appreciated as a composer after his death than he had been in his lifetime.
Berwald was born in Stockholm and came from a family with four generations of musicians; his father, a violinist in the Royal Opera Orchestra, taught Franz the violin from an early age; he soon appeared in concerts. In 1809, Karl XIII came to power and reinstated the Royal Chapel; the following year Berwald started working there, as well as playing the violin in the court orchestra and the opera, receiving lessons from Edouard du Puy, and also started composing. The summers were off-season for the orchestra, and Berwald travelled around Scandinavia, Finland and Russia. Of his works from that time, a septet and a serenade he still considered worthwhile music in his later years.
In 1818 Berwald started publishing the Musikalisk journal, later renamed Journal de musique, a periodical with easy piano pieces and songs by various composers as well as some of his own original work. In 1821, his Violin Concerto was premiered by his brother August. It was not well received; some people in the audience burst out laughing during the slow movement.
His family got into dire economic circumstances after the death of his father in 1825. Berwald tried to get several scholarships, but only got one from the King, which enabled him to study in Berlin, where he worked hard on operas despite not having any chance to put them on the stage. To make a living, Berwald started an orthopedic and physiotherapy clinic in Berlin in 1835, which turned out to be profitable. Some of the orthopedic devices he invented were still in use decades after his death.
He stopped composing during his time in Berlin, resuming only in 1841 with a move to Vienna and marriage to Mathilde Scherer. In 1842 a concert of his tone poems at the Redoutensaal at the Hofburg Imperial Palace received extremely positive reviews, and over the course of the next three years Berwald wrote four symphonies. These were not the first symphonies he had written: numerous major works from the 1820s have gone missing, and the torso of a Symphony in A's first movement remains, has been finished, and recorded.
The Symphony No. 1 in G minor, "Sérieuse", was the only one of Berwald's four symphonies that was performed in his lifetime. In 1843, it was premiered in Stockholm with his cousin Johan Frederik conducting the Royal Opera House Orchestra. At that same concert, his operetta Jag går i kloster (I enter a monastery) was also performed, but its success is credited to one of the roles having been sung by Jenny Lind. In 1846, Jenny Lind sang in one of Berwald's cantatas. Another operetta, The Modiste, had less success in 1845.
His Piano Concerto, finished in 1855, intended for his piano pupil Hilda Aurora Thegerström, who continued her studies with Antoine François Marmontel and Franz Liszt, did not see the light of day until 1904, when Berwald's granddaughter Astrid performed it at a Stockholm student concert. Particularly in its brilliant last movement it may be compared favourably to Robert Schumann or Edvard Grieg. Its three movements are played without a break.
Berwald's music was not recognised favourably in Sweden during his lifetime, even drawing hostile newspaper reviews, but fared a little better in Germany and Austria. The Mozarteum Salzburg made him an honorary member in 1847.
When Berwald returned to Sweden in 1849, he managed a glass works at Sandö in Ångermanland owned by Ludvig Petré, an amateur violinist. During that time Berwald focused his attention on producing chamber music.
One of his few operas to be staged in his lifetime, Estrella de Soria, was heartily applauded at its premiere at the Royal Theater in April 1862, and was given four more performances in the same month. Following this success, he wrote Drottningen av Golconda (The Queen of Golconda), which would have been premiered in 1864, but was not, due to a change of directors at the Royal Opera.
In 1866, Berwald received the Swedish Order of the Polar Star, in recognition of his musical achievements. The following year, the Board of the Royal Musical Academy appointed Berwald professor of musical composition at the Stockholm Conservatory, only to have the Conservatory Board reverse the decision a few days later, and appoint another. The royal family stepped in, and Berwald got the post. At around that time he was also given many important commissions, but he did not live to fulfill them all.
Ten years after Berwald's death, his Symphony No. 4 in E-flat major, "Naïve", was premiered in 1878 (the originally planned 1848 premiere in Paris having been cancelled because of the political unrest of the time). This gap between composition and first performance was relatively short, however, compared to what befell the Symphony No. 2 in D major, "Capricieuse" and Symphony No. 3 in C major, "Singulière". Those two pieces were not premiered until 1914 and 1905, respectively.
The Swedish conductor and composer Ulf Björlin has recorded various works of Berwald under the EMI Classics label.
Eduard Hanslick, writing in his 1869 book Geschichte des Concertwesens in Wien, opined of Berwald, "a man stimulating, witty, prone to bizarrerie, [who] as a composer lacked creative power and fantasy". On the other hand, composers Ludvig Norman, Tor Aulin, and Wilhelm Stenhammar worked hard to promote Berwald's music. However, despite these musicians' efforts, it took a while before Berwald was recognized as, to quote composer-critic Wilhelm Peterson-Berger, writing in the Stockholm newspaper Dagens Nyheter, Sweden's "most original and modern composer".
In 1911, Carl Nielsen wrote of Berwald, "Neither the media, money nor power can damage or benefit good Art. It will always find some simple, decent artists who forge ahead and produce and stand up for their works. In Sweden, you have the finest example of this: Berwald." More recently, British musicologist Robert Layton wrote in 1959 what remains the sole English-language biography of Berwald, as well as discussing Berwald's music in considerable detail elsewhere.
One of the examples given by Harold Truscott (in his analysis of Havergal Brian's Gothic Symphony) of composers prior to Brian writing "sonata movements which do not order their events on the usual plan" is Franz Berwald, "a storehouse of them ... but he never did unusual things in any way that impaired sonata style. They were always logical, though surprising, and helped, rather than hindered, the sonata shape and expression."
Of Berwald's E-flat major String Quartet, Paul Griffiths finds that the "achievement ... of a new formal shape is remarkable enough, even if the single-movement structures of Liszt or Schumann are more tightly bound."
Events from the year 1796 in Sweden1868 in Sweden
Events from the year 1868 in SwedenBerwald
Berwald is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:
Franz Berwald (1796–1868), Swedish Romantic composer
Johan Fredrik Berwald (1787–1861), Swedish violinist, conductor and composer
Juli Berwald, American biologist and writer
Julie Berwald (1822–1877), Swedish concert and opera singer
Mathilda Berwald (1798–1877), Finnish/Swedish concert singer
William Berwald (1864–1948), American composer and conductorElizabeth Forbes (musicologist)
Elizabeth Forbes (3 August 1924 – 22 October 2014) was an English author, music critic, and musicologist who specialised in writing about opera. Her main areas of interest were 19th- and 20th-century opera (French and Scandinavian in particular) and singers, both historical and present-day. She contributed a large number of reviews and articles to several notable periodicals and newspapers internationally including the Financial Times, The Independent, The Musical Times, Opera, Opera Canada, and Opera News among several others.
Born in Camberley, she was the author of numerous books on various subjects related to opera, including her 1985 work, Mario and Grisi, which details the lives of opera singers Giulia Grisi and Giovanni Matteo Mario. She wrote a significant number of singing translations of many operas, from French, German and Swedish, including works by Gaspare Spontini, Giacomo Meyerbeer and Franz Berwald, and also extensively contributed to reference works on singers and other operatic topics, including several hundred articles in the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.
She died on 22 October 2014.Estrella de Soria
Estrella de Soria is a three-act opera by Franz Berwald, to a libretto by Otto Prechtler translated into Swedish by Ernst Wallmark.
It was first performed at the Royal Swedish Opera, Stockholm on 9 April 1862 and had five performances in that run. It has never entered the repertory, although it was revived in Stockholm in 1898 and 1946. The overture, which makes use of Estrella’s first act aria, has occasionally been recorded, and a CD of extended excerpts was released by Musica Sveciae in 1994. An aria for Estrella was the first recording by Birgit Nilsson in 1947 (and has been since re-issued). A full score of the 1862 edition was published as Volume 17a-b of the complete Bärenreiter edition.Gävle Symphony Orchestra
The Gävle Symphony Orchestra (Gävle symfoniorkester) is a Swedish symphony orchestra based in Gävle.
Founded in 1912, the orchestra initially gave its concerts in the Gävle theatre and Mariners' Church. In 1998, a purpose-built concert hall was constructed overlooking the Gavleån.
As of 2010, the orchestra had 52 permanent members.
Among its discography are recordings of Tre Dalmålningar by Oskar Lindberg, Xaver Scharwenka's Symphony in C minor, symphonic poems by Franz Berwald; orchestral works by Gustaf Bengtsson, Oscar Byström's Symphony in D minor, Jacob Adolf Hägg's Nordic Symphony; orchestral music by Armas Järnefelt, Otto Olsson's Symphony in G minor, Kurt Atterberg's violin and piano concertos; a concert live from the Amsterdam Concertgebouw with works by Grieg, Svendsen and Shostakovich with Carlos Spierer, Rosa Arnold, Enrica Ciccarelli; Sven-David Sandström's piano concerto.
Since 1 July 2012, Jaime Martín has served as the orchestra's artistic adviser, and on 1 July 2013, he became the orchestra's principal conductor. His initial contract is for 4 years.Herbert Blomstedt
Herbert Blomstedt (Swedish: [ˈhærːbɛʈ ˈblʊmːstɛt]; born July 11, 1927), is an American-born Swedish conductor.
Herbert Blomstedt was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, and two years after his birth, his Swedish parents moved the family back to their country of origin. He studied at the Stockholm Royal College of Music and the University of Uppsala, followed by studies of contemporary music at Darmstadt in 1949, Baroque music with Paul Sacher at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, and further conducting studies with Igor Markevitch, Jean Morel at the Juilliard School, and Leonard Bernstein at Tanglewood's Berkshire Music Center. Blomstedt also lived in Finland during his youth.
He won the Koussevitzky Conducting Prize in 1953 and the Salzburg Conducting Competition in 1955.Blomstedt is most noted for his performances of German and Austrian composers, such as Beethoven, Felix Mendelssohn, Johannes Brahms, Franz Schubert, Anton Bruckner, Richard Strauss and Paul Hindemith, and also as a champion of Scandinavian composers, such as Edvard Grieg, Franz Berwald, Jean Sibelius and Carl Nielsen.
A devout Seventh-day Adventist, Blomstedt does not rehearse on Friday nights or Saturdays, the Sabbath in Seventh-day Adventism. He does, however, conduct concerts, since he considers actual performances to be an expression of his religious devotion rather than work.
He has been Music Director or Principal Conductor of the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra (1954–1962), Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra (1962–1968), Danish Radio Symphony (1967–1977) and Swedish Radio Symphony (1977–1982). From 1975–1985, he served as chief conductor of the Dresdner Staatskapelle, in the process making many well-regarded recordings, including works of Richard Strauss and the complete Beethoven and Schubert symphonies, and leading the orchestra on international tours.
Blomstedt was music director of the San Francisco Symphony from 1985 to 1995. He led the orchestra on regular tours of Europe and Asia, and made numerous prize-winning recordings for London/Decca, winning two Grammy Awards, a Gramophone Award and a Grand Prix du Disque, as well as awards from Belgium, Germany and Japan. After leaving San Francisco full-time, Blomstedt held principal conductorships with the North German Radio Symphony (1996–1998) and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra (1998–2005).
Blomstedt is currently Conductor Laureate of the San Francisco Symphony and Honorary Conductor of the Bamberg Symphony, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, NHK Symphony, Swedish Radio Symphony, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Staatskapelle Dresden.I enter a monastery
Jag går i kloster (I enter a monastery) is a two-act operetta by Franz Berwald, to a libretto by the composer and Herman Sätherberg (1812-1897).Johan Fredrik Berwald
Johan Fredrik Berwald (4 December 1787 – 26 August 1861) was a Swedish violinist, conductor and composer. He was a cousin of Franz Berwald and August Berwald.Oscar Byström (composer)
Oscar Fredrik Bernadotte Byström (13 October 1821 – 22 July 1909) was a Swedish composer and scholar.
Born in Stockholm into the family of a military officer, he followed his father in a military career and rose to the rank of captain by 1857. However, already in the 1840s he gained recognition as both a pianist and song composer, and by late 1850 Byström was active as a teacher. In 1866 he was appointed inspector of the Swedish Royal Academy of Music, succeeding August Berwald. He became a professor at the Academy in 1872, and also worked for several years as conductor of the orchestral society of Turku.
Byström's first published work appeared in 1871: Allmän musiklära, till skolornas tjenst, intended for schools. After his return to Stockholm from Turku, he devoted himself to studying church music. He traveled to London, Paris, Solesmes, Milan and Rome to this end, and upon his return to Stockholm, Byström started organizing regular performances of liturgical music by Orlando di Lasso and Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. In 1899 he published a collection of church hymns and related music, Sequenser, antifoner och hymnen, and planned a chorale book. He died in Stockholm.
His compositions are few in number and show the influence of Franz Berwald, who was a personal friend. His Symphony in D minor (1870–72) is commonly cited as one of his best works.Septet
A septet is a formation containing exactly seven members. It is commonly associated with musical groups, but can be applied to any situation where seven similar or related objects are considered a single unit, such as a seven-line stanza of poetry.
In jazz music a septet is any group of seven players, usually containing a drum set, string bass or electric bass, and groups of one or two of the following instruments, guitar, piano, trumpet, saxophone, clarinet, or trombone.
One of the most famous classical septets is the Septet in E-flat major, Op. 20, by Ludwig van Beethoven, composed around 1799–1800, for clarinet, bassoon, horn, violin, viola, cello, and double bass. The popularity of Beethoven's septet made its combination of instruments a standard for subsequent composers, including Conradin Kreutzer (Op. 62, 1822), Franz Berwald, and Adolphe Blanc (Op. 40, ca. 1864), and, with small changes in the instrumentation, Franz Lachner (1824), and Max Bruch (1849). When Franz Schubert added a second violin in 1824 for his Octet, he created a standard octet that influenced many other subsequent composers (Kube 2001). The Septet in E-flat major, Op. 65, for trumpet, piano, string quartet, and double bass by Camille Saint-Saëns from 1881 is one of that composer's works. The modern composer Bohuslav Martinů wrote three septets: a group of six dances called Les Rondes for oboe, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, two violins, and piano (1930); a piece called Serenade No. 3 for oboe, clarinet, four violins, and cello (1932); and a Fantasie for theremin, oboe, piano, and string quartet (1944). Darius Milhaud composed a String Septet in 1964 for string sextet and double bass. Paul Hindemith composed a wind septet in 1948 for flute, oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, horn, and trumpet. Hanns Eisler composed two septets, both scored for flute, clarinet, bassoon, and string quartet: Septet No. 1 Op. 92a ("Variations on American Children's Songs") (1941), and Septet No. 2 ("Circus") (1947), after Chaplin’s 1928 movie The Circus. Two component works in the series of Chôros by the Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos are scored for seven instruments: No. 3 (1925), subtitled "Pica-páo" (Woodpecker), is for clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, 3 horns, and trombone (or for male chorus, or for both together), and No. 7 (1924), actually subtitled "Septet", is for flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, violin, and cello (with tam-tam ad lib.).
There are many 20th-century works for seven instruments for which it is uncertain whether the term "septet" should be used, since they may not obviously be chamber music or have titles indicating otherwise. Examples include Maurice Ravel's Introduction and Allegro (1905), Rudi Stephan's Music for Seven String Instruments (1911), Leoš Janáček's Concertino (1925), Arnold Schoenberg's Suite, Op. 29 (1925–26), Isang Yun's Music for Seven Instruments (1959), Aribert Reimann's Reflexionen (1966), and Dieter Schnebel's In motu proprio canon for seven instruments of the same kind (1975) (Kube 2001).Symphony No. 1 (Berwald)
Symphony No. 1 in G minor, "Sérieuse", is an orchestral work by Swedish composer Franz Berwald. It was premiered on December 2 1842 in a concert at the Royal Opera, Stockholm given by the Swedish Royal Court Orchestra conducted by the composer's cousin Johan Fredrik Berwald. This first performance was not a success, leading to this symphony being the only one of Berwald's mature symphonies to be performed during his lifetime; (he had previously written a Symphony in A in 1820, which only survives in fragmentary form, but in 1829 disowned all of his previous output with the exception of the Serenade for tenor and chamber ensemble (1825) and the Septet in B flat (1828)).The symphony is scored for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani and strings. It consists of four movements:
Allegro con energia
Finale. Adagio - Allegro moltoA typical performance lasts approximately 30 minutes.
The movements follow the typical structure of Romantic symphonies of the period. The first movement is in sonata form with a lyrical second subject and ending in the major. The second, slow movement is in ternary form. The third movement is a scherzo, also in ternary form with fast outer sections in triple meter and a more serene central section. The finale commences with a slow introduction which reprises material from the second movement before leading into another sonata form Allegro.Symphony No. 2 (Berwald)
Franz Berwald completed the Symphony No. 2 in D major, "Capricieuse", on June 18, 1842, in Nyköping. The original score has been lost since the 1850s. In 1909, the Franz Berwald Foundation commissioned Ernst Ellberg to reconstruct the score from 4-stave sketches containing indications for orchestration. Ellberg's reconstruction was published in 1913 and first performed on January 9, 1914. Towards the end of the century, Nils Castegren reviewed Ellberg's reconstruction and published an "urtext" for Bärenreiter.
Ellberg's reconstruction calls for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, tenor trombone, 2 bass trombones, timpani and strings. While Berwald gave clear indications for the woodwinds and strings, such as "detailed notations ... indicating when certain wind instruments play in unison with the respective string parts or in a different octave," where he wanted brass and/or timpani, Berwald would merely write the names of the instruments. However, Berwald did indicate the tuning and register of the brass and timpani at the beginning of each movement.The work is in three movements,
Allegro assaiand lasts about 29 and a half minutes per Berwald's indications of duration (from which metronome markings could be extrapolated).Symphony No. 3 (Berwald)
The Symphony No. 3 in C major of the Swedish composer Franz Berwald, nicknamed the Singulière, was written in 1845. It is scored for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani and strings. It is about a half-hour in length and is in three movements:
Allegro fuocoso in C major
Adagio - Scherzo (Allegro assai) - Adagio (in G major)
Finale: Presto in C minor (ends in C major)The autograph was bought by the Stockholm Academy of Music in the 1870s. The work was not premiered until 37 years after the death of the composer. The first performance took place on January 10, 1905 in Stockholm under the baton of Tor Aulin.Symphony No. 4 (Berwald)
Symphony No. 4 in E-flat major is an orchestral work by Swedish composer Franz Berwald written in 1845. Berwald considered naming the symphony "Sinfonie naïve" but the autograph score is simply inscribed "No. 4 in E flat". Berwald attempted to interest French composer/conductor Daniel Auber in premiering the symphony but it had to wait until April 9 1878 (ten years after the composer's death) when it was finally given a first performance under Berwald champion Ludvig Norman.
The symphony is scored for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani and strings. It consists of four movements:
Scherzo. Allegro molto
Finale. Allegro vivaceA typical performance lasts 25-30 minutes.
The slow movement is based on an unpublished keyboard work of 1844, En landtlig bröllopfest (A Rustic Wedding).The Dressmaker (opera)
Modehandlerskan (The Modiste or The Dressmaker) is a three-act operetta by Franz Berwald, to a libretto by the composer and others.
The piece was written in Elfvik in 1843. Excerpts were first performed at the Royal Swedish Opera, Stockholm on 26 March 1845 (described by New Grove as 'a fiasco'), with a vocal score being published that year.
The overture was recorded for CD in 1995 by the St Petersburg Hermitage Orchestra conducted by Mats Liljefors.The Queen of Golconda
Drottningen av Golconda (The Queen of Golconda) is a three-act romantic opera by Franz Berwald. The libretto was adapted by the composer from one by Vial and Favières intended for Henri Montan Berton; this had been based on another by Michel-Jean Sedaine. Berwald may have known the Berton opera from when he played in the opera orchestra in Stockholm.Thomas Dausgaard
Thomas Dausgaard (Danish: [tˢɒmæs ˈtawˀskɒːˀ]; born 4 July 1963 in Copenhagen) is a Danish conductor.
In Scandinavia, Dausgaard has been principal conductor of the Swedish Chamber Orchestra since 1997. From 2001 to 2004, he was Principal Guest Conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra (DNSO), and became principal conductor in 2004, the first Danish conductor to hold the post. He concluded his principal conductorship of the DNSO at the close of the 2010-2011 season, and subsequently became the orchestra's æresdirigent (honorary conductor). In May 2017, the Swedish Chamber Orchestra announced that Dausgaard is to conclude his tenure as principal conductor after the 2018-2019 season, and subsequently to take the title of conductor laureate with the orchestra.Outside of Scandinavia, Dausgaard first guest-conducted the Seattle Symphony in March 2013. In October 2013, the Seattle Symphony named Dausgaard its next principal guest conductor, effective with the 2014-2015 season, with an initial contract of 3 years. In March 2016, the Seattle Symphony announced the extension of Dausgaard's contract as principal guest through the 2019-2020 season. In October 2017, the Seattle Symphony announced the appointment of Dausgaard as its next music director, effective with the 2019-2020 season, with an initial contract of 4 seasons.In March 2015, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (BBC SSO) announced the appointment of Dausgaard as its next chief conductor, effective with the 2016-2017 season. In January 2018, the BBC SSO announced the extension of Dausgaard's contract as chief conductor through the 2021-2022 season.Dausgaard has been a regular conductor of the music of Per Nørgård, and is the dedicatee of Nørgård's composition Terrains Vagues. For the Chandos and DaCapo labels, Dausgaard has conducted several recordings of Danish and other Scandinavian music, including works by Per Nørgård, Johan Svendsen, Johan Peter Emilius Hartmann, Rued Langgaard, Dag Wirén, Franz Berwald, August Enna and Asger Hamerik. He has also embarked on a series of recordings for SIMAX of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven, as well as two CDs for BIS of the symphonies of Robert Schumann.Dausgaard and his wife Helle Hentzer have three sons.