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Stenhammar, Wilhelm - Serenade for Orchestra - Uppsala Chamber Orchestra


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GRAMOPHONE EDITOR'S CHOICE

HÖGSTA BETYG I GÖTEBORGS-POSTEN

WILHELM STENHAMMAR / SERENAD
Wilhelm Stenhammar lived in Florence with his wife and two children from November 1906 to July 1907. Th ere were many reasons for the sojourn: not least he needed to get away from his routine life of rehearsals, concerts, and tours, but it was also important to fi nd more time for his family, whom he had been neglecting. A trip to Italy had been a recurring dream that could now become reality. Th ey settled on Florence - the Renaissance city - with all its architecture and all its art works, artists, and authors. All the new experiences - the lavish sunshine and warmth, the feeling of easiness and joy, and all the scents and sounds of nature - also started his musical ideas moving in a more and more defi nite direction. "I hope a new orchestral piece, a kind of Florentine spring dithyramb, will fi nish singing itself to my mind during this journey," he writes home to Sweden after a few months in Florence. However, these plans had to wait. It was not until 1911 that he found the time to start work on what would be his Serenade for Orchestra op. 31. Two outer movements - an elegant and shimmering Overtura and a classically restrained Finale - frame the three middle movements - Canzonetta, Scherzo, and Notturno - which are performed without a break. Th e classical orchestral serenade as we know it is traditionally entertainment music, a genre that Mozart perfected. Stenhammar's orchestral serenade takes the same point of departure, but at the same time it is clearly a celebration of the Italy he loved. Th e music leads us into a Commedia dell'Arte play full of carnival mischief, burlesques, sentimentalities, and comic and tragic situations. Th e music is driven by a turbulent force, sometimes fi ery and stormy, sometimes romantic, occasionally ruthless, but never cold. Serenade was fi nished in 1913 but was revised after its premier in 1919, including a shift in the original key from E major to F major and the omission of one of the original movements, Reverenza. Th e music nevertheless retains reverences to both living and deceased composers. Fleeting little passages that rush by, almost unnoticed, but plant obvious clues and very artfully, consciously, and humorously fi t into his own tonal idiom.

UPPSALA CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
Uppsala Chamber Orchestra - regarded by many as one of the fi nest chamber orchestras in Sweden - is part of Musik i Uppland, the county musical foundation. Th e orchestra has previously released critically acclaimed recordings on Naxos, one of which - Drottningholm Music by Johan Helmich Roman - was awarded a gold record in 2002. Uppsala Chamber Orchestra is characterized by its fl exibility in various styles, from early baroque to contemporary music, and its exquisite orchestral sound, both warm and lustrous. Th e orchestra includes a number of fi ne soloists who ensure its high quality. Uppsala Chamber Orchestra's fi rst principal conductor from 1993 was Gérard Korsten, now artistic director of the London Mozart Players. Th e English pianist and conductor Howard Shelley was its principal conductor from 2000 to 2003. As of 2004, its principal conductor is Paul Mägi, a very highly regarded conductor with multiple international assignments. Th e concertmasters are Nils-Erik Sparf and Klara Hellgren, who are both members of the string sextet Uppsala Chamber Soloists.

PAUL MÄGI
The Estonian conductor Paul Mägi has been frequently featured on Swedish podiums in recent years. He has had a long and successful career as conductor and artistic director of several prominent orchestras in the Baltic countries. In 1990 Paul Mägi was appointed artistic director and principal conductor of the Latvian National Orchestra in Riga. Between 1995 and 2002 he was artistic director and principal conductor of the Estonian National Opera in Tallinn. Paul Mägi has conducted leading orchestras in a score of countries in Europe and the US. Some of the Swedish orchestras he has conducted are the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Court Orchestra, and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. He is regarded as one of the foremost teachers of future conductors and is the professor at the College of Music in Tallinn, and is also professor at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm.
Fakta
Artikelnummer SCD1144
Streckkod 0822659011448
Utgivningsdatum 2010-03-08
Kategori Klassiskt
Skivbolag Swedish Society
Enhet CD
Antal enheter 1
Utövare
Artister Uppsala Chamber Orchestra
Kompositörer Stenhammar, Wilhelm
Disk: 1
1 Overtura
2 Canzonetta
3 Scherzo
4 Notturno
5 Finale
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