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Stenhammar Piano Concertos 1 & 2 (Naxos: 8572259) CD

7 customer reviews

Price: £5.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Stenhammar Piano Concertos 1 & 2 (Naxos: 8572259) + Stenhammar/Symphony 2
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Product details

  • Conductor: Mario Venzago
  • Composer: Stenhammar
  • Audio CD (31 Oct. 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B005OZDXFA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 175,432 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Piano Concerto No 2 in D minor, Op 23 - Niklas Sivelov/Malmo Symphony Orchestra
2. Piano Concerto No 1 in B flat minor, Op 1 - Niklas Sivelov/Malmo Symphony Orchestra

Product Description

CD Description

A virtuoso pianist and renowned conductor in his day, Wilhelm Stenhammar achieved early success with his magnificently wide-ranging and Brahmsian Piano Concerto No. 1. After many years of mixed fortunes as a composer he found his personal voice in the remarkable Piano Concerto No. 2. Conceived as a single span, this vividly affirmative romantic masterpiece was the wellspring for his Serenade (8.572186) and Symphony No. 2 (8.553888). Award-winning soloist Niklas Sivelöv has also recorded Stenhammars solo piano works (8.553730).

Review

These wonderful recordings of Stenhammar's piano concertos make a superb introduction to his music, too much of which is unfamiliar outside his native Sweden. The Second Concerto (1908) is a masterpiece; the First (1894) isn't quite. Both try to negotiate between the perceived polarities of Liszt's and Wagner's experimental chromaticism on the one hand and Brahms's tempered romanticism on the other. While Stenhammar's colossal First Concerto expands on Brahms's symphonic technique, the tense, if extraordinarily beautiful Second uses Lisztian cyclic structures to constrain its complex material within a single musical span. Stenhammar specialist Niklas Sivelöv plays them in a no-holds-barred, high Romantic way, while the Malmö Symphony under Mario Venzago is tremendous. Some might prefer the harder edge and comparative detachment of Seta Tanyel with the Helsingborg Symphony and Andrew Manze on Hyperion. But it's hard not to be swept away by the Naxos disc, and the performance of the First Concerto is the finest I know. **** --Guardian.Thursday 10 November 2011

Niklas Sivelov negotiates the torrents of octaves and other rhetorical gestures with aplomb. --Gramophone,Feb'12

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Perry on 12 Dec. 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Looking for some new music to try, I acted on the various reviews for other recordings of these pieces. I'm glad I took the plunge. Most reviewers (and the liner notes for this disc) refer to Stenhammar's affinity to Brahms, and there are hints of Rachmaninov...but after many listenings I'm happy to not let those thoughts intrude too heavily on my enjoyment of these works. I prefer to take them on their own terms and they've been a great discovery. Accessible,and beautifully performed, and with some stylistic surprises. There are moments of pure magic and joy. Take for example the unexpected cadenza in the final movement of the 1st concerto; this has a quiet nobility which leads into the wonderful closing pages; in fact this concerto ends with a great sense of affirmation and resolution and is brilliantly realised here. One small cavil: why, when the two works fit neatly onto one disc, is the 2nd concerto placed first? I, for one, like to hear how a composer's ideas develop over time. This shouldn't be enough to dissuade someone purchasing this disc. So, I'd recommend anyone who hasn't heard these works to try them; I doubt you'd regret it.
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By Andrew C. Mitchell TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 2 Jan. 2014
Format: Audio CD
The pianist, Niklas Sivelov, plays these marvelous, virtuoso works with fire, commitment and passion. The Malmo Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mario Venzago is equally committed. There are some great solos from within the orchestra. How magnificent these Stenhammar Piano Concertos are - with or without the influence of Brahms. There are themes that I find myself singing throughout the day. The harmonies are powerful and interesting.There is a strong sense of forward motion through both these great works. ( I really have no idea why the record company put No. 2 first.)One particular favorite moment for me lies with the horn solo at the start of the third movement of the 1st Piano Concerto. All is satisfying and beautifully conceived for the instruments used. (One little thought - don't be put off by the cover photo 'Beautiful landscape in Sweden'- it has nothing at all to do with the music.)
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By Bernard Porter on 26 Feb. 2015
Format: Audio CD
As an expat in Sweden I've been trying to appreciate Stenhammar for 20 years. I've got his symphonies, string quartets, choral works, and even excerpts from his early Wagnerian opera. I'm very fond of Alfen, Larsson, Peterson-Berger, and - especially - Berwald and (the immigrant) Kraus. Someone recently told me that his piano concerti were his best things, so I bought this disc - only to be terribly disappointed. Unoriginal, derivative, even to the point of plagiarism, not a memorable theme in either of them…. just dull, dull, dull. Contrasting his northern contemporaries Grieg, Sibelius, Nielssen and Elgar, he is mediocre, I'm afraid. A shame; as a Swedophile I'd have been delighted to 'discover' a great late19th century romantic composer to stand beside those giants; but no. Poor Stenhammar. He tried so hard.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bardos Robert on 6 July 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The performance of the pianist and the orchestra are great. Just a comment from my side: I do not know why exist so many admirers of the second concerto. For my taste the first are much more greater than the second. I usually starts the CD from the 4th track.
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