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Stenhammar: Symphonies & Piano Concerto
Format: Audio CDChange
Price:£11.75+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on 23 January 2012
I sometimes buy music on impulse. Sometimes it works, sometimes I have to admit that I've bought a stinker. In this case it certainly did work. I have an interest in music from the Nordic countries so decided to buy this Stenhammar set and I'm glad I did.

The three discs include two symphonies, two piano concertos and some orchestral and choral pieces. All are given marvellous performances in excellent recordings (live in the case of the symphonies) by the Gothenburg and Malmo symphony orchestras. It isn't made clear in the notes which label these recordings are licenced from but I would hazard a guess that it would be BIS given the quality.

This is an ideal way of getting into this composer at a bargain price. It's gorgeous music - buy and enjoy.

I'm certainly going to get hold of a set of this composer's string quartets if I can find a complete one.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 6 December 2012
Getting to know Stenhammar's music, largely through this CD set, is proving an extremely enjoyable experience. I bought this set following my recent discovery of the first class 2nd piano concerto, which contains one of the most beautiful slow movement/sections of any concerto for this instrument. Both the first and second concertos should be heard far more regularly. The recordings here, some live (though with minimal or bearly noticeable audience noise), are very good indeed. And who could resist the wistful, warming nostalgia of Midwinter. The modal second symphony is so full of life. There are hints of the English composers Moeran and Bantock at times with only occasional whiffs of Sibelius - perhaps more the good humoured (though certainly not cheap) vigour of Nielsen. Comparisons only have some worth, in short, Stenhammar has a strong voice of his own. I wonder why it has taken me so long to explore the music of this excellent composer!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 17 April 2012
These are fine recordings of good music in committed performances. The pieces are very accessible and are unlikely to challenge anyone. On the other hand they are far from bland, and if they are not ground-breaking they are resourceful and satisfying. The first piano concerto is particularly successful to my ears. Stenhammar also wrote a lovely Serenade, and an Overture, "Excelsior!", which would have complemented the set very well. Anyone wanting those will find them in other issues, though I don't know of one that has them together without some duplication.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 26 February 2013
Stenhammar Symphonies & Piano Concerto A+++ Recommend. Fast delivery. Never heard of the composer before. But i adore the music now. Listen to him on MP3 first on Amazon and been ordering his music ever since I would recommend to a friend. Thanks
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on 10 April 2015
As others have noted, Stenhammar's music isn't particularly original but that doesn't stop it being hugely enjoyable. For anybody who likes exploring the byways of classical music this super set is well worth the modest asking price. The stand-out piece for me is the First Piano Concerto, a big, muscular, melodious, heart-on-sleeve romantic work which receives a glorious performance from Love Derwinger and the Malmo SO under Paavo Jarvi. Stenhammar wrote it for himself and performed it with conductors as eminent as Hans Richter and Richard Strauss but he later rejected it and his self-critical nature nearly caused the work to be lost. The full score was only rediscovered as recently as 1990. As Malcolm MacDonald says in his perceptive sleeve note, "We tend to associate genius with originality, and the [First] Concerto is an early and deeply derivative work: yet it is also a masterpiece, albeit a minor one."

Highly recommended.
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on 12 April 2015
A great (and economical) way to get hold of those excellent BIS recordings of rarely-heard music. Enjoy hearing Stenhammar trying to out-Bruckner the man himself at the end of the first movement of Symphony 1. Magnificent brass section.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 15 March 2013
I bought this box mainly to replace an old LP of Stenhammar's First Symphony. It's a very enjoyable late-19th-century symphony: it may not be ground-breaking, but it is well-constructed and melodic, and echoes of Schumann or Bruckner do no harm. I would certainly have it on my list of good symphonies to listen to, alongside the "Serieuse" and "Singuliere" symphonies of Berwald. The composer, however, withdrew it for revision. Then the impact of a new Sibelius symphony altered his musical perspective, and the revisiopn was indefinitely postponed. The symphony was never heard again in his lifetime, which seems a great pity. His Second Symphony is, to my ears, ponderous and less appealing. You can hear Stenhammar trying to be Sibelian, and I don't think he brings it off. I haven't got to know the Piano Concerto yet, but I'm looking forward to it.
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on 8 January 2015
Absolutely in love with the first symphony! The others will take a while to grow on me perhaps.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 1 September 2014
Good value, apart from 2 things: 1. I didn't realise that 2 of the works were live recordings, which I don't like because of the coughing, and 2. the teeth that should hold CD 2 in were broken, which means that it is loose in the case.
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14 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on 6 September 2011
QUITE GOOD MUSIC AT FANTASTIC PRIZE. DON'T DOUBT IT, A GOOD OPORTUNITY TO COMPLETE AN ORCHESTRAL DISCOGRAPHY WITH A QUITE INTERESTING COMPOSER. NOW WE HAVE HIS LATE STRING QUARTETS BOX AVAILABLE TOO.
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Stenhammar/Symphony 2
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