March 7, 2010


(Wilhelm Stenhammar - one of the "bubbling unders" from early 20th Century Sweden)

Something a little more traditional tonight. Wilhelm Stenhammar, although not a household name has not become an obscure figure in Classical music. Thanks to smaller labels like BIS, music of Stenhammar and his Swedish contemporaries are gaining a place with music lovers, and that's a good thing because Stenhammar had a considerable output of great music.

This piece, his 2nd Piano Concerto, comes from a set of 78 rpm discs, performed by the Swedish Pianist Hans Leygraf, accompanied by the Goteborgs Radio Symphony conducted by Sixten Eckerberg in a recording made in 1946. I'm not sure this particular recording has been reissued, either on lp or CD, but it is one of the first, if not the first recording of the concerto to be made. In addition, Stenhammar was Chief Conductor for the Goteborgs Symphony in the early 1920's. And for that, there is a degree of historic importance attached to it.

The discs are a little noisy this time, but the performance is well worth it.

And so broadens the Musical horizon.

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