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Thread: Berwald Symphony no 3

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    Default Berwald Symphony no 3

    Ashamed to say not come across this composer before. My Twitter friend from Vienna Philharmonic download a radio link of their performance of this symphony conducted by Herbert Blomstedt and was very impressed.
    Easy on the ear and not challenging. Needless to say, ordered his symphony set
    Last edited by Judith; Sep-24-2018 at 17:56.

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    Senior Member joen_cph's Avatar
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    There´s a lot of rhapsodic freshness to many of his works, giving them a less conventional, interesting quality.

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    I like Berwald's symphonies. Jarvi's Gothenburg set is still a tough one to beat. i like Blomstedt and the SFSO but the sound is very quiet on my discs and ruins my enjoyment of these decent works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    I like Berwald's symphonies. Jarvi's Gothenburg set is still a tough one to beat. i like Blomstedt and the SFSO but the sound is very quiet on my discs and ruins my enjoyment of these decent works.
    Assuming that we are talking about Franz Berwald, the Jarvi set is the one I have too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JAS View Post
    Assuming that we are talking about Franz Berwald, the Jarvi set is the one I have too.
    Same as the one I have ordered

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    I have the Jarvi set, but also a disc with Blomstedt and SFSO for #1 and #4. Yes, the Jarvi is simply a fine recording. Berwald wrote much fine music including some delightful chamber music. There are also two fine concertos one for violin and one for piano that is on a nice three disc set with the Royal Philharmonic on EMI which includes the four symphonies and some rare overtures. If you can find an inexpensive set somewhere it's definitely worth it.

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    I have the Jarvi, Dausgaard, and Kamu Berwald cycles. All are good. On another site, there was a lot of enthusiasm around the Sixten Ehrling performances, which I haven’t heard.



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    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    I have the Goodman set:
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Here’s a kind of oddball – Ivor Bolton with the Royal Philharmonic conducting Berwald’s 3 and 4 (I can’t see that he ever did the other two). I have this but have never listened to it. Must remedy!



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    Senior Member Robert Pickett's Avatar
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    I have both the Goodman set and the Jarvi set. A slight preference for the latter, even if he's a bit breathless in the glorious opening bars of the symphony in question.

    I think this is a very fine work indeed. It's one of the most beautiful symphonies I know, yes it's easy on the ear, but I have not as yet grown tired of it, which suggests it's not lightweight. Certainly among the very best to come out of Sweden, and it can hold its own with any symphony of its era. I love the device of sandwiching the scherzo in the slow movement, looks forward to some of Bartok's palindromic structures?

    A happy discovery, Judith!

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    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Heard this symphony for the first time tonight in a performance by the Helsingborgs Symfoniorkester and conductor Okko Kamu. I thought the recording was somewhat on the tame side but felt that it was a beautifully composed symphony, perhaps with a touch of Mendelssohn's influence. I'm glad I had a chance to hear it for I genuine love the vast majority of Scandinavian composers.

    Last edited by Larkenfield; Sep-25-2018 at 10:39.
    ”Art is how we decorate space; Music is how we decorate time.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkenfield View Post
    Heard this symphony for the first time tonight in a performance by the Helsingborgs Symfoniorkester and conductor Okko Kamu. I thought the recording was somewhat on the tame side but felt that it was a beautifully composed symphony, perhaps with a touch of Mendelssohn's influence...
    I read somewhere that Berwald took pains to meet with Mendelssohn, who might have helped him get more exposure in the German-speaking areas of Europe and in England. However Mendelssohn took a rather intense dislike to him, which obviously did his cause no good.
    Last edited by KenOC; Sep-25-2018 at 16:41.


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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    The story goes that Mendelssohn met Berwald on Christmas Day in 1848, at Mendelssohn's friend's home in Berlin. Berwald was there with his friend, Henrik Munktell. Mendelssohn improvised on the piano and then played two Beethoven Sonatas. Munktell talked to Mendelssohn and found Felix genial enough but thought he was "smothered by his mother's skirts" (meaning he either found him to be a mummy's boy or a 'nancy boy'). Munktell and Mendelssohn didn't hit it off at all. Berwald later egaged Mendelssohn in conversation but Mendelssohn took an instant dislike to Berwald due to a comment Berwald made about Beethoven's Fidelio (he slagged it off). Berwald's comments were possibly inspired by the fact that he had been unsuccessfully trying to write an opera at that time and was a bit jealous. Mendelssohn took umbrance and although he listened to Berwald's music, later, he labelled him 'arrogant' and thought his harmonies were overly 'stuffed' and derivative of Swedish folk music. Lol.

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info and a story well told, Merl!


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    Senior Member Malx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenOC View Post
    I have the Jarvi, Dausgaard, and Kamu Berwald cycles. All are good. On another site, there was a lot of enthusiasm around the Sixten Ehrling performances, which I haven’t heard.

    I am one of the advocates for this set - I also have the Jarvi set.
    In simple terms I find that Jarvi, as usual, makes a good fist of the works but Ehrling although initially not quite as immediately impressive just seems to find more depth in the music.
    But as is usual that is just my opinion.

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