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Thread: SS 1.12.18 - Berwald #1 "Sinfonie sérieuse"

  1. #16
    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    So who remembers this, this week’s SS plus the Singuliere, Stockholm PO with Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt conducting, on Nonesuch? It was my introduction to Berwald many years ago. I mostly listened to the Singuliere. A very good performance as I remember!



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  3. #17
    Senior Member Eramire156's Avatar
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    Berwald seems to have led a very interesting life, business man, writer not only on music but also on social issues. Sadly many of his works didn't get performances in his lifetime, only one of his symphonies for example and that by all accounts received a bad performance.

  4. #18
    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Based on previous reading, and a discussion here, Berwald may not have been Mr. Personality. He certainly seems to have gotten up the nose of Mendelssohn, who would have been in position to help him get exposure in Germany and England. Can't remember the exact issue, but I believe Felix spoke poorly of him in a letter after their meeting.
    Last edited by KenOC; Dec-02-2018 at 01:27.


  5. #19
    Senior Member Dimace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenOC View Post
    Hmmm… I see the Sixten Ehrling set can be had for $16 VG condition used, with $4 shipping. Why must I always suffer such temptations???

    I have this one! It is gut and quite a rarity. Buy it!
    Alles Vergängliche ist nur ein Gleichnis;
    das Unzulängliche, hier wird's Ereignis;
    das Unbeschreibliche, hier ist's getan;
    das Ewig-Weibliche zieht uns hinan.

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  7. #20
    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    I listened to both the Dausgaard and the Kamu. Both are good performances, but the Kamu is in much better sound so it gets my vote.

    This is a vigorous and eventful work that was good to start with and even better on second listening. It lacks some of the arresting and original ideas found in the Singuliere, but in terms of the general level of the music it’s quite competitive. I’m very happy this week’s “assignment” led me to listen to it.

    I agree with post #12 that Berwald seems very forward-looking. My own way of putting it is that he seems more “modern” than his symphonist contemporaries. This may be due to the nervous tension in his music, which sometimes seems almost jittery, like he’s had a few cups of coffee too many. It’s certainly an unusual effect, and one that seems more interesting than irritating today. His contemporaries, of course, may have heard things quite differently.


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  9. #21
    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    On giving up his composing career, Berwald wrote a friend: "Music makes a thin soup."

    Alas, often so. A pity that Berwald's talent wasn't recognized in his lifetime.
    Last edited by KenOC; Dec-02-2018 at 08:32.


  10. #22
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    Ehrling recorded the Serieuse earlier, released by the Swedish Radio on vinyl (coupled with the wonderful Suite from The Merchant of Venice by Gösta Nystroem - not available on CD) but the BIS set is the one to go for. The earlier Berwald is available on the Bluebell label.

    108169.jpg

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  12. #23
    Senior Member Robert Pickett's Avatar
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    Great to get reacquainted with this work! No, it's not as interesting or as profoundly beautiful as the Singuliere, and maybe the finale isn't as good as the rest, but it's a very fine work, good one to listen to; it all came flooding back....!

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