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Stenhammar: String Quartets Nos. 3-4


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If there is one Swedish composer in the early 20th century who in some way can compare with
Sibelius and Nielsen, it is Wilhelm Stenhammar – incidentally a personal friend of both these
towering figures in Nordic music. And in Stenhammar’s production – which includes songs, piano
music and large-scale orchestral works – his string quartets form a special chapter. The seven
quartets (of which one, in F minor, was withdrawn by the composer soon after its first performance)
were written over the space of 22 years, and mirror Stenhammar’s development, from full-blown
Romanticism to a more sparse and formally concentrated idiom. As a pianist, Stenhammar worked
closely for many years with the Aulin Quartet, the finest Swedish string quartet of its time. (It was the
Aulin Quartet that gave the first performances of all Stenhammar’s quartets up to and including No.4
in A minor, Op.25.) His familiarity with the medium is evident in these works which have been
described as ‘the most important written between those of Brahms and Bartók’, but which still remain
less well-known internationally than they deserve. In a bid to change this, the Stenhammar Quartet
here present the first disc in a trilogy which will include the six quartets published during the
composer’s lifetime, as well as the F minor quartet – for the first time on disc – and other music for
string quartet. Making its first appearance on BIS, the Stenhammar Quartet was formed in 2002 and
has made a name for itself in Sweden and internationally as interpreters of Stenhammar’s music, as
well as of core repertoire and contemporary works
Facts
Item number BIS-1659
Barcode 7318599916590
Release date 7/30/2013
Category Chamber Music
Label BIS
Media type SACD
Number of units 1
Performers
Ensemble Stenhammar Quartet
Disc: 1
1 String Quartet No. 4 in A Minor, Op. 25: I. Allegr 00:09:14 Stenhammar Quartet
2 String Quartet No. 4 in A Minor, Op. 25: II. Adagi 00:06:01 Stenhammar Quartet
3 String Quartet No. 4 in A Minor, Op. 25: III. Sche 00:06:56 Stenhammar Quartet
4 String Quartet No. 4 in A Minor, Op. 25: IV. Aria 00:10:49 Stenhammar Quartet
5 Lodolezzi sjunger Suite, Op. 39: I. Elegy 00:03:23 Stenhammar Quartet
6 Lodolezzi sjunger Suite, Op. 39: II. Intermezzo 00:03:59 Stenhammar Quartet
7 String Quartet No. 3 in F Major, Op. 18: I. Quasi 00:08:44 Stenhammar Quartet
8 String Quartet No. 3 in F Major, Op. 18: II. Prest 00:05:08 Stenhammar Quartet
9 String Quartet No. 3 in F Major, Op. 18: III. Lent 00:07:18 Stenhammar Quartet
10 String Quartet No. 3 in F Major, Op. 18: IV. Prest 00:10:49 Stenhammar Quartet
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