Johan Dalene. Photo: Nikolaj Lund
Andrew Manze. Photo: Chris Christodoulou
Members of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. Photo: Mats Lundqvist
150 years of Stenhammar – Serenade
Violin phenomenon Johan Dalene in Two Sentimental Romances. Andrew Manze conducts Excelsior! and Serenade in F.
Thursday 30 September 2021 19.00Ends approximately 21.30
Wilhelm Stenhammar is without hesitation one of Sweden’s most significant composers and was one of the foremost Swedish pianists of his time. We are celebrating the 150-year anniversary of Stenhammar’s birth with a large festival. Stenhammar was born in 1871 in Stockholm. His family lived on Kammakargatan, just a few hundred metres from the location at which Konserthuset Stockholm would later be built.
In the symphonic overture Excelsior!, we encounter a romantic and passionate Stenhammar at age 25. The melodies are filled with ecstatic, upward-reaching energy – Excelsior means higher, ambitiousness. Conducted by the legendary Arthur Nikisch, the Berlin Philharmonic performed the world premiere of Excelsior! in 1896, the same year Stenhammar composed it.
Stenhammar may have been a pianist, but he had a distinct feel for the expression of a violin. In Two Sentimental Romances for violin and orchestra, we get a taste of his unique ability to create long, melodic string parts that draw the listener into a peaceful, pastoral landscape. This music has the tangible feel of a summer night, where melancholy and happiness go hand in hand. The soloist is the acclaimed young Swedish star violinist Johan Dalene.
Stenhammar had the idea for the beloved and frequently performed Serenade while visiting Florence in 1907. He wrote in a letter, “I want to write beautifully and tenderly about the south, in a way that only a resident of the north can do.” And indeed he succeeded, for the Serenade is one of his true masterpieces: sensual southern European music presented in Nordic light – playful, lyrical and beautiful.
As a bonus, the entire concert will conclude with Stenhammar’s Violin Sonata.
The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra will be led by Andrew Manze, the internationally acclaimed conductor and violinist who was chief conductor of the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra from 2006–2014.
The concert on September 30 can be seen at Konserthuset Play. You can also see the concert afterwards on Play.
The musicApproximate times
Wilhelm Stenhammar Excelsior!15 min
Wilhelm Stenhammar Two Sentimental Romances for violin and orchestra12 min
Wilhelm Stenhammar Serenade in F major38 min
Wilhelm Stenhammar Sonata in a minor for violin and piano22 min
- Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
- Andrew Manze conductor
- Johan Dalene violin
- Peter Friis Johansson piano