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Almqvist: Fria Fantasier for Piano-Forte
By Lennart Hedwall
By Lennart Hedwall
By Lennart Hedwall. By Carl Jonas Love Almqvist. Classical. CD. Naxos #CDA1808. Published by Naxos (NX.CDA1808).
Item Number: NX.CDA1808
Carl Jonas Love Almqvist (1793-1866) is one of the few yet current Swedish authors prior to Strindberg. Most of his writings he collected in the universal work Tornrosens Bok (The Book of Thornrose), in which he wanted to unite "picture, music and script together, and mould into a single brand" and thus create a kind of Gesamtkunstwerk. He was also strictly speaking "only" a talented amateur, although he often claimed that deep down he was primarily a musical person. Already during or shortly after his illustrious Varmland adventure 1823-24- when he left Stockholm for living an idealized peasant life in the small village Kola- he produced two large note booklets, one for voices and one for keyboard. Both wear the title 'Free Musical Fantasies,' and they associate directly to his literary counterpart, originally called "Free Fantasies, which, considered as an entity, by Mr. Hugo Lowenstierna sometimes called Tornrosens Bok [The Book of the Thorn-rose]." Lennart Hedwall is a musically versatile gentleman who has been active as a composer, pianist, organist, conductor, pedagogue and musicologist. He studied with, among others, Olof Wibergh, Gottfrid Boon, Tor Mann, Sven-Erik Back and Karl-Birger Blomdahl and in Darmstadt, Vienna and Paris. Hedwall has in addition published biographies of Hugo Alfven, Wilhelm Peterson-Berger, Erik Gustaf Geijer, Oscar Bystrom and Carl Jonas Love Almqvist, books called Operetta and musicals, The Swedish Symphony, and Swedish Music History. He discovered Almqvist's compositions in the early 1950s and has been campaigning for them at symposiums and concerts and on radio. In 1984 he won together with singer Iwa Sorensen a Grammy for a LP with works by Almqvist.