Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Kurt Atterberg; Ture Rangström - String Quartets (Stenhammar Quartet)


Composer: Kurt Atterberg; Ture Rangström
  1. Atterberg - String Quartet, Op. 11: I. Allegro con fuoco
  2. Atterberg - String Quartet, Op. 11: II. Andante
  3. Atterberg - String Quartet, Op. 11: III. Allegro furioso
  4. Atterberg - String Quartet, Op. 2 / Op. 39: I. Allegro
  5. Atterberg - String Quartet, Op. 2 / Op. 39: II. Scherzo
  6. Atterberg - String Quartet, Op. 2 / Op. 39: III. Romance: Adagio
  7. Atterberg - String Quartet, Op. 2 / Op. 39: IV. Allegro deciso
  8. Rangström- String Quartet "Un notturno nella Maniera di E. Th. A. Hoffmann"

Stenhammar Quartet
Peter Olofsson, violin
Per Öman, violin
Tony Bauer, viola
Mats Olofsson, cello

Date: 2014
Label: cpo



The compositional history of Atterberg’s quartets is not straightforward. The First, Op 2, was composed in 1907 08 but Atterberg was not satisfied with it, discarding the outer movements. The central Scherzo and Romance were retained and in 1937 he composed a bracing new opening Allegro (using a theme from a student quartet) and closing Allegro deciso finale. Atterberg’s style did not change much over time, so he was able to get away with the mild discontinuity of the middle movements. The Stenhammar Quartet render it splendidly.

By this time, he had composed his second Quartet in B minor (1916), for long referred to just as ‘String Quartet, Op 11’, which is how it was issued on a Swedish Society LP and CD long ago in a vivid account by the Saulesco Quartet. (There is also a truncated recording on Caprice.) The new account by the Stenhammar Quartet is by a distance the front-runner: their tone, aided by CPO’s warm and vibrant recording, is richer than their rivals and they catch its late-Romantic atmosphere superbly well.

The filler is no mere makeweight but the only contribution to the medium by Ture Rangström, ‘A Nocturne in the manner of ETA Hoffmann’ (1909). Hoffmann inspired a number of Rangström’s works over the next 10 years. More a suite than a sonata structure, it is dedicated to Nielsen, who oversaw its composition from a distance; the version recorded here is that published posthumously and co-edited by Kallstenius and…Atterberg.

-- Guy Rickards, Gramophone

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Kurt Atterberg (12 December 1887 – 15 February 1974) was a Swedish composer and engineer, best known for his symphonies, operas and ballets. Atterberg composed nine symphonies, six concertante works, nine orchestral suites, three string quartets, five operas and two ballets. His works combine compositional styles of the Russians, Brahms and Reger with Swedish folk tunes. From 1924 to 1947, Atterberg was president of the Society of Swedish Composers, which he co-founded in 1918, alongside other prominent composers such as Ture Rangström, Wilhelm Stenhammar and Hugo Alfvén.


Ture Rangström (30 November 1884 – 11 May 1947) was a Swedish composer. He studied under Hans Pfitzner in Berlin, and with Julius Hey in Munich. Rangström belonged to a new generation of Swedish composers who in the first decade of the 20th century introduced modernism to their compositions. Rangström started to write songs in his late teens, and follow the success of his early symphonic poems, composed four symphonies, three operas. Rangström also wrote almost 300 songs and orchestrated about 60 of them. In addition to composing, he was also a musical critic and conductor.


The Stenhammar Quartet, which consists of Peter Olofsson, Per Öman (violins), Tony Bauer (viola) and Mats Olofsson (cello), was founded in 1995 and is considered as one of the most interesting and respected quartets in Scandinavia today. Their main emphasis of the repertoire is on Swedish music. The quartet have commissioned and premiered quartets by Mats Larsson-Gothe, Per Mårtensson, Mika Pelo, Viktoria Borisova-Ollas, etc. Their recordings for labels Daphne, Phono Suecia, BIS and cpo have received critical acclaim both in Sweden and internationally, such as Swedish Grammy Awards nominations.


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