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This month sees the release of the second disc in a two-volume, première-recording edition of Eggert’s symphonies. Volume 1 (8.572457) was released in October, 2015.

Eggert died before being able to enter into competition with his German and Austrian contemporaries, and while his symphonies are remarkably forward-thinking he has remained sidelined, his music virtually unknown in recording catalogues. He represents an all too brief flourishing of progressive musical evolution in Sweden between Joseph Martin Kraus in the eighteenth century and Franz Berwald in the nineteenth.

“It is always a pleasure to discover music which has been forgotten! The journey involves so many stages: editing of scores, corrections to orchestral parts, then studying these works which have rarely been performed. This Eggert project has been a great challenge, but the Gävle Symphony Orchestra plays the works as if they had been composed especially for them."

Gérard Korsten, conductor

  EGGERT, J.N.: Symphonies Nos. 2 and 4
Gävle Symphony, Korsten

One of the more forward-looking Swedish composers and conductors of his age, Eggert died before achieving wider European recognition and has remained neglected ever since. The Second Symphony evokes moods both stormy and lyrical, revealing a technical brilliance that foreshadows Schubert. The Fourth Symphony reflects the military backdrop to the political unrest of the times, its alternative slow movement being one of Eggert’s most powerful and progressive works. Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3 can be heard on Naxos 8.572457.

Listen to an extract from
Symphony No. 4 in C minor:
III. Minuetto

  EGGERT, J.N.: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3 / Incidental Music to Svante Sture
Gävle Symphony, Korsten

Born on the island of Rügen off Germany’s Baltic coast, Joachim Nikolas Eggert arrived in Sweden in 1803, soon establishing himself as a progressive conductor and introducing Beethoven to Stockholm audiences. Welcomed overwhelmingly on its première, Eggert’s large-scale First Symphony hints at Mozart and Haydn but foreshadows Mendelssohn in its wind textures and rich harmonies. The Third Symphony is kaleidoscopic in its moments of light and shade and unusual in its gigantic fugal finale. First of a two-volume set, these two symphonies alone demonstrate that Eggert should be considered one of the more important composers of his era.

“The sound quality is excellent. The playing is well-judged, classily and enthusiastically played by the Gävle Symphony Orchestra and their conductor, Gérard Korsten.”
MusicWeb International

Listen to an extract from
Symphony No. 1 in C major:
IV. Finale: Allegro vivace

About the Artists

Born in South Africa, Gérard Korsten began his career as a violinist, after studying with Ivan Galamian at the Curtis Institute and with Sándor Végh in Salzburg. In 2005 he was appointed Principal Conductor of the Symphonieorchester Vorarlberg, Bregenz. His past engagements include concerts with the Budapest Festival, Leipzig Gewandhaus, BBC Scottish Symphony, Swedish Radio Symphony, and Gävle Symphony Orchestra, and he has appeared at many notable opera houses, including La Scala Milan, Royal Swedish Opera and English National Opera.

The Gävle Symphony Orchestra is one of the oldest in Sweden, and celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2012. Over the years, the orchestra has grown to 52 full-time members. Based chiefly at the Gävle Concert Hall, the orchestra tours regularly, both in its home province and elsewhere in Sweden, Scandinavia and the rest of Europe. Since its inception, the Gävle Symphony Orchestra has had a succession of distinguished principal conductors, including Stig Westerberg, Rainer Miedel, Göran W. Nilson, Hannu Koivula, Carlos Spierer, Petri Sakari and Robin Ticciati.

Other discs of Swedish symphonies

Joseph Martin KRAUS (1756-1792)
Complete Symphonies, Vol. 3

Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Petter Sundkvist

“These gutsy and supercharged recordings of this little-known music from the Sturm und Drang era are wonderfully illuminated by Naxos’ clear and bright aural perspective.”

  Listen to an extract from
Symphony in C sharp minor, VB 140:
I. Andante di molto

Joseph Martin KRAUS (1756-1792)
Complete Symphonies, Vol. 4

Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Petter Sundkvist

“These performances are perfect — original instrument and original performance practice informed, but smoothly, richly, and gracefully played. The recording conveys the sound of strings, winds and brass well in balance and clearly delineated in just the right acoustic environment. After hearing this recording one will be looking for other music performed by these artists, as well as other music by Kraus.”
MusicWeb International

  Listen to an extract from
Symphony in D major, VB 143:
III. Allegro

Franz BERWALD (1796-1868)
Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2

Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, Okko Kamu

“The Helsingborg orchestra is impressive...very good recorded sound.”
Penguin Guide

  Listen to an extract from
Symphony No. 1 in G minor:
III. Stretto

Franz BERWALD (1796-1868)
Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4 / Piano Concerto

Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, Niklas Sivelov, Okko Kamu

“Strongly recommended.”

  Listen to an extract from
Symphony No. 4 in E flat major:
I. Allegro risoluto

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