Swedish piano music by Stenhammar in the shadow of Grieg
Doctor of Musical Arts
As a music-producing part of Europe between 1843--1957 Scandinavia is well known through composers such as Jean Sibelius (1865--1957), Carl Nielsen (1865--1931) and especially Edward Grieg (1843--1907). Grieg is still a national hero in his home country and was immensely popular during his lifetime in Europe as his piano music found its way into the homes of the average music lover. Sweden, the biggest Scandinavian country, has as rich a cultural heritage as Norway, a tremendous treasure of folk music, and a highly important political and historical influence over Scandinavia. Why didn't it have a composer during this time to put Sweden on the international landscape? In this dissertation, I will attempt to answer this question. I will compare Grieg with Wilhelm Stenhammar (1871--1927) who was a remarkable Swedish composer and pianist and the major composer of piano music in Sweden during this time. I will start by giving a brief history of Grieg's and Stenhammar's lives and careers as well as examples of how they expressed themselves through the piano. In chapter three and four, I will discuss facts and circumstances that have been to Sweden's disadvantage in developing a musical atmosphere that could have been seen in other countries as something typically Swedish.
European history; Folklore; Music; History