Author Topic: Hugo Alfven's Stugan  (Read 8342 times)

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Offline Vesteralen

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Hugo Alfven's Stugan
« on: July 16, 2012, 09:43:27 AM »
I see that there is no thread for Hugo Alfven.  Well, I'm going to start one.

Someday soon, I'm also going to post something in it.  :)

snyprrr

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Re: Hugo Alfven's Stugan
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2012, 10:16:12 AM »
Shouldn't it be 'Alfven's Åldersdomshem'?

Offline Vesteralen

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Re: Hugo Alfven's Stugan
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2012, 03:14:07 PM »
Why stop there?  It could be Alfven's Grav, but why quibble?

Offline John Copeland

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Re: Hugo Alfven's Stugan
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2012, 03:38:40 PM »
Why stop there?  It could be Alfven's Grav, but why quibble?

Yes, Alfven!  I am a real bona fide fan of Swedish music from early to mid last century, in particular Rangstrom and Atterberg, wonderful music in the same mould as Alfven.
Here are Alfvens features on Wiki...



I hope he didn't look a grim bastard like that all the time.  His music doesn't say so.

snyprrr

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Re: Hugo Alfven's Stugan
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2012, 05:24:12 PM »
Yes, Alfven!  I am a real bona fide fan of Swedish music from early to mid last century, in particular Rangstrom and Atterberg, wonderful music in the same mould as Alfven.
Here are Alfvens features on Wiki...



I hope he didn't look a grim bastard like that all the time.  His music doesn't say so.

That is the Swedish National Pose! Brooding Man, mm,...


Why stop there?  It could be Alfven's Grav, but why quibble?

 :P You smelled like a svenska, so I was just ribbin' ya!

In honor I'm listening to all the Alfven I have, the Polka, the Midsummer piece, the Cow-Girl Dance, and the Elegi, a nice, cozy 25 minutes. The Elegi has a nice Sibeliaen feel, but is there anything more of substance to him? He sounds quite conservative,... grandpa would approve!

skºl

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Hugo Alfven's Stugan
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2012, 11:50:03 PM »
I've always liked the hauntingly atmospheric Symphony No 4.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Vesteralen

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Re: Hugo Alfven's Stugan
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2012, 02:24:59 AM »
That is the Swedish National Pose! Brooding Man, mm,...


 :P You smelled like a svenska, so I was just ribbin' ya!


Well, as I tell my wife (who's one quarter Swedish / one quarter Norwegian), "there are only two kinds of people in the world, Scandinavians and those who wish they were Scandinavian".  I'm the latter.   ;D

Offline Vesteralen

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Re: Hugo Alfven's Stugan
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2012, 02:30:39 AM »
In honor I'm listening to all the Alfven I have, the Polka, the Midsummer piece, the Cow-Girl Dance, and the Elegi, a nice, cozy 25 minutes. The Elegi has a nice Sibeliaen feel, but is there anything more of substance to him? He sounds quite conservative,... grandpa would approve!

skºl

Yeah, he wrote so many bon-bons, he's like a Swedish Offenbach to a lot of people, I guess. 

I just got pulled into his music through the symphonies and tone-poems (getting the whole set on Naxos, though there's a really economical set I found later that I'm thinking about trying, too).  He was a tremendous orchestrator and had some really powerful symphonic moments.  Definitely worth exploring, IMHO.

Offline Vesteralen

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Re: Hugo Alfven's Stugan
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2012, 04:06:56 AM »
Starting with his works for orchestra we have:

Symphony No 1 Op 7 (1896)  4
Symphony No. 2 Op. 11 (1897-98)  6
Swedish Rhapsody No 1 (Midsummer Vigil) Op. 19 (1903)  21
Symphonic Poem (A Tale from the Archipelago)  Op. 20 (1904)  6
Symphony No. 3 Op.23 (1904-5)  4
Festspel Op. 25 (1907)  5 ?
Swedish Phapsody No 2 (Uppsala) Op. 24  (1907)  7
Drapa  Op. 27 (1908)  3
Elegy:  At Emil Sjogren's Funeral  Op. 38 (1918)  1
Symphony No. 4  Op. 39 (1918-19)  5
Suite from "The Mountain King" Op. 37 (1923)  6
Swedish Rhapsody No. 3 (Delecarlia)  Op. 48 (1931)  6
Gustaf II Adolf Suite  Op. 49  (1932)  1
Four Tunes from Leksand (1934)  ?
Suite from the music to the film "Synnove Solbakken"  Op. 50  (1934)  2
Symphony No 5  Op. 55 (1942-52)  4
Festival Overture Op. 52 (1944) 1
Suite from the music to the film "Mans kvinna"  Op. 53  (1945)  1
Suite from the ballet "The Prodigal Son"  (1957)  2?

The numbers after the titles refer to the number of recordings currently available according to Archiv Music.
I think one of the Leksand tunes may be very famous and often recorded, but I can't seem to find a recording of all four of them.
I apologize for any inaccuracies here, as I compiled this list by merging two sources.

Anyway, I'd say the man's orchestral works are very well represented on disc.   

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Hugo Alfven's Stugan
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2012, 07:59:19 AM »
I can't say I'm an Alfven fan. There's not enough character in his music that makes him standout amongst other Swedish composers like Stenhammar, Rangstrom, Pettersson, or Atterberg.
"When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something." - Dmitri Shostakovich

Offline Vesteralen

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Re: Hugo Alfven's Stugan
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2012, 09:11:59 AM »
I can't say I'm an Alfven fan. There's not enough character in his music that makes him standout amongst other Swedish composers like Stenhammar, Rangstrom, Pettersson, or Atterberg.

Just out of curiosity, do you say that based on extensive listening of his output or based on just a few things you've heard in passing?

Offline Vesteralen

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Re: Hugo Alfven's Stugan
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2012, 09:39:30 AM »
I only ask the above question because my own first encounter with the music of Alfven was on this anthology disc:



And, though I enjoyed the CD, there wasn't anything on it that made me anxious to find more of the same.

However, my next encounter with Alfven's music was here:



and I found lots of "character" in this music.  In fact, "The Legend of the Skerries" is one of my all-time favorite pieces.

As to comparing him with other Swedish composers - that's a field I personally haven't tapped deeply yet.  But, I'm looking forward to it.  I have a tendency to accept works on their own terms, though.  So, things like anachronistic tendencies don't really bother me a lot.  I know that's really unsophisticated, but I can't help being kind of a simple soul at heart.  :)

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Hugo Alfven's Stugan
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2012, 09:47:18 AM »
Just out of curiosity, do you say that based on extensive listening of his output or based on just a few things you've heard in passing?

I've heard all of his symphonies. I own the Jarvi set of symphonies on BIS. It's been a couple of years since I listened to Alfven, so my opinion may have changed.
"When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something." - Dmitri Shostakovich

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Re: Hugo Alfven's Stugan
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2012, 09:51:05 AM »

and I found lots of "character" in this music.  In fact, "The Legend of the Skerries" is one of my all-time favorite pieces.

As to comparing him with other Swedish composers - that's a field I personally haven't tapped deeply yet.  But, I'm looking forward to it.  I have a tendency to accept works on their own terms, though.  So, things like anachronistic tendencies don't really bother me a lot.  I know that's really unsophisticated, but I can't help being kind of a simple soul at heart.  :)

Well we all have own preferences. Interestingly enough, I don't really connect with most Scandinavian composers. In fact, most of these composers wouldn't even make it on my top 30 favorite composer list with the exception of Sibelius and Nielsen who I feel to be remarkable, but even now I don't listen to them very much. I'm much more into Russian, French, Latin American, and East European composers.
"When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something." - Dmitri Shostakovich

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Hugo Alfven's Stugan
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2012, 10:07:13 AM »
I have this:


which is now cheaper as this:



Highly recommended (and very affordable). Lots of character and flavor, but most of all, it's enjoyable (well crafted and melodic) romantic music.
Be kind to your fellow posters!!

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Hugo Alfven's Stugan
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2012, 10:26:12 AM »
My introduction to Alfven on LP and still my favourite Alfven recording:

"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Mountain Goat

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Re: Hugo Alfven's Stugan
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2012, 06:04:45 AM »
Pleased to see Alfvén finally has his own thread. My first encounter with his music was at last year's Proms when the Stockholm PO played the "Vallflickans dans" from Bergakungen as their encore. I then took a gamble on the Järvi/Brilliant Classics set - it was cheap and I'm a sucker for Scandinavian symphonies so I thought why not... And glad I did too, very likeable music with plenty of character!

Offline DavidRoss

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Re: Hugo Alfven's Stugan
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2012, 07:43:25 AM »
Well we all have own preferences. Interestingly enough, I don't really connect with most Scandinavian composers. In fact, most of these composers wouldn't even make it on my top 30 favorite composer list with the exception of Sibelius and Nielsen who I feel to be remarkable, but even now I don't listen to them very much. I'm much more into Russian, French, Latin American, and East European composers.
Sibelius was Finnish.

Currently listening to Alfvén's 4th (Järvi) and liking it. My first exposure and based on what I'm hearing not likely to be my last. ;)
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Offline Johnll

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Re: Hugo Alfven's Stugan
« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2012, 04:44:40 PM »
Sibelius was Finnish.

Currently listening to Alfvén's 4th (Järvi) and liking it. My first exposure and based on what I'm hearing not likely to be my last. ;)
Finally something can agree on David. It is a nice piece.

Offline DavidRoss

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Re: Hugo Alfven's Stugan
« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2012, 05:29:36 PM »
Finally something can agree on David. It is a nice piece.
Finally? Seeking common ground is always a good way to start. Once we realize how much we have in common and how many values we share, compassion comes easily ... and that makes us much more interested in understanding others rather than demonizing them just because they're not exactly like us. Celebrate diversity, even among composers! :D
"Maybe the problem most of you have ... is that you're not listening to Barbirolli." ~Sarge

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