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Summary Article: Berwald, Franz Adolf
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Swedish violinist and composer. His best-known music is in the four symphonies of the 1840s: the titles Capricieuse and Singulière suggest their originality. He also wrote operas, a piano concerto, symphonic poems, and some distinguished chamber music. His music is an individual product of the early Romantic period, and shows a fertile and unusual harmonic imagination as well as an original approach to questions of form, though much of it remained unplayed in his lifetime.

He was born in Stockholm, and composed several works before studying in Berlin. He twice visited Vienna, where he had more success than at home, and was admired by Liszt and Schumann. His septet of 1828 was influenced by Ludwig Spohr and Beethoven. Jenny Lind sang in his operetta A Rustic Betrothal in Sweden (1847). Later stage works were less successful and The Queen of Golconda (1864) was not premiered until 1968. He settled in Stockholm in 1849 as director of music at the university and court kapellmästare; later he managed a sawmill and glassworks.

WorksOperaLeonida (1829), The Traitor, Estrella di Soria (1848, revised 1862), The Queen of Golconda (1864, performed 1968); operettas I Enter a Convent, The Milliner, A Rustic Betrothal in Sweden (1847).

Orchestral four symphonies, no. 1 Sérieuse (1842), no. 2 Capricieuse (1842), no. 3 Singulière (1845), no. 4 (1845); violin concerto (1820); piano concerto (1855); orchestral works include Recollections of the Norwegian Alps.

Chamber Septet (1828); three string quartets, two piano quintets, and other chamber music.

Other songs; incidental music to plays.

© RM, 2018. All rights reserved.

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