he organ played an important part in the changing musical climate of nineteenth century Sweden. Despite this, its repertoire of the time has remained largely forgotten. On this release, organists Jonas Lundblad and Ulf Norberg, together with violinist Tobias Ringborg, perform a selection of the rich repertoire of the 19th and very early 20th centuries, with music by Laura Netzel, Gustaf Mankell, Valborg Aulin, Sara Wennberg-Reuter, Gustav Hägg, Bernhard Crusell, and Franz Berwald. The informative booklet also touches upon many examples of the parallel development of organ construction and repertoire in Sweden.
The recordings document five historic organs, in original or restored condition, and music that has been relatively unknown is brought to the forefront. For instance, several important but rarely represented female composers have finally been recorded.
The music is performed on organs in Östra Husby, Väderstad, Rök, Saint Peter’s church in Västervik, and the Vasa Church in Gothenburg, on instruments built by contemporary framousorgan builders such as Åkerman & Lund, Marcussen & Søn, and Gustaf Andersson.
There was consensus within the relatively recently founded Royal Swedish Academy of Music concerning the falling standards of church music and organ playing. The Swedish nation was reeling from multiple war efforts, and there was an obvious lack of both organisation and competence among organists. However, leading figures like the Academy Secretary Pehr Frigel also wanted to establish a new, elevated aesthetic. After the galante style of the Rococo era, Italian vocal polyphony and the music of Johann Sebastian Bach was to inspire a more tightly bound and dignified style of organ playing. The Academy of Music also shifted its educational focus in the first half of the nineteenth century to primarily training organists. Through them, proficiency also in musical theory would be disseminated among churches and schools across the nation.
In 1820, the organ builders Gustaf Andersson and Pehr Zacharias Strand were dispatched on a study tour across Europe. By examining organs by Gottfried Silbermann, J. G. Mende, and C.H.A. von Knoblauch, they would later be able to construct new organs of higher grade in Sweden. The only preserved major organ by Gustaf Andersson is located in Östra Husby Church on the peninsula Vikbolandet, south of the city of Norrköping. This majestic instrument has a wider tonal foundation than the organs of earlier generations. Uniquely for Swedish organ building, it displays a clear influence from the baroque organs of the Silbermann tradition, which still characterised much of German organ building at the time. Here, a classical sound is combined with the expressive flute and string registers of the early Romantic era. The instrument was inaugurated in 1827, a time when improvisation was still the dominant way of playing the organ. Among the few notated organ works from this period, several of those by musicians in the Östergötland province are performed on this recording.
Recorded, edited and mixed by Erik Sikkema, 12th Oct 2020 – 14th Jun 2021.
Graphic design: Sofia Berry
Photography: Ola Högberg
Executive producer: Erik Hamrefors
1.Gustaf Adolf & Ebba Brahe : Overture
4.At Mary’s First Communion
5.March in C Major
6.A Rural Wedding Celebration: I. Introduzione: Adagio - Allegro moderato (attacca)
7.A Rural Wedding Celebration: II. Hymn: Adagio
8.A Rural Wedding Celebration: III. Choral
9.A Rural Wedding Celebration: IV: Pastoral: Allgretto
10.A Rural Wedding Celebration: V. Allegro moderato
11.A Rural Wedding Celebration: VI. Folk Song: Andante maestoso
12.A Rural Wedding Celebration: VII. Allegro moderato
13.Organ Sonata in C minor: I. Allegro maestoso
14.Organ Sonata in C minor: II. Trio: Andante cantabile
15.Organ Sonata in C minor: III. Allegro risoluto
16.Fugue in F Major
17.Prelude and Fugue over the names A-dolf H-ess-e: I. Prelude
18.Prelude and Fugue over the names A-dolf H-ess-e: II. Fugue
19.Adagio in B Major
21.Fantasy: I. Allegro con fuoco
22.Fantasy: II. Andante con moto
23.Fantasy: III. Allegro con fuoco
24.Stolts Elisif: Prelude on the Organ during the Nuns’ Procession to Church
25.In memory of August Söderman
26.Catholic Mass: Offertorium
27.Fantasy and Fugue in D minor: I. Fantasy
28.Fantasy and Fugue in D minor: II. Fugue
29.Festive March in C Major
30.When Leaves Fall
31.Adagio for Violin and Organ
34.Romance in E Major for Violin and Piano or Organ
35.Prelude and fughetta: I. Prelude
MUSIC: LAURA NETZEL
36.Prelude and fughetta: II. Fughetta