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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67828
Recording details: September 2010
Helsingborg Concert Hall, Sweden
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon & Dave Rowell
Release date: June 2012
Total duration: 16 minutes 6 seconds

'Really deserves this reappraisal: [Wiklund] has Rachmaninov's talent for big, sweeping statements and Grieg's way with a sweet melody. It's a winning combination, beautifully captured here by Martin Sturfält and the Helsingborg players under the sure direction of increasingly interesting violinist-turned-conductor Andrew Manze' (The Observer)

'Wiklund's concertos … stand up to the finest of competition. Whilst they are rooted in a late-Romantic style, there are also shades of Rachmaninov and Medtner, the exuberant virtuosity of York Bowen in his concertos, something of the bleakness of Sibelius and Stenhammar … throughout all three works, it's Wiklund's melodic gifts that never wane … there is a huge amount to enjoy, with moments of real beauty and sophistication in every aspect of the music-making … Sturfält is certainly hard to fault: he has the measure of these concertos, and the refinement and good taste to ensure they never become overblown … this is a fabulous and very worthy addition to a series that shows no signs yet of diminishing returns: long may it continue' (International Record Review)

Konsertstycke in C major, Op 1

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The year after the completion of the Konsertstycke (‘Concert Piece’) Op 1 in 1902 Richard Andersson organized an opportunity for the twenty-four-year-old composer to perform the new work with the orchestra of the Konsertföreningen (the present- day Royal Stockholm Philharmonic) conducted by Tor Aulin; this marked Wiklund’s official debut as both pianist and composer. The performance, as well as the work itself, was met with unanimous enthusiasm by the critics (including the much-feared Wilhelm Peterson-Berger) in all four Stockholm newspapers, notably for its ‘inventive ideas, admirable realization [and] commendable orchestration’, in the words of Adolf Lindgren in Aftonbladet.

The Konsertstycke opens with a serenely majestic orchestral tutti, starting on the dominant seventh and cleverly avoiding the main key for about a minute, creating considerable suspense until its resolution in a radiant fortissimo C major. The piano enters with an extended glittering cadenza using the entire range of the piano in typical Romantic virtuoso fashion; certainly the whole work suggests that Wiklund’s own command of the piano must have been impressive to say the least. Following a short orchestral interlude, recalling the opening material, the work finally takes wing as the main Allegro moderato section is announced by the solo piano. Structurally, the Allegro is loosely based on sonata form, but Wiklund often lets the music deviate from this framework, such as in the atmospheric section that follows the central orchestral tutti as well as in the extended coda. Wiklund’s organically fluid musical style as well as his natural talent for orchestration are clearly evident in this early work, as is the fact that he had picked up a trick or two from studying the scores of Wagner and Bruckner.

from notes by Martin Sturfält © 2012

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