top of page

Groupe de distingués

Public·11 Distingués
Daniel Rodriguez
Daniel Rodriguez

Kurt Atterberg's Piano Concerto: A Masterpiece of Romanticism and Modernism



Kurt Atterberg Piano Concerto: A Hidden Gem of the 20th Century




If you are looking for a piano concerto that is both beautiful and challenging, you might want to check out Kurt Atterberg's Piano Concerto in B-flat minor, Op. 37. This work, composed in 1927-28, is one of the most impressive examples of the Swedish composer's style, which combines romanticism, nationalism, and modernism. In this article, we will explore the background, structure, and highlights of this piano concerto, and explain why it deserves more attention and appreciation from music lovers.




kurt atterberg piano concerto pdf download



Introduction




Who was Kurt Atterberg?




Kurt Magnus Atterberg (1887-1974) was a Swedish composer, conductor, critic, and engineer. He studied music at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, where he became friends with other prominent Swedish composers such as Wilhelm Stenhammar and Hugo Alfvén. He also worked as an engineer at the Swedish Patent and Registration Office for most of his life, which gave him financial stability and independence. He composed nine symphonies, five operas, several concertos, chamber works, and vocal works. He was also an influential music critic for various newspapers and magazines.


What is his piano concerto about?




Atterberg's Piano Concerto in B-flat minor, Op. 37, was commissioned by the Swedish Concert Society in 1927. He dedicated it to his friend and fellow composer Natanael Berg, who was also a pianist. The premiere took place on March 9, 1929, in Stockholm, with Berg as the soloist and Atterberg himself conducting the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. The piano concerto is in three movements: Allegro moderato, Adagio, and Allegro molto vivace. It lasts about 35 minutes.


Why is it a hidden gem?




Despite its successful premiere and positive reviews, Atterberg's Piano Concerto did not gain much popularity outside Sweden. It was overshadowed by other more famous piano concertos of the 20th century, such as those by Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Ravel, and Gershwin. However, this does not mean that it is inferior or less interesting. On the contrary, it is a masterpiece that showcases Atterberg's mastery of form, harmony, melody, orchestration, and piano technique. It is also a reflection of his musical personality, which blends romanticism with modernism.


Main Body




The first movement: Allegro moderato




The main theme and its variations




The first movement begins with a mysterious and ominous introduction by the orchestra, which leads to the entrance of the piano with a bold and dramatic statement of the main theme. This theme, based on a descending chromatic scale, is the backbone of the whole movement. It undergoes various transformations and variations throughout the movement, creating contrast and coherence at the same time. For example, it appears in different keys, rhythms, textures, and moods, such as lyrical, playful, heroic, and tragic.


The lyrical second theme and its development




After the exposition of the main theme, the piano introduces a new theme that is more lyrical and expressive. This theme, based on a rising chromatic scale, is the counterpart of the main theme. It also undergoes several changes and developments in the course of the movement, such as modulation, inversion, augmentation, and diminution. It provides a contrast and a balance to the main theme, creating a sense of dialogue and tension between them.


The recapitulation and the coda




The recapitulation brings back both themes in their original forms, but with some modifications and embellishments. The piano and the orchestra exchange roles and motifs, creating a dynamic and dramatic interaction. The coda is a brilliant and virtuosic conclusion that combines both themes in a climactic and triumphant manner. The piano plays dazzling runs and arpeggios, while the orchestra supports it with powerful chords and fanfares. The movement ends with a final statement of the main theme by the piano, followed by a loud orchestral chord.


The second movement: Adagio




The melancholic opening and its contrast with the middle section




The second movement is a slow and lyrical movement that showcases the expressive and poetic side of Atterberg's music. It begins with a melancholic melody played by the clarinet, which is then taken up by the piano. This melody is based on a descending chromatic scale, similar to the main theme of the first movement. However, it is more subdued and sorrowful here. The piano plays it with a delicate touch and a rich tone, creating a mood of nostalgia and longing.


The middle section of the movement introduces a new theme that is more lively and cheerful. This theme is based on an ascending chromatic scale, similar to the second theme of the first movement. However, it is more playful and optimistic here. The piano plays it with a light touch and a bright tone, creating a mood of joy and hope.


The return of the opening theme and its transformation




The opening theme returns after the middle section, but with some changes. It is now played by the oboe instead of the clarinet, and it is accompanied by a soft string tremolo instead of a simple chord. The piano also plays some variations on it, adding some ornaments and embellishments. The theme becomes more expressive and emotional as it progresses.


The cadenza and the transition to the finale




The movement ends with a cadenza for the piano solo, which summarizes and develops both themes of the movement. The cadenza starts with a quiet and introspective rendition of the opening theme, then gradually builds up to a passionate and virtuosic display of the middle theme. The cadenza also hints at some motifs from the first movement, creating a connection between them. The cadenza ends with a trill that leads to a brief orchestral interlude that prepares for the finale.


The third movement: Allegro molto vivace




The rondo form and its episodes




The third movement is a fast and energetic movement that showcases the technical and rhythmic side of Atterberg's music. It is in rondo form, which means that it has a recurring main theme that alternates with different episodes. The main theme is based on an ascending chromatic scale, similar to both themes of the second movement. However, it is more lively and spirited here. The piano plays it with a crisp touch and a clear tone, creating a mood of excitement and enthusiasm.


The episodes are contrasting sections that introduce new material or develop existing material from previous movements. For example, one episode features a fugato based on the main theme of the first movement; another episode features a lyrical melody based on the second theme of the first movement; another episode features an ostinato based on the opening theme of the second movement; etc.


The virtuosic piano writing and its interplay with the orchestra




The third movement is also a showcase of Atterberg's skill in writing for the piano soloist and its interplay with the orchestra. The piano part is full of challenges and surprises for the performer, such as rapid scales, arpeggios, octaves, trills, The triumphant ending and its connection with the first movement




The movement ends with a triumphant and spectacular conclusion that combines both the main theme of the movement and the main theme of the first movement. The piano plays a dazzling cadenza that incorporates both themes in a brilliant and virtuosic manner. The orchestra joins in with a powerful and majestic accompaniment that echoes both themes in a grand and glorious way. The movement and the concerto end with a final statement of both themes by the piano and the orchestra, followed by a loud and resounding chord.


Conclusion




Summary of the main points




In this article, we have explored the background, structure, and highlights of Kurt Atterberg's Piano Concerto in B-flat minor, Op. 37. We have seen how this work is a masterpiece that showcases Atterberg's mastery of form, harmony, melody, orchestration, and piano technique. We have also seen how this work is a reflection of his musical personality, which blends romanticism with modernism.


Evaluation of the piano concerto's significance and appeal




Atterberg's Piano Concerto is a significant and appealing work that deserves more attention and appreciation from music lovers. It is a work that combines tradition and innovation, emotion and intellect, beauty and challenge. It is a work that offers a rich and varied musical experience to both the performer and the listener. It is a work that reveals new aspects and nuances with each listening.


Call to action for the readers




If you are interested in discovering more about Atterberg's Piano Concerto, you can find several recordings and videos online. You can also download the score in PDF format from various websites. You can also try to play it yourself if you are a skilled pianist or find a partner who can play it with you. You will not regret it!


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about Atterberg's Piano Concerto:



  • Q: When and where was Atterberg's Piano Concerto composed?



  • A: It was composed in 1927-28 in Stockholm, Sweden.



  • Q: Who commissioned and premiered Atterberg's Piano Concerto?



  • A: It was commissioned by the Swedish Concert Society and premiered by Natanael Berg (piano) and Kurt Atterberg (conductor) on March 9, 1929.



  • Q: What is the key and the duration of Atterberg's Piano Concerto?



  • A: It is in B-flat minor and lasts about 35 minutes.



  • Q: What are the main themes of Atterberg's Piano Concerto?



  • A: The main themes are based on ascending or descending chromatic scales, which create contrast and coherence throughout the work.



  • Q: What are some of the influences and inspirations of Atterberg's Piano Concerto?



  • A: Some of the influences and inspirations are Swedish folk music, Nordic romanticism, French impressionism, German expressionism, and Russian modernism.



71b2f0854b


À propos

Bienvenue sur le groupe de distinction, les séries ! Vous po...

Distingués

bottom of page