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Volume 57 in Hyperion’s Romantic Piano Concerto series turns up another ‘discovery’: the music of Swedish composer Adolf Wiklund. These little-known but lusciously tuneful works are characterized by big-boned, symphonic gestures reminiscent of Rachmaninov, yet tempered with the Nordic clarity of Grieg. Wiklund’s two piano concertos are central to his output, and in fact they enjoyed considerable popularity in Sweden until as recently as fifty years ago, when modernist sensibilities deemed them unfashionable.
This glittering performance from Martin Sturfält and the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, directed by brilliant violinist-turned-conductor Andrew Manze, is bound to bring this unfairly neglected music back into general currency.
Wiklund: Piano Concerto #1 In E Minor, Op. 10
1. Allegro Energico
2. Andante Ma Non Troppo
3. Allegro Vivace
Wiklund: Konsertstycke In C Major, Op. 1
Konsertstycke In C Major, Op. 1
Wiklund: Piano Concerto #2 In B Minor, Op. 17
1. Allegro Moderato
2. Andante Sostenuto
3. Allegro Non Troppo
3rd June 2012
“[Wiklund] really deserves this reappraisal: he 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.”
“Throughout all three works, it's Wiklund's melodic gifts that never wane...Sturfalt is certainly hard to fault: he has the measure of these concertos, and the refinement and good taste to ensure that they never become overblown...This is a very worthy addition to a series that shows no signs yet of diminishing returns: long may it continue.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.