Wilhelm Peterson-Berger: Violin Sonatas / Ulf Wallin, violin; Love Derwinger, piano


Wilhelm Peterson-Berger wrote music in many different forms, including operas, symphonic works, solo piano music, songs and chamber music. Many of these genres are currently not well represented on CD. This cpo album addresses one such area, the composer's delightful pieces for violin and piano. Performed by violinist Ulf Wallin and pianist Love Derwinger, the program is made up of the earliest of Peterson-Berger's three violin sonatas, a suite for violin and piano and two short pieces.

Peterson-Berger wrote all three of his violin sonatas between 1887 and 1910. His music is written in the romantic, nationalistic vein of the time, and is infused with a quintessential "Swedishness". The program opens with the major work on the CD, the Violin Sonata Op. 1 in E Minor. Written when the composer was only twenty years of age, it shows the strong influence of Edvard Grieg, but also of European romantic composers such as Schumann and Brahms. The second work, the Suite for Violin and Piano Op. 15 was written around the same time as some of the music for which Peterson-Berger is best known, the first of three volumes of his folk-influenced and very delightful Frösöblomster for solo piano. The violin suite has a lyrical and nostalgic character, remindful of those pieces.

The album concludes with two utterly disarming little works, each lasting less than three minutes, which are also the musical samples for this recommendation. The first is titled Canzone and the second, Visa i folkton (Folktune). They are fairly representatives all of the music here - even though some of it is considerably more animated - and it was quite impossible for me not to share these charmers with you. Enjoy!