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Competition around violin sonata
In January 2020 we could hear Helena Munktell’s sonata for violin and piano in Allhelgonakyrkan. Cecilia Zilliacus and Bengt Forsberg played it and also Harald Fryklöf’s sonata in connection with a gramophone recording which later in the year was released on dB Productions (DBCD 195).
Munktell (1852–1919) wrote her sonata in Paris where it also was premiered in 1905 by no less than George Enescu, the great Romanian musician who was equally great as violinist, pianist, conductor and composer. The same year it also appeared in print there. It is a half hour-long work by a mature and well-schooled composer which we should hear more often. It shares the disc which is called Swedish Violin Treasures with the rest of the programme we heard at Allhelgonakyrkan a year ago: Fryklöf’s sonata and shorter works by Algot Haquinius and Ika Peyron, even lesser-known names.
At least Munktell’s sonata no longer can be called uncommon, as there is now another brand new recording, featuring other KVAH friends. Tobias Ringborg and Peter Friis Johansson recorded their version a few months ahead of Cecilia and Bengt, even if its release (BIS-2204) came later. On the Bis CD we also hear other music of Munktell, including songs with Sophie Asplund. Both album are available in shops and for streaming. I found the two interpretations of Munktell’s sonata interestingly different, and recommend listening to both. The music deserves that.

Nils-Göran Olve