Monday, October 14 - Conversation with Bengt Forsberg (kl. 18.30)
Exclusively for KVAH members, Bengt Forsberg, KVAH's artistic director, was at Katarina's Assembly Hall (Högbergsgatan 15) on October 14 at 6.30 pm to talk about his views on music, music life and our chamber music series with Nils-Göran Olve, KVAH's chairman. The conversation was in Swedish. Bengt started off by playing a short piece by J.S.Bach. Then after questions from the audience Allan Kanter gave him three pieces of music to sight-read and guess who had written them. The first two were by a known person, not composer, and Bengt correctly guessed Nietzche. The third piece was by a little known German composer Emilie Mayer; Bengt was not able to guess other than it was by a woman. Then he closed the program with a short piano piece by Amanda Maier Röntgen.
Friday, March 1 - Annual membership meeting (Allhelgonakyrkan - 18.00)
The meeting began at 18.00. Nils-Göran Olve was elected chairman and following the meeting David Matcheck och Christina Fleetwood were presented with flowers and gift cards. Then Bengt Forsberg, Cecilia Zilliacus and Kati Raitinen provided the musical guessing
Thursday, May 24 Member concert - (Högbergsgatan 15 kl. 19.00)
Ellen Nisberth, viola, Bengt Forsberg, piano
Sibelius – Two pieces op. 77: Cantique and Devotion
Shostakovitch – Viola sonata op. 147
Tchaikovski – from The Seasons: April, May and June
Monday, May 7 - Annual membership meeting (Högbergsgatan 15 kl. 18.30)
We started at 17.30 with a short bonus program: Cecilia Zilliacus, violin, Kati Raitinen, cello and Bengt Forsberg, piano, performed Amanda Maier's only piano trio which had only been performed publicly once in Sweden. It was planned for our Between Christmas and New Year's concert but had to be cancelled.
The meeting began at 18.30 and after the meeting Bengt and Cecilia performed additional music followed by a subsidized meal for 150 SEK.
Monday, February 19 - Member concert (Högbergsgatan 15 kl. 19.00)
Kati Raitinen played music mostly for solo cello
Anna Clyne (b 1980) - Rest these hands arranged for cello
Jean Sibelius (1865-1927) - Theme and variation in d-minor
Einojuhani Rautavaara (1928-2016) - Solo sonata for cello
Giovanni Sollima (b 1962) - Arboreto Salvatico, with one section per tree (pine, yew, sequioia)
Kati, cello and recitation of Italian poetry
plus Jakob Koranyi, cello
Johan Ullén (b 1972) - Dark Triad – psychological tango traits
Monday, January 15 - Member concert (Allhelgonakyrkan kl. 19.00)
Ellen Nisbeth, viola, Bengt Forsberg, piano
Vaughan Williams - Romance
Brahms - op 120:1 Sonata in f-minor
Percy Grainger - La Scandinavie (arr E Nisbeth)
... Short intermission
Schumann - op 73 Drei Fantasiestücke
Rebecca Clarke - Sonata for viola and piano
Sibelius - "Säv, säv susa" arranged for viola
Monday, September 4, concert for members (Allhelgonakyrkan - 18.00)
Monday members of KVAH were able to hearBengt Forsberg present and play piano music by Julius Röntgen (1855-1932) as well as some by his wife, Amanda Maier Röntgen (1853-1894) in preparation for Bengt's forthcoming recording session. Sometimes you feel pampered. On Monday evening we received an early Christmas present / Weinachtsgabe opus 12; nine piano pieces from 1875. Music by a young Julius, where I could hear echos of the great piano composers Schumann, Mendelssohn and Chopin but also a piano virtuoso showing off. The first piece was quite foppish in a fun way and one of the final pieces felt like a delightful tarantella.
Zwiegespräche (approximately conversations) opus 19 is undated but probably also from about 1875. Julius and Amanda have each written five of the work's ten pieces. And here we had to guess which ones were written by Julius and which by Amanda. Who says no to a competition where you have 50% chance of being right? In some of the pieces, all of which were missing titles, it was perhaps easier, like in the third or fourth which both had a folksong tone. There Amanda felt right. The seventh piece was "of course" Julius while the eighth piece of almost Grieg tone wasn't by Amanda; Julius again! And Amanda who initiated the "conversation" was also the one who finished the ten pieces, with a serious Schumann reminiscence.
Maestro Forsberg finished with a magnificent present from Julius to Amanda; Variations over a Swedish folk song opus 11. In Sweden it's known as Näcken's Polska and it was already known on the continent, when Ambroise Thomas, at the request of soprano Christina Nilsson, used it in his opera Hamlet 1868. Link to a Youtube performance with Joan Sutherland Amanda had used this melody often in her own works so it is entirely possible that it was her idea. The Variations were written in 1874, i.e. two years before they became engaged and not only show virtuosity but also deep feeling and a sure sense of form. The finale is not a great fugue, but everything simmers down to the beautiful original. A nineteen year-old in love! (If you have Spotify, Mark Anderson's recording of the variations on Nimbus will be available if you can not wait for Bengts disc. You can forgive Anderson that he doesn't know the folksong, as you can guess by the odd tempos in the beginning.)
We can just bow and thank Bengt for his musicality and mastery of the piano. That he constantly finds so much fun and often unknown music that he then performs as if it were standard repertoire is truly incredible. What a lovely present for the friends of chamber music! We wandered out into the autumn night happy and pleased.
For you wondering if Julius was related to Wilhelm Röntgen, the first Nobel Prize winner in Physics (1901) (and aren't satisfied with my suggestion to call Wilhelm for "almost an uncle") that's right. Julius grandfather was Wilhelm's cousin. Link to information about the family Röntgen
Monday, June 20, concert for members (Allhelgonakyrkan - 18.00)
Pianist Martin Malmgren was preparing for a piano competition in Australien, the Sydney Piano Competition, and performed his program for us. The concert started at 6 PM and was free for members of KVAH. The program included music by Robert Schumann, Claude Debussy, Karol Szymanowski and Percy Grainger.
Martin holds a Bachelor of Music from Edsberg Manor/Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, where he studied piano with Mats Widlund and chamber music with Mats Zetterqvist. He continued his studies in Finland and recently received his Masters degree from the Sibelius Academy, where Ilmo Ranta had been his main teacher in piano, lied, chamber music and contemporary music. Other important teachers include Konstantin Bogino, Jerome Lowenthal and Liisa Pohjola. With an interest in early music, Martin has also studied cembalo and fortepiano, participating in masterclasses with Malcolm Bilson, Bart van Oort and Tuija Hakkila.