Selim Palmgren

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Selim Palmgren

Selim Gustaf Adolf Palmgren (16 February 1878, Pori – 13 December 1951, Helsinki[1]), dubbed "The Finnish Chopin", was a Finnish composer, pianist, and conductor. Palmgren was born in Pori, Finland, February 16, 1878. He studied at the Conservatory in Helsinki from 1895 to 1899, then continued his piano studies in Berlin with Ansorge, Berger and Busoni. He conducted choral and orchestral societies in his own country and made several very successful concert tours as a pianist in the principal cities of Finland and Scandinavia, appearing also as a visiting conductor. In 1921, he went to the United States, where he taught composition at the Eastman School of Music, later returning to Finland.

He wrote music in larger forms such as Piano Concertos, a Sonata in D minor, symphonic works, and operas. It was in his shorter piano pieces, and his songs, however – as an inimitable miniaturist – that he achieved his best. He knew how to present a mood or a picture with the minimum of means and the maximum of effect. His "May Night" is a little masterpiece of impressionism, his "Guilty Conscience" (in "Finnish Rhythms") an amazing study in musical psychology. The "Bird-Song" and "Refrain de Berceau," (Cradle Song) played everywhere by Benno Moiseiwitsch with such marked success, accomplish wonders in concentrated characterization. His songs breathe the melancholy of the North, but also its austere beauty and grandeur.

An incomplete works list (elaborated by Joel Valkila):

Works Listed by Opus Number[edit]

  • Op. 1 – Prelude, Illusion, & Etude and Valse-Caprice for Piano
  • Op. 2(a)Two Songs (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 2(b) – 3 Pieces for Piano
  • Op. 3 – Suite for Piano
  • Op. 4 – Drei Klavierstücke
  • Op. 5 – Two Songs
  • Op. 6 – Fantasie for Piano
  • Op. 7Den Unge Piges Viser, Song Cycle for Voice & Piano
  • Op. 8(a) – Lyric Intermezzo, a Suite for Piano
  • Op. 8(b) – Pieces for Violin and Piano
  • Op. 9En Route, Concert Study for Piano
  • Op. 10 – Impromptu and Scherzo for Piano
  • Op. 11 – Piano Sonata in D minor
  • Op. 12 – Songs
  • Op. 13 – Piano Concerto No.1 in g minor (1904)
  • Op. 14 – Barcarole for Piano
  • Op. 15 – Songs
  • Op. 16(_) – Menuet in Folk-Style (Menuett i folkton) for Piano
  • Op. 16(a)4 Songs (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 16(b)4 Songs (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 17 – 24 Preludes for Piano
  • Op. 18 – Ballad with Theme and Variations for Piano
  • Op. 19 – Songs
  • Op. 20 – Songs
  • Op. 21 – Incidental Music, "Cinderella" (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 22 – Finnish Lyrics, 12 Pieces for Piano
  • Op. 23Organ Pieces (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 24Aus Finnland, 4 Symphonic Pieces for Orchestra
  • Op. 25Songs (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 26 – 3 Humoresques for Piano
  • Op. 27 – 7 Klavierstücke, "Spring"
  • Op. 28 – 6 Lyric Pieces for Piano
  • Op. 29 – "Contrasts" for piano
  • Op. 30 – Opera "Daniel Hjort"
  • Op. 31Finnish Rhythms, 5 Sketches for Piano
  • Op. 32 – 3 Klavierstücke
  • Op. 33 – Piano Concerto No.2 ("Der Fluss" or "The River") (1913)
  • Op. 34(a) – 2 Kleine Balletszenen for Piano
  • Op. 34(b)Songs (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 35 – Klavierskizzen for Piano
  • Op. 36 – The Masquerade for Two Pianos
  • Op. 37(a) – Mephistowaltzer
  • Op. 37(b)- Song 'Nocturne'
  • Op. 38 – Dunkelrote Rosen für eine Singstimme und Klavier
  • Op. 39Nordischer Sommer – 5 Piano Pieces
  • Op. 40 – "Die Stadt" for Voice and Orchestra (reference: T. Tommila) (See op 41!)
  • Op. 41 – (a) Piano Concerto No.3 ("Metamorphoses") (1916) / (b) Song 'Die Stadt' for Voice and Orchestra (1914)(See Op 40!)
  • Op. 42Ballade "Torpflickan" for Solo Voices, Choir and Orchestra (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 43 – 4 Morceaux for Violin & Piano
  • Op. 44 – Songs
  • Op. 45 – 3 Piano Pieces
  • Op. 46 – Exotisk Marsch for Piano
  • Op. 47 – "Spring", 6 Piano Pieces
  • Op. 48 – 2 Songs for Voice & Piano
  • Op. 49(a) – Piano Pieces ('Längtansvals och andra klaverstycken')
  • Op. 49(b) – Rondo a Capriccio for Piano (Same as Op. 53; reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 50 – A Pastoral in 3 Scenes, Suite for Piano / Orchestra
  • Op. 51 – Light and Shade – 6 Piano Pieces ('Ljus och skugga')
  • Op. 52 – Three Songs
  • Op. 53 – Rondo a capriccio for Piano (reference: T. Tommila) – Same as Op. 49b!
  • Op. 54 – 3 Pianostycken
  • Op. 55Song (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 56 – Three Songs
  • Op. 57 – Piano Pieces
  • Op. 58(a) – Incidental Music from the Play "Juhana Herttua" (Op 62?)
  • Op. 58(b)Song (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 59(a) – 'Julkvällen' (Christmas Eve) for Choir and Orchestra
  • Op. 59(b)Songs (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 60 – Three Songs
  • Op. 61 – 'Kaunehin Maa' ("The Most Beautiful Land") – for Male Choir and Brass
  • Op. 62 – Incidental Music from the Play "Juhana Herttua"
  • Op. 63 – Four Impromptus for Piano
  • Op. 64(a) – Piano Pieces "Klanger och Rytmer"
  • Op. 64(b)"Ivy" and "Bagpipes" for Piano (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 65 – Intermezzo valsant for Piano
  • Op. 66 – Deux impromptus for Piano
  • Op. 67(a)Hakkapeliittojen marssi ("March of the Finnish Soldiers in the 30 Years' War")(reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 67(b) – 6 Morceaux for Piano
  • Op. 68Incidental Music (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 69Finnish Folk Tunes for Piano (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 70(a) – Two Songs
  • Op. 70(b)Graciosa rytmer for Piano ("Graceful Rhythms")(reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 71 – Three Piano Pieces
  • Op. 72(a) – Nocturne in 3 Scenes for Piano
  • Op. 72(b)12 Nordic Folk Songs (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 73 – Three Piano Pieces
  • Op. 74 – 3 Morceaux for Piano
  • Op. 75 – Eight Piano Pieces
  • Op. 76 – Six Piano Pieces
  • Op. 77 – 24 Etudes for Piano
  • Op. 78 – Pieces for Violin & Piano
  • Op. 79 – Ten Piano Pieces
  • Op. 80Two Pieces for Cello and Piano (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 81 – Piano Pieces "Triptych"
  • Op. 82 – 3 Fantasier for Piano
  • Op. 83 – Three Piano Pieces
  • Op. 84 – Piano Pieces (Preludes)
  • Op. 85 – Piano Concerto No.4 ("April") (1928)
  • Op. 86 – Cantata "For Fatherland's Freedom"
  • Op. 87 – New Piano Sketches
  • Op. 88 – 4 Piano Pieces
  • Op. 89Cantata for the 700th Anniversary of the City of Turku (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 90Songs (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 91Songs (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 92Orchestral Song (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 93(a) – Sonatine for Piano
  • Op. 93(b)Festpräludium for Piano
  • Op. 94 – Four Songs
  • Op. 95Orchestral Song (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 96"Music for a Comedy Play" for Orchestra (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 97Orchestral Song (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 98 – (a) 'Vanhojen Messujen Aikaan' ("At the Times of the Ancient Masses") for Male Choir and Orchestra, (b) "Song of the Quild" for Choir (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 99 – Piano Concerto No.5 (1940)
  • Op. 100 – Cantata[?] 'Nouskohon Sukuni Suuri' ("Let My Great Nation Rise")
  • Op. 101Songs (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 102Sun & Clouds, 12 Pieces for Piano
  • Op. 103(a)Jouluaatto ("Christmas Morning") for Chorus and Orchestra (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 103(b) – Cantata for the 500th anniversary of the town of Naantali
  • Op. 104 – Concert-Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra
  • Op. 105 – 'Ballet Scenes', Six Pieces for Piano
  • Op. 106 – Songs
  • Op. 107 – Songs
  • Op. 108Ballade for Orchestra (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 109Piano Suite "Diary Sheets" (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 110Song (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 111 – Autobiography (in Finnish)
  • Op. 112Cantata "Väinämöinen ja karhunkaato" (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op. 113 – Sonatine for Piano
  • Op. 114 – Op 114/1 "a Gaspar Cassado" / "Violoncello – Repertoire de Gaspar Cassado" for Cello and Piano / Op 114/2 In tempo di minuetto (reference: T. Tommila)

Works listed without a known Opus number, in alphabetic order[edit]

  • Op posth.Aftonpsalm for Chorus (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth.Allegretto for Piano (1921) (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth.Allhelgonenatt for Male Choir (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth.Anna-mi (Song)(reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth. – Arabeske (1946) for Piano
  • Op posth.Arabeski (1896) for Piano (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth.Asparnas susning (Song)(reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth.Aurinkokaupunki for Chorus (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth.Bagatelle for Piano (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth. – Berceuse for Piano
  • Op posth. – Berceuse (1895) for Piano
  • Op posth.Berceuse (1917) for Violin and Piano (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth.Björkarna där hemma for Male Choir (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth.Bort allt vad oro gör for Male Choir (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth.Bottniska hav (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth.Brudefärden (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth.Cavatina for Violin and Piano (lost?)(reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth.Chanson elegiaque for Violin and Piano (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth.Chant d'automne (1917) for Cello and Piano (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth.Clarinet Concerto (unfinished)(reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth. – Con sordino for Piano
  • Op posth.Concert-Etude ("Konsertetude")(1906)(reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth.Country dance / Musette / The Bagpipe for Piano (1922)(reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth.Cry for Help (1927) for Chorus (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth.Dag efter dag for Voice and Piano (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth.Darthulas gravsång for Male Choir (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth. – 'De Fallna' ("The Fallen Ones"), Song (1919)
  • Op posth.De heliga änglar for Chorus (1933)(reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth.De vita scholastica for Voice and Piano (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth.Den långa dagen for Voice and Piano (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth.Den övergivna for Voice and Piano (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth. – 'Drömmen' ("Dream") for Choir (1898)
  • Op posth.Drömvisa for Piano (1921)(reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth. – 'En Idyll' for Choir
  • Op posth.Ensimmäinen perhonen ("The First Butterfly") for Piano (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth.Entre'acte valsant for Piano (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth. – 'Erotus mielillä' ("Thinking of the Depart") for Choir (1900)
  • Op posth.Etude for Piano (1896)("unfinished")(reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth. – Etude ("Gnistor") for Piano
  • Op posth. – Etude de Concert for Piano (c.1900)
  • Op posth.Finnish Caprice for Piano (1922)(reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth. – 'Helsinki Oldboys Regement' March for Piano
  • Op posth. – Intermezzo (1895) for Piano
  • Op posth. – Intermezzo Marziale for Orchestra (arrangement of Op.47 No.4?)
  • Op posth. – 'Keijukaiset' ("Fairies") for Piano
  • Op posth. – 'Kevätauerta' for Piano
  • Op posth. – 'Lullaby for Wounded Hearts' for Orchestra (orchestral adaption from a piano piece in Op 81?)
  • Op posth. – Musette for Orchestra
  • Op posth. – Overture for Piano (1934) – same as Op 93b! (Re-published as a "posthumous" work in 1982)
  • Op posth. – 'Pieni legenda' ("A Small Legend")(1895) for Piano
  • Op posth. – Prélude funebre for Piano
  • Op posth. – Preludietto for Piano
  • Op posth.Presto for Piano (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth. – Romance for Violin and Piano (1917)
  • Op posth.Scherzino (1894) for Piano (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth.Serenad for Piano (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth. – 'Solsken genom tårar' ("Sunshine Through the Tears")(1946) for Piano
  • Op posth. – 'Spinnrocken' for Piano
  • Op posth. – 'Syysprologi' ("An Autumnal Prologue") for Piano
  • Op posth.Titania for Male Choir (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Op posth. – Ungarischer Tanz for Piano
  • Op posth. – Valkokaarti ("The White Guard") for Vocal and Piano
  • Op posth. – 'Valssi länsisuomalaiseen tapaan' ("Waltz in a Western Finnish Style") for Piano
  • Without OpusAria (1904) for Piano (reference: T. Tommila)
  • Without Opus – Berceuse for Piano (by 1919)
  • Without Opus – Finnische kabinettstücke (7 Piano Pieces) (by 1923)
  • Without Opus – Gavotte and Musette for Piano (by 1919)
  • Without Opus – 'Grave of Chopin for Piano' and Orchestra
  • Without Opus – Intermezzo for left hand only (1906)
  • Without Opus – Northern Folk Songs
  • Without Opus – Romance for Violin and Piano (1917)
  • Without Opus – Scherzo (1893) for Piano
  • Without Opus – Finnish Folk Songs for Piano (possibly Op.69?)
  • Without Opus – 'Vårbräckarnas brus' ("Russtles of Spring") for Piano

According to a biography on a June 1926 Gramaphone article, Palmgren had two operas at that time, one produced (Daniel Hjort) and another one unproduced. As far as it is known, Palmgren never produced the other one.

A fully detailed works list (In Finnish) is under preparation by T. Tommila. Reference to his list is marked above with a reference mark in italics. Also, another fully detailed works list in preparation (in Finnish) can be found here: Preliminary List of Compositions by Selim Palmgren. It is a seemingly reliable source for more detailed information such as details about these works' whereabouts, and dates (most approximated). It also mentions several other works not mentioned in the above list (which are to be implanted later).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Selim Palmgren. Database entry. MusicSack. Retrieved on 2011-01-26.

External links[edit]