1. A singularity?

This rather forbidding looking character is the sometime orthopaedist, timber merchant, glass blower and Swedish composer, Franz Berwald.

As you might gather from the above, Berwald, who trained as a musician, failed to make a living as a composer but was – rather like Charles Ives after him – a successful businessman; first as an orthopaedist in Berlin; then, after returning to his native Sweden, managing a saw mill; and, finally, a glass factory.

There are four symphonies, a considerable amount of chamber music, a few operas and operettas and a number of concertos and concertante works, most of which failed to receive performance during his lifetime. Posterity, however, has been kinder to his musical reputation and particularly in the case of the third symphony – the Sinfonie singulière* – which is now generally acknowledged to be his masterpiece.

* all four symphonies have rather fanciful titles: Sérieuse, Capricieuse, Singulière and Naïve.

Berwald: Symphony No. 3

Allegro fuocoso [00:00]
Adagio [11:44] – Scherzo [14:54] – Adagio
Finale. Presto [20:48]

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