Unpublished music free for download
(1884) for voice and piano
This song ist the earliest we know about from Alfvén’s hand. It is found among “Mina första kompositioner” (My first compositions) which otherwise consist of piano music. He was then twelve years old and affected by the religious home where his mother Lotten sang at the piano. It is here published for documentary reasons. The poem is by Zacharias Topelius. The original is found in Musik- och teaterbiblioteket.
Flute part Hugo was 13 when he composed this little flute piece. It was to be followed several years later by another flute piece, Souvenir de Wisby. The original is in Stiftelsen Musikkulturens Främjande. Romance is recorded on CD SFZ 1010 (2004) with Mats Möller and Jan Bülow.
Violin part (1888) for violin and piano Alfvén gave the opus no. I to “Souvenir de Säter” in 1888, when he was sixteen and attended a summer course in violin playing with his teacher Johan Lindberg, who during the terms was his professor at the Stockholm Music Conservatory. This was his second summer in Säter, Dalecarlia. In his Memories, vol 1 p.140f he states that he practiced six hours per day. A fellow student during the summer was Ernst Ellberg, already viola player in the Royal Opera Orchestra. He had studied harmony and counterpoint and was also a pianist. “That summer I considered Ellberg to be one ot the world’s greatest and most skilled music geniuses. I had composed two violin pieces, ‘Souvenir de Säter’ and ‘Barcarole’ but I did not have enough knowledge of harmony to give them a satifactory piano accompaniment. So Ellberg interfered and lika a sorcerer created the most beautiful harmonies and figurations worthy of a great master. He was especially successful with the ‘Barcarole’. You could clearly hear, well, you could actually see how the waves swept around the gondola. These were two masterpieces – so I thought at that time. Later on I have been forced to revise this opinion. But such is life.” The edition was made from copies in the possession of the Hugo Alfvén Foundation.
Violin (1888) for violin and piano Serenade op. II follows immediately after Souvenir de Säter in a notebook in the possession of the Hugo Alfvén Foundation. It was composed by Alfvén and Ellberg under the same circumstances as Souvenir de Säter.
Violin (1888?) for violin and piano En dröm Op. III is found on p. 24-27 in a music book in the possession of the Hugo Alfvén Foundation. It stands together with modulation excercises and the little piece can be regarded as a composed modulation. From a somber mood in G Minor it modulates in the dominant direction and a scherzo-like section finishes in D Major, the Dominant key. The final bars are ad libitum.
Separate parts (1888?) for flute, 2 violins and piano Festmarsch has opus number IV. It is supposed to be composed in 1888 with his brothers in mind (cf.Serenade på mammas födelsedag from 1902). The original is found p. 1-5 in a music book in the possession of the Hugo Alfvén Foundation.
(1888?) for voice and piano “Aftonstämning” op. VI is found p. 36-38 in the music book which contains compositions from Alfvén’s youth. The poem is by Daniel Fallström who also wrote the following poems composed by Alfvén during a short time span: “Hos Drottning Margareta. Junker Nils sjunger till lutan” op.18 (1907?) for baryton and male choir, “Vårens vandring” (1908) for male choir and “Ställ flaggan så jag ser den!” op.29 (1909) for voice and piano. Alfvén once more composed Aftonstämning which forms no 3 in Tio sånger op.4, published in 1899.
TILLÄGNAN Mazurkas till Alma for piano; Till Mamma (1891) for violin and piano Till Mamma Violin Under the title Tillägnan (Dedication) two unpublished works from Hugo Alfvén’s youth are presented. Both are dedicated to women. For Alfvén a dedication on the title leaf was a way of expressing his devotion. Cf. the article “Alfvénmusik tillägnad kvinnor” in Alfvéniana 1-2/13. Mazurkas are dedicated to an unknown Alma. The music writing is not so developed which indicates the 1880s as the time of composition rather than the 1890s as was suggested in J O Rudén, Hugo Alfvéns kompositioner, nr 13. Till Mamma af Hugo julen 1891 (To Mother from Hugo Christmas 1891) shows a skilled hand. This piece for violin and piano was not known earlier. The original is found in the Alfvén House, Tibble. The cover is a drawing (see the cover of Alfvéniana 1-2/14) in the same way as the cover of Visa med piano-accompagnemang (see Alfvéniana 3/93).
Flute part (1890) for flute and piano This little composition was written when Alfvén during the summer of 1890 studied violin in Visby, the island of Gotland with his teacher Johan Lindberg, cf. Lennart Hedwall, Hugo Alfvén, Sthlm 1973, p. 19. It corresponds to Souvenir de Säter which was composed during the summer course of 1888. The composition is here published for the first time in 2005 from a xerox copy of the autograph which is now lost. It had its premiere(?) performance in 2005 by Mats Möller and Jan Bülow.
(1891) for voice and piano with violino obbligato Minne (Souvenir) was dedicated to Joh C Stålhammar and dated Stockholm 1891. The autograph is in the Music Library of Sweden. Johannes Stålhammar became organist and performed together with Alfvén (violin) in Falun, Dalecarlia on April 21st, 1893. This piece was composed at the age of 19. The two songs deal with unhappy love. The first one is about his own unhappy heart, the other one sympathizes with his friend’s sorrow. The text is awkwardly underlaid and there is a suspicion that it was done after the music was completed. ‘Bachanal’ has a character similar to a march. Both pieces must be considered to be youth sins. Elegi “Free transltion from English” Bachanal Poem by Alfvén? .
(1899) for voice and piano A composition sketch to Längtan (Longing) is found in UUB VMhs 188 dated February 1896 and scored for Bass and piano. The source of the version published here for the first time belongs to the Music Library of Sweden. It is scored for Soprano and piano. It is dated 1899 which would mean the same period as the well-known songs Serenad, Jag mins, Aftonstämning, nos 1-3 from Tio sånger op.4. The author of the poem is not known. Alfvén was not so keen on good poetry. He was chiefly interested in the mood and the feelings expressed in the text which could start his imagination. The present text must be considered as having passed the border to pretentious trash. Perhaps Alfvén himself is the author? “Tio sånger” are dedicated to Bertha Wilhelmj who was at that time the person he courted. ANDANTINO E-Major (1899?) for piano A love affair 1896-1901 with Bertha Wilhelmina Angelin has resulted in many dedications. In them she is called Bertha Wilhelmij as a kind of code name. Apparently she was Hugo’s great love until he met Marie Krøyer. The autograph is preserved in the Music Library, Stockholm. It is not listed in J O Rudén, Hugo Alfvéns kompositioner. Lennart Hedwall who found it presumes that it was composed 1899. Hugo has written ”Bertha, Bertha” below the first, falling intervals.
Separate parts (1902) for flute, clarinet, violin and piano Hugo Alfvén studied conducting in Dresden with the conductor of the Court Opera, Hermann Kutzschbach in the season 1901-1902. He also got the permission to listen to all performances he whished at the Semper Opera which was one of the foremost opera houses in Germany. There he composed the “Serenade on Mother’s birthday” dated Dresden January 25th, 1902. He might have returned to Stockholm to celebrate his mother’s 61st birthday February 1st. A performance would have included Hugo on the violin and his brothers Andrew or David (flute), Gösta (clarinet) and John (piano) (Hedwall, Hugo Alfvén 1973, p. 37). The edition is based on the autograph in Uppsala university library VMhs 186:5.
(1902) for piano with underlaid text This deliberately simple song to a poem by Edvard Evers is found in Jultomten 1902. It is the firt sample of Christmas songs by Alfvén. This little group of works was augmented in 1909 with another poem by Edvard Evers entitled “Julsång” . It was later on followed by other Christmas songs (See Alfvéniana 3-4/11, s. 9-11)
(1911) for unison choir and piano The VI International Women Rights Congress was held in Stockholm in June 1911. For this occasion a special number of the periodical Idun was published as a Festival programme. In it on page 372-373 is found the Womens Voting Rights song by K.G. Ossiannilsson with music by Hugo Alfvén.
(1911) for baritone and piano The year 1911 was evidently the year of women. On November 11th 1911 this newly composed song was first performed in Uppsala at a festive gathering of the Society SHT. The song text is written by Anders Grape (1880-1959), from 1928 head librarian at Uppsala university library. The song is published with permission of the manuscript holder, the Society SHT in Uppsala. S.H.T. is a student society for having fun founded in 1844. The activites consist in making convivia where the members entertain themselves with humourus speeches, poems and comedies. The ceremonies of the society have not esentially been changed since the end of the 19th century. Among wellknown members are Hugo Alfvén whose nom de guerre was Phugo.
(1913) for organ from the Revelation cantata Alfvén did not compose separate pieces for organ. This Prelude to the Revelation Cantata has remained unpublished until now. The autograph is preserved in the Uppsala University Library VMhs 172:1a. A piano score is published by Musikaliska Konstföreningen. The Prelude there is arranged for piano.
VANDRARENS JULSÅNG (1917) for voice and piano Count Birger Mörner (1867-1930) was travelling much in the Mediterranian area before becoming diplomat and writer under the nom de guerre Aráfi. His daughter Marianne was a renowned opera singer who received copies of Alfvén’s music. Hugo Alfvén met Birger Mörner in Rome 1901 when he was on his first trip to Italy with a Jenny Lind grant. Vandrarens julsång (The wanderer’s Christmas song) is the first of two poems by Mörner set to music by Alfvén. It was first published in “Julstämning” 1917 under the title Julsång. This edition is based on the autograph in Uppsala university library VMhs 185:24.
I BRUSET (1920) for voice and piano I bruset (Roaring wind) is the second poem by Mörner set to music by Alfvén. It is dated Alfvénsgården, Alfvén’s summer house in Tällberg, July 30 1920. Marianne Mörner has owned a copy of it. The song is here published for the first time. The autograph is located in Uppsala university library VMhs 184:24
EN VISA OM BARNENS Ö PÅ BARNENS DAG A song about Childrens’ Island on Childrens’ Day (1923) for childrens’ choir and male choir Barnens Ö (Childrens’ Island) had existed since 1912 and Barnens dag (Childrens’ Day) since the 1880s. Barnens Dag festivities were arranged from 1901 to raise money for the activities. Hugo Alfvén dated his composition Tällberg, September 4th, 1923 in a pencil version, now in Uppsala university library, call number VMhs 188, ff. 22-23. This edition is based on a multiplied copy – not in Alfvén’s hand – probably from the same year. In it the request to donate money of the original text has been toned down. The author Cyrus Granér (1870-1937) was teacher, organist, publisher and writer of childrens’ books. In the first strophe of the song are reminders of the world of fairy tales. The composition is unusual in Alfvén’s oeuvre because of the use of a childrens’ choir. First it alternates with the mens’ choir, both playing their role, and finally they unite.
HERR PEDERS SJÖRESA (1924) for voice and piano Herr Peders sjöresa for voice and piano is no. 4 of ”5 folkvisor den 4 februari 1924 harmoniserade av Hugo Alfvén”, dedicated to Marianne Mörner (see above). The others are Vallvisa (Limu, limu, lima), Dalvisa (Om sommaren sköna), Och hör du unga Dora samt Folkvisa från Gotland (Uti vår hage) . The manuscript is found in Musik- och teaterbiblioteket in the Collection Marianne Mörner. DET UNGA HEMMET (THE YOUNG HOUSEHOLD) (1927) for voice and piano was composed at a dinner party at Bertel Linder and his wife November 12th 1927 (not 1937 as stated in J.O. Rudén, Hugo Alfvéns kompositioner nr 152). The guests were Gustaf Alexanderson and Hugo Alfvén. The place was the new flat at Tegnérlunden 7, Stockholm. Gustaf Alexanderson was a lawyer. In the guest book he wrote a poem which Alfvén immediately composed. Two later poems by Alexanderson are Natt which Alfvén composed for baryton an male Choir in 1930 andPapillon for male choir or mixed choir in 1936. Bertel Linder was the son of school teacher Anders Linder in Leksand, who conducted Leksands kyrko- och hembygdskör, the first choir Alfvén faced as a conductor in 1904. Bertel studied at Uppsala University and was a singer in Orphei Drängar. Later on he helped Alfvén in economical matters not least in the founding of Alfvéngården in Tibble. The composition sketch is in private possession. TILL S.H.T. (1944) for male choir The song is published with permission of the manuscript holder, the Society SHT in Uppsala. S.H.T. is a student society for having fun founded in 1844. The activites consist in making convivia where the members entertain themselves with humourus speeches, poems and student comedies. The ceremonies of the society have not esentially been changed since the end of the 19th century. Among wellknown members are Hugo Alfvén whose nom de guerre was Phugo. Till S.H.T. is composed in 1944 when Hugo Alfvén had long retired from his duties in Uppsala. The song text is by Gottfrid Kallstenius (1873-1942), known in the society as Knott Spelius. He was alrady deceased when Alfvén composed the song. Kallstenius was a highly gifted researcher in Nordic languages and became headmaster of the cathedral schools in Härnösand and Västerås. In the cities where he dwelt hee took an active part in the musical life beeing a choral and orchestral conductor besides researching the musical life of those cities.
FESTSÅNG TILL ARLA COLDINU-ORDEN (1955) for male choir The song text is by Olof Wahlström (1890-1967). The autograph is dated Tibble May 27th 1955. It is found in Uppsala university library VMhs 184:10a. Published with permission of Arla Coldin. The Coldin Order is a sailors’ order from the Middle Ages with roots from the regions around the Mediteranean. The order continues its actiities only in Sweden and Finland. The order’s name, meaning and origin is known only by the highest ranks of the society. According to a history about the order it could be described as a secret alliance of brethren whose ritual originates from one of the biggest events in world history. The Stockholm Arla Coldin was founded May 8th 1765. Among wellknown members are the melopoet Carl Michael Bellman (18th century) and composer Hugo Alfvén.