Carl Jonas Love Almqvist: Works for Fortepiano
Carl Jonas Love Almqvist (1793-1866) is one of the few yet current Swedish authors prior to Strindberg. Most of his writings he collected in the universal work Törnrosens Bok (The Book of the Thorn-rose), in which he wanted to unite ”picture, music and script together, and mould into a single brand” and thus create a kind of Gesamtkunstwerk.
He was also strictly speaking ”only” a talented amateur, although he often claimed that deep down he was primarily a musical person. Already during or shortly after his illustrious Värmland adventure 1823-24 – when he left Stockholm for living an idealized peasant life in the small village Köla – he produced two large note booklets, one for voices and one for keyboard. Both wear the title Free Musical Fantasies, and they associate directly to his literary counterpart, originally called “Free Fantasies, which, considered as an entity, by Mr Hugo Löwenstierna sometimes called Törnrosens Bok [The Book of the Thorn-rose].
Carl Jonas Love Almqvist holds a special place in Swedish Romanticism. He was not only a composer but also a poet, writer, traveller and social critic, someone who spoke out for the poor and the unrepresented, and championed the rights of women.
This disc … represents the most complete collection of the composer’s piano pieces. Described as Free Fantasies for Piano-Forte, they include musical portraits of himself as well as family members and friends, and pieces inspired by events and his surroundings. It is, then, almost an autobiography in music.