Palmgren I: At the sources of tradition – postgraduate recital by Henrik Järvi
He reopens overgrown paths to the roots of the Finnish piano tradition, brings up forgotten figures along the way and describes the skill and aesthetic information that went into Palmgren’s piano works.
In this first postgraduate recital, Järvi introduces the audience to Palmgren’s teachers and their backgrounds. Invited by Martin Wegelius to teach at the Helsinki Music Institute, these composers and pianists brought the European keyboard tradition to Finland. The composers featured on this programme are Kullak, Jadassohn, Scharwenka, Melcer, Grünfeld and Busoni, and there is also a work by Karl Ekman, the first Finnish-born principal piano teacher at the Helsinki Music Institute.
The recital concludes with Neljä kappaletta [Four pieces] op. 1 by Palmgren and Variaatiot op. 2 by his close colleague Erkki Melartin. Palmgren himself performed these two pieces at a spring examination at the Helsinki Music Institute in 1898. The recital programme also reminds us of Palmgren’s contemporary, piano virtuoso Elli Rängman, who not only was the leading Finnish pianist of her time but also educated an entire generation of pianists.
Henrik Järvi, piano
Bach-Ekman, Kullak, Jadassohn, Scharwenka, Moniuszko-Melcer, Melcer, Grünfeld, Busoni, Melartin, Palmgren