MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing



CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Selim PALMGREN (1878 - 1951)
Sonata in D minor Op.11 (1900) [14:34]
May Night Op.27/4 (1908) [2:30]
Twenty-four Preludes Op.17 (1907) [39:09]
Henri Sigfridsson (piano)
rec. Järvenpää Hall, 17-18 April 2011 and 2 November 2011
ONDINE ODE 1192-2 [56:38] 

Experience Classicsonline

Palmgren was already a proficient pianist when he registered as a student at the Helsinki Music Institute in 1895. It is thus not surprising that the bulk of his output is to be found in his music for piano and particularly in his five piano concertos (1904, 1911, 1914, 1926/7 and 1941). His style remained strongly rooted in some post-romantic tradition of sorts with rare incursions into some mild Impressionism. His Sonata in D minor Op.11 is his most extensive work for solo piano although it is fairly compact. Moreover, as Kimmo Korhonen rightly remarks in his informative notes, Palmgren's Piano Sonata was the first sonata written by a significant pianist-composer, even Sibelius's slightly earlier sonata cannot compare with Palmgren's. Although fairly large Sibelius's output for piano does not include any really important work, the bulk of it consisting of short pieces, some of which might even be described as 'salon music'. Palmgren's writing is completely idiomatic and this is clear throughout his entire output for piano. Thus, his Sonata Op.11 is a remarkably assured piece of music, not only as to the piano writing but also the quality and memorable fibre of the thematic content. It is obviously an ambitious work that achieves its goal within a relatively short time span and with great formal clarity. 

The Twenty-four Preludes Op.17 were partly composed in Italy where Palmgren had to seek refuge after having had an affair with Maikki Järnefelt, who was married to conductor and composer Armas Järnefelt. Palmgren married Maikki in 1910. However, this is not really important as far as the set of preludes is concerned. The music is in no way related to these events and is just some sort of summation of Palmgren's piano music as so many sets of preludes written before and after him. Of course in the intervening years Palmgren had somewhat broadened his expressive outlook although the music still remains firmly rooted in some Romantic tradition. As might be expected, too, the preludes are quite varied and cover a fairly wide range of atmospheres and the overall picture is somewhat uneven. Some preludes still clearly hark back at, say, Chopin, i.e. at least superficially. Some other, among the best as far as I am concern, are laid-out “in folk style” and thus breath some welcome fresh air. Some of these preludes, however, also have a life of their own such as the twelfth prelude Meri (“The Sea”) and the last one Sota (“The War”). As a whole, however, Palmgren's Twenty-four Preludes Op.17 are quite well worth hearing and I for one enjoyed this fairly substantial set enormously. 

The short May Night Op.27/4 is a good example of Palmgren as miniaturist. This is a fairly simple but quite effective vignette of great charm. 

This is a very fine release indeed for Henri Sigfridsson plays superbly, with commitment and impeccable technique and he obviously relishes every ounce of the music. The recording is excellent and Kimmo Korhonen's informative and detailed notes are yet another asset. 

In short this beautifully produced release should appeal to anyone with a liking for superbly crafted music in a warmly expressive Romantic idiom. I simply wish that the playing was somewhat more generous by inclusion of some other shorter works. 

Hubert Culot 








Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Error processing SSI file