(Hugo Emil Alfven)
With its real name of Festspel, this overture was a commission for the opening of Stockholm’s Royal Dramatic Theatre in 1908. He had initially found it hard to find an inspiration for the peace until there was a visit from the poet Verner von Heidenstam where they discussed what it was like in the time of Charles XII. This immediately brought to mind thoughts of a polonaise rhythm and fanfares and in the end it was written in a day. It opens with a series of fanfares, moves into a lyrical piece and closes with a triumphant “march”. The celebratory piece is now often used for Swedish official occasions.
Royal Scottish National Orchestra recordings
Naxos 8.553962 (CD: Hugo Alfven: Symphony No. 1/Festival Overture/Uppsala Rhapsody/The Mountain King)
Conductor – Niklas Willen