Morerna i Spanien, eller Barndomens välde [The Moors in Spain, or Childhood’s Choices] (drama with song, 3, R.C.G. de Pixérécourt, trans. M. Altén), Stockholm, Dramatiska, 6 May 1809
Svant Sture och Märta Lejonhufvud (historical drama with singing, 5, P.A. Granberg), Stockholm, Dramatiska, 31 Oct 1812
Cants. for the celebration of peace between Sweden and Russia, 1809, and Prince Karl Johan’s arrival in Stockholm, 1810;
3 other cants., occasional pieces for ens, songs
5 syms.: C, g, E , c (1812), d (inc.);
Funeral music for Duke Adolf Fredrik of Östergötland;
Coronation music for King Carl XIII;
Mozart wind serenade arr. 2 bn, orch (lost);
Sextet, f/F, cl, hn/basset-hn, vn, va, vc, db, 1807 (1818);
3 str qts [op.1], C, f, F (1807);
Trio, 3 bn, 1807;
Trio, E , hp, hn, bn, 1810;
Sextet, f/F, 2 vn, 2 va, vc, db, 1811;
Pf Qt, g, op.3 (1811);
3 str qts [op.2], B , g, d (1812);
Str Qt, E , S-L;
4 other str qts;
GROVE MUSIC ONLINE (source/font: aquí)
A long-neglected pioneer, he was most important in establishing classical instrumental music in Sweden. Eggert was born in Gingst on the Swedish island of Ruegen (now part of Germany). A sickly but musically gifted youth, he began playing violin at age 11. Following a period of illness - possibly the first signs of the tuberculosis that would doom him to a short life - he pursued his education in Northern Germany (1794 to 1802) and got acquainted with the latest musical trends. His first professional appointment (1802), as music director of the Court Theater in Mecklenburg-Schwerin, lasted six months before he quit over creative differences. He considered seeking employment in St. Petersburg, Russia before setting out for a position in Pomerania in 1803. His route brought him to Stockholm, where he was introduced to Royal Kapellmeister Johann Christian Friedrich Haeffner. Deeply impressed with his talents, Haeffner persuaded Eggert to remain in Stockholm, hired him as a violinist with the Royal Court Orchestra, and helped his career in other ways. Soon he was receiving commissions for ceremonial pieces and his "Funeral Music for Duke Frederik Adolf" (1804) won him accolades from the nobility. In April 1805 Haeffner conducted the private premiere of Eggert's Symphony No. 1 in C major before the Swedish Royal Court; the response was favorable enough to merit a public performance of the work two weeks later. The Symphony No. 2 in G minor was premiered in February 1807. Eggert had the misfortune of living in an arid period of Swedish history.
Stockholm had been a thriving center of the arts under "enlightened despot" Gustav III, the founder of the Royal Swedish Opera and the Royal Academy of Music, and the great patron of composer Joseph Martin Kraus. His assassination at the opera house in 1792, when Eggert was 13, brought on a quarter-century of political instability and cultural regression - "an age of lead succeeding an age of gold" as one historian put it. His son and successor Gustav IV had little interest in music. In 1806 he condescended to see an opera dedicated to his wife the Queen Consort, having apparently never set foot in the theatre before. The sight of people frivolously enjoying themselves in the place where his father was murdered so infuriated the monarch that he shut down the Royal Opera and fired all the singers; somehow he was dissuaded from having the building demolished. The Royal Court Orchestra, which had also played at the Opera, was the only large-scale instrumental ensemble in Sweden, and now they were restricted to presenting one public concert a week. Haeffner resigned in protest and Eggert was named the new Kapellmeister; as an additional incentive he was elected to the Royal Academy of Music in 1807. He wasted no time in using his new clout. On May 14, 1807, he debuted in Stockholm as a conductor with a big concert of his own music, including the Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4 and the finale of the Symphony No. 1. With programming space at a premium he dared to present new and challenging repertory from Austria and Germany, introducing Beethoven's music to Stockholm audiences in 1808 and giving the Swedish premiere of Haydn's oratorio "The Seasons" in 1810.
He also made field trips to collect Swedish folk songs and folk instruments. When Gustav IV was deposed in 1809, Eggert rushed to stage his unperformed opera "The Moors in Spain" (1809), though the Royal Opera would not become fully functional again for another three years under the direction of Anders Skjoldebrand. Eggert celebrated the grand reopening by leading the first-ever Swedish performance of a Mozart opera, "The Magic Flute" (March 30, 1812). His last major work was the historical opera "Svante Sture" (1812). There are signs Eggert was frustrated in Stockholm. His conducting debut was advertised as a farewell concert because he "intended to leave Sweden". This may have been a ploy to sell more tickets (or used as a bargaining chip with Gustav), but in 1812 he was again discussing a European tour "for further study". It's quite possible he wanted a higher-profile position elsewhere; he was ambitious and his music was starting to get published by a top German firm (Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig). As Royal Kapellmeister he had certainly gotten as far as a musician of international calibre could in Sweden. But at that point his health began to fail and by the end of year he had resigned from the orchestra. His final months were spent in Ostergotland, where he was cared for by his students until his death at 34.
Left among his papers were some sketches for a Fifth Symphony. He never married. It has been argued that had Eggert worked in any other European capital he would not have subsequently slipped through the cracks of history. Stockholm in his time had no publishers or journals to promote music, and most of his compositions gathered dust in manuscript. Concertgoers embraced his Viennese Classical programs, an important step; but the native symphonism he pioneered would not take hold in Sweden until Franz Berwald was recognized in the 1860s, by which time Eggert was forgotten. Only in the beginning of the 21st Century was interest in his music revived. It shows an imagination that looked forward to the Romantic era and a readiness to experiment with form and color. He incorporated folk elements into his Symphony No. 1, while his Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major (1807) introduced a trombone section into symphonic writing before Beethoven more famously did in his Fifth and Sixth Symphonies (both premiered in December 1808). Other compositions include the "Coronation Music for Carl XIII" (1809), Largo for Orchestra in F Minor, 10 string quartets, the Piano Quartet in G Minor, Wind sextet in F Minor, cantatas, dance music and songs. To date the Symphonies 3 and 4 and the Quartet in C Minor (Op. 3) have been recorded.
Bobb Edwards (source/font: aquí)
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