Culmination of the Berwald Complete Edition
The publication of Franz Berwald’s (1796–1868) major operetta Modehandlerskan marks the culmination of Bärenreiter-Verlag’s publication of the Complete Edition of the composer’s works. The 26-volume edition including a volume of documents about Berwald’s life was produced under the editorship of the Berwald-Kommittén and the patronage of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music Stockholm.
Almost 50 years of editorial history lie between the publication of the first volume, String Quartets (1966), and the last volume, a venture which provides a worthy tribute to the most important Swedish composer of the 19th century.
After his death, Berwald’s compositions fell into oblivion. The authoritative editions in the Complete Edition, combined with studies on Berwald, a man with wide-ranging interests beyond music, have brought the composer and his works back to wider public recognition once more. Today it is Berwald’s highly individual orchestral and chamber music which is most often performed. This rediscovery is also thanks to Bärenreiter’s long-established approach of a close interlinking between musicology and practice. The editor of the highly original Sinfonie singulière for example, was the future Gewandhaus music director and conductor Herbert Blomstedt. As well as orchestral and chamber music, Berwald’s stage and piano works offer a wealth of interesting music worthy of rediscovery.