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Svensk musiktidning

(Stockholm, 1880-1913)

Prepared by Kirsti Grinde

Svensk musiktidning [Swedish music journal] (initially titled Necken: svensk musiktidning) was the most important and longest running nineteenth-century Swedish music periodical. It was published in Stockholm from 1 January 1880 to 1 May 1913, and, during its thirty-four-year run, was edited successively by Alfred Lundgren to December 1880; Adolf Lindgren with Fredrik Vult von Steijern until 188l; Lindgren alone until 1884; Frans J. Huss from 1885 to 1912; and Gunnar Norlén until 1913. Twenty-four issues appeared annually through 1883; thereafter, this number was reduced to twenty issues, by foregoing those of July and August. Some gaps in publication and double issues are encountered after 1902.

Reports on musical events and developments in Sweden and in the other Scandinavian countries occupy an important place in the journal. Of particular interest are those dealing with two important musical institutions in Stockholm: the Musikföreningen [Music association] and the Kungl. Teatern [Royal opera]. There are also regular reviews and articles treating musical activities in Malmö, Göteborg and Uppsala; as well as in Helsingfors (Helsinki), Copenhagen and Christiania (Oslo).

Svensk musiktidning had many important collaborators, all of them respected in Scandinavian music circles. Church musician Johan Lindegren provided reviews of concerts and articles on music aesthetics. Conductor and composer Ludwig Norman was responsible for biographies of three Swedish composers: Franz Berwald, August Söderman and Adolph Frederik Lindbald. The theatre historian Johan Flodmark wrote about his research on Carl Michael Bellerman’s songs. Pianist and violinist Hildegard Werner corresponded from Newcastle-on-Tyne (England) and Paris. Composer and organist Gösta Geijer reported on the musical life of Copenhagen. Carl von Platen provided readers with accounts of musical events in Italy and elsewhere in Europe. The musicologist and folk songs collector Tobias Norlind contributed a long series on the history of music in Sweden and the sources of research in this field. Reports from New York featured the activities of Swedish musicians in the United States.

The journal contains an extremely rich repository of over five hundred musical biographies and a corresponding number of complimentary portraits (lithographs and photographs), often the size of a full journal page. Among the many contemporary composers treated are Bizet, Brahms, Leoncavallo, Liszt, Mascagni, Puccini, Saint-Saëns, Tchaikovsky, Verdi and Wagner. Among the performers are pianists Harold Bauer, Hans von Bülow, Annette Essipoff and Sophie Menter. Among the Scandinavian musicians are the singers Sigrid Arnoldson, Christine Nilsson, Ellen Gulbranson and Jenny Lind, the composers Franz Berwald, Edvard Grieg, Christian Sinding and Johan Svendsen, and the violinists Ole Bull and Wilma Neruda. Music supplements, character pieces and popular contemporary dances for piano solo, and songs for voice and piano accompaniment were included in some issues.