Joachim Nicolas Eggert (1779−1813)

Cantate
(Premiered at H.R.H. Crown Prince Carl Johan's arrival in Sweden)

  • Work category: Mixed choir with solo voice(s) and orchestra
  • Text author: Anders Kullberg
  • First performed: 22 January 1811, Börsen, Stockholm. Song soloists Gustaf Collin and Jeannette Wässelius.
  • Duration: Approx. 20-25 min

Description of work

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Work comment

Composing works for official celebrations and other special occasions was a regular task for Eggert, especially during his time as conductor of the Royal Court Orchestra in Stockholm. Before his untimely death at age 34, he had composed no less than six cantatas, together with a number of other occasional works. As the title implies, this cantata was written to commemorate the newly appointed Crown Prince Jean Baptiste Bernadotte's arrival in Stockholm (official entry Nov. 2, 1810). However, closer inspec- tion indicates that the work not only pays tribute to Carl Johan, but also to the reig- ning King Carl XIII and his Queen Charlotta, as well as Crown Princess Desideria, and finally Prince Oscar. The work was premiered at a ball at the Stock Exchange on January 22, 1811, when the bourgeoisie were celebrating the Crown Princess Desideria who, along with Prince Oscar, had arrived in Stockholm a couple of weeks previously. Therefore it is not surprising that the cantata is addressed to the entire royal family. On this occasion the two solo parts were sung by bookkeeper Gustaf Collin and opera singer Jeannette Wässelius.

The text was written by the former Official Secretary Anders Kullberg, who had pre- viously worked under Gustav IV Adolf and Crown Prince Karl August. Subsequently, he would become undersecretary, minister, member of the Swedish Academy, Bishop and, in addition, knighted.

The cantata is scored for full orchestra: double woodwind, four horns, two trumpets, timpani and strings, together with tenor and soprano soloist and four-part chorus.
It consists of five parts: Firstly, an opening allegro, including a tenor recitative where Sweden's plight prior to Carl XIII is described. This is followed by an adagio where
the first tenor soloist portrays Carl XIII's accomplishments, after which the chorus exclaims a tribute to the King, Queen and the newly arrived Carl Johan. Following this, in the cantata's central section, is a soprano aria in which the Crown Prince is welcomed. This closes with a tenor recitative, which emphasises the fact that every hero needs support and assistance to alleviate his troubles. That Desideria assumes this role is highlighted in the cantata's fourth part, an andante, centrally featuring the tenor soloist, accompanied by soprano and chorus. The cantata concludes with the choir and orchestra, in an allegro moderato, where the Crown Prince couple are inspired towards future deeds, which Sweden will honour and thank them for.

Piano excerpts from the work by Erik Drake appeared in Musikaliskt tidsfördrif ('Musical Pastime') in 1813.

© Mårten Nehrfors, Levande Musikarv
Transl. Robin McGinely