Andreas Randel (1806−1864)


Andreas (Anders) Randel, born October 6 1806 (Ramdala, Blekinge) and died October 27 1864 (Stockholm). After studying in Paris 1822−28 with Pierre Baillot (violin) and Luigi Cherubini (composition), he was employed at the Royal Court Orchestra in 1828, where he was leader of the orchestra 1861−64. He wrote and arranged incidental music for the Royal Opera, but also appeared as a soloist and chamber musician both in the theatre and around the country. Violin teacher at the educational institution of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music 1844−64. As a composer, he wrote his violin concertos in the French tradition and chamber music influenced by Haydn.

Early years and studying in Paris

While Randel was still a child, a peasant folk musician discovered his talent and gave him a violin. He soon learned to play the hymns and polskas which he heard his sister sing. At twelve years old he came to Karlskrona, where he was presently taken into the care of theatre manager Fredrik Wilhelm Ståhlberg, and later also by the city's music association, who paid for his schooling and music education.

During a royal visit in Karlskrona in 1819, Randel attracted the attention of Chamberlain Gerard De Geer, who took him to Finspång and allowed him to receive training along with the chamberlain’s sons. It was here that Randel attracted the interest of Crown Prince Oscar (Oscar I) and, in 1822, he was sent to Paris at the Crown Prince's expense, with his last name changed from Pettersson to Randel. After an audition, he was recruited as an ‘auditor’ in Pierre Baillot’s violin class at the music conservatory. He also studied composition with Luigi Cherubini, who wrote Randel a very commendable graduation certificate from the conservatory.

At the Hovkapellet

After having appeared several times in public as Baillot’s student in Paris, Randel returned to Sweden and was immediately employed as a violinist in the Hovkapellet (the Royal Court Orchestra) in 1828, where he eventually became head concertmaster in 1861. His main tasks were to play in the orchestra at the opera and comic opera performances. Moreover, Randel also appeared as a soloist at the Kungliga Teatern (the Royal Opera) concerts in his own and others' works, as well as in chamber music by Beethoven and Haydn.

Concertmasters also had a special responsibility for music at the Kungliga Teatern's dramatic performances and for choosing the incidental music; until 1863 dramatic and operatic performances were played in the same house. Thus, from 1844−62 Randel arranged and composed music for more than 20 plays. He also conducted theatre music and was sometimes even hired as conductor for opera performances.

Other duties in the service of music

In addition to his position as violin teacher at the educational institution of Kungliga Musikaliska akademien (the Royal Swedish Academy of Music) and as music director of the Second Life Grenadier Regiment, from 1853−62, Randel was also ‘choralintendent’ for the fraternal order Par Bricole in Stockholm. For this fellowship, he wrote both large and small-scale choral works. His highlight as a choral conductor came on 29 September 1860, when he led a 400-voice choir, composed of nine different choirs, beside the statue of Gustav Vasa outside Riddarhuset (the House of Nobility), as part of the memorial event for Gustav I.

Randel undertook many concert tours in the provinces, often with programmes of chamber music. A trip to Härnösand in summer 1856 acquired special significance, as the city's music association subsequently took the initiative for the publication of his String Quartet in G major. This, in turn, led to the formation of Musikaliska konstföreningen (the Swedish Art Music Society), headquartered in Stockholm who, from1860, published large and small-scale Swedish musical works. In his later years Randel took part as an expert in the selection of works.

In 1858 he travelled to musical institutions in Germany and France ‘to acquire knowledge of the teaching methods and other […] improvements in the educational sector’ which could then be applied at the Musikaliska akademien.

The musical works

Randel contributed as a composer in four different areas. In the works for virtuoso solo violin, he was influenced by the French tradition of Rode, Viotti and Baillot, mostly in his violin concertos. A completely different style emerges in the songs and romances, with their intimate tone, light-hearted melody, simple shape and masterful romantic mannerisms. Yet another side of his work is shown in his chamber music, mostly string quartets, which are most closely connected with late Haydn. This alone demonstrates Randel’s adaptability to the medium in which he was writing. A fact particularly evident in his incidental music, which fluently modifies itself to the demands of situations, whether concerning songs, couplet songs, marches or melodramas (music to recited text). Randel’s greatest success in this regard was with the music to Frederick August Dahlgren's comic opera Värmlänningarna (1846).

Martin Tegen © 2013
Trans. Robin McGinley

This text is a revised version of the author's article in Svenskt biografiskt lexikon [Swedish biographical encyclopaedia], vol. 29 (1995−97), p. 657.


Frimureriska tonsättare och frimurerisk musik, Uppsala: Forskningslogen Carl Friedrich Eckleff, 2006, p. 301.
Ramdell, Ingvar: Andreas Randel, Värmlänningarnas tonsättare, in Släkt-eken. 1992:2, pp. 20−24.
Tegen, Martin
: Andreas Randel, in Svensk biografisk lexikon, vol. 29, Stockholm: Svenskt biografiskt lexikon, 1995−97.
Åkerberg, Erik: Musiklifvet inom Par Bricole 1779−1890, Stockholm: Bonnier, 1910.


Musik- och teaterbiblioteket, Kungl. Biblioteket

Summary list of works

Orchestral works (3 overtures, funeral marches, etc.), concertos (4 violin concertos, Fantaisie Concertante for flute, cello and orchestra, minor works for violin and orchestra), chamber music (three string quartets, 2 Duo concertant amongst others), piano music (including 2 polonaises, Elegie), vocal music (cantatas, arias, male quartets, songs, etc.), incidental music (24 scores, including Värmlänningarna, some in collaboration and in arrangement).

Collected works

Orchestral works
Overture in E major, 1839.
Overture D major, 1841.
Jubilation overture in D major, 1850. To the wedding of the Crown Prince.
Funeral march After Karl XIV Johan, 1844.
Funeral march after King Oscar, arr. for piano. Printed in 1859, with several other marches.

Soloviolin och orkester
Violin concerto no. 1 in D minor. Performed in 1831.
Violin concerto no. 2 in E minor.
Violin concerto no. 3 in A major, 'Concertino'. Performed in 1834.
Violin concerto no. 4 in D major.
Variations and polonaise on a Norwegian theme. Performed in 1829.
Variations on the theme Der Schweizerbub. Performed in 1834.
Fantasy over a motive from Den Stumma. Performed in 1837.
Potpourri over Swedish folksongs. Performed in 1837.
Fantasy over Swedish folksongs, 1843. For the government jubilee. Arr. for violin and piano, piano 4 hands piano 2 hands. Printed in 1883.
Minne av M:lle Taglioni. Performed in 1841.
Introduction and variations over two Swedish themes in E major.
Variations brillantes in D major. Performed in 1853. Also version for violin and piano.
Introduction et tarantelle. Performed in 1853.

Orchestra with solo instrument

Fantasie concertante in G minor, for flute, cello and orchestra. Performed in 1840.
Variations pour le basson sur un air suisse in E-flat major, for bassoon and wind orchestra. Performed in 1850.

String quartets

Three quartets no. 1 in G major. Printed in 1858; F minor.

Solo violin

10 études caractéristiques. Printed 1843, with several other etudes.
Fantaisie for 2 violins, over three polskas. Also arr. for violin and piano.
Duo concertante for 2 violins. Printed.

Piano works

Polonaise. Printed.
Promenad-polonaise. Printed.
Élegie. Printed in 1859 in King Oscar's 'drapa'.

Violin and piano

Fjellsång. Printed in 1877. Also arr. for piano, printed in 1877.
Auf dem Berge. Lied ohne Worte für Violine mit Begleitung des Pianoforte.


Cantat vid minnesfesten i Frimurarelogen efter ... Carl XIV Johan (G G Ingelman), 1844. Also piano reduction.
Sångarens längtan (August Blanche), 1845. Also printed piano reduction.
Funeral music in Par Bricole. After J.A. Björck, performed in 1856, and Per Westerstrand, performed in 1857.

Arias and vocalises with orchestra

Aria, with obligato violin for soprano(?). Performed in 1831.
Theme with varitations for soprano. Performed in 1831.
Variations over a Swiss theme for soprano. Performed in 1840.
New cavatina for tenor. Performed in 1841.
Aria, with obligato violin for tenor. Performed in 1845.

Male quartets

Aftonen. Printed in Odinslund & Lundagård, 1848.
Snabba äro livets stunder (G.H. Mellin, d:o). Also in other prints and arrangements, also with the title Serenad.
Helsning till Jenny Lind ('Norden för Vestan har flytt'). Printed in 1845 in arrangement for song and piano.
Elden (Erik Johan Stagnelius).
Trollhättan (Otto Lindblad), 1861.
Several composition and arrangements for Par Bricole.

Mixed choir

Evige Gud. Hymn for mixed choir and organ/piano. Printed in 1997.

Songs with piano

Three songs. Printed in 1833.
Skaldens hemresa (Engdahl?).
Längtan ('Natten med stjerning pell', Esaias Tegnér) and Sången.
Three romances. Printed in 1833.
Ungdomen (C A Nicander).
Näktergalen (Stagnelius).
Den återkomne (B von Beskow).
New songs. Printed in 1838.
Sockenskräddarens visa (anon.).
Vid vaggan ('Lilla Calle med ett svärd', Stagnelius).
Flyttfoglarne ('Se foglarnes skara', Stagnelius) for mixed choir.
Three romances. Printed in 1840.
Sympathien (anon.).
Den fattiges jul ('Julen är inne, får gå!', C. D. E.).
Den unge sjömannens utfärd (d:o).
Tre nya romancer. Printed in 1840.
Musikens lof (Waldemar B-m).
Det älskade minnet (L.W. Löhman).
Dufvoposten ('Ila snabbt på silverklara vingar', Isidor Dannström).
Three romances. Printed in 1840?.
Trädgårdsflickan (Carl Wilhelm Böttiger).
Sinnebilden (anon.).
Det faller sig så (Böttiger).
Till Ottilia!. Printed in Förgät mig ej, 1, 1856 and in et. al Det sjungande Sverige, d 1, 1862.
Det är nog, spiritual song, 1856.
Chosed songs and romances, books 1−2. 15 songs, printed in 1877.

Incidental music

Composed (sometimes in collaboration with other composers) and/or arrarranged music numbers to 24 plays (mainly performed at the Royal Opera) 1844−62, where only one has more than 8 numbers by Randel.
Fredrik August Dahlgren, Värmlänningarna, spoken, sung and danced play, 1846. 21 numbers, piano reduction printed in 1846, new edition ca 1875, facsimile 1977, many separate prints.

Works by Andreas Randel

This is not a complete list of works. The following works are those that have been inventoried so far.

Number of works: 38