Wilhelm Stenhammar (1871−1927)


Karl (Carl) Wilhelm Eugène Stenhammar, born 7 February 1871 in Stockholm, was one of Sweden’s most important composers at the turn of the 19th century, and one of the finest Swedish pianists of his time. After studying in Stockholm and Berlin (1887−93) he became a prominent figure on the Stockholm music scene before being appointed principal conductor of the newly established Gothenburg Orchestral Society in 1907. Stenhammar died on 20 November 1927 in Jonsered outside Gothenburg. He was elected onto the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in 1900.

Oilpainting by Robert Thegerström 1900 (Statens porträttsamlingar, Gripsholm)

Wilhelm Stenhammar. Oil painting by Robert Thegerström 1900. (Statens porträttsamlingar, Gripsholm)


1871−94: Education and breakthrough

Wilhelm Stenhammar was one of the formative figures of turn–of–the–century Swedish music. He was raised in a family that had its roots in Östergötland but that had been part of Stockholm’s upper bourgeoisie since the 1860s. Already as a teenager he composed songs and piano sonatas, and even started an opera (which remained unfinished). He also supplied the family’s own quartet − the Stenhammar Quartet, made up of his elder siblings Bellis, Cissi (Cecilia) and Ernst and the future star architect Ferdinand Boberg − with a number of vocal quartets. Young music enthusiasts came together around these songs, forming a coterie in which the young Wilhelm took keen part.

After leaving school in a ‘revolt’ on 15 March 1888, he devoted his time solely to playing the piano and composing. Between 1887 and 1891 he prepared for a career as a pianist under the guidance of his piano tutor Richard Andersson; he also studied composition for Andreas Hallén (from 1889 to at least 1892) and Emil Sjögren, and counterpoint for Joseph Dente. That Stenhammar was ‘self-taught’, a claim that one encounters here and there, is hardly apposite, especially since a formal academic training for composers did not exist then. Besides, in 1890 he graduated as an organist from Musikkonservatoriet (the Royal Conservatory of Music) in Stockholm after studies for Wilhelm Heintze and August Lagergren.

In 1892 93, Stenhammar augmented his piano studies with a year at the Königliche Hochschule für Musik in Berlin under Andersson’s own teacher Heinrich Barth. On returning to Stockholm, he already had with him parts of his Piano Concerto no. 1 in B minor. This work would be his breakthrough, and after its premiere in Stockholm on 17 March 1894 Stenhammar was lauded by the critics as a young artist of great genius and promise. ‘This reviewer, for his part, admits that no newly debuting native composer has, ever since Emil Sjögren [1876] first stepped out as a composer, created such an intense impression of genius as Wilhelm Stenhammar’, wrote Adolf Lindgren in the newspaper Aftonbladet two days later. One should also keep in mind that no large-scale orchestral work by a Swedish composer had been premiered in the past ten or fifteen years.

Two weeks later, the concert was played again with the same setting in Copenhagen, an event that, importantly, brought Stenhammar into contact with Danish impresario Henrik Hennings, who served as his publisher and concert agent for the coming thirteen years. Hennings had established his own music publishing business with Julius Hainauer in Breslau, where all new works by Stenhammar were published up until 1907. Moreover, his connections with the European concert scene led eventually to piano concerts in Germany and England under influential conductors. Hennings also introduced Stenhammar to contemporary Danish composers, including Peder Erasmus Lange-Müller and Louis Glass.

1895−1900: From ‘dreams of grandeur’
to ‘compositional factory labourer’

During the years of his breakthrough and spurred on by Hennings’ extravagant entrepreneurial drive, Stenhammar experienced what might be termed dreams of grandeur. On his marriage to artist Helga Marcia Westerberg, Stenhammar managed to negotiate a contract with Hennings on an annual composer’s fee that would form the financial base of his future family. It was signed at the end of September 1896. Helga and Wilhelm Stenhammar went on to have three children, Claes Göran (1897), Hillevi (1899) and Ove (1901).

It was at this time that Stenhammar began to collaborate with the Aulin Quartet and its first violinist Tor Aulin, who profoundly affected his self-image as a composer. In a letter to Hennings (dated 26 December 1896), Stenhammar wrote: ‘To me, the Aulin Quartet [is] and is more so with each passing day, maybe not ideal but perchance by virtue of its very flaws, a so much more precious incarnation of all the virtues I feel within the world of music. […] It has fostered me, it had made a musician of me; I need it and I love it.’

Door lintel at Prince Eugens Waldemarsudde

The Music by Georg Pauli 1905. Door lintel at Prince Eugens Waldemarsudde. Tor Aulin and Wilhelm Stenhammar plays sonatas to among others the prince himself, Richard Bergh and Anders Zorn. (Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde)


The Viking opera Tirfing, which had been selected as the inauguration work for Stockholm’s newly built opera house on 9 December 1898, marked a turning point in Stenhammar’s life. ‘The mindless self–overrating of the past years has become its opposite’, he noted afterwards in his ‘Autobiographical sketch’ (see Bibliography). And in a letter to Hennings, he confessed: ‘Tirfing has not been written in the blood of my heart. It has been written in ink, black ink on white paper. […] Tirfing is a satisfying, well-made work, but a masterpiece it is not.’ (4 January 1899) It is likely that the disappointment Stenhammar expressed here was attributable to his inability to reap the same kind of successes in the socially much-valued opera genre as he had enjoyed with his piano concerto, and had failed to live up to the expectations of audiences and critics. In the background, however, is a maturation process on a more general level. Stenhammar’s demands on himself became much heavier and his self-criticism much more unforgiving, and the financial consequences of this impinged on his relationship with Hennings. His letters tell of how he became increasingly stubborn in his refusal to send works with which he was not completely pleased for printing, despite Hennings’ demands that he honour his contractual obligations. It ended with Stenhammar tearing up the agreement in 1898, from which point composition would no longer be his livelihood; he did not want, as he put it, to be a ‘compositional factory labourer’.

Hervor is a character in Stenhammars opera Tirfing

Hervors death. Painting by Peter Nicolai Arbo (1831-1892). Hervor is one of the main characters in Stenhammars opera Tirfing.


1900−10: From Stockholm, via Florence to Gothenburg

Henceforth, concert performances and conducting became Stenhammar’s main source of income. For the 1900−01 season he was engaged as chief conductor of the Kungliga Teatern (the Royal Opera). On 29 November 1900, he was voted into the Kungliga Musikaliska akademien (the Royal Swedish Academy of Music) as member no. 501. As the years passed, Stenhammar took a definite stand against a European career, yet another of Hennings’s pet concerns: ‘My place is north of Slesvig, never has that been as clear to me as it is now. In all other respects, the entire outside world is becoming more and more of a torment to me, and my gaze turns inwards.’ (letter to Hennings, 5 August 1902) A few years later he wrote: ‘It has come so sincerely clear to me that which I instinctively knew from the start: I am not in the least way constituted to be of European repute.’ (letter to Hennings, 26 July 1906) On the other hand, he grew all the more convinced that he was capable of ‘carrying out a great and significant mission, and occupying a well-deserved place in modern Swedish culture’ (letter to Hennings, 1 September 1903). A composition that clearly testifies to this is the cantata Ett folk (one people) with lyrics by Verner von Heidenstam, performed for the first time in 1905 during the dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden.

Stenhammar, 1905 (Musikverket)That year, Stenhammar planned a study trip to Italy, once more egged on by Hennings, who promised a kind of private scholarship. So in November 1906, the Stenhammars travelled to Florence only to find that the promised scholarship was delayed. It was in this rather tense situation that Stenhammar accepted, at the end of the following April, an offer to be conductor for Göteborgs orkesterförening (Gothenburg Orchestral Society).

Stenhammar was to remain in Gothenburg for fifteen years, during which time he turned the orchestra into one of the Nordic region’s best. This status gave him a greater knowledge of the repertoire and an intense schooling in the potentials of instrumentation, which would bear fruit in his later orchestral pieces. Henceforth, he composed effectively only during the summer months, writing songs during the first few years, often in collaboration with such prominent singers as Cally Monrad and John Forsell. This said, larger works such as the String Quartet no. 4 and the Piano Concerto no. 2 also saw the light of day in the first decade of the new century.

1910−27: Counterpoint studies and final years

The years around 1910 saw another change of tack for Stenhammar in his compositional technique, as he launched himself into counterpoint following Heinrich Bellermann’s textbook Der Contrapunkt. He began his extensive studies in 1909 and continued them until 1918 mostly in the spring and summer. In a letter to fellow composer Bror Beckman from 1911, Stenhammar wrote about the decisive impulse, which had become

an increasingly firm conviction that, to make any progress, I must embark on an entirely new path, a path that I still might have to seek before I find it. It is therefore neither a whim nor a fleeting fancy of mine, nor a desperate attempt to dull the pain and seek oblivion, that I sit down in the evenings to labour over counterpoint. It is, quite simply, a return to the starting point, and an attempt to find a new, better line so I may reinvigorate my efforts to convey my intentions. It is not not [sic!] resignation, it is a secret, trembling hope […] In these times of Arnold Schoenberg, I dream of an art far removed from Arnold Schoenberg, clear, joyful and naïve. (18 September, 1911)

It has to be stressed that his counterpoint studies took on a special direction that was unusual for the time, and focused only minimally on the fugue and canon, the imitation-based forms that were usually cardinal elements of the prevailing counterpoint theory. Instead, he learned about writing independent and intervallically correct counter-voices to unmeasured sacred cantus firmi.

His studies gave the composer cause to reflect upon the fundamentals of the musical material. He had to avoid all established rhythmic and harmonic models while trying to imbue each counter-voice with its own life, led perpetually by the historically mediated rules of interval sequences. Stenhammar was seeking a guiding principle that allowed creativity in the age of modernism without breaking with the tradition itself. His counterpoint studies were, in all their learned strictness, an act of compositional liberation, for they furnished the composer with a 16th century foundation that allowed him to work at a well-needed distance from the writing styles of the Viennese classicism and romanticism. They went on to inform most of his works from the 1910s, in particular the Symphony in G minor op. 34 and the String Quartet no. 6 in D minor op. 35.

From 1916 onwards, Stenhammar was inspired by his collaboration with Per Lindberg, the head of the Lorensbergsteatern in Gothenburg, some of whose partly experimental productions were accompanied by his incidental music. Several of these pieces were later compiled by the composer himself or Hilding Rosenberg into orchestral suites, including music for August Strindberg’s Ett Drömspel op. 36, Hjalmar Bergman’s Lodolezzi sjunger op. 39 and Rabindranath Tagore’s Chitra op. 43.

In the second decade of the century, he also formed a close acquaintance with Carl Nielsen, with their mutual correspondence waxing confidential and frank in tone as the years passed. When Stenhammar came to a dead end in his work with Sången, Nielsen urged him on: ‘Start by using long minims, like in a dry Cantus firmi, as wooden beams that form the basic shape of a house. […] You are, after all, a master of counterpoint, so use it. Open with unison in 50 measures, if that’s the case! […] In short: Go ahead! It can never be bad, even if you don’t feel the slightest bit capable! I'm telling you!’ (Letter from Nielsen to Stenhammar, 17 September 1921)

Stenhammar in his 50s. (Musikverket)In April 1922, Stenhammar said farewell to Gothenburg, after having earned the respect of the city’s music scene and even been made an honorary doctor at Gothenburg University. That autumn he returned to the piano with a national tour of solo performances and duets with violinist Henri Marteau, and sometimes as a soloist with an orchestra. In January 1924 he was offered the post of conductor at the Kungliga Teatern in Stockholm, where his family had moved the previous autumn. However, his stint as chief conductor at the opera was short-lived; in the spring of 1925 Stenhammar suffered a brain haemorrhage, and following another stroke died on 20 November 1927.


Chamber and piano music

Chamber music runs like a thread through Stenhammar’s biography. Four string quartets and a violin sonata saw the light of day as early as the 1890s. While the String Quartet no.1 in C major op. 2 adheres to the international genre standard, modelled especially on Johannes Brahms’s op. 51, his String Quartet no. 2 in C minor op. 14 is more experimental in structure and less inhibited in its use of late-romantic, high-tension lines. The Violin Sonata op. 19 combines the conventional demands for virtuosity and broad strokes with subtle motif work and a balance of power between the two instruments. Immediately afterwards he composed yet another string quartet, this one in F minor, that he withdrew immediately after its premiere in 1898.

Number three in the quartet series is therefore Stenhammar’s F major quartet op. 18 (1900). Already in the thematic structure of the first movement Stenhammar demonstrates his allegiance to the genre’s international conventions (there are several allusions to Beethoven’s late quartets) as well as his departure from them, as he turns the progress of the different movements into a calculated toying with the genre’s norms and stylistic spheres. This is most apparent in the finale, where the meticulously constructed fugue in a late Beethovian style is ruptured from within by an increasingly persistent repetition of the main motif.

The same basic tendency is all the more conspicuous in the fourth A-minor quartet op. 25 from 1904−09, which is one of his most significant works both in terms of formal conception and compositional technique − a status it earns by virtue of its combination of such diverse elements as the late Beethoven’s quartet artistry, folk music and turn-of-the-century full-chromaticised harmonies, and the heavy demands it makes on the musicians. It must be stressed that in both quartets, Stenhammar sticks consciously to the genre tradition and that his reflections upon it become part of the very concept of the works − it is not as if he was affected by unconscious reminisces or ‘influences’ − an association that is productive in effect, as much as a yardstick as a challenge.

The String Quartet no. 5 in C major, titled ‘Serenad’ (1910), with its ironic tonic coloured by the quartet idiom of Haydn and Mozart, has its centre of gravity in the slow movement, a musical paraphrase of the folk song ‘Och riddaren Finn Komfusenfej’. In his String Quartet no. 6 in D minor op. 35 (1916), the degree of abstraction is much higher and the harmonic scheme bold and unconventional. With the aid of innovative counterpoint, Stenhammar manages to merge figures from the most widely separated historical spheres.

Stenhammar (standing) together with the Aulin Quartet.

Stenhammar (standing) together with the Aulin Quartet.


Orchestral works with and without solo instruments

Stenhammar’s breakthrough work, the Piano Concerto no. 1 in B minor op. 1, testifies to his familiarity with Brahms’s piano music and to his firm grasp of form and orchestral timbre. In the Piano Concerto no. 2 op. 23 (1907), Stenhammar brings the conflict between the orchestra and the soloist to a head; in the first movement’s reprise, they even play off against each other in two sharply contrasting keys (piano: D minor, orchestra: C-sharp minor).

While Stenhammar found a fruitful path through the string quartet genre, he struggled much more with the other great international instrumental genre, the symphony. Between 1902 and 1903 he composed a sweeping symphony in F major with insistent motivic developments, magnificent upsurges and a wealth of orchestral forms from the Viennese to the late romantic, with a particular nod to Bruckner and Wagner, and a monumental final movement that unifies all the themes of the preceding movements. The symphony was very warmly received by audiences and critics alike on its first performance on 16 December 1903, but it too was the victim of Stenhammar’s savage self-criticism and was withdrawn. This decision is related to Stenhammar’s intoxicating encounter with Sibelius’s D major symphony (no. 2) just over a month before his own F major symphony was debuted in Stockholm. On 4 January 1904 Stenhammar wrote to Sibelius:

I should like you to know that you have been in my thoughts daily ever since I heard the symphony. You wonderful human, such armfuls of wonders you have fished up from the depths of the unconscious and the unspeakable. My suspicions have been verified: at this moment you are for me the foremost, the only, the unfathomable. […] I have also written a symphony now. At least it is called a symphony, and in accordance with an agreement, which you have perchance forgotten, it is dedicated to you. However, it is not to be. It is rather good, but superficial. I yearn to delve within myself and you must wait until I am there. On the great day this happens I shall print your name in large letters on the title page, be it a symphony or otherwise.

Typically, it was the fourth string quartet that was dedicated to the Finnish composer. The F major symphony was later given only the laconic label ‘idyllic Bruckner’ and was neither published nor performed again during Stenhammar’s lifetime.

Stenhammar conducting. Drawing by Einar Nerman.It was not until ten years later that Stenhammar composed his second symphony, which was dedicated to ‘my dear friends, the members of the Gothenburg orchestra’ and premiered at the orchestra’s ten-year jubilee on 22 April 1915. The symphony was not in fact designated as number 2, but was called simply ‘Symphony in G minor op. 34’, confirming that by then Stenhammar had struck the F major symphony off his work list once and for all. Although Stenhammar uses ‘doric’ themes, the work is not consistently in church mode, but lives off the tension and combination potential that exists between modal and tonal tone–associations. The new polyphonic techniques are most evident in the final movement, which opens as if it were a large-scale double fugue. The first theme, however, develops in the scherzo style, and the second theme is no real fugue but a dense contrapuntal rendering of an old-fashioned motif in broad note values. The point is that the carefully instrumented counterpoint produces flighty, functionally independent tones, demonstrating that Stenhammar was fully aware of the tonal discoveries of impressionism. Paradoxically, however, he reaches these ‘modern’ tones from a strictly tradition–bound contrapuntal part progression.

In Serenade for orchestra in F major op. 31, completed in 1913 and revised in 1919, the timbre spectrum of the instrumentation is enhanced with independent subsidiary voices and rapid movements with voice crossing. The partly rather indolent motif and themes are diatonic throughout and carried along by a complex harmonic structure.

Larger scale vocal works

Both of Stenhammar’s two operas are from the 1890s. Gildet på Solhaug (1896), a literaturoper based on a play by the young Henrik Ibsen, may primarily be regarded as a ‘staged ballad in through-composed musical form’ (Bo Wallner). Tirfing (1898), on the other hand, with its casting in Norse mythology, is intended to represent the grand national music drama à la Wagner. Anna Boberg’s Geatish libretto deals with the valkyrie Hervor, who receives the invincible sword from her dead father on condition that she never disclose her femininity. The promise compels her to kill her beloved Vidar and reject his sister, the beautiful Gullväg, who has fallen in love with her in the belief that she is a man. The music gives considerable room for the principals’ monologues, while the leitmotif technique, the harmonic language and the orchestral colours reveal that − hardly surprisingly − Richard Wagner was the source of inspiration for his compositional design.

Gildet på Solhaug. (Musikverket)

Gildet på Solhaug. Scene from Kungl. Operans production 1908. (Musikverket)

Stenhammar’s production for orchestra and choir, with or without soloists, is multi-faceted, comprising such diverse works as Snöfrid op. 5 (V. Rydberg, 1891), the inauguration cantata for the General Art and Industrial Exposition in Stockholm 1897, the cantata Ett folk, ‘these love songs to my beloved country’ from 1905 (containing the choral hymn ‘Sverige’), the orchestral rhapsody Midvinter op. 24 from 1907 (with choral citations of a Mora version of ‘Den signade dag’) and the symphonic cantata Sången op. 44 with lyrics by Ture Rangström (in honour of the 150th anniversary of Musikaliska akademien in 1921).


Stenhammar’s songs earned unanimous admiration amongst contemporary singers and composers. Back in his teenage years he composed songs to lyrics by Heinrich Heine (including ‘Ein Fichtenbaum steht einsam’, op. 17 no. 3), J.P. Jacobsen, Oscar Levertin and J. L. Runeberg. The song cycle Visor och stämningar op. 26, comprising ten songs mostly composed between 1980 and 1909, can be seen as an expression of Stenhammar’s ability to dress contemporary poems (by the likes of Verner von Heidenstam, Oscar Levertin, Gustaf Fröding and Bo Bergman) in atmospherically congruous music. The work evinces an impressive stylistic span from simple three-part song (‘Vandraren’) to dramatic, through-composed scene (‘Jungfru Blond och Jungfru Brunett’, ‘Prins Aladin av Lampan’), with each piece consistently and intimately linked to the form and subject matter of the poem. The harmonic language is particularly chromatic and at times pushes the boundaries of tonality to the extreme. Alongside his chamber music, Stenhammar’s songs can be considered his most important compositions and very much deserve to be revived in our own contemporary concert halls, abroad as much as at home.

Stenhammar’s legacy

Stenhammar made his mark in many ways on the music scene of the new century. In his latter years, he was a mentor for many young composers, notably Hilding Rosenberg. Rosenberg adopted Stenhammar’s high demands on the knowledge imperative, insisting that proficiency in both theory and technique was an imminent part of the composer’s professional role. Since Rosenberg eventually became a seminal teaching figure for the upcoming generation of composers, Stenhammar’s fundamental demands on the composer’s historical and compositional acumen was passed on to many post-war Swedish composers. Of Stenhammar’s own works, the string quartets and the orchestral serenade in particular have been performed almost continuously, and not only in Sweden, while his breakthrough Piano Concerto no. 1, the operas and the cantatas, which had been so highly valued by his contemporaries, fell into oblivion. Institutionally speaking, Stenhammar’s contributions as a solo/chamber pianist and conductor did much to establish the professionalism that extends over much of the 20th century music scene in Sweden.

Signe Rotter-Broman © 2014
Trans. Neil Betteridge


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−−−: 'Prins Aladin av Lampan. Om Stenhammars tonsättning av Frödings dikt', Artes, no. 4, 1975, pp. 117−143.
−−−: Sinfonia vocale. Om Wilhelm Stenhammars och Ture Rangströms kantat ’Sången’: En verkmonografi, Stockholm: Musikaliska akademien, 1977.
−−−: 'Stenhammar, Vilhelm', in: Sohlmans Musiklexikon, vol. 5, Stockholm: Sohlman, 1979, pp. 459−462.
−−−: Wilhelm Stenhammar och hans tid, vols 1−3, Stockholm: Norstedt, 1991 [with detailed list of works in vol. 3, pp. 551−575].
−−−: Wilhelm Stenhammar och hans tid − en författarkommentar (Liv, verk o tid − Till biografiskrivandets renässans), Stockholm: Musikaliska akademien, 1995.
−−−: 'Wilhelm Stenhammar inför det nordiska', Nordisk tidskrift för vetenskap, konst och industri, vol. 71, no. 1 (1995), pp. 15−20.
−−−: 'Three Roles: On Wilhelm Stenhammar', in: Artes International, 1997, pp. 124−136.
Uppström, Ture: Pianister i Sverige, Stockholm: Nordiska musikförlaget, 1973 .
Åhlén, Carl-Gunnar: Livsresa med violinen. En kartläggning av Henri Marteaus insatser för musiken i Sverige: Med konsertförteckning och valda Aulin- och Stenhammarbrev ur Marteausamlingen i München, Stockholm 1995.


Bergen offentl. bibliotek, Göteborgs Universitetsbibliotek, Landsarkivet Härnösand, Kungliga Biblioteket Stockholm, Musikmuseet Stockholm, Svenska Akademien, Statens Musik- och teaterbibliotek, Stiftelsen Musikkulturens främjande Stockholm (Nydahlsamlingen), Stockholms stadsarkiv, Uppsala Universitetsbibliotek.
Porträtt: Gripsholms slott, Kungl. Musikaliska akademien, Nationalmuseum, Waldemarsudde, Svenska porträttarkivet.

Summary list of works

2 operas (Gildet på Solhaug, Tirfing), music for 7 plays, orchestral works (2 symphonies, Serenade in F major, 2 piano concertos and more), chamber music (6 string quartets, a violin sonata etc.), works for piano (sonata in G minor, Tre små klaverstycken, Tre fantasier, Sonata in A-flat major, Sensommarnätter etc.), around 110 songs with piano, 4 works for song with orchestra (Florenz och Blanzeflor, Ithaka etc.), 10 works for choir and orchestra (Snöfrid, Midvinter, Ett folk, Sången etc.), 14 works for a cappella choir.

Collected works

Gildet på Solhaug, music drama (H. Ibsen) op. 6, 1892−93. First performed in Stuttgart 1899.
Tirfing, music drama sagodikt (A. Boberg) op. 15, 1897−98. First performed in Stockholm 1898.

Incidental music
Ett drömspel (A. Strindberg) op. 36, 1916.
Lodolezzi sjunger (B. Bergman) op. 39, 1919.
As You Like It (W. Shakespeare) op. 40, 1920.

Hamlet (W. Shakespeare) op. 41, 1920.
Romeo and Juliet (W. Shakespeare) op. 45, 1922.
Turandot (C. Gozzi) op. 42, 1920.
Chitra (R. Tagore) op. 43, 1921.


Prélude and Bourrée in F major, 1891.
Excelsior!, overture op. 13, 1896.
Symphony [no. 1] in F major, 1902−03.
Symphony [no. 2] in G minor op. 34, 1911−15.
Serenade in F major op. 31, 1908−13.

Solo instrument and orchestra

Piano concerto [no. 1] in B minor op. 1, 1893.
Piano concerto [no. 2] in D minor op. 23, 1904−07.
Two sentimental romances for violin and orchestra in A major and F minor op. 28, 1910.

Soli, choir and orchestra

I rosengården (K.A. Melin) 1888−90. First performed in Stockholm, 1892.
Snöfrid (V. Rydberg) op. 5 1891. First performed in Stockholm, 1896.
Kantat vid öppnandet av Allmänna konst- och industriutställningen ... 1897 (C. Snoilsky) [Cantata], 1896−97. First performed in Stockholm 1897.
Kantat vid öppnandet av Industri- och slöjdutställningen i Gävle 1901 ... (D. Fallström) [Cantata], 1901. First performed in Gävle 1901.
Ett folk: Folket, Sverige, Medborgarsång, Soldatsång och Åkallan och löfte (V.v. Heidenstam) op. 22, 1904–05. First performed in Stockholm 1905.
Den som vid lummig stig (W. Shakespeare), 1920.
Sången, symfonisk kantat ... vid Kungl. Musikaliska akademiens 150-årsfest ... (T. Rangström) [Symphonic cantata] op. 44, 1920–21. First performed in Stockholm 1921.
Festmusik vid Göteborgs 300-årsjubileum samt vid Utställningens öppnande. First performed in Göteborg 1923.

Choir and orchestra

Midvinter, Swedish rapsody op. 24, 1907. First performed in Göteborg 1908.
Hemmarschen (V.v. Heidenstam) op. 27, 1907. Piano version in Vintersol, 1907, orchestrated in 1912. First performed in Göteborg 1913.
Two poems: Folket i Nifelhem and Vårnatt (O. Levertin) op. 30, 1911−12, first performed in Göteborg 1913.

Choral pieces/quartets

Julafton [Christmas Eve], 1878.
Bevare mig Herre (2 parts with piano), 1879.
Julafton i kojan, 1881?
Till skogsstjärnan (A.T. Gellerstedt), 1883.
Novembersnö (A.T. Gellerstedt), 1884?
Bäckarna (A.T. Gellerstedt), 1885.
Fremad, 1886.
De trognas framtids hopp, 4 parts, 1887.
Psalm 39 of David, verse 5−6: Herre, lär mig dock ..., 1888.
Bryllupsvise (B. Bjørnson), 1888.
Traet (B. Bjørnson), 1888?
Sten Sture (E. Bäckström) for male choir, 1888.
Tre kårvisor [three songs] a cappella: September, I Seraillets Have, Havde jeg, o havde jeg en Datterson ... (J.P. Jacobsen), 1890.
Norrland (D. Fallström) 1901, from Cantata ..., 1901.
Månsken (B. Bergman), for male quartet manskvartett, 1904.
Sverige (V.v. Heidenstam), from Ett folk, 1904.
Den signade dag, 4 parts, from Midvinter, 1907.

Chamber music

Allegro brillante in E-flat major for piano quartet, 1891.
Allegro ma non tanto for piano trio, 1895.
Sonata for violin and piano in A minor op. 19, 1899−1900. First performed in Stockholm 1901.
String quartet no. 1 C major op. 2, 1894. First performed in 1895.
String quartet no. 2 in C minor op. 14, 1896. First performed in Stockholm 1896.
String quartet [unnumbered] F minor, 1897. First performed in Stockholm 1898, withdrawn, new finale sketched in 1904.
String quartet no. 3 in F major op. 18, 1897−1900. First performed in Stockholm 1903.
String quartet no. 4 in A minor op. 25, 1904−09. First performed in Stockholm 1910.
String quartet no. 5 'Serenad' in C major op. 29, 1910. First performed in Göteborg 1916.
String quartet in no. 6 in D minor op. 35, 1916, first performed in Göteborg 1918.


Sonata in C major, 1880.
Fantasy in A minor, 1880.
Sonata in C minor, 1881.
Sonata in A-flat major, 1883.
Två klaverstycken [Two piano pieces], 1888.
Allegro con moto e appassionato F minor, 1888−89?
Waltz in C major, 1890.
Sonata in G minor 'Romanza', 1890.
Impromptu in G-sharp major, 1892.
Tre små klaverstycken [Three small piano pieces], 1895.
Intermezzo in D major, 1890s.
Three fantasies op. 11, 1895. First performed in Stockholm 1895.
Sonata in A-flat major op. 12, 1895. First performed in Stockholm 1896.
Vivace, 1910.
Sensommarnätter op. 33, 1900?−1914?. First performed in Stockholm 1915.
Allegretto grazioso in B major n.d.
Poco vivace, dolce e con molto grazia D-flat major, n.d.


Vallflickans visa och Vad Jesus är, 1879.
Hjerteglad and I skogen vill jag vandra (A.T. Gellerstedt), 1884−85.
Ach, wie ist es möglich denn, visa, 1886.
Freudvoll und leidvoll (J.W. v. Goethe), 1887.
Liksom en lärka (A.T. Gellerstedt), 1888.
Oben wo die Sterne gltihen o Die Lehre (H. Heine), 1888.
Ensam (K.A. Melin), 1889.
Killebukken, I bygden er der uro och Det var slig en vakker solskinsdag (B. Bjørnson), Es hat die warme Fruhlingsnacht (H. Heine), 1889.
Ro, ro ögonsten (A.T. Gellerstedt), 1890.
Hemåt, n.d.
Fågeln på frusen gren (L. Sandell) and Lärkan (O.v. Feilitzen), 1883 or 1884.
Olika tolkning (A.T. Gellerstedt), 1885.
Just som jeg favned dit liv and Holder du af mig (B. Bjørnson), 1887−88.
Two songs from En glad gul: Lokkeleg and Aftenstemning (B. Bjørnson), 1888.
Die Wallfahrt nach Kevlaar and Wenn zwei von einander scheiden (H. Heine), 1888.
Han fik ej lov til at lægge ud (B. Bjørnson), 1888−89.
Sånger och visor [songs] 1−3. 1. I skogen (A.T Gellerstedt), 1887 2. Ballad (K.A. Melin) 3. När sol går ned (K.A. Melin), 1888−89.
Meine Liebe ist grün (F. Schumann), 1889.
Junge Liebe (H. Heine), 1888−90. 1. Im wunderschönen Monat Mai 2. Aus meinen Thränen spriessen 3. Die Rose, die Lilie 4. Ich will meine Seele tauchen 5. Du liebst mich nicht 6. Ein Fichtenbaum steht einsam 7. Mädchen mit dem rothen Mundchen 8. Epilog 9. Du bist wie eine Blume.
Drei Lieder (H. Heine) op. 17, 1889−90. 1. Ich lieb eine Blume 2. Sie liebten sich beid 3. Ein Fichtenbaum ...
Florez och Blanzeflor (O. Levertin) for baritone and orchestra/piano op. 3, 1891. First performed in Stockholm 1895.
Lad Vaaren komme (J.P. Jacobsen), 1892.
From Idyll och epigram (J.L. Runeberg) for mezzo soprano and orchestra/piano op. 4, 1893. 1.  Flickan kom ifrån sin älsklings möte 2. Flickan knyter i Johannenatten.
Zwei Minnelieder (Walther v. d. Vogelweide) op. 9, probably in 1893. 1. Ein Kuss von rothem Munde 2. Heil sei der Stunde.
Seven poems from Ensamhetens tankar (V. v. Heidenstam) op. 7, 1893−95. 1. Der innerst i min ande I enslighet försvinna mina år 2. Min stamfar hade en stor pokal 3. Kom, vänner, låt oss sätta oss ned 4. I Rom, i Rom 5. Du söker ryktbarhet 6. Du hade mig kär.
Five songs from Idyll och epigram (J.L. Runeberg) op. 8, 1895−96. 1. Lutad mot gärdet 2. Dottern sade till sin gamla moder 3. Den tidiga sorgen 4. Till en ros 5. Behagen.
Tre sånger [Three songs] (H.H. Evers), 1895−96. 1. Und doch 2. Meine Seele 3. Cuique suum.
To Digte (J.P. Jacobsen) op. 10. 1. Du Blomst i Dug, 1895? 2. Irmelin Rose, 1889.
Fyra svenska sånger [Four Swedish songs] op. 16, 1890?−97. 1. Låt oss dö unga (V. v. Heidenstam) 2. Guld och gröna skogar (T. Hedberg) 3. Ingalill (G. Fröding) 4. Fylgia (G. Fröding).
En vintervisa (G. Fröding) n.d.
Fem sånger [Five songs] (B. Bergman) op. 20, 1903−04. 1. Stjärnöga 2. Vid fönstret 3. Gammal Nederländare 4. Månsken 5. Adagio.
Ithaka, for baritone and orchestra (O. Levertin) op. 21, 1904. First performed in 1905.
Visor och stämningar, 10 songs op. 26, 1908−09. 1. Vandraren (V. Ekelund) 2. Nattyxne (E.A. Karlfeldt) 3. Stjärnan (B. Bergman) 4. Jungfru Blond och jungfru Brunett (B. Bergman) 5. Det far ett skepp (B. Bergman) 6. När genom rummet fönsterkorsets skugga ligger (V. v. Heidenstam) 7. Varför till ro så brått (V. v. Heidenstam) 8. Lycklandsresan (G. Fröding) 9. En strandvisa (G. Fröding) 10. Prins Aladin av Lampan (G. Fröding).
Kejsar Karls visa (O. Levertin) op. 32, 1910. First performed probably in 1915.
Fyra dikter [Four poems] (V. v. Heidenstam) op. 37, 1918. 1. Jutta kommer till Folkungarna 2. I lönnens skymning 3. Månljuset 4. Vore jag ett litet barn.
Fyra Stockholmsdikter [Four Stockholm poems] (B. Bergman) for baritone and orchestra/piano op. 38, 1917−18. First performed probably in 1919. 1. Kväll i Klara 2. I en skogsbacke 3. Mellan broarna 4. En positivvisa (Sthlm 1919, all also separately, 1947, 1970).
Fem sånger [Five songs], (posthumous) 1917−24. 1. Melodi (B. Bergman) 2. Under vintergatan (B. Bergman) 3. Blås, blås du vintervind (W. Shakespeare) 4. Orfeus med sin lutas klang (W. Shakespeare) 5. Minnessång (E.A. Karlfeldt).
Efterskörd 1904, 1917, 1923. 1. Var välsignad, milda ömsinthet (G. Fröding) 2. Tröst (G. Fröding) 3. Klockan (B. Bergman) 4. Människornas ögon (B. Bergman) 5. Hjärtat (B. Bergman).

Works by Wilhelm Stenhammar

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

Number of works: 152