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New release!

Niklas Sivelöv and the MCI
Ensemble in Copenhagen in
a unique collaboration!

Improvisation CD with Chinese traditional
instruments and piano. Niklas Sivelöv and the Music
Confucius Institute Ensemble in Copenhagen are
building musical bridges between Western music, both
Classical and Jazz and traditional Chinese music
through the art of Improvisation.
Producer: Tuan Hao-Tan
Engineer: Gediminas Sudnikavičius


Piano music by Sivelov-Toccata Classics

Peter Burwasser :

“His broad performing repertoire, from Bach to living composers, is reflected in his music for solo piano. This is not to say that Sivelöv does not write with original flair and energy, but it is probably most useful to consider this material as homage. The very choice of a set of 24 preludes is a strong nod towards Chopin and Bach, among others, and the ghosts of both of those giants appear in this music. The strongest flavor here is 20th-century Modernism, in the manner of Prokofiev or Hindemith, material that itself is often in a Neoclassical style. As a generalization, Sivelöv sounds like both a performer and composer who works in a joyous and even humorous way. This is heard in fast, loud music and a tendency to run up and down the keyboard. Some of the music is even a bit bangy, but in a fun way. One of the preludes is described in the composer’s notes as having no key signature, and he directs the pianist to use the forearms to create clusters of notes. …
He returns to a kind of Lisztian bravura in the Toccatina Feroce and finds entrancing sonorities in the Jeux de Cordes, which is played standing up so that the pianist can strike the strings of the piano by hand with a mallet. … It is a fittingly interesting and enjoyable way to conclude a delightful recital by this talented young artist.” —Fanfare Magazine, March/April 2016

Jonathan Woolf :

“The major work here is the series of 24 Preludes, written between 2010 and 2015. Consciously seeking to write a cycle in the tradition of Chopin, Scriabin and Debussy is one thing but aligning, as Sivelöv says, with the influence Bach and jazz is another entirely and presents quite a potentially potent stylistic pottage. … There’s a tangy bite to some of these preludes – a brusque little March theme, a loquacious cantilena, a barbaro that suggests Bartók, virtuosic panache, terse romanticism in miniature, the use of the forearms to play clusters in a misterioso mood, harmonic wanderings, atmospheric quasi-improvisatory passages, and even the introduction of a French Overture [No.20] that has the effect of a similar contextual moment in the Goldberg Variations. As if all this wasn’t enough we find a few Arabic-inspired phrases in the penultimate Prelude and a fittingly dramatic conclusion. The composer is his own best executant but I hope pianists pick up on this cycle or cherry-pick from it. … The first of the Due Notturni shows the dreamier side of the composer’s muse whilst its companion gravitates to active intensification of material shared between the hands. There’s a brief Toccatina Feroce that certainly lives up to its name, and two Impromptus from 2015. The first is deliberately Satie-like though soon moves away from that rather stifling atmosphere. The second is rather quiet and showing once again the quasi-improvisatory qualities that must have been gleaned from jazz. Jeux de Cordes is all dynamism and rhythm. He plays with the mallet on the strings of the piano with one hand whilst the other takes a more conventional route via the keyboard. Exciting.” –Music Web International, January 2016

Mikael Bengtsson :

“Recordings like this tend to develop into a tricky and problematic musical adventure. The risk is that the composer might get into a narrow box when interpreting his own work as there is no “second opinion” on the works, no chance to look at them from a different perspective. … But Sivelöv managed it well. He let go of the music, let it live its own life, let it be outside the box but never too much. … he finds himself in a musical borderland. He is inspired by composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Robert Schumann and Frédéric Chopin and sprinkles this with big, heaping measure of modernism although there are also clear and distinct jazz influences. Best track, or rather, the funniest one is the most innovative: Closing “Jeux de Cordes,” composed in 2015 and played while standing with a wooden mallet in one hand which used to strike the string.” –Norran, February 2016

“But what I left with was a subtler enjoyment of the way his mind has assimilated so much iconic Western classical music, which then enters his own compositions like benign ghosts. The First Prelude, for example, begins so close to Schubert’s Marche militaire that it feels like an hommage until Sivelöv’s quick, restless imagination veers off at unexpected angles. This is fascinating music that is made approachable by the composer’s lucid writing. Finally, Sivelöv plays a fine Steinway D that has been captured in flawless recorded sound.” —Fanfare, May/June 2016

Das Wohltemperierte Klavier by J.S. Bach-HVB records (Naxos)

I prefer this recording over the one by Angela Hewitt”-

Erik Wallrup OPUS magazine


Niklas Sivelov finds the true playfullness of Bach”

  5 stars out of 5

Martin Nystrom Dagens Nyheter


Sivelov elicits, with his dazzling technique, the depth of J. S. Bach

Tobias Lund  Sydsvenska Dagbladet


Bach with a lot of surprises

Mikael Bengtsson  Norra Västerbotten


Early Piano Pieces by Per Norgaard

These piano pieces are fascinating. Don’t expect a cool Nordic atmosphere‚ this music is modern, jagged often dissonant and reminiscent of Prokofiev. Two works are premiere recordings. The program ends with a dynamic Toccata written when Norgard was only 17. …All of this is superbly played by Swedish pianist Niklas Sivelöv, and the rich piano sound in these recordings made in Copenhagen’s Royal Danish Academy of Music are solid sonically. © 2017”

Vers la flamme- Caprice records

Sivelov, creates a thrilling sense of tumult in the same movement, his headlong tempo and sparse pedalling allowing you to hear all of Scriabin’s seething interplay of ideas.


 6 stars out of 6.
“Sensous piano playing with a lot of 
rythmical verve”
Sivelov is one of the few 
modern pianists that masters 
this composer among with Volodos 
and Hamelin”
(Bo Holten Klassiskt Magazine, DK)

 I personally rank this as one of the great Scriabin issues of all time, despite my caveats
(Fanfare Magazine)

Excellent review also in the 
webmagazine Nordische Musik ,
5 out fo 6 stars.
“Es ist eine Wohltat, Skrjabin so ehrlich,
so packend, ja so skandinavisch 
zu h
ören-in diesem Sinne durchaus 
eine Referenzaufnahme.


Szymon Krzeszowiec, violin

Niklas Sivelov, piano

music by Pärt, Reger, Dallapiccola, Stravinsky and Schnittke

R. Schumann Sonatas for piano- Arecords

The three piano sonatas
become great raids
on temperaments
forever changing.
Powerful outbursts
with long stretched lines
are succeeded by simple
miniatures to change
into delicate chor or
Sivelov is obviously
never afraid of draw t
the knife fully through,
and the consistent thinking
makes the cd a small
master piece amidst
the grand portrayal of feelings

Henrik Friis, Politiken

Einar Englund Piano Concerto-Naxos


“In the First Concerto (1955), Matti Raekallio is crisp and fleet, quicker than Sivelov on Naxos and, if memory serves, Tateno on the premiere 1960s recording for Finnish EMI (nla, and never reissued on CD)..
Yet Sivelov does have the edge interpretatively, especially his handling of the quieter, more lyrical Larghissimo, and he and Panula are unmatched in the more delicate passages in the two outer movements.”



Wihelm Stenhammar 2 Concertos for piano and orchestra- Naxos

 This is one for rare repertoire junkies…Some beautifully

applied golden-age style from Sivelov”

“Niklas Sivelov negotiates the torrents of octaves and other rhetorical gestures with aplomb.”


Niklas Sivelöv begegnet den Konzerten mit einer schönen Mixtur aus Versonnenheit und spielerischer Leichtigkeit, dem ersten auch mit der nötigen Schwere und der angemessenen Schwermut. Mario Venzago unterstützt ihn dabei und malt mit dem Orchester aus Malmoe trotz Unsauberkeiten der Geigen ein wundervoll weich konturiertes herbstliches, sehnsuchtsvolles Klangbild.”


Henry Fogel
FanfareNovember 2012

…two late-Romantic works combining elements of Brahms and Liszt, but in a way that is actually Stenhammar’s own…and enrich your collection in a major way. © 2012 Fanfare

Daniel Coombs
Audiophile AuditionJanuary 2012

This is a splendid recording of works that should be considered more than just a curiosity. Soloist Niklas Sivelöv is a gifted pianist with an impressive international resume and the Malmö Symphony under Swiss Mario Vanzago plays with energy and conviction. Kudos to Naxos for producing a fine series of recordings of Stenhammar’s music. Previously, I was only familiar with his Symphony No. 1. This recording makes a solid addition to a very valuable collection. © 2012 Audiophile Audition

Nick Barnard
MusicWeb InternationalDecember 2011

this is wonderfully attractive music of consummate skill that deserves to be far better known. Although there is recorded competition for this music…at the Naxos price advantage and deploying the idiomatic and ever excellent Malmö Symphony Orchestra this is a winner.

Sivelöv is absolutely superb here; all fleet gossamer passage-work and dextrous cross-rhythms. Conductor Mario Venzago is totally at home in this idiom and the Malmö orchestra sound very fine.

I would suggest this new release would be a fine place to start an investigation of Stenhammar’s music although the Symphony No.2…Certainly it remains both absurd and shameful that institutions like the Proms have yet fully to embrace the music of this most talented yet modest man.

For all lovers of romantic piano concertos this disc will bring great pleasure. © 2011 MusicWeb International

Carlhåkan Larsén

Sydsvenskan.seNovember 2011

Personligt med pianoprofessorn

Wilhelm Stenhammar har komponerat de bästa svenska pianokonserterna. Men konkurrensen är inte precis stenhård. Hans samtida Alfvén och Peterson-Berger avstod, men Adolf Wiklund, nu halvt eller helt bortglömd, tog med någon framgång upp kampen. Modernisterna hade sedan oftast annat i tankarna än denna slitna gamla genre.

Med sina två verk överraskade den skicklige pianisten Stenhammar sin samtid vid förra sekelskiftet.

Den första, opus 1, har en egenartad historia. Den skrevs av en 22-årig tonsättare som gjorde stor lycka när han solospelade på olika håll. Emellertid lade Stenhammar undan konserten i samband med att han komponerade en andra och otvivelaktigt bättre, opus 23, femton år senare. Den första råkade i glömska, kom aldrig i tryck, och notmaterialet gick rentav förlorat i en brand. Långt senare rekonstruerades den av annan hand (Kurt Atterbergs) varefter en kopia överraskande upptäcktes i ett bibliotek i USA, så sent som på 1990-talet.

Niklas Sivelövs tolkningar av de bägge verken har sällskap av minst ett halvdussin andra. Senast fick man Seta Tanyel med Helsingborgssymfonikerna, nr 49 i serien The Romantic Piano Concerto (Hyperion). Det är ingen dålig prestation men mera ”middle of the road”, jämförd med Sive­lövs starkt personligt profilerade nappatag med stoffet.

Niklas Sivelöv, pianoprofessor i Köpenhamn och bosatt i Malmö, utmärker sig genom att blanda en smekande frasering präglad av romantisk elegans som gränsar till självsvåld med ett ettrigt glittrande passagespel där så är påkallat. Detta är både överraskande och pikant och ger nya perspektiv. Han spelar med utsökt insikt, om man får uttrycka sig så. Malmö symfoniorkester under Mario Venzago försöker hänga med i svängarna.

Stenhammar var som sagt en utmärkt pianist och ställer stora krav. Å andra sidan var han en kräsen konstnär som hellre ville djup än yta, även när humöret var på topp, som i de pigga scherzoavsnitten. Sivelöv har förstått den mekanismen. I kombination med den Brahmsinspirerade brusande känslostyrkan och de nordiska tongångarnas inåtvända schatteringar blir konserterna mångfaldigt lyckobringande.

Förstlingsverket lever högt på det ungdomliga flödet, medan den andra konserten uppvisar en säkrare och mera utarbetad form. Tillsammans ger de en sympatisk bild av både den unga eldiga sprakfålen och det mogna musikaliska fullblodet. © 2011