As you like it in Gothenburg 1920: Wilhelm Stenhammar’s incidental music in interaction with play, place and pastoral concerns

This article focuses on Wilhelm Stenhammar’s incidental music to the 1920 production of Shakespeare’s play As you like it at the Lorensbergsteatern in Gothenburg. It examines how the music relates to seminal ideas in the play, to the particular Lorensberg production, and to contemporary society. It suggests ways in which interconnected notions of place and pastoral values, grounded in understandings of the historicity of particular landscapes, might inform aesthetic expressions as well as highlight the contemporary relevance of the production, and argues that the musical voice is central to this insight. Furthermore, the article examines Stenhammar’s music in its context of being at the temporal cross-road between historical and modern values, aesthetics and ideologies, particularly those contained in pastoral values or landscape ideologies. While negotiating these concerns, Stenhammar’s music, this article suggests, embraces both particularly local issues and issues that reach out to wider contexts and times.

Wilhelm Stenhammar; William Shakespeare; As you like it; Lorensbergsteatern; Gothenburg; theatre music; pastoral; landscape.


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