Author Topic: Tveitt's Nordic Tower  (Read 4052 times)

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Offline madaboutmahler

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Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2012, 04:15:07 AM »
Thought it was about time I had some Tveitt in my collection, so I ordered:



I see there's a recording of his Harp Concerto on youtube which I am now very keen to hear. Does anyone know it? :)
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Offline lescamil

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Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2012, 01:01:19 AM »
I finally am watching that performance of the 4th piano concerto with Donna Amato and all I have to say is: What. A. Shame. I expected better from a Sorabjian pianist who can seemingly handle anything thrown at her, especially a great work such as this. The performance seems almost entirely sightread with minimal interpretive effort. I even noticed a few parts where she was "cheating", notably some of the double octave parts (I had the score in hand to make sure I wasn't seeing/hearing things), where she reduced them down. That look on her face while she plays says it all. I suppose the fact that she could sightread such a difficult score is an achievement in itself. The orchestra was totally punchless, lacking color, and were completely off at some points. They didn't even play in some parts where they were supposed to! I am thoroughly convinced that this piece really is great, though, for even this performance has won over a few of you who didn't know the piece before. Still, go out and get the recording with Håvard Gimse. They are night and day in comparison to each other.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2012, 01:07:43 AM by lescamil »
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Offline edward

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Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2012, 11:56:47 AM »
Any opinions on the BIS recording of the 4th with Håkon Austbø?

I spent a bit of time with the 4th and 5th recently; I'm definitely taken more with the 4th, which manages to forge something expressive of what could easily have sounded like undisciplined eclecticism (I heard things that reminded me Bartok, Stravinsky, Ravel, Martinu and Szymanowski in it, which might explain why my brain leapt to the conclusion that Tveitt was a kind of Norwgian Percy Grainger).
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Offline lescamil

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Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
« Reply #23 on: August 10, 2012, 12:01:16 PM »
The BIS recording with Håkon Austbø is nice, too, but I personally prefer Håvard Gimse's recording. The Austbø recording has the piano a bit too front and center (even when not necessary), whereas the Gimse has the piano a bit further back (but not drowned out). Both are excellently played, though. The same can be said with the other BIS recording with the 5th piano concerto and the Variations on a Folksong from Hardanger with Nils Mortensen and Sveinung Bjelland. I'd get the Naxos on both counts. The price is much lower than the BIS, anyways.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2015, 06:15:05 PM »



Folk music and the very conscious application of aspects of folk music -- tunes, gestures, sonorities -- to serious concert music, was all the rage during the early twentieth century and it seems like every major country or ethnic group had its native champion or champions. Hungary had Béla Bartók and Zoltán Kodály; the United States had Charles Ives; and Norway had a man named Geirr Tveitt, a composer, pianist, teacher, and folk music collector who never earned anything like the fame awarded those other "folkish" composers but who has, in the years since his death in 1981, been investigated by Norse music lovers and scholars with ever-increasing interest. Efforts to paint a clear and accurate picture of the man's life and work have proven difficult, however: A fire ravaged his home in 1970, making ash of most of his compositions and folk music collections.

Tveitt was born in October 1908 and grew up, for the most part, in the region of Norway known as Hardanger. The piano and the violin were familiar to him from early childhood on, but when he went to the Leipzig Conservatory or formal schooling (1928 - 1932) it was composition on which he focused. After stops in Vienna (the Vienna State Academy) and Paris, where from 1932 to 1935 he took private lessons from Villa-Lobos and Honegger, he returned to Norway and supported himself writing criticism in Oslo and teaching privately. In 1941, he was awarded a Norwegian state pension and in 1942, he took up residence in the Tveitt family farm in Hardanger, devoting himself mainly to composition and to the collection and transcription of the region's folk music. His life's sailing was not always smooth, though: A scandal involving the Nazi's during the German occupation of Norway in World War II resulted in Tveitt having his state pension taken from him (it was reinstated in the late '50s) and several thousand pages of work -- including the bulk of 300 original works and reams of notated folk music unavailable except through Tveitt's transcriptions -- were lost to the above-mentioned 1970 fire. From time to time, Tveitt appeared as a performing pianist in his own works.

Tveitt's personal musical style draws heavily on the folk music with which he was so familiar, as much or more so even than does Bartók's. In 1937, he authored a theoretical treatise, Tonalitätstheorie des parallelen teittonsystems (Theory of parallel modal systems), seeking to support his own personal conclusion that the modal scale system (the so-called church modes) employed to various degrees and in various ways throughout the history of Western music are actually based on ancient Norwegian folk scales. His conclusions have for the most part been ignored, but the treatise still offers a great window through which to better observe the methods and manner of his own music-making. His output was prolific, including some 29 piano sonatas, five operas, a half-dozen piano concertos, a violin concerto, several suites for orchestra, miscellaneous chamber music, and works for various other solo instruments, including harp and saxophone. There is also a large body of pseudo-folk vocal songs. His best-known works are those that rely most on folk music: One Hundred Folk Tunes (1954 - 1963), a series of orchestral suites; and a volume, famous in Norway, called 100 Hardanger Tunes.

[Article taken from All Music Guide]

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I couldn't find a composer thread for Tveitt doing a search, so here it is! I admittedly haven't heard much of Tveitt's music (maybe five or six works). Tonight, I listened to the Ruud recording on BIS of Hardanger Fiddle Concerti 1 & 2 and Nykken. I've owned this recording for years, but the music finally clicked for me in a huge way. As a result, I ended up buying the rest of the series on BIS (w/ Ruud conducting). I own the Naxos recordings but didn't feel like tracking them down tonight. Any fans of the composer here? Any favorite works?
« Last Edit: May 25, 2015, 06:22:15 PM by Mirror Image »
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Online North Star

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Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
« Reply #25 on: May 26, 2015, 12:45:36 AM »
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
« Reply #26 on: May 26, 2015, 07:01:11 AM »
the old Tveitt thread

Thanks, Karlo. I don't know why the search function didn't bring up this thread? Strange. I suppose one of the moderators couldn't merge this thread with the existing one? That would be groovy. 8)
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Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
« Reply #27 on: May 26, 2015, 07:15:23 AM »
Great music, not your typical upper-class twit.
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Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
« Reply #28 on: May 26, 2015, 02:15:13 PM »
Great music, not your typical upper-class twit.

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
« Reply #29 on: May 26, 2015, 08:24:19 PM »
Thanks for merging this thread (Gurn, Bruce, Knight, or whoever). 8)
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Offline lescamil

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Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
« Reply #30 on: May 27, 2015, 07:42:00 AM »
Now I have an urge to go back and listen to his music. Been a while, and I always hear new things in it. I might even have another go at playing the 29th piano sonata.
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Offline Brewski

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Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
« Reply #31 on: May 27, 2015, 08:21:40 AM »
Thanks for merging this thread (Gurn, Bruce, Knight, or whoever). 8)

You're welcome (and thanks to Karlo for ID'ing the other thread). Looks like the merger may have rekindled some interest in Tveitt, as well.

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
« Reply #32 on: May 27, 2015, 07:08:05 PM »
You're welcome (and thanks to Karlo for ID'ing the other thread). Looks like the merger may have rekindled some interest in Tveitt, as well.

--Bruce

 8)
"I haven't understood a bar of music in my life, but I have felt it." - Igor Stravinsky

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
« Reply #33 on: May 28, 2015, 08:54:02 PM »
As I wait for the rest of the BIS series to arrive, I just want to say I'm still in awe over Nykken. What a tremendous work.
"I haven't understood a bar of music in my life, but I have felt it." - Igor Stravinsky

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
« Reply #34 on: April 05, 2016, 07:11:53 PM »
I wonder how (/if) his style changed over the years...

I know Daniel (madaboutmahler) doesn't come around GMG much these days BUT I had to respond to this: it's increasingly difficult to chart Tveitt's development as as a composer because so many of his compositions were lost in a fire. Thankfully, many of his manuscripts had been sent out and works continued to appear, so, with this mind, we're lucky to have anything from the composer.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2016, 07:13:39 PM by Mirror Image »
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Offline lescamil

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Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
« Reply #35 on: December 04, 2016, 01:51:06 AM »
You can listen to a reconstruction of his third piano concerto here. It is one of the works that was lost in that great fire, but it was reconstructed (I believe) from a recording of Tveitt playing it (available on Simax) by composer Kaare Dyvik Husby. Sounds pretty spot on to me!

https://radio.nrk.no/serie/paa-konsert-p2/MKMK07002616/16-06-2016#
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