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The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: madaboutmahler on July 22, 2012, 04:21:07 AM

Title: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: madaboutmahler on July 22, 2012, 04:21:07 AM
Listened to some of his music for the first time today, his first piano concerto. Lovely, lyrical music full of a rather melancholic nostalgia I thought... A very fascinating piece too.

What do you think of his music? I personally am very interested to hear more of his work. :)
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: The new erato on July 22, 2012, 07:19:43 AM
I thinkhe is one of the most interesting Norwegian composers with a  particuar genius for orchestration. His folk Tunes from Hardanger (the Naxos recordings are fine) has a lot of interesting and colorful orchestration with lots of humor as well as nostalgic longing.
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: springrite on July 22, 2012, 07:29:22 AM
I only have one CD of his piano music which is wonderful. I am curious of his orchestral music because people in the know tell me they are even better.
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: madaboutmahler on July 22, 2012, 09:24:08 AM
I thinkhe is one of the most interesting Norwegian composers with a  particuar genius for orchestration. His folk Tunes from Hardanger (the Naxos recordings are fine) has a lot of interesting and colorful orchestration with lots of humor as well as nostalgic longing.

Fromt what I have heard so far, his music certainly does sound incredibly interesting! And so far of his I have only heard his first piano concerto, which I presume is one of his earlier works, having written it at the age of 19. I wonder how (/if) his style changed over the years...
Thank you for the recommendation, I shall make sure to listen to that work that you recommend.

I only have one CD of his piano music which is wonderful. I am curious of his orchestral music because people in the know tell me they are even better.

The first piano concerto certainly is a very lovely, beautiful work. And even being the only Tveitt work I know so far, I can highly recommend it! :)
http://www.youtube.com/v/sc1yfUcnfM8
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: madaboutmahler on July 22, 2012, 09:54:10 AM
Now listening to:

http://www.youtube.com/v/lXvOk4bl-uM&feature=related

Some really excellent, beautiful music. And what a fascinating set of pieces too! Really enjoying exploring this composer's music!
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: lescamil on July 22, 2012, 07:14:31 PM
The 4th piano concerto by Tveitt is easily my favorite work of his, particularly as played by Håvard Gimse. It is the perfect blend of his impressionist and Sibelian textures, along with that sort of Nordic Bartók sound. The brilliant orchestration combined with the ingenious piano writing is just a delight to listen to. It is easily one of the most beautiful pieces of the 20th century.
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: madaboutmahler on July 23, 2012, 02:42:53 AM
The 4th piano concerto by Tveitt is easily my favorite work of his, particularly as played by Håvard Gimse. It is the perfect blend of his impressionist and Sibelian textures, along with that sort of Nordic Bartók sound. The brilliant orchestration combined with the ingenious piano writing is just a delight to listen to. It is easily one of the most beautiful pieces of the 20th century.
Wow - this is something I will have to listen to then! Sounds like something I would enjoy very much. :)
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: madaboutmahler on July 23, 2012, 03:59:32 AM
Just listened to the 4th piano concerto, that was absolutely amazing....  :o
A really thrilling, and hauntingly beautiful piece. I was not expecting it to be so moving!

Have really enjoyed everything I have heard of Tveitt's so far, and am becoming really enthusisatic about his music!
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: madaboutmahler on July 23, 2012, 04:13:50 AM
http://www.youtube.com/v/Ie_1TAzYX6g

Great fun!  ;D

And so different to his piano concerti!
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: not edward on July 23, 2012, 04:51:22 AM
The 4th piano concerto by Tveitt is easily my favorite work of his, particularly as played by Håvard Gimse. It is the perfect blend of his impressionist and Sibelian textures, along with that sort of Nordic Bartók sound. The brilliant orchestration combined with the ingenious piano writing is just a delight to listen to. It is easily one of the most beautiful pieces of the 20th century.
That's the Aurora Borealis concerto, right? If so I can second everything you say: a superb work that inhabits a style entirely of its own (perhaps the closest relative might be Grieg's later, more austere folk-influenced works such as Slatter). I've not heard much else by him, though the more conventional Fifth concerto impressed me less.
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: madaboutmahler on July 23, 2012, 05:29:50 AM
That's the Aurora Borealis concerto, right? If so I can second everything you say: a superb work that inhabits a style entirely of its own (perhaps the closest relative might be Grieg's later, more austere folk-influenced works such as Slatter). I've not heard much else by him, though the more conventional Fifth concerto impressed me less.

Yes, that's it - I listened to it earlier and was absolutely amazed.... an incredibly thrilling and moving work, with many magical moments.
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: The new erato on July 23, 2012, 07:43:44 AM

He used to "transfer" his name into Tverr Geit, which in Norwegian roughly means grumpy goat.

Tveitt is very much his own man. He had an intense interest in ancient modal scales and did lots of research into them.

Also, from wiki:


"Tveitt had become increasingly frustrated with the teaching in Leipzig, but found a new freedom and inspiration. Here he obtained lessons from some of the greatest and most well-known composers of the times: Arthur Honegger and Heitor Villa-Lobos both agreed to see Tveitt. He further managed to enroll in the classes of Nadia Boulanger. Tveitt also made a visit to Vienna, where he was able to study for some time with Austrian composer Egon J. Wellesz"
 
He also wrote several popular songs that became, well, very popular.

One of them is this very beautiful song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFLoXZ4uaig (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFLoXZ4uaig)

It has even been played by Bruce Springsteen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKBaB4DDaKE&feature=related (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKBaB4DDaKE&feature=related)
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: Lisztianwagner on July 23, 2012, 09:39:45 AM
Today I've heard some of Tveitt's music for the first time, how enchanting it is! ;D I've listened to the Piano Concerto No.1, Hardanger Tunes-Suite No.1, Prillar and the Sun God Symphony, such beautiful, thrilling works! That music sounds haunting, deep and melancholic, but at the same time incredibly magical, floating and evocative; I've really appreciated the orchestration, very expressive, especially the charming use of both the strings and the woodwinds. :)

I'm very curious to listen to more by Tveitt; I would like to listen to the Piano Concerto No.4, but unfortunately there's only the second movement on youtube.....
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: Opus106 on July 23, 2012, 09:53:07 AM
I'm very curious to listen to more by Tveitt; I would like to listen to the Piano Concerto No.4, but unfortunately there's only the second movement on youtube.....

Click Here (http://www.youtube.com/user/1Harpdude/videos?query=northern+lights).
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: Lisztianwagner on July 23, 2012, 09:55:14 AM
Click Here (http://www.youtube.com/user/1Harpdude/videos?query=northern+lights).

Thank you, Nav!
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: madaboutmahler on July 23, 2012, 10:02:39 AM
Glad to hear you are enjoying Tveitt's music, Ilaria! Wonderful description too!

Thanks, Nav, for posting that performance of the 4th piano concerto here! If you want to continue hearing Hvard Gimse's performances of the concerti, Ilaria, the 4th can be accessed here: http://classical-music-online.net/en/production/4223

Hope you enjoy it, Ilaria. An amazing work!
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: Lisztianwagner on July 23, 2012, 10:11:53 AM
Glad to hear you are enjoying Tveitt's music, Ilaria! Wonderful description too!

Thanks, Nav, for posting that performance of the 4th piano concerto here! If you want to continue hearing Hvard Gimse's performances of the concerti, Ilaria, the 4th can be accessed here: http://classical-music-online.net/en/production/4223

Hope you enjoy it, Ilaria. An amazing work!

Thank you for the link, Daniel! Yes, as a matter of fact, I really hoped to find out other Gimse's performances, I enjoyed his Piano Concerto No.1 very much!
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: madaboutmahler on July 23, 2012, 10:34:19 AM
His performances of the concerti are absolutely excellent, I agree. The 4th PC really is absolutely amazing, I really hope you enjoy it, Ilaria. And make sure to let us know what you think! :)
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: Lisztianwagner on July 24, 2012, 01:19:24 AM
Listened to Piano Concerto No.4, such a thrilling, beautiful, work; absolutely brilliant! I really enjoyed the piano part, perfectly supported by a very well handled, colourful orchestra. I think it's my favourite of Tveitt's pieces I've listened to so far. :)
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: madaboutmahler on July 24, 2012, 04:56:58 AM
Really glad you enjoyed his 4th piano concerto, Ilaria - I agree with everything you say, it's such an amazing work!

Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: madaboutmahler on August 01, 2012, 03:15:07 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? :)
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: lescamil on August 10, 2012, 12:01:19 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.
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: not edward on August 10, 2012, 10:56:47 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).
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: lescamil on August 10, 2012, 11:01:16 AM
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.
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: Mirror Image on May 25, 2015, 05:15:05 PM
(http://g.api.no/obscura/API/image/r1/escenic/478x1000r/1334335995/archive/04258/Geirr_tveitt_1__4258859a.jpg)


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]

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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?
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: North Star on May 25, 2015, 11:45:36 PM
the old Tveitt thread (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,20746.0.html)
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: Mirror Image on May 26, 2015, 06:01:11 AM
the old Tveitt thread (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,20746.0.html)

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)
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: springrite on May 26, 2015, 06:15:23 AM
Great music, not your typical upper-class twit.
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: Ken B on May 26, 2015, 01:15:13 PM
Great music, not your typical upper-class twit.

Cough Delius Cough
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: Mirror Image on May 26, 2015, 07:24:19 PM
Thanks for merging this thread (Gurn, Bruce, Knight, or whoever). 8)
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: lescamil on May 27, 2015, 06:42:00 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.
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: Brewski on May 27, 2015, 07:21:40 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.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: Mirror Image on May 27, 2015, 06:08:05 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)
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: Mirror Image on May 28, 2015, 07:54:02 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.
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: Mirror Image on April 05, 2016, 06:11:53 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.
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: lescamil 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#
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: Zeus on March 17, 2017, 04:46:07 PM

I'm a huge fan of Tveitt, so I'll bump this thread.

I have a good collection of Tveitt disks from BIS:

Tveitt: Piano Concerto No.5, Variations on a Folk-Song
Tveitt: Concertos for Hardanger Fiddle, etc
Tveitt: Piano Concertos 1 & 4, etc
Tveitt: Prillar, Sun God Symphony
Tveitt: Baldur's Dreams, Telemarkin

My faves include all the concertos, and the Variations. But Prillar and Sun God are also very strong. The only work I dislike is "The Turtle". The Baldur's Dream and Telemarkin disk is kinda new for me.

I also have Hardanger Tunes, Suites 2 & 5 on Naxos.  Finally, I have a Harp Concerto available on Simax.

I'll probably pick up Suites 1 & 4 on Naxos in a few moments. Not sure whether Suites 3 & 6 are available – I'll have to check.  And I gotta check out that From a Travel Diary disc.

I'm gonna try to listen through my collection of Tveitt over the coming week. That will help me clarify my preferences.

The biggest problem for a lover of Tveitt is the scarcity of available recordings. The ones listed above seem like some of the best available. Am I missing any others?

Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: Mirror Image on March 17, 2017, 06:57:38 PM
My favorite Tveitt is that Hardanger Fiddle Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 recording on BIS along with the symphonic poem, Nykken. Superb disc. Nothing else has grabbed the same way these works have, but I should revisit his music at some juncture.
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: Zeus on March 17, 2017, 10:00:23 PM
I'm gonna say that the PC #5 and especially the Variations on a Folksong is my favorite Tveitt disc, but it seems that my tastes are like the shifting sands – every listen brings a different result.

Also, there's the problem of expectations – if you expect something will be great, it tends to disappoint. On the other hand, sometimes things you don't expect much from will suddenly sound incredible to you.

Anyway, if you want to revisit Tveitt, you might start with that disc. But all of it's good stuff. Except the Turtle.
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: lescamil on June 18, 2017, 08:36:32 PM
I'll add in my two cents as a pianist and say that the playing on the Naxos disks of the piano concertos is exponentially better than on the BIS disks, so much so that I believe the music is compromised on the BIS disks. Gimse is nothing short of excellent. Austbø honestly sounds like he is reading it off the page note for note sometimes.
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: Biffo on October 28, 2017, 05:07:07 AM
Found this thread after being redirected from the Scandinavian composer's site. It hasn't had much activity recently but as a belated reply to those looking for more  Tveitt this is an interesting disc of chamber works - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Geirr-Tveitt-Travel-Premier-Recording/dp/B0058OA9HM/ref=sr_1_12?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1509195842&sr=1-12&keywords=tveitt
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: vandermolen on November 05, 2018, 07:42:29 AM
This is indeed a fine CD as both works are very poetic and magical in places:

Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: vandermolen on November 07, 2018, 02:27:57 PM
I especially like the Variations on a Folksong from Hardanger. My favourite work by Tveitt so far.
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: Symphonic Addict on June 28, 2020, 10:08:00 AM
(https://cdn.naxosmusiclibrary.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/hires/PSC3108.jpg)

Few activity on this thread for an original and great composer. Anyway, today I discovered his Harp Concerto No. 2 on the disc above and I must say it struck me largely. A lyrical, turbulent and eventually moving work. One of the best works in the genre IMO.
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: kyjo on June 29, 2020, 09:59:48 AM
(https://cdn.naxosmusiclibrary.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/hires/PSC3108.jpg)

Few activity on this thread for an original and great composer. Anyway, today I discovered his Harp Concerto No. 2 on the disc above and I must say it struck me largely. A lyrical, turbulent and eventually moving work. One of the best works in the genre IMO.

Thanks for resurrecting this thread, Cesar. For some reason, Tveitt is a composer I often forget about, but when I do listen to his music I find it deeply individual and compelling. Recently, I listened to his Piano Concerto no. 5 (Naxos recording), which opens with a strikingly anarchic upward gesture, but soon settles down into Tveitt’s characteristic rugged yet melodic folksy style. There are moments of poignant lyricism in the slow movement (poetically titled Danse aux campanules bleus/Dance of the blue bellflowers) and the finale is infectiously upbeat and uplifting. I haven’t heard the Harp Concerto no. 2, but I’m sure I’d enjoy it as I’ve never heard a weak work by this composer.
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: Alex Bozman on June 29, 2020, 10:28:53 AM
(https://cdn.naxosmusiclibrary.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/hires/PSC3108.jpg)

Few activity on this thread for an original and great composer. Anyway, today I discovered his Harp Concerto No. 2 on the disc above and I must say it struck me largely. A lyrical, turbulent and eventually moving work. One of the best works in the genre IMO.

I've got this cd and haven't listened to it for a while. The Harp Concerto no 2 is a quirky piece, recall the harp doesn't have a prominent role in the early phase but becomes more prominent in a strangely compelling work. Though don't know that many other 20/21st century Harp Concertos, the William Mathias is the other one than stands out.

Kyjo reminds me that I need to dig out the Tveitt Naxos Piano Concerto/Folktune Suites cds, bought around the time of a change of address and buried somewhere. One day  will get round to organising my music properly... 
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: kyjo on June 29, 2020, 10:34:21 AM
Though don't know that many other 20/21st century Harp Concertos, the William Mathias is the other one that stands out.

Indeed, the Mathias is a remarkable work. There are also excellent ones by Alwyn (Lyra Angelica), Dohnányi (Concertino), Ginastera, Glière, Jongen, and Tailleferre (Concertino). 
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: Symphonic Addict on June 29, 2020, 11:00:45 AM
Thanks for resurrecting this thread, Cesar. For some reason, Tveitt is a composer I often forget about, but when I do listen to his music I find it deeply individual and compelling. Recently, I listened to his Piano Concerto no. 5 (Naxos recording), which opens with a strikingly anarchic upward gesture, but soon settles down into Tveitt’s characteristic rugged yet melodic folksy style. There are moments of poignant lyricism in the slow movement (poetically titled Danse aux campanules bleus/Dance of the blue bellflowers) and the finale is infectiously upbeat and uplifting. I haven’t heard the Harp Concerto no. 2, but I’m sure I’d enjoy it as I’ve never heard a weak work by this composer.

Yes, his PCs are a source of good music indeed. I guess you know the Variations on a Folksong from Hardanger for two pianos and orchestra. A truly magical work. The Harp Concerto No. 2 is really great too. You could like it.
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: Symphonic Addict on June 29, 2020, 11:02:40 AM
I've got this cd and haven't listened to it for a while. The Harp Concerto no 2 is a quirky piece, recall the harp doesn't have a prominent role in the early phase but becomes more prominent in a strangely compelling work. Though don't know that many other 20/21st century Harp Concertos, the William Mathias is the other one than stands out.

Precisely. As I posted in WAYL2N thread, in the 1st movement the harp has less participation, that movement is more given to the orchestra in a powerful funeral march. In the other movements the solo instrument has more prominence, above all in the utterly poignant Memorias dolorosas. That is a formidable movement.

I had forgot the Mathias. Another splendid work.
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: kyjo on June 30, 2020, 01:23:02 PM
Yes, his PCs are a source of good music indeed. I guess you know the Variations on a Folksong from Hardanger for two pianos and orchestra. A truly magical work. The Harp Concerto No. 2 is really great too. You could like it.

Indeed, I do know the Variations. A superb and substantial work. One can only hope that more works of his that were thought to have been lost in the tragic barn fire can be discovered/reconstructed in the future!
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: Mirror Image on June 30, 2020, 02:38:18 PM
This remains, for me, my favorite Tveitt recording:

(https://img.discogs.com/3qyx_Xey8v65cClJ78yP3tdlFF4=/fit-in/600x597/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-1355133-1212314715.jpeg.jpg)

I’m know I mentioned this recording before, but it’s definitely one of those albums I’d bring to the desert island. Yes, it’s that good.
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: Biffo on July 01, 2020, 12:42:06 AM
This remains, for me, my favorite Tveitt recording:

(https://img.discogs.com/3qyx_Xey8v65cClJ78yP3tdlFF4=/fit-in/600x597/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-1355133-1212314715.jpeg.jpg)

I’m know I’ve mentioned this recording before, but it’s definitely one of those albums I’d bring to the desert island. Yes, it’s that good.

I liked the cover of this so much that I bought a full-sized copy of it and had it framed. The disc is excellent too.
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: Mirror Image on July 01, 2020, 05:32:35 AM
I liked the cover of this so much that I bought a full-sized copy of it and had it framed. The disc is excellent too.

I loved the cover as well. Theodor Kittelsen has done a lot of fantastic artwork. I think the tone poem Nykken rivals any of Sibelius’ own in the genre. That is how strongly I feel about that work.
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: Symphonic Addict on September 03, 2020, 02:12:17 PM
https://www.youtube.com/v/VuX9UOvYDBE

It's impressive to find out how many rare and interesting recordings of obscure stuff there are on YouTube, and this is one of them. A symphony by Tveitt that cries out for a proper recording. However, it's decent enough to enjoy it.

I'm hearing it right now. This is a dramatic and felt piece of evident gravitas. I'm enjoying it very much.
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: Brian on July 17, 2021, 10:45:02 AM
Spent a couple of workdays this week relistening to various works by Tveitt. Judging from my listening log, I listen to all the Tveitt pieces once every 2-3 years and then set them all aside, reread a piece about him here on GMG or from Hurwitz or elsewhere, forget which ones I like or don't like, and listen to them all over again. Maybe this time if I take notes I will have a chance of remembering better.  ;D

Unfortunately, though, I waited until now to read this thread. Spent Tuesday and Thursday mostly listening to the BIS series of piano concertos, not the Gimse-led Naxos series. Austbo is a great pianist in a lot of repertoire (Grieg, Janacek) and Sveinung Bjelland has a nice Scarlatti-Mendelssohn album out there, so I'm surprised to see lescamil's comments here. But (s)he is probably right, because the concertos mostly left me uninterested. No. 1 is cool sounding, unmemorable, very short, so short in fact that I thought there was maybe a new section in the first movement, looked, and realized it was the second movement. No. 4 is definitely in a very different musical language and is a piece I'll revisit next week on the Naxos recordings to see if that helps engage me more, along with the Variations for two pianos and orchestra. No. 5 was extremely big, probably too long, very virtuoso and show-off, with some folk elements. The Variations are surprisingly long, and while the moment-to-moment writing seemed colorful and fun, overall the piece was totally chaotic and the tune itself is so elusive, or forgettable, or perhaps so vaguely stated that the piece seemed totally unstructured and random to me.

I liked best the Hardanger Folk Tune arrangements, which are witty and colorful and unusually orchestrated, but will try the Naxos versions of those too, just in case. Also will try the piano originals; this afternoon, listening to Grieg's Lyric Suite (orchestrations of four Lyric Pieces), I thought "wow, the piano versions are way better," and wondered if that was true of Tveitt also.

The Sun God Symphony is built on repetitions of very simple materials into louder and louder climaxes, kind of like a Norse mythology Bolero or Janacek, but not nearly as fun as either of those, to me. The finale builds to a huge climax and then the French horns wail on a few extra seconds at the end for a very strange ending.

So yeah. Will try again on Concerto 4 and the Variations with the Naxos disc, dip into the Naxos folk tune suites, and try the disc Mirror Image raves about above. But so far, have not found anything to truly love or get enthusiastic about. Maybe I'm disappointed because the description of his music sounds exactly like something I'd be super enthusiastic and crazy and thrilled about, rather than just thinking it's kinda pleasant.
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: Irons on July 18, 2021, 01:02:44 AM
How weird! Tveitt is a name unknown to me. Yesterday I came across a CD at Oxfam which stuck out like a sore thumb amongst the Beethoven and Mozart greatest hits et al. For this alone I purchased. The very same day Brian revived the Tveitt thread that I had no idea, as the composer himself, existed. I will not attempt to work out the time of Brian's post and my purchase as that is entering scary territory. ???
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: vandermolen on July 18, 2021, 11:51:37 AM
How weird! Tveitt is a name unknown to me. Yesterday I came across a CD at Oxfam which stuck out like a sore thumb amongst the Beethoven and Mozart greatest hits et al. For this alone I purchased. The very same day Brian revived the Tveitt thread that I had no idea, as the composer himself, existed. I will not attempt to work out the time of Brian's post and my purchase as that is entering scary territory. ???
That's a fine CD Lol - I suspect that you'll enjoy it.
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: Symphonic Addict on July 18, 2021, 05:42:21 PM
That's a fine CD Lol - I suspect that you'll enjoy it.

+1

One of my favorite discs devoted to his music.
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: Irons on July 19, 2021, 01:55:20 AM
That's a fine CD Lol - I suspect that you'll enjoy it.

+1

One of my favorite discs devoted to his music.

Thanks! Looking forward to hearing it.
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: Mirror Image on July 19, 2021, 05:38:41 AM
Spent a couple of workdays this week relistening to various works by Tveitt. Judging from my listening log, I listen to all the Tveitt pieces once every 2-3 years and then set them all aside, reread a piece about him here on GMG or from Hurwitz or elsewhere, forget which ones I like or don't like, and listen to them all over again. Maybe this time if I take notes I will have a chance of remembering better.  ;D

Unfortunately, though, I waited until now to read this thread. Spent Tuesday and Thursday mostly listening to the BIS series of piano concertos, not the Gimse-led Naxos series. Austbo is a great pianist in a lot of repertoire (Grieg, Janacek) and Sveinung Bjelland has a nice Scarlatti-Mendelssohn album out there, so I'm surprised to see lescamil's comments here. But (s)he is probably right, because the concertos mostly left me uninterested. No. 1 is cool sounding, unmemorable, very short, so short in fact that I thought there was maybe a new section in the first movement, looked, and realized it was the second movement. No. 4 is definitely in a very different musical language and is a piece I'll revisit next week on the Naxos recordings to see if that helps engage me more, along with the Variations for two pianos and orchestra. No. 5 was extremely big, probably too long, very virtuoso and show-off, with some folk elements. The Variations are surprisingly long, and while the moment-to-moment writing seemed colorful and fun, overall the piece was totally chaotic and the tune itself is so elusive, or forgettable, or perhaps so vaguely stated that the piece seemed totally unstructured and random to me.

I liked best the Hardanger Folk Tune arrangements, which are witty and colorful and unusually orchestrated, but will try the Naxos versions of those too, just in case. Also will try the piano originals; this afternoon, listening to Grieg's Lyric Suite (orchestrations of four Lyric Pieces), I thought "wow, the piano versions are way better," and wondered if that was true of Tveitt also.

The Sun God Symphony is built on repetitions of very simple materials into louder and louder climaxes, kind of like a Norse mythology Bolero or Janacek, but not nearly as fun as either of those, to me. The finale builds to a huge climax and then the French horns wail on a few extra seconds at the end for a very strange ending.

So yeah. Will try again on Concerto 4 and the Variations with the Naxos disc, dip into the Naxos folk tune suites, and try the disc Mirror Image raves about above. But so far, have not found anything to truly love or get enthusiastic about. Maybe I'm disappointed because the description of his music sounds exactly like something I'd be super enthusiastic and crazy and thrilled about, rather than just thinking it's kinda pleasant.

I have had a similar issue as you, Brian. His music just goes in one ear and out the other for me --- nothing really sticks out. So much of it seems to be so atmospheric, but there’s no emotional drive within the music that catches my imagination. Like you, the description of Tveitt’s music sounds like something I’d go for, but I’ve been quite disappointed with so much of what I’ve heard from this composer. The Hardanger Fiddle Concertos (plus Nykken) BIS disc is still the best thing I’ve heard, so I’ll definitely be interested in reading your impressions of this recording once you’ve heard it.
Title: Re: Tveitt's Nordic Tower
Post by: Brian on July 20, 2021, 05:41:51 AM
(https://cdn.naxosmusiclibrary.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/hires/8.555761.jpg)

Oh WOW. This performance of the Variations is so vastly better!! The difference is truly enormous and I would not have expected to experience the piece so differently in a different recording.

The key difference really is choices made with the recorded sound - BIS blends the two pianos back into the orchestra, and Naxos spotlights them somewhat artificially, but also and importantly, BIS blends the two pianos into each other. Whereas Naxos separates them, one on the left channel, one on the right. The difference is immediately noticeable on the entrance of the soloists - on BIS, it sounds like, well, an orchestral piano, whereas on Naxos, it genuinely sounds like a duel between fighter #1 and fighter #2. BIS' recording is stronger in the bass, good for low notes and winds, while Naxos' is stronger in the treble, which happens to be where a lot of the piano writing is, so it really spotlights and highlights the give-and-take, thrust-and-parry sparring nature of the two soloists' writing. Also, check out the episode at 28' on both tracks, when a xylophone enters the party. On Naxos, the xylophone is clearly audible in a third place in the sound picture, creating a triangle of percussive piano and xylophone writing.

The piano concerto is also miked much more closely and places the various orchestral details wider apart, making them easier to hear and appreciate, making the music vastly more colorful. The difference is not as tremendous, but still the difference between "this is pleasant" and "this is really cool." It also helps that the Scottish brass are way louder and gutsier.

Wow. What a dramatic turn of events. I am sure the BIS recording is ideal if you have a really sophisticated sound system which can make it all come alive in your large, fancy living room. It's probably technically superior since it doesn't rely on spotlighting and gimmickry. But I don't have a SOTA system, and currently am listening on headphones, so I need the recording engineers to do the work for me, which is what is done on Naxos. Wow.

Probably not enough to completely change my mind on Tveitt, but I will try the folk tunes on Naxos now and maaaybe the more disappointing concertos 1/5, just in case.

One quibble: Naxos astonishingly fails to identify the pianist in Concerto 4, that is to say, they don't say which of the two pianists from the Variations takes the solo in 4. I assume it is Gimse because he is listed first and did the other concertos.