GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: Lethevich on January 08, 2011, 07:06:42 PM

Title: Norwegian composers
Post by: Lethevich on January 08, 2011, 07:06:42 PM
The Norway section of the index is looking a bit bleak, so here goes. Feel free to discuss Grieg's (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,17511.0.html) influence on his countries music, but this thread is primarily to discover composers less well-known than him.

Some major claimants to wider interest:

Ludvig Irgens-Jensen. His Passacaglia is one of the strongest prospects a Norwegian composer has to a piece of international value - it has that essential combination of surface beauty, inventive structure, emotional depth, and also a great span that never feels too long. His symphony is another major landmark in the national repertoire, and is strong by any standard. His output appears to be quite small, but everything I have heard has been music of a high order. His Japanischer Frühling song cycle is a real surprise, a very well-integrated concert work.

Geirr Tveitt. A composer with perhaps the most immediate stylistic rightness when compared to his international contemporaries. His music has something of the folkoristic aspect of Bartók similarly filtered through a prism of accessable modernism, although less radical, his music retains some of the "bite" that audiences enjoy in these mid century works. His suites of folktunes also offer Grieg-styled audience-pleasing melodic miniatures. They are well-proportioned and substantial concert works opposed to Bartók's widely varying output in this area.

Harald Sæverud. For some reason this composer's position reminds me a little of Malcolm Arnold - an "odd" figure, humorous and yet still dedicated to producing challenging and accessable music. He wrote a sizable symphony cycle of nine, several concertos and many other pieces. Stylistically, though, his music is far more unified than Arnold - it has a very strong neo-classical/neo-baroque tinge at times yet retaining the ambition of the Romantic symphony. His neo-classical leanings do mean that some of his work can be a bit pointalistic at times, and the occasional harmonic ambiguity can further muddy the waters. At its most accessable (his 8th symphony 'Minnesota') the composer is able to produce fun and wonderfully engaging music without being an obvious pastiche of any other big names of the century.

Johan Svendsen seems to be the earliest major composer along with Grieg - his output is rather less personal than his contemporary but fulfils a valuable position in establishing a national music scene. His series of four Norwegian rhapsodies and his other major orchestral works (including two symphonies and two concertos) were mainly written during a period of intense compositional activity from the mid 1860s to the late 1870s. Svendsen isn't a figure on the same level of Sibelius, but as a Romantic of the late-middle period his music is highly enjoyable.

Christian Sinding. Of several generations later than Svensen, but still writing in a Romantic style, Sinding is one of countless composers of the early-to-mid 20th century to be (arguably, rightly) branded as archaic. Similar to Wilhelm Peterson-Berger of Sweden, his personality gives an impression of being somewhat embittered by this status. Sinding's music is of course not fully Romantic, as even the most conservative of composers could not help but be influenced some innovation, and I do find that Sinding's music has a distinct leaning towards clarity where it does not interfere with his Romantic goals. However, this could have been a lesson learned from Grieg as much as any 20th century progressive. At his best his music can be engaging, but he wrote far too much for a successful appraisal simply from scraps have been recorded.

These are the only composers I am particularly familiar with, perhaps others can provide similar overviews of a pargraph or two on other composers they have enjoyed - I know that there are many other notables not yet mentioned that I would love to learn more about: Valen, Halvorsen, Hovland, Egge (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,10041.0.html), Johansen, Brustad, F. Mortensen, Nordheim, etc, and of course feel free to elaborate on the ones I have already mentioned, as they are only brief and subjective sketches.
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: snyprrr on January 09, 2011, 12:43:43 PM
oy,... the silence is deafening! :o



Why does Northern Swede... I mean, Norway, get such short shrift? I mean, Western Finla...er, Norway, has a very distinctive musical heritage. ;)

Not like Northern Germ,...  I mean, Sweden...


Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: lescamil on January 09, 2011, 06:18:29 PM
A composer I would like to bring up is Eivind Groven, who is only really known in Norway for his nationalist works, like his Hjalar-ljod Overture (perhaps the only piece of his that is played regularly). He does have some other, more substantial works, such as (at least) two symphonies and a really nice piano concerto. However, there is one thing that gets overlooked about him. He was very interested in the folk music of his country, so he developed an organ capable of producing 36 different tones in the octave to accurately realize his musical interests within that realm. You can read more about it here:

http://www.wmich.edu/mus-theo/groven/

There are even some samples of his music there.

I can't say I know a huge amount of his music, but I like what I have heard so far.
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: The new erato on January 10, 2011, 01:50:22 AM
The symphony disc on BIS is very fine, containing two very tuneful and colorful symphonies. One of the symphonies (Toward the mountains I think it is called), contains a tune that was used by the Norwegian broadacsting for decades as a pause signal (from the time when there occasionally was a slight wait before the next program) and therefore is known to absolutely all Norwegians of the 1950-60 generation.

A mention here also for Edvard Fliflet Bræin, who has three good symphonies in a slightly Shostakovich like style (without the angst), playful and fun. A good opera composer and some good chamber music as well, always well written, entertaining music.

His "Ut mot havet" (towards the Sea) has immense popularity in  Norway, almost achieving status as an alternative national anthem.

Youtube here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlL1EUSbCXY (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlL1EUSbCXY)
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: just Jeff on January 10, 2011, 04:21:45 AM
I have several Arne Nordheim discs I plan on listening to very soon.  Considered a legend over there, yet not real well known in the US.

Ok, I posted.  These are some nice LPs, but I do have a few CDs as well.  The Decca Headline is a rather rare LP.

(http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af80/hiptone/Unused%20Covers/ARNENORDHEIMFTHEAD-1.jpg)

(http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af80/hiptone/Unused%20Covers/nordheimft.jpg)
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: Ten thumbs on January 10, 2011, 06:22:18 AM
Another fine composer in the fields of piano music and lieder is Backer-Grøndahl. See my new thread: Agathe Backer-Grøndahl (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,17708.0.html)
A friend and contemporary of Grieg's, her music is inventive and quite modern for that age. If you like violent troll music try 'I Blaafjeldet' (Op. 44). All of  her piano music has been recorded by Natalia Strelchenko ( 4 cds ).
(Correction: these recordings only go up to Op. 55)
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: mjwal on January 10, 2011, 09:52:08 AM
Arne Nordheim is one of my favourite contemporary composers. I have that Epitaffio - Greening - Doria as a CD, I love the setting of Pound's poem in the latter. In general, it has been his vocal music that really rang my bell: Wirklicher Wald, The Tempest, Aurora. But i would like to hear all of his work (I've never heard Ariadne, for instance, a pity because I am writing a piece on this myth as represented in music) - unfortunately little of it has been available in Western Europe (or only briefly).
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: Cato on January 10, 2011, 10:25:12 AM
Fartein Valen is my nominee to be (one of the) greatest Norwegian composer(s) of the 20th Century!

Check this out:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJ40f1Vnga8  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJ40f1Vnga8)

And I happened to find this, which seems intriguing, but my computer at school has no speakers, so I cannot verify how good it is:


http://mnmproductions.biz/marit_valen.html (http://mnmproductions.biz/marit_valen.html)
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: Est.1965 on January 12, 2011, 07:15:21 AM
Johan Svendsen is a real swashbuckler.
He is in that same brilliant thrust of musicality as fellow Scandinavians Atterberg, Alfven and Rangstrom.  A total delight to listen to.
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: vandermolen on January 12, 2011, 07:20:19 AM
Klauss Egge's Symphony No 1, the very lyrical String Quartet and Piano Concerto No 2 are all very fine (last two on Naxos).
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: The new erato on January 12, 2011, 08:03:21 AM
Johan Svendsen is a real swashbuckler.
He is in that same brilliant thrust of musicality as fellow Scandinavians Atterberg, Alfven and Rangstrom.  A total delight to listen to.
And a brilliant conductor reputedly. Carl Nielsen was violinist under him (even Konzertmeister IIRC) in Svendsen's days in Copenhagen.
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: snyprrr on January 12, 2011, 08:18:52 AM
am i logged in??????
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: snyprrr on January 12, 2011, 08:19:38 AM
ugh,...my looooong post on the Naxos SQ cd got eaten by ravenous site. >:D
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 23, 2011, 02:11:19 PM
Eyvind Alnæs was a relative unknown to me until a few years ago. The Hyperion Romantic Piano Concerto disc (with Sinding) was a revelation to me. Not too long ago, Sterling released a disc of his symphonies. Now I see that a piano disc is planned for March 2011. I'm very much looking forward to it:

Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: Papy Oli on April 06, 2011, 12:13:08 PM
For those who might be interested, I came across this among the future releases :



samples here :

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Thomas-D-Tellefsen-Complete-Works/dp/B004VDOAE4/ref=dm_cd_album_lnk (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Thomas-D-Tellefsen-Complete-Works/dp/B004VDOAE4/ref=dm_cd_album_lnk)
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: The new erato on April 06, 2011, 12:27:37 PM
For those who might be interested, I came across this among the future releases :



samples here :

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Thomas-D-Tellefsen-Complete-Works/dp/B004VDOAE4/ref=dm_cd_album_lnk (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Thomas-D-Tellefsen-Complete-Works/dp/B004VDOAE4/ref=dm_cd_album_lnk)
A student of Kalbrenner and Chopin, who befriended him.
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: Papy Oli on April 06, 2011, 12:34:32 PM
ok thank you  :)

it only triggered my curiosity when i saw solo piano works on the cover. I had to search his name to find his nationality as i had not read his name here before.

I quite like the mazurkas samples.
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: MDL on April 06, 2011, 02:27:33 PM
I have several Arne Nordheim discs I plan on listening to very soon.  Considered a legend over there, yet not real well known in the US.

Ok, I posted.  These are some nice LPs, but I do have a few CDs as well.  The Decca Headline is a rather rare LP.

(http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af80/hiptone/Unused%20Covers/ARNENORDHEIMFTHEAD-1.jpg)


Loved that LP and played it so often, it's scratched to buggery and I've had to replace it on CD. Epitaffio is obviously the finest work, but Greening and Doria are indelibly etched into my memory. Beautiful Decca recording, too.
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: Ten thumbs on April 07, 2011, 12:43:05 AM
Pleased to say Backer-Grondahl volume 5 is now available.

(http://media.platekompaniet.no/cover/cover/album3/ar08016.jpg)

Just in time for my birthday!

Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: vandermolen on April 13, 2011, 03:29:08 AM
Jut a plug for this wonderful CD - discovered thanks to 'J' on this Forum. Alf Hurum (born Oslo 1882, died Honolulu 1972) wrote in a late-romantic style, showing the influence of Sibelius and Debussy.  The music is also individual, the themes memorable and I find the music to be moving and inspiriting, ideal if you need cheering up or consolation (my default position  ;D). The String Quartet is very good but it is the two orchestral works which draw me back: 'Bendik & Aarolilja' and the Symphony in D. There is a strong sense of nature. At times I was reminded of Peterson-Berger and Atterberg , although wth a greater sense of warmth, and I suspect that this music, if better known, would have wide appeal.


Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: Ten thumbs on April 14, 2011, 09:51:41 AM
Here's a little list, in alphabetical order from a piano album published by Carl Warmuths, some time in the late 1800s.

Agathe Backer-Grøndahl
Christian Cappelen
Neils W. Gade
Edvard Grieg
Jvar Hallström
Asger Hamerik
Emil Hartman
Frithiof Hertzman
C.F.E. Horneman
J.A. Josephson
L.M. Lindeman
Edmund Neuport
Ludvig Norman
Ole Olsen
F.A. Reissiger
Christian Teilman
August Winding
Otto Winter-Hjelm



Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: The new erato on April 14, 2011, 10:10:28 AM
Hamerik and Hartman are Danish (though the two countries were united until 1814) - but the list contains several names formerly unknown to me.
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: jlaurson on July 09, 2011, 12:00:26 AM


The Day That Silence Flared Up


“July 12th, 1970, is a day of infamy in the history of classical music.”

If you have never heard of that day, or don’t associate anything in particular with it: neither did I.
Incidentally, the tragedy of that date is closely connected with never hearing anything of it, because
it was the day Norwegian composer Geirr Tveitt’s house burnt down and with it his (largely un-
published) body of music; wiping out some nine tenths of his output...
(http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/07/day-that-silence-flared-up.html)
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: DieNacht on July 09, 2011, 12:53:41 AM
Quote
Agathe Backer-Grøndahl
Christian Cappelen
Neils W. Gade
Edvard Grieg
Jvar Hallström
Asger Hamerik
Emil Hartman
Frithiof Hertzman
C.F.E. Horneman
J.A. Josephson
L.M. Lindeman
Edmund Neuport
Ludvig Norman
Ole Olsen
F.A. Reissiger
Christian Teilman
August Winding
Otto Winter-Hjelm


If the list proclaims all the composers to be Norwegian, it is certainly from before the modern communication era.

Or perhaps it is simply clever: Norwegian-ness would probably sell better and have a more Romantic, Grieg-like aura to it, than mentioning the real nationality of the composers. Gade, Winding, Hartmann, Hamerik and Hornemann were Danish; Reissiger German; Norman, Josephson and Hallström Swedish. It must be mentioned, though, that Sweden and Norway had a degree of political union from 1814 to 1905.

Fartein Valen, Arne Nordheim and Harald Sæverud are probably the most important of the more recent Norwegian composers; Finn Arnestad, Antonio Bibalo, Klaus Egge, Geir Tveitt and Finn Mortensen among the more important, lesser known ones.  Both Valen and Sæverud have their own museums in the Fjord country near Bergen, as well as Grieg and Ole Bull. The museums also have websites.
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: MDL on July 09, 2011, 01:57:30 AM
I have several Arne Nordheim discs I plan on listening to very soon.  Considered a legend over there, yet not real well known in the US.

Ok, I posted.  These are some nice LPs, but I do have a few CDs as well.  The Decca Headline is a rather rare LP.


(http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af80/hiptone/Unused%20Covers/nordheimft.jpg)

I've never heard Canzona or Response 1. What are they like? How does the performance of Epitaffio compare to the Decca? I wish this had been reissued on CD. Who are the performers?
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: jlaurson on July 10, 2011, 07:37:18 AM
Essay for WETA


Musical Journey Through Norway


http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=3257 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=3257)
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: Lethevich on August 26, 2011, 07:59:50 AM
Two recent releases:

Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: Daverz on August 26, 2011, 02:31:07 PM
I only have volume 2 of Papa Järvi's 3 Halvorsen volumes so far, but it is very good:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51zd3dyksTL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

This one has the Suite ancienne, which is probably his most famous work.

Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: vandermolen on August 27, 2011, 01:48:12 AM
This looks like an interesting new Naxos release:
The Passacaglia is very impressive - I don't know the Symphony.

Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: vandermolen on September 13, 2011, 02:08:08 PM
Well, I've now received and played the new Naxos CD of music by Irgens-Jensen (1894-1969) and enjoyed it enormously. The Symphony (1942) as the blurb says 'was originally conceived [to] express the depth of his feelings about the human and natural world during the dark days of World War Two.' It lasts 44 minutes and there is a strong sense of nature throughout. I was reminded of Stenhammer's Symphony No 2, Vaughan Williams and Peterson-Berger.  The opening is majestic and quite beautiful and although I'm not sure if the rest of the Symphony quite lives up to this early promise, I have played it right through three times already with much enjoyment.  At Naxos price it is irresistible (well, for me anyway). The short 'Air' (1959) is touching and the Bachian 'Passacaglia' (1928) is a real power-house of a piece.  A strong recommendation from me.  I wish that Naxos would now record Klaus Egge's fine Symphony No1.

Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: Dundonnell on September 13, 2011, 02:12:51 PM
And what about Egge's 3rd and 5th Symphonies, Jeffrey.....which have NEVER made it to disc?? ;D
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: Dundonnell on September 13, 2011, 02:14:56 PM
I also have just received the Irgens-Jensen disc(I thought that he was 'just' Jensen up to now :-[).

I have the Symphony in its two movement incarnation...so it will be interesting to hear the full three movements originally composed :)
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: vandermolen on September 13, 2011, 02:20:37 PM
And what about Egge's 3rd and 5th Symphonies, Jeffrey.....which have NEVER made it to disc?? ;D

A good point Colin, but having heard Nos 2 and 4 I think that, like our friend, Braga-Santos, he went all (sort of) Atonal  ??? Actually what I would like to see is the original LP version of Egge's First Symphony (Gruner-Hegge Oslo PO, HMV Norway) transferred to CD. However I do really like Egge's String Quartet (Naxos - well worth looking out) and his more modernistic Cello Concerto.
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: Dundonnell on September 13, 2011, 02:32:02 PM
A good point Colin, but having heard Nos 2 and 4 I think that, like our friend, Braga-Santos, he went all (sort of) Atonal  ??? Actually what I would like to see is the original LP version of Egge's First Symphony (Gruner-Hegge Oslo PO, HMV Norway) transferred to CD. However I do really like Egge's String Quartet (Naxos - well worth looking out) and his more modernistic Cello Concerto.

It HAS been, Jeffrey!

Aurora NCD-B 4936, coupled with Piano Concerto No.2 :)
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: vandermolen on September 13, 2011, 02:38:03 PM
It HAS been, Jeffrey!

Aurora NCD-B 4936, coupled with Piano Concerto No.2 :)

Hi Colin,

No, that's the Karsten Andersen Bergen PO version (from a Phillips LP) - it is fine but overloads at climaxes - I prefer the earlier version, which I took out of the High Street Kensington Music Library in my youth.

Jeffrey
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: Dundonnell on September 13, 2011, 02:44:33 PM
Hi Colin,

No, that's the Karsten Andersen Bergen PO version (from a Phillips LP) - it is fine but overloads at climaxes - I prefer the earlier version, which I took out of the High Street Kensington Music Library in my youth.

Jeffrey

I DO beg your pardon, Jeffrey :-[

(Reminder to self...don't rush to your shelves and assume that the cd you have is the one in question ;D)
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: vandermolen on September 13, 2011, 02:59:20 PM
I DO beg your pardon, Jeffrey :-[

(Reminder to self...don't rush to your shelves and assume that the cd you have is the one in question ;D)

Annoyingly I find that 'Unsung Composers' mentioned a broadcast of the earlier recording on the radio - but it is now too late to hear it  >:(
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: MDL on September 13, 2011, 10:55:09 PM
I've never heard Canzona or Response 1. What are they like? How does the performance of Epitaffio compare to the Decca? I wish this had been reissued on CD. Who are the performers?

Bump. Jeff, hello?
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: MDL on November 02, 2011, 12:52:07 AM
Bump. Jeff, hello?

OK, bugger off then. Look what I've just spotted:


(http://images.systemrecords.co.uk/large/NOTE_17_24_OCT_11_54.jpg)

Nordheim:
Monolith
Epitaffio per orchestra e nastro magnetico
Canzona per orchestra
Fonos - 3 memorables for trombone and orchestra
Marius Hesby (trombone)
Adieu


Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: mc ukrneal on November 02, 2011, 01:32:06 AM
This is a sleepy corner of the Boards! I have been enjoying recently the Alnaes Symphonies disc. This one:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51zW67Y1lZL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Nordheim is, err, a bit more modern! :)
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: Moz on November 03, 2011, 02:52:47 PM
If you're into choral music(I am): Knut Nystedt and Trond Kverno(Contemporary, 70's->).

//M
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: Elnimio on February 14, 2012, 06:15:19 PM
Oops, I guess I could've talked about Saeverud in here. He has a huge output though, I think he deserves his own thread.


I'm also in love with Ludvig Igers-Jensen's music. Too bad so little of it is recorded. The Passacaglia, is in my opinion, one of the greatest works of the early 20th century.
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: Lethevich on March 14, 2012, 04:44:25 PM
Halvorson Vol.4 is here :)

http://www.theclassicalshop.net/Details.aspx?CatalogueNumber=CHAN%2010710&ta=2
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: jlaurson on March 15, 2012, 04:48:18 AM
If you're into choral music(I am): Knut Nystedt and Trond Kverno(Contemporary, 70's->).
//M

I heard the World Premiere of a Trond Kverno piece ("Lukaspasjonen" - St.Luke's Passion) just last night.

Meanwhile:




Musical Journey Through Norway

 (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/03/musical-journey-through-norway.html)
Quote
April in Oslo. Celebratory sunshine & blue skies, weather made for a train trip across the Hardangerviddato mountain plateau...
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/03/musical-journey-through-norway.html[/url]
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: mc ukrneal on March 15, 2012, 04:57:45 AM
Halvorson Vol.4 is here :)

http://www.theclassicalshop.net/Details.aspx?CatalogueNumber=CHAN%2010710&ta=2
Yummy! I can't wait, although I suppose I should get volume 3 first! :)
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: Scion7 on March 15, 2012, 05:38:26 AM
MaCready: "Any you Swedes in there?"

Dr. Cooper: "They're Norwegians, Mac."
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: calyptorhynchus on March 27, 2015, 05:29:19 PM
I've just been listening to Toccata's new release of organ, choral and orchestral works by Leif Solberg (1914 - ) (yes he's still alive!)

What a find! Solberg is a brilliant organist and a master of counterpoint, but he had a busy life as a music teacher and church organist in Lillehammer and didn't compose much. Listening to this CD it's hard not to feel sorry he didn't write more.

The symphony (composed in 1950) is a half-hour work, and although Solberg's harmonic style is quite old fashioned it's a powerful piece. It sounds a bit like Nielsen of the First Symphony, but says more. It is said to composed in memory of his brother killed in WW2 and the motto theme has a tragic appoggiatura  which reminds me of Pettersen. The music is by turns sad and vigorous (sometimes sad and vigorous), the slow movement is an elegy and the last movement has a remarkable contrapuntal ending.

The other pieces on the disk are also of very high quality, and the disk made me immediately buy the only other work of his recorded, a String Quartet, which I'm about to listen to.
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: vandermolen on March 29, 2015, 10:32:22 AM
I've just been listening to Toccata's new release of organ, choral and orchestral works by Leif Solberg (1914 - ) (yes he's still alive!)

What a find! Solberg is a brilliant organist and a master of counterpoint, but he had a busy life as a music teacher and church organist in Lillehammer and didn't compose much. Listening to this CD it's hard not to feel sorry he didn't write more.

The symphony (composed in 1950) is a half-hour work, and although Solberg's harmonic style is quite old fashioned it's a powerful piece. It sounds a bit like Nielsen of the First Symphony, but says more. It is said to composed in memory of his brother killed in WW2 and the motto theme has a tragic appoggiatura  which reminds me of Pettersen. The music is by turns sad and vigorous (sometimes sad and vigorous), the slow movement is an elegy and the last movement has a remarkable contrapuntal ending.

The other pieces on the disk are also of very high quality, and the disk made me immediately buy the only other work of his recorded, a String Quartet, which I'm about to listen to.

How interesting! Thank you for alerting us to this release which I shall investigate.
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: calyptorhynchus on March 29, 2015, 12:06:51 PM
Martin Anderson (head of Toccata) tells me they intend another two Solberg disks, one of chamber music, another of organ music.
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: vandermolen on April 04, 2015, 01:20:18 PM
I've just been listening to Toccata's new release of organ, choral and orchestral works by Leif Solberg (1914 - ) (yes he's still alive!)

What a find! Solberg is a brilliant organist and a master of counterpoint, but he had a busy life as a music teacher and church organist in Lillehammer and didn't compose much. Listening to this CD it's hard not to feel sorry he didn't write more.

The symphony (composed in 1950) is a half-hour work, and although Solberg's harmonic style is quite old fashioned it's a powerful piece. It sounds a bit like Nielsen of the First Symphony, but says more. It is said to composed in memory of his brother killed in WW2 and the motto theme has a tragic appoggiatura  which reminds me of Pettersen. The music is by turns sad and vigorous (sometimes sad and vigorous), the slow movement is an elegy and the last movement has a remarkable contrapuntal ending.

The other pieces on the disk are also of very high quality, and the disk made me immediately buy the only other work of his recorded, a String Quartet, which I'm about to listen to.

You are quite right about this disc which I have just listened to with much enjoyment. I am now listening again to the beautiful and memorable 'Pastorale' of 1930, 1954/55, which I would have thought had the potential for wide appeal. The Symphony is a great discovery, with a profoundly moving slow movement and inspiriting finale. Ver Sacrum, in its string transcription, is also a soulful and moving piece. I liked all the photos of Solberg and his wife in the booklet as well as the one of him having his portrait sculpted. So many thanks for alerting us to this great disc and worthwhile composer. Good that he has lived to see this disc appear - it has clearly pleased him!
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: Zeus on March 17, 2017, 02:33:04 PM
I can't believe I can't find a Geirr Tveitt thread on this site.  Hello?!  I guess I'll have to start one.

Anyway, here is a nice collection of Norwegian music which I can recommend:
(https://lawostore.no/assets/images/PSC1260_0a4b4c_rszd.jpg)


Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: Cato on March 17, 2017, 02:41:22 PM

Fartein Valen is my nominee to be (one of the) greatest Norwegian composer(s) of the 20th Century!

An update:

https://www.youtube.com/v/oi-zeoTezz4



Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: North Star on March 17, 2017, 02:44:38 PM
I can't believe I can't find a Geirr Tveitt thread on this site.  Hello?!  I guess I'll have to start one.

Anyway, here is a nice collection of Norwegian music which I can recommend:
(https://lawostore.no/assets/images/PSC1260_0a4b4c_rszd.jpg)
Tveitt thread: http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,20746.0.html
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: Zeus on March 17, 2017, 03:35:46 PM
Hey - thanks!   ::)
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: vandermolen on June 19, 2019, 01:24:24 AM
Thought I'd flag up Kleiberg's wonderful (IMO) Symphony 1 'The Bell Reef' a hauntingly atmospheric work and one of innumerable discoveries that I have made through the kindness and generosity of members of this forum ('J' in this case). It is a rather Baxian seascape but in places rather reminded me of Nystroem's 'Sinfonia del Mare'. The story behind the work is interesting. The work is from 1991. The Bell Reef is off the coast of Norway and the story is from one told by the composer's grandfather (a writer). After the Reformation, in 1537, a Danish ship arrived at Stavanger to collect valuables, including five church bells from Stavanger Cathedral. On its return journey the ship ran into the reef and sank. In later years it was said that the bells could occasionally be heard sounding from the bottom of the sea. Kleiberg's work also commemorates another grandfather whose ship hit a mine of the Bell Reef on Christmas Eve 1916 and was drowned. As the notes say 'The Debussyan image of bells sounding through huge masses of water evoked very specific musical ideas for Kleiberg. I am also discovering how good the 2nd Symphony is on the same CD. It is always great to find music, written by a contemporary composer, which is both memorable, moving, appealing and approachable:
(http://)
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: André on June 19, 2019, 04:45:05 AM
Looks like a great find, Jeffrey (and J !). Thanks for the post. Will attempt to locate and purchase.

A couple of years ago (?) I went through my norwegian section. Can’t recall if I posted about it, maybe in the WAYL thread. I’ll see if I can locate the posts and copy them here. I have the bad habit of writing everything in the ‘main’ thread and not bother to check for the specialized ones  ::).
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: Roy Bland on June 19, 2019, 05:16:37 AM
About Tveitt and his troubled orchestral catalogue.Which part of his works hasn't still recorded?
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: Biffo on June 19, 2019, 05:34:56 AM
About Tveitt and his troubled orchestral catalogue.Which part of his works hasn't still recorded?

Most of Tveitt's works were destroyed in a catastrophic fire at his home. Some works have been reconstructed from the charred remains, orchestral parts of works that were performed and even from recordings. I get the impression that there is not a lot left that hasn't already been published or recorded. I suppose there is always the chance a work may turn up in an archive somewhere.
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: vandermolen on June 19, 2019, 06:27:12 AM
Looks like a great find, Jeffrey (and J !). Thanks for the post. Will attempt to locate and purchase.

A couple of years ago (?) I went through my norwegian section. Can’t recall if I posted about it, maybe in the WAYL thread. I’ll see if I can locate the posts and copy them here. I have the bad habit of writing everything in the ‘main’ thread and not bother to check for the specialized ones  ::).

I suspect that you'd enjoy it Andre.
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: André on June 19, 2019, 08:50:34 AM
It’s on my wish list  ;).
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: André on June 19, 2019, 08:55:26 AM

A couple of years ago (?) I went through my norwegian section. Can’t recall if I posted about it, maybe in the WAYL thread. I’ll see if I can locate the posts and copy them here. I have the bad habit of writing everything in the ‘main’ thread and not bother to check for the specialized ones  ::).

The period was September/October 2016. I’ll quote them here, but will exclude Saeverud, who has his own thread.

Quote
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51-ln-J5CvL.jpg)

Finn Mortensen (1922-1983).

Symphony no 1, op. 5 from 1953. Mariss Jansons' very first recording as MD of the Oslo Philharmonic (1979, label Aurora). This is a substantial work at 37 minutes, full of brute force, anger, but shot through with beams of hope and tenderness. There is another, more recent version on Simax (Terje Mikkelsen). According to the net, this is the most often played and most important symphony by a norwegian composer. I don't doubt it's excellent, even great. But there are others almost or just as magnificent by Egge, Kielland and Irgens-Jensen.

For some reason, the 20th century norwegian composers have sort of gone unnoticed compared to their finnish, swedish or danish counterparts. I think Norway lacked a seminal, established and recognized voice like those of Sibelius, Nielsen or Stenhammar to pave the way to the world's concert stages. Most of these norwegian orchestral works date from 1925+, by which time the other scandinavian countries' composers had more or less grabbed the musical world's attention.
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: André on June 19, 2019, 09:00:20 AM
Quote
Masterpiece alert:

Olav Kielland's first symphony is an absolutely remarkable work. First performed in 1935. Here conducted by the composer (1901-1985) leading the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51hshmz529L.jpg)
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: André on June 19, 2019, 09:00:32 AM
Quote
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41SzbIFU7IL._SX425_.jpg)

Ludvig Irgens-Jensen:

- Tema con variazioni (1925). Oslo Philharmonic, Odd Gruner-Hegge.
- Passacaglia (1927) and Partita Sinfonica (1938). Oslo Philharmonic, Ole Kristian Ruud.

Good, very solid music. Not smiling or life-affirming. Irgens-Jensen seems to have been a serious character, not prone to expansiveness.
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: vandermolen on June 19, 2019, 09:46:57 AM
Along with the Kleiberg 'Bell Reef' my favourite Norwegian symphony. I have both the LP and CD. It also has a nautical theme, dedicated to the Norwegian merchant navy crews of World War Two. In its way it reminds me of Walton's First Symphony. The Karsten Andersen recording is fine but slightly boxed in and overloading at the great climax of the first movement. The older recording by Gruner-Hegge is better but has never been released on CD.
The Gruner-Hegge LP is below. You can find the complete performance on You Tube.



(http://)
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: SymphonicAddict on June 19, 2019, 02:07:27 PM
Interesting symphonies guys. The only one I know is the Mortensen and it's great indeed, granitic and serious.
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: vandermolen on June 19, 2019, 08:26:22 PM
Interesting symphonies guys. The only one I know is the Mortensen and it's great indeed, granitic and serious.

Suspect that you'd enjoy the Egge Cesar. The PC No.2 is very nice as well.
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: SymphonicAddict on June 20, 2019, 01:03:14 PM
Suspect that you'd enjoy the Egge Cesar. The PC No.2 is very nice as well.

I found the Symphony on YouTube and sounds good, the audio quality is regrettable, though, but I think I can improve its quality a bit by using a software.
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: SymphonicAddict on June 20, 2019, 01:07:23 PM
Since we are talking about Norwegian composers and more specifically symphonies, I found these files on the internet, which are a compendium of Scandivanian symphonies and their recordings (discography), among them many Norwegian names I hadn't heard before.

http://www.musicweb-international.com/Ntl_discogs/Scandinavian_symphonies/Scandinavian_symphoniesAK.pdf

http://www.musicweb-international.com/Ntl_discogs/Scandinavian_symphonies/Scandinavian_symphoniesLZ.pdf
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: vandermolen on June 24, 2019, 11:46:28 PM
A strong recommendation for this CD of eloquent, poetic and approachable music by a contemporary composer:
(http://)
I had to listen to SQ No.3 several times in a row. I think it would, for example, appeal to admirers of Vasks or VW for that matter. I was pleased to hear that Stale Kleiberg is an admirer of the music of VW. If nothing else listen to his wonderful 'Bell Reef' Symphony (see above):
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: kyjo on June 26, 2019, 03:15:28 PM
Just wanted to put in a word for Eyvind Alnæs’ gorgeous, tuneful Piano Concerto (1913). Sometimes, lesser-known Romantic piano concertos go through all the motions and are pleasant enough but lack truly memorable material. Not so with this work, which is unmissable for lovers of the Romantic piano concerto. The outer movements are sweeping and ebullient, and to contrast the slow movement is noble and somber - far from the Rachmaninoffian outpouring of sentimentality that I expected. The below recording is excellent (there’s also a recording on Hyperion as part of their Romantic Piano Concerto series, coupled with the Sinding PC):



(The Symphony listed on the cover is the First. Alnæs wrote two, both recorded by Sterling. I look forward to exploring them!)

https://youtu.be/JKGzfpk_K_I
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: SymphonicAddict on June 26, 2019, 05:20:10 PM
Just wanted to put in a word for Eyvind Alnæs’ gorgeous, tuneful Piano Concerto (1913). Sometimes, lesser-known Romantic piano concertos go through all the motions and are pleasant enough but lack truly memorable material. Not so with this work, which is unmissable for lovers of the Romantic piano concerto. The outer movements are sweeping and ebullient, and to contrast the slow movement is noble and somber - far from the Rachmaninoffian outpouring of sentimentality that I expected. The below recording is excellent (there’s also a recording on Hyperion as part of their Romantic Piano Concerto series, coupled with the Sinding PC):



(The Symphony listed on the cover is the First. Alnæs wrote two, both recorded by Sterling. I look forward to exploring them!)

https://youtu.be/JKGzfpk_K_I

The PC deserves wider recognition indeed, it's a lovely work. His 2 symphonies are wonderful as well, conservative but very well crafted.
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: vandermolen on June 26, 2019, 09:13:56 PM
Just wanted to put in a word for Eyvind Alnæs’ gorgeous, tuneful Piano Concerto (1913). Sometimes, lesser-known Romantic piano concertos go through all the motions and are pleasant enough but lack truly memorable material. Not so with this work, which is unmissable for lovers of the Romantic piano concerto. The outer movements are sweeping and ebullient, and to contrast the slow movement is noble and somber - far from the Rachmaninoffian outpouring of sentimentality that I expected. The below recording is excellent (there’s also a recording on Hyperion as part of their Romantic Piano Concerto series, coupled with the Sinding PC):



(The Symphony listed on the cover is the First. Alnæs wrote two, both recorded by Sterling. I look forward to exploring them!)

https://youtu.be/JKGzfpk_K_I
Looks to be of great interest. More temptation!
Thanks Kyle I may well explore this one.
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: SymphonicAddict on August 16, 2019, 11:23:12 AM
I see André had posted the Kielland previously on this thread, and that was the recording I listened to. I agree with him: it's definitely a superb piece.
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: SymphonicAddict on August 17, 2019, 09:57:08 AM
I've just been listening to Toccata's new release of organ, choral and orchestral works by Leif Solberg (1914 - ) (yes he's still alive!)

What a find! Solberg is a brilliant organist and a master of counterpoint, but he had a busy life as a music teacher and church organist in Lillehammer and didn't compose much. Listening to this CD it's hard not to feel sorry he didn't write more.

The symphony (composed in 1950) is a half-hour work, and although Solberg's harmonic style is quite old fashioned it's a powerful piece. It sounds a bit like Nielsen of the First Symphony, but says more. It is said to composed in memory of his brother killed in WW2 and the motto theme has a tragic appoggiatura  which reminds me of Pettersen. The music is by turns sad and vigorous (sometimes sad and vigorous), the slow movement is an elegy and the last movement has a remarkable contrapuntal ending.

The other pieces on the disk are also of very high quality, and the disk made me immediately buy the only other work of his recorded, a String Quartet, which I'm about to listen to.

Yesterday I listened to this symphony. It was pleasant and with certain strength, but I don't think that it says more than Nielsen's 1st.
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: kyjo on August 17, 2019, 12:25:51 PM
Yesterday I listened to this symphony. It was pleasant and with certain strength, but I don't think that it says more than Nielsen's 1st.

I listened to the Solberg symphony a couple years ago and didn’t find it too distinctive, but maybe I should revisit it. Nielsen’s 1st, on the other hand, is a firm favorite of mine; an utterly brilliant work. To each his own, though!
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: SymphonicAddict on August 17, 2019, 02:33:33 PM
I listened to the Solberg symphony a couple years ago and didn’t find it too distinctive, but maybe I should revisit it. Nielsen’s 1st, on the other hand, is a firm favorite of mine; an utterly brilliant work. To each his own, though!

True indeed, Kyle. Nielsen is one in millions.
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: vandermolen on August 28, 2019, 11:27:04 AM
I agree with André and Cesar about the Kielland Symphony No.1. I found it very gripping and had to play it again immediately. It reminded me a bit of Norgard's 'Sinfonia Austera'. I also liked the piano works on the CD much more than expected:
(http://)
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: SymphonicAddict on August 28, 2019, 12:21:40 PM
I agree with André and Cesar about the Kielland Symphony No.1. I found it very gripping and had to play it again immediately. It reminded me a bit of Norgard's 'Sinfonia Austera'. I also liked the piano works on the CD much more than expected:
(http://)

Fantastic, Jeffrey! I did know that you'd enjoy it. I must listen to the Norgard's Austera, now I left intrigued, and the piano work on the CD, of course.
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: relm1 on August 28, 2019, 02:48:13 PM
Norwegian composer Ragnar Söderlind (b. 1945) Symphony No.8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vr5oA_cyfZk

Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: vandermolen on August 29, 2019, 09:14:47 AM
Fantastic, Jeffrey! I did know that you'd enjoy it. I must listen to the Norgard's Austera, now I left intrigued, and the piano work on the CD, of course.

Oh, I'm sure that you'd like the 'Austera' Cesar, especially as you like Holmboe. There are two excellent recordings, as far as I'm aware, although the Chandos is my favourite.
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: SymphonicAddict on August 30, 2019, 04:48:02 PM
Norwegian composer Ragnar Söderlind (b. 1945) Symphony No.8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vr5oA_cyfZk

First was the Kielland, later the Norgard, and now this Söderlind. Wow! Positively impressed. It definitely shares the Kielland depiction of something lugubrious, ghostly, raw and cold but with energy enough. Very Sibelian and Brian-like at times. Thanks for sharing it!

Edit: Finishing... oh God! This is mandatory stuff! Wonderful find!!
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: relm1 on September 16, 2019, 03:28:43 PM
First was the Kielland, later the Norgard, and now this Söderlind. Wow! Positively impressed. It definitely shares the Kielland depiction of something lugubrious, ghostly, raw and cold but with energy enough. Very Sibelian and Brian-like at times. Thanks for sharing it!

Edit: Finishing... oh God! This is mandatory stuff! Wonderful find!!

Very glad you enjoyed it.  He's since completed his 9th symphony which is an epic hour long choral symphony and a two hour oratorio I wish could be heard.  Neither has been performed.  >:(
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: Christo on September 16, 2019, 10:24:20 PM
Norwegian composer Ragnar Söderlind (b. 1945) Symphony No.8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vr5oA_cyfZk
Impressive! Many thanks for posting it (about 25 years ago there was an interview with Söderlind in the Gramophone that made his music look very tempting; the earlier symphonies available at that time didn't fulful that promise IMHO, but this one does!).
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: vandermolen on September 17, 2019, 02:23:44 AM
Norwegian composer Ragnar Söderlind (b. 1945) Symphony No.8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vr5oA_cyfZk
What a marvellous discovery! Thanks so much for posting it. I totally agree with Cesar and Johan. It gets better and better, in my opinion, as the symphony progresses so that, by the end I was both gripped and moved by it. In fact I had to repeat the last seven minutes as soon as I heard it. Soderlind's 8th Symphony reminded me, in a way, of the Symphony 2 by Vasks, especially those very moving final pages. I have some Soderlind on an old Norwegian composers CD and I must look it out - although I don't remember it making as nearly as much an impression on me as Symphony No.8. I hope that it is released on CD one day as it needs to be heard. Also, what a great tribute to Sibelius!
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: relm1 on September 17, 2019, 05:08:05 AM
Norwegian composer Ragnar Söderlind (b. 1945) Symphony No.8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vr5oA_cyfZk

Now you guys are making me need to relisten to my recommendation again because I forgot what it sounds like only remembering that I'm a fan of the composer and follow him closely enjoying everything I've heard of his so thanks again for the recommendation, relm1, because now I get to rediscover why I liked it in the first place since I forgot why!

He sounds like a very modest man and I wish he knew his music was appreciated.  He said this:

Hello Relm1, You are the first who have contacted me after I joined Linkedin. I am grateful for your support to my self-confidence. After many years with much resistance to my music here in Norway, I had almost drawn myself back from the public. In spite of this, I have been very productive. I have of course planned my Sinfonia X. But I am now in  short of shorter orchestral pieces  So I plan it to be a one movement symphony of about 20 minutes.

Best wishes, Ragnar


Since that brief exchange, he had completed the hour long 9th symphony.
Title: Re: Norwegian composers
Post by: vandermolen on September 17, 2019, 05:36:10 AM
Now you guys are making me need to relisten to my recommendation again because I forgot what it sounds like only remembering that I'm a fan of the composer and follow him closely enjoying everything I've heard of his so thanks again for the recommendation, relm1, because now I get to rediscover why I liked it in the first place since I forgot why!

He sounds like a very modest man and I wish he knew his music was appreciated.  He said this:

Hello Relm1, You are the first who have contacted me after I joined Linkedin. I am grateful for your support to my self-confidence. After many years with much resistance to my music here in Norway, I had almost drawn myself back from the public. In spite of this, I have been very productive. I have of course planned my Sinfonia X. But I am now in  short of shorter orchestral pieces  So I plan it to be a one movement symphony of about 20 minutes.

Best wishes, Ragnar


Since that brief exchange, he had completed the hour long 9th symphony.
How nice! He sounds like a very engaging individual.

By the way I had a very nice email exchange with Stale Kleiberg, the composer of the hauntingly atmospheric 'Bell Reef Symphony'.