Tradisionele resepte

Van Oslo na Bergen: Volg in die voetspore van Noorweë se groot kunstenaars

Van Oslo na Bergen: Volg in die voetspore van Noorweë se groot kunstenaars

Vir so 'n klein land (dit het net ongeveer vyf miljoen mense), het Noorweë 'n fenomenaal robuuste kunserfenis. Die nalatenskap dateer baie goed voor die filigraanjuweliersware en indrukwekkende skepe van die Vikings wat vroeër op die land geboer het en in die waters rondgedwaal het na 'n kader wêreldberoemde meesters op verskillende artistieke gebiede aan die begin van die eeu wat gehelp het om die land te vorm tot wat dit was is vandag.

Alhoewel Noorweë vroeër een van die mees uit die weg geroepe plekke van Europa was, is hierdie noordelike juweel nou toegankliker as ooit te danke aan nie net SAS se uitgebreide vlugdienste nie, maar ook 'n magdom nuwe roetes in sowel Europa as na/van Noord Amerika deur die opkomende mededinger Norwegian Air (en sy vloot nuwe 777's en 787's) wat Oslo hul tuiste noem. Kortom, daar is geen beter tyd om hierdie Skandinawiese skat te besoek nie, en as u dit doen, is daar baie artistieke kultuur om te verken.

Foto met vergunning van Wikimedia Commons

Oslo is die tuiste van twee van die bekendste museums van Europa, elk gewy aan 'n enkele kunstenaar: die Ibsen -museum en die Munch -museum. Die Ibsen -museum is naby die hart van die stad oorkant die indrukwekkende koninklike paleis en sy uitgestrekte park. Die museum is eintlik gehuisves in die 19de-eeuse woonstelgebou wat die dramaturg se tuiste was vir die laaste 11 jaar van sy lewe en waar hy sy twee laaste toneelstukke geskryf het.

Terwyl die grondvloer en tweede verdieping klein uitstallings bevat oor die lewens en werke van Ibsen, tesame met verskillende rekwisiete, kostuums, pryse en argiefmateriaal en dokumente, is die eintlike rede om hierheen te kom om die noukeurig gerestoureerde woonstel te ondersoek waar die dramaturg van 1895 tot sy dood in 1906. Die huis bevat outentieke interieurs en 'n paar van Ibsen se persoonlike besittings, en besoekers word op 'n toer van 30 minute geneem wat sy onstuimige, maar volmaakte lewe bespreek terwyl hulle deur die studeerkamer, biblioteek, eetkamer en slaapkamers kom.

Om die woonstel te sien, moet u een van die begeleide toere onderneem, wat elke uur van 11:00 tot 17:00 begin. en is beperk tot 15 mense (winterure word verminder tot 16:00, so beplan dienooreenkomstig).

Foto met vergunning van The Munch Museum

Die groot moderne skilder van Noorweë het sy eie museum, 'n kort metrorit aan die oostekant van die stad, nie ver van die hoofstasie nie. Hierdie indrukwekkende sentrum vir kontemporêre kunste spog met 'n versameling van byna 30 000 kunswerke, waaronder byna 1 200 skilderye, en 8 000 tekeninge uit Munch se sketsboeke, plus verskeie beelde en foto's wat deur die kunstenaar geneem is. Dit is 'n multimediasentrum, sodat die uitstallings dikwels filmvertonings, konserte en lesings insluit, asook spesiale toere vir gesinne en kinders.

Die hoofversameling word ook van tyd tot tyd volgens spesiale temas saamgestel, soos die huidige onderwerp Deur die natuur, wat na die werk van Munch kyk deur die lens van die natuurgeskiedenis en sy skilderye en tekeninge met artefakte en fossiele van die Natural History Museum koppel. Die bekende Skree is gekoppel aan 'n 47 miljoen jaar oue primaatskelet (die oudste wat ooit ontdek is) genaamd Ida, wat bedoel was om Darwin se teorieë en 'n sweempie sensasie na die vertoning te bring. Alhoewel u u besoek hier vinnig kan maak, is die kans goed dat u ure sal spandeer om die verskillende fases van Munch se loopbaan te ondersoek en te leer oor sy meteoriese opkoms tot roem, sowel as sy leeftyd van artistieke verkenning en uitdrukking.

Foto met vergunning van Hotel Continental

Terwyl u in Oslo is, oornag u in die historiese en onlangs opgeknapte Hotel Continental. Hierdie luukse eiendom is een van die belangrikste hotelle in die stad, oorkant die Nasionale Teater en die metro. Die nuut opgeknapte kamers is toegerus met sagte, klassieke houtmeubels, stof in neutrale kleure en helder, betegelde badkamers met Molton Brown-produkte.

In die aand, loop deur die skare wat in die nuut herontwikkelde stadsdeel Tjuvholmen in Oslo stap, en kies uiters nuwerwets restaurante, waaronder Hanami, wat deur Japan geïnspireer is, of gaan na 'n volledige Michelin-ster by Maaemo.

Fotokrediet: Eric Rosen

Die derde meester wie se werk 'n einde maak aan u reis, is die groot 19de-eeuse komponis, Edvard Grieg, wie se huis net buite die pragtige kusstad Bergen was.

U kan net die trein of 'n vinnige vlug direk vanaf Oslo na Bergen neem, maar 'n dag blokkeer om 'n ongelooflike "Noorweë in 'n neutedop" -reis te onderneem, wat 'n treinrit vanaf Oslo na die bergtop Myrdal insluit, waarvandaan u vertrek 'n dramaties dalende treinspoor verby pieke en watervalle na die stad Flam aan die fjordkant. Van daar af is dit 'n twee uur lange vaart langs die fjords na die stad Gudvangen en 'n busrit deur die ongerepte platteland rondom Voss voor 'n laaste treinreis na Bergen. Dit is 'n lang dag, maar die foto's wat u neem, is afguns van al u vriende tuis.

Fotokrediet: Eric Rosen

Na 'n goeie nagrus is u nie net gereed om die middeleeuse stegies van die kleurryke Bryggen-omgewing in Bergen (waar die gildes hul kantore gehad het) te verken nie, of die Floibanen-kabelbaan na Floyen te neem vir 'n asemrowende 360-grade uitsig oor die stad en die verlede die fjorde tot by die see. Musiekliefhebbers mag egter nie die kans misloop om 'n draai te maak deur Grieg se idilliese plattelandse toevlugsoord, Troldhaugen, wat "trollheuwel" in die ou Noors beteken nie, en waar hy 22 jaar saam met sy geliefde vrou (en begaafde sanger) Nina gewoon het.

Besoekers kan begeleide toere by die sentrale toerismekantoor by die hawe van Bergen bespreek en dan een van die georganiseerde busse na die villa haal. Die rit duur ongeveer 20 minute waartydens u gids u sal vertel oor die lewe en tye van die komponis.

Daar is nou 'n kontemporêre besoekersentrum met 'n klein uitstalling oor Grieg en sy werk, maar die belangrikste trekpleister is die pragtige 19de-eeuse villa wat bo-op 'n heuwel sit met 'n pragtige uitsig oor die meer en die bos. Die toer verken die grondvloer en pas op verskillende aandenkings en aandenkings as 'n manier om die komponis se lewe in te gaan. Gaste sien die sitkamer, eetkamer en stoep, en kan selfs kyk na sy eie Steinway -klavier wat hy in 1892 gekoop het.

Gedurende die somer is daar ook 'n middagete -konsertreeks in die klein konsertsaal langs die paadjie van die villa af. Hierdie konserte duur ongeveer 30 minute en bevat uittreksels van 'n paar bekende werke, soos die Klavierkonsert in a mineur- maar moenie verwag om veel Peer Gynt te hoor nie. Gedurende die res van die jaar is daar ook verskillende konsertreekse, dus kyk gerus en probeer om u besoek daarvolgens te beplan.

Fotokrediet: Eric Rosen

Net langs die paadjie van die konsertsaal af met 'n uitsig op een van die pragtige inhamme van die meer is Grieg se skoolhuis-rooi komponis se hut. U kan inloer en kyk waar die komponis sy dae weg van die lawaaierige huis sou deurbring aan sy musiek. Hy was maklik afgelei, so dit was sy innerlike heiligdom, alhoewel hy ook 'n sin vir humor gehad het, soos blyk uit die nota wat hy op sy lessenaar sou laat staan ​​wat sê: 'As iemand hier wil inbreek, moet u asseblief die partituur verlaat, aangesien dit vir niemand anders as Edvard Grieg waarde het nie. ” As die laaste deel van u besoek, betoon u respek by die komponis se graf aan die meer in 'n klipgrot wat na sy geliefde meer kyk.

Bergen is die tuiste van een van die opkomende restaurante in Skandinawië, Lysverket. Dit word gelei deur 'n span jong sjefs wat hul tjops verdien het by Thomas Keller se restaurant in New York, Per Se, en hul vaardighede word getoon met plaaslik bewerkte en bewerkte bestanddele. Nog beter, die restaurant is geleë in 'n hoek van die Bergen Art Museum -kompleks op Rasmus Meyers allé, sodat u tydens die aandete kan meemaak oor meesterwerke van Picasso en Klee.

Slegs 'n paar dae is genoeg om baie terreine in Noorweë te dek en om die genialiteit van drie van die groot kunstenaars van die moderne era te ondersoek, elkeen 'n meester op sy eie gebied.


OPNAME Noorse verrassings, van opera tot simfonie

Die komponis Christian Sinding (1856-1941) word onthou vir een van die groot kastaiings van musiek, 'x27', 'Spring van die lente', en 'x27' het sy naam in baie gesogte winkels in Europa en die Amerikas gebring. Sy simfonieë, sonates en konserte word vandag, selfs in sy geboorteland Noorweë, deur die van sy groter landgenote, Svendsen en Grieg, oorskadu. Die laaste ding wat 'n mens van Sinding sou verwag het, is 'n eersteklas opera, maar dit is ' ⟞r Heilige Berg ' ' (Norwegian Music Productions CDN 31002 twee kompakte skywe).

Die libretto, wat in Duits deur Dora Duncker geskryf is en (in 1912) deur die komponis in dieselfde taal opgestel is, is verdeel in 'n proloog en twee volgende handelinge. In die proloog word Dion, 'n kind, in 'n klooster (geleë op ' ' The Holy Mountain ' ' waarvoor die opera vernoem is) deur sy dwalende vader geplaas. In die eerste bedryf, 12 jaar later, word 'n jong vrou (Daphne) deur die sterwende ma van Dion gestuur om die jeug huis toe te bring. Hulle word dadelik verlief en hardloop saam weg, maar Dion val van 'n krans af en word dood, teruggestuur na die klooster. In die tweede daad verskyn sy ma en gee 'n lewegewende soen deur alle middele van herlewing (insluitend soene van Daphne 's), wat Dion nie laat herleef het nie. Algemene blydskap, seëninge in die naam van moederliefde en nabye huwelik sluit die werk op 'n feestelike noot af.

Die eerste opvoering het plaasgevind in Dessau, Duitsland, net voor die uitbreek van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog. In Oslo word 'n verkorte weergawe in 1931 in konsert aangebied, en uiteindelik vind die tweede opvoering daar plaas in 1986, wat hierdie opname veroorsaak het. Dit is nie moeilik om duidelike redes te vind vir die onmiddellike afdaling van die werk nie: die oorlog het Skandinawiese komponiste in werklikheid belemmer om 'n simpatieke gehoor in Duitsland te bereik (beide Nielsen en Sibelius het soortgelyke probleme gehad). En in die nasionalistiese onrus van nuutgevonde Noorse onafhanklikheid (1905), moes 'n Duitstalige opera met musiek wat heeltemal onbewus was van inheemse volksmateriale, abnormaal gelyk het.

Dieper strome was ook aan die werk. Die resonansies van ' 'Parsifal ' ' in die libretto (daar is selfs 'n Gurnemanz-agtige monnik om Dion deurgaans te adviseer) het waarskynlik in 1914 nie so verouderd gelyk as vandag nie, maar in 'n wêreld wat het reeds Debussy 's ' 'Pelleas, ' ' Stravinsky 's ' ' ontmoet tonale, melodieuse en romantiese musiek verteenwoordig 'n stylvolle agtergrond.

Vandag kan dit op eie meriete erken en aanvaar word, wat as 'n verrassing kom, aangesien niks in Sinding se ander werk dui op die vermoë om lang periodes van vokale en (veral) orkesvloei met so 'n spontaniteit en karakter te handhaaf nie. Sonder om dit te beteken dat dit peroratief lyk, kan 'n mens die opera -styl beskryf as 'n verligte, deurlugte Wagner. Dit is baie in die guns van die werk dat nie die proloog of die handeling meer as 'n halfuur duur nie, goed binne die vermoë van die komponis om effektief te vorm. Heinz Fricke dirigeer soliste, koorspelers en orkes van die Noorse Opera in 'n puik, goed opgeneemde uitvoering (in Duits), wat op 'n bietjie meer as 79 minute net buite die kapasiteit van 'n enkele skyf is.

Daar is nog 'n aangename verrassing uit Noorweë, David Monrad Johansen se kragtige kantate op sage gebaseer ' ' Voluspa ' ' (Norwegian Music Productions CDN 31004). Johansen (1888-1974) was 'n invloedryke kritikus, biograaf van Grieg, en as komponis 'n vaste volgeling van laasgenoemde in die gebruik van Noorse volksmateriaal. Trouens, sy kantate klink genoeg soos 'n uitbreiding van die sterk en kenmerkende koormusiek wat Grieg geskep het vir sy (onvoltooide) opera ' 'Olav Trygvason ' ' dat die twee met mekaar verwar kan word.

Soos met die Sinding -opera, is daar 'n oortuigende rede waarom die werk van Johansen nie sy kant gemaak het nie. Dit is in 1926 saamgestel, teen daardie tyd het dit ongetwyfeld die wenkbroue van moderniste laat lig vir wie selfs die meer gevorderde Sibelius (wie se invloed ook gehoor kan word in Valuspa ' ') 'n ou hoed was. Maar, op sy eie terme, maak dit wonderlike luister.

Die skyf bevat ook sewe liedjies van Johansen, gebaseer op Noorse volkstekste. Hulle is in 1920 saamgestel en is ietwat meer avontuurlik harmonies as die kantate, maar die sagte modernismes van die klavierbegeleiding bots met die eenvoudige volksagtige stemmelodieë. Die resultate is beslis aangenaam, maar lyk triviaal in vergelyking met die vaste prestasie van ' 'Valuspa. ' ' Weer eens is die optredes van Noorse kunstenaars (die sopraan Edith Thallaug en die pianis Robert Levin in die liedjies) uitstekend, net soos die opname.

Sinding en Johansen het op hul dag 'n gehoor gehad. Dieselfde kan nie gesê word oor Fartein Valen (1887-1952), wie se musiek net so onbekend is vir die Noorse gehore as vir almal nie. In die 1920's, op dieselfde tyd wat Schoenberg sy eerste werke met 12 kleure skryf, het Valen 'n styl ontwikkel wat gebaseer is op wat hy 'xd27' kontraspunt genoem het. komponiste, in die eerste plek deur tonale verwysings te vermy, het die meeste luisteraars daarin geslaag om te eindig.

Soveel vir die ooreenkomste. Die dissonansie van Valen spruit uit die skynbaar lukrake kombinasies van lang melodiese frases, eerder as uit 'n sistematiese konstruksie deur middel van 12-tone ' 'rows. ' ' Luister na sy eerste en vierde simfonieë (Norwegian Music Productions CDN 31000) word 'n mens getref deur die enorme wilskrag wat Valen in staat gestel het om sy dikwels ekstatiese melodieë so groot te maak. Lang stukke musiek gaan verby sonder sterk ritmiese onderbou, maar die draad van kontinuïteit breek nooit heeltemal nie. Dit is individualisties en dikwels aangrypend, veral in hierdie simpatieke uitvoerings deur Aldo Ceccato en sy Bergen (Noorweë) Filharmonie, maar gee absoluut geen toegewings aan die luisteraar nie deur onvergeetlike motiewe of af en toe dansritmes om die somber atmosfeer te versag.

In sy robuuste integriteit herinner Valen hom aan sy meer humanistiese Sweedse eweknie, Allan Petterson, en aan die Amerikaner Charles Ruggles. In 'n oorwegend konformistiese wêreld is daar iets baie aantrekliks aan sulke mans.


OPNAME Noorse verrassings, van opera tot simfonie

Die komponis Christian Sinding (1856-1941) word onthou vir een van die groot kastaiings van musiek, 'x27', 'Spring van die lente', en 'x27' het sy naam in baie gesogte winkels in Europa en die Amerikas gebring. Sy simfonieë, sonates en konserte word vandag, selfs in sy geboorteland Noorweë, deur die van sy groter landgenote, Svendsen en Grieg, oorskadu. Die laaste ding wat 'n mens van Sinding sou verwag het, is 'n eersteklas opera, maar dit is ' ⟞r Heilige Berg ' ' (Norwegian Music Productions CDN 31002 twee kompakte skywe).

Die libretto, wat in Duits deur Dora Duncker geskryf is en (in 1912) deur die komponis in dieselfde taal opgestel is, is verdeel in 'n proloog en twee volgende handelinge. In die proloog word Dion, 'n kind, in 'n klooster (geleë op ' ' The Holy Mountain ' ' waarvoor die opera vernoem is) deur sy dwalende vader geplaas. In die eerste bedryf, 12 jaar later, word 'n jong vrou (Daphne) deur die sterwende ma van Dion gestuur om die jeug huis toe te bring. Hulle word dadelik verlief en hardloop saam weg, maar Dion val van 'n krans af en word dood, teruggestuur na die klooster. In die tweede daad verskyn sy ma en gee 'n lewegewende soen deur alle middele van herlewing (insluitend soene van Daphne 's), wat Dion nie laat herleef het nie. Algemene vreugde, seëninge in die naam van moederliefde en nabye huwelik sluit die werk op 'n feestelike noot af.

Die eerste opvoering het plaasgevind in Dessau, Duitsland, net voor die uitbreek van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog. In Oslo is 'n verkorte weergawe in 1931 in konsert aangebied, en uiteindelik het die tweede verhoog daar in 1986 plaasgevind, wat hierdie opname veroorsaak het. Dit is nie moeilik om duidelike redes te vind vir die onmiddellike afdaling van die werk nie: die oorlog het Skandinawiese komponiste in werklikheid belemmer om 'n simpatieke gehoor in Duitsland te bereik (beide Nielsen en Sibelius het soortgelyke probleme gehad). En in die nasionalistiese onrus van nuutgevonde Noorse onafhanklikheid (1905), moes 'n Duitstalige opera met musiek wat heeltemal onbewus was van inheemse volksmateriale, abnormaal gelyk het.

Dieper strome was ook aan die werk. Die resonansies van ' 'Parsifal ' ' in die libretto (daar is selfs 'n Gurnemanz-agtige monnik wat Dion deurgaans kan adviseer) het waarskynlik in 1914 nie so verouderd gelyk as vandag nie, maar in 'n wêreld wat het reeds Debussy 's ' 'Pelleas, ' ' Stravinsky 's ' ' ontmoet tonale, melodieuse en romantiese musiek verteenwoordig 'n stylvolle agtergrond.

Vandag kan dit op eie meriete erken en aanvaar word, wat as 'n verrassing kom, aangesien niks in Sinding se ander werk dui op die vermoë om lang periodes van vokale en (veral) orkesvloei met so 'n spontaniteit en karakter te handhaaf nie. Sonder om dit te beteken dat dit peroratief lyk, kan 'n mens die opera se styl beskryf as 'n verligte, deurlugte Wagner. Dit is baie in die guns van die werk dat nie die proloog of die handeling meer as 'n halfuur duur nie, goed binne die vermoë van die komponis om effektief te vorm. Heinz Fricke dirigeer soliste, koorspelers en orkes van die Noorse Opera in 'n puik, goed opgeneemde uitvoering (in Duits), wat op 'n bietjie meer as 79 minute net buite die kapasiteit van 'n enkele skyf is.

Daar is nog 'n aangename verrassing uit Noorweë, David Monrad Johansen se kragtige kantate op sage gebaseer ' ' Voluspa ' ' (Norwegian Music Productions CDN 31004). Johansen (1888-1974) was 'n invloedryke kritikus, biograaf van Grieg, en as komponis 'n vaste volgeling van laasgenoemde in die gebruik van Noorse volksmateriaal. Trouens, sy kantate klink genoeg soos 'n uitbreiding van die sterk en kenmerkende koormusiek wat Grieg geskep het vir sy (onvoltooide) opera ' 'Olav Trygvason ' ' dat die twee met mekaar verwar kan word.

Soos met die Sinding -opera, is daar 'n oortuigende rede waarom die werk van Johansen nie sy kant gemaak het nie. Dit is in 1926 saamgestel, teen daardie tyd het dit ongetwyfeld die wenkbroue van moderniste laat lig vir wie selfs die meer gevorderde Sibelius (wie se invloed ook gehoor kan word in Valuspa ' ') 'n ou hoed was. Maar, op sy eie terme, maak dit wonderlike luister.

Die skyf bevat ook sewe liedjies van Johansen, gebaseer op Noorse volkstekste. Hulle is in 1920 saamgestel en is ietwat meer avontuurlik harmonies as die kantate, maar die sagte modernismes van die klavierbegeleiding bots met die eenvoudige volksagtige stemmelodieë. Die resultate is beslis aangenaam, maar lyk triviaal in vergelyking met die vaste prestasie van ' 'Valuspa. ' ' Weer eens is die optredes van Noorse kunstenaars (die sopraan Edith Thallaug en die pianis Robert Levin in die liedjies) uitstekend, net soos die opname.

Sinding en Johansen het op hul dag 'n gehoor gehad. Dieselfde kan nie gesê word oor Fartein Valen (1887-1952), wie se musiek net so onbekend is vir die Noorse gehore as vir almal nie. In die 1920's, op dieselfde tyd wat Schoenberg sy eerste werke met 12 kleure skryf, het Valen 'n styl ontwikkel wat gebaseer is op wat hy 'n 'xdissonant' kontrapunt genoem het. komponiste, in die eerste plek deur tonale verwysings te vermy, het die meeste luisteraars daarin geslaag om te eindig.

Soveel vir die ooreenkomste. Die dissonansie van Valen spruit uit die skynbaar lukrake kombinasies van lang melodiese frases, eerder as uit 'n sistematiese konstruksie deur middel van 12-tone ' 'rows. ' ' Luister na sy eerste en vierde simfonieë (Norwegian Music Productions CDN 31000) word 'n mens getref deur die enorme wilskrag wat Valen in staat gestel het om sy dikwels ekstatiese melodieë so groot te maak. Lang stukke musiek gaan verby sonder sterk ritmiese onderbou, maar die draad van kontinuïteit breek nooit heeltemal nie. Dit is individualisties en dikwels aangrypend, veral in hierdie simpatieke uitvoerings deur Aldo Ceccato en sy Bergen (Noorweë) Filharmonie, maar gee absoluut geen toegewings aan die luisteraar nie deur onvergeetlike motiewe of af en toe dansritmes om die somber atmosfeer te versag.

In sy robuuste integriteit herinner Valen hom aan sy meer humanistiese Sweedse eweknie, Allan Petterson, en aan die Amerikaner Charles Ruggles. In 'n oorwegend konformistiese wêreld is daar iets baie aantrekliks aan sulke mans.


OPNAME Noorse verrassings, van opera tot simfonie

Die komponis Christian Sinding (1856-1941) word onthou vir een van die groot kastaiings van musiek, 'x27', 'Spring van die lente', en 'x27' het sy naam in baie gesogte winkels in Europa en die Amerikas gebring. Sy simfonieë, sonates en konserte word vandag, selfs in sy geboorteland Noorweë, deur die van sy groter landgenote, Svendsen en Grieg, oorskadu. Die laaste ding wat 'n mens van Sinding sou verwag het, is 'n eersteklas opera, maar dit is ' ⟞r Heilige Berg ' ' (Norwegian Music Productions CDN 31002 twee kompakte skywe).

Die libretto, wat in Duits deur Dora Duncker geskryf is en (in 1912) deur die komponis in dieselfde taal opgestel is, is verdeel in 'n proloog en twee volgende handelinge. In die proloog word Dion, 'n kind, in 'n klooster (geleë op ' ' The Holy Mountain ' ' waarvoor die opera vernoem is) deur sy dwalende vader geplaas. In die eerste bedryf, 12 jaar later, word 'n jong vrou (Daphne) deur die sterwende ma van Dion gestuur om die jeug huis toe te bring. Hulle word dadelik verlief en hardloop saam weg, maar Dion val van 'n krans af en word dood, teruggestuur na die klooster. In die tweede daad verskyn sy ma en gee 'n lewegewende soen deur alle middele van herlewing (insluitend soene van Daphne 's), wat Dion nie laat herleef het nie. Algemene blydskap, seëninge in die naam van moederliefde en nabye huwelik sluit die werk op 'n feestelike noot af.

Die eerste opvoering het plaasgevind in Dessau, Duitsland, net voor die uitbreek van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog. In Oslo word 'n verkorte weergawe in 1931 in konsert aangebied, en uiteindelik vind die tweede opvoering daar plaas in 1986, wat hierdie opname veroorsaak het. Dit is nie moeilik om duidelike redes te vind vir die onmiddellike afdaling van die werk nie: die oorlog het Skandinawiese komponiste in werklikheid belemmer om 'n simpatieke gehoor in Duitsland te bereik (beide Nielsen en Sibelius het soortgelyke probleme gehad). En in die nasionalistiese onrus van nuutgevonde Noorse onafhanklikheid (1905), moes 'n Duitstalige opera met musiek wat heeltemal onbewus was van inheemse volksmateriale, abnormaal gelyk het.

Dieper strome was ook aan die werk. Die resonansies van ' 'Parsifal ' ' in die libretto (daar is selfs 'n Gurnemanz-agtige monnik wat Dion deurgaans kan adviseer) het waarskynlik in 1914 nie so verouderd gelyk as vandag nie, maar in 'n wêreld wat het reeds Debussy 's ' 'Pelleas, ' ' Stravinsky 's ' ' ontmoet tonale, melodieuse en romantiese musiek verteenwoordig 'n stylvolle agtergrond.

Vandag kan dit op eie meriete erken en aanvaar word, wat as 'n verrassing kom, aangesien niks in Sinding se ander werk dui op die vermoë om lang periodes van vokale en (veral) orkesvloei met so 'n spontaniteit en karakter te handhaaf nie. Sonder om dit te beteken dat dit peroratief lyk, kan 'n mens die opera se styl beskryf as 'n verligte, deurlugte Wagner. Dit is baie in die guns van die werk dat nie die proloog of die handeling meer as 'n halfuur duur nie, goed binne die vermoë van die komponis om effektief te vorm. Heinz Fricke dirigeer soliste, koorspelers en orkes van die Noorse Opera in 'n puik, goed opgeneemde uitvoering (in Duits), wat op 'n bietjie meer as 79 minute net buite die kapasiteit van 'n enkele skyf is.

Daar is nog 'n aangename verrassing uit Noorweë, David Monrad Johansen se kragtige kantate op sage gebaseer ' ' Voluspa ' ' (Norwegian Music Productions CDN 31004). Johansen (1888-1974) was 'n invloedryke kritikus, biograaf van Grieg, en as komponis 'n vaste volgeling van laasgenoemde in die gebruik van Noorse volksmateriaal. Trouens, sy kantate klink genoeg soos 'n uitbreiding van die sterk en kenmerkende koormusiek wat Grieg geskep het vir sy (onvoltooide) opera ' 'Olav Trygvason ' ' dat die twee met mekaar verwar kan word.

Soos met die Sinding -opera, is daar 'n oortuigende rede waarom die werk van Johansen nie sy kant gemaak het nie. Dit is in 1926 saamgestel, teen die tyd dat dit ongetwyfeld die wenkbroue van moderniste laat lig het vir wie selfs die meer gevorderde Sibelius (wie se invloed ook gehoor kan word in ' ' Valuspa ' ') 'n ou hoed was. Maar, op sy eie terme, maak dit wonderlike luister.

Die skyf bevat ook sewe liedjies van Johansen, gebaseer op Noorse volkstekste. Hulle is in 1920 saamgestel en is ietwat meer avontuurlik harmonies as die kantate, maar die sagte modernismes van die klavierbegeleiding bots met die eenvoudige volksagtige stemmelodieë. Die resultate is beslis aangenaam, maar lyk triviaal in vergelyking met die vaste prestasie van ' 'Valuspa. ' ' Weer eens is die optredes van Noorse kunstenaars (die sopraan Edith Thallaug en die pianis Robert Levin in die liedjies) uitstekend, net soos die opname.

Op hul dag het beide Sinding en Johansen 'n gehoor gehad. Dieselfde kan nie gesê word oor Fartein Valen (1887-1952), wie se musiek net so onbekend is vir die Noorse gehore as vir almal nie. In die 1920's, op dieselfde tyd wat Schoenberg sy eerste 12-toonwerke skryf, het Valen 'n styl ontwikkel wat gebaseer is op wat hy 'xd27' teenstrydige teenpunt genoem het. komponiste, in die eerste plek deur tonale verwysings te vermy, het die meeste luisteraars daarin geslaag om te eindig.

Soveel vir die ooreenkomste. Die dissonansie van Valen spruit uit die skynbaar lukrake kombinasies van lang melodiese frases, eerder as uit 'n sistematiese konstruksie deur middel van 12-tone ' 'rows. ' ' Luister na sy eerste en vierde simfonieë (Norwegian Music Productions CDN 31000) word 'n mens getref deur die enorme wilskrag wat Valen in staat gestel het om sy dikwels ekstatiese melodieë so groot te maak. Lang stukke musiek gaan verby sonder sterk ritmiese onderbou, maar die draad van kontinuïteit breek nooit heeltemal nie. Dit is individualisties en dikwels aangrypend, veral in hierdie simpatieke uitvoerings deur Aldo Ceccato en sy Bergen (Noorweë) Filharmonie, maar gee absoluut geen toegewings aan die luisteraar nie deur onvergeetlike motiewe of af en toe dansritmes om die somber atmosfeer te versag.

In sy robuuste integriteit herinner Valen hom aan sy meer humanistiese Sweedse eweknie, Allan Petterson, en aan die Amerikaner Charles Ruggles. In 'n oorwegend konformistiese wêreld is daar iets baie aantrekliks aan sulke mans.


OPNAME Noorse verrassings, van opera tot simfonie

Die komponis Christian Sinding (1856-1941) word onthou vir een van die groot kastaiings van musiek, 'x27', 'Spring van die lente', en 'x27' het sy naam in baie gesogte winkels in Europa en die Amerikas gebring. Sy simfonieë, sonates en konserte word vandag, selfs in sy geboorteland Noorweë, deur die van sy groter landgenote, Svendsen en Grieg, oorskadu. Die laaste ding wat 'n mens van Sinding sou verwag het, is 'n eersteklas opera, maar dit is ' ⟞r Heilige Berg ' ' (Norwegian Music Productions CDN 31002 twee kompakte skywe).

Die libretto, wat in Duits deur Dora Duncker geskryf is en (in 1912) deur die komponis in dieselfde taal opgestel is, is verdeel in 'n proloog en twee volgende handelinge. In die proloog word Dion, 'n kind, in 'n klooster (geleë op ' ' The Holy Mountain ' ' waarvoor die opera vernoem is) deur sy dwalende vader geplaas. In die eerste daad, 12 jaar later, word 'n jong vrou (Daphne) deur die sterwende ma van Dion gestuur om die jeug huis toe te bring. Hulle word dadelik verlief en hardloop saam weg, maar Dion val van 'n krans af en word dood, teruggestuur na die klooster. In die tweede daad verskyn sy ma en gee 'n lewegewende soen deur alle middele van herlewing (insluitend soene van Daphne 's), wat Dion nie laat herleef het nie. Algemene blydskap, seëninge in die naam van moederliefde en nabye huwelik sluit die werk op 'n feestelike noot af.

Die eerste opvoering het plaasgevind in Dessau, Duitsland, net voor die uitbreek van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog. In Oslo word 'n verkorte weergawe in 1931 in konsert aangebied, en uiteindelik vind die tweede opvoering daar plaas in 1986, wat hierdie opname veroorsaak het. Dit is nie moeilik om duidelike redes te vind vir die onmiddellike afdaling van die werk nie: die oorlog het Skandinawiese komponiste in werklikheid belemmer om 'n simpatieke gehoor in Duitsland te bereik (beide Nielsen en Sibelius het soortgelyke probleme gehad). En in die nasionalistiese onrus van nuutgevonde Noorse onafhanklikheid (1905), moes 'n Duitstalige opera met musiek wat heeltemal onbewus was van inheemse volksmateriale, abnormaal gelyk het.

Dieper strome was ook aan die werk. Die resonansies van ' 'Parsifal ' ' in die libretto (daar is selfs 'n Gurnemanz-agtige monnik wat Dion deurgaans kan adviseer) het waarskynlik in 1914 nie so verouderd gelyk as vandag nie, maar in 'n wêreld wat het reeds Debussy 's ' 'Pelleas, ' ' Stravinsky 's ' ' ontmoet tonale, melodieuse en romantiese musiek verteenwoordig 'n stylvolle agtergrond.

Vandag kan dit op eie meriete erken en aanvaar word, wat 'n verrassing is, aangesien niks in Sinding se ander werk dui op 'n vermoë om lang periodes van vokale en (veral) orkesstroom met so 'n spontaniteit en karakter te handhaaf nie. Sonder om dit te beteken dat dit peroratief lyk, kan 'n mens die operastyl beskryf as 'n verligte, deurlugte Wagner. Dit is baie in die guns van die werk dat die proloog of die optrede nie meer as 'n halfuur duur nie, goed binne die vermoë van die komponis om effektief te vorm. Heinz Fricke dirigeer soliste, koorspelers en orkes van die Noorse Opera in 'n puik, goed opgeneemde uitvoering (in Duits), wat op 'n bietjie meer as 79 minute net buite die kapasiteit van 'n enkele skyf is.

There is another pleasant surprise from Norway, David Monrad Johansen's powerful, saga-based cantata ''Voluspa'' (Norwegian Music Productions CDN 31004). Johansen (1888-1974) was an influential critic, biographer of Grieg, and as a composer, a firm follower of the latter in the use of Norwegian folk materials. In fact, his cantata sounds enough like an extension of the strong and distinctive choral music Grieg created for his (unfinished) opera ''Olav Trygvason'' that the two might be confused with each other.

As with the Sinding opera, there is a compelling reason why Johansen's work has not made its way. It was composed in 1926, by which time it undoubtedly raised the eyebrows of modernists for whom even the more advanced Sibelius (whose influence can also be heard in ''Valuspa'') was old hat. But, taken on its own terms, it makes splendid listening.

The disk also includes seven songs by Johansen, based on Norwegian folk texts. Composed in 1920, they are somewhat more adventuresome harmonically than the cantata, but the mild modernisms of the piano accompaniments clash with the simple folk-like vocal melodies. The results are certainly enjoyable, but seem trivial when compared to the firm achievement of ''Valuspa.'' Once again, the performances by Norwegian artists (the soprano Edith Thallaug and the pianist Robert Levin in the songs) are excellent, as is the recording.

In their day, both Sinding and Johansen had an audience. The same cannot be said for Fartein Valen (1887-1952), whose music is as unknown to Norwegian audiences as it is to everyone else. In the 1920's, at the same time that Schoenberg was writing his first 12-tone works, Valen developed a style based on what he called 'ɽissonant counterpoint.'' Although they started from different premises, both composers, primarily by avoiding tonal references, managed to irritate most listeners no end.

So much for the resemblances. Valen's dissonance stems from the seemingly haphazard combinations of long melodic phrases, rather than from a systematic construction by means of 12-tone ''rows.'' Listening to his First and Fourth Symphonies (Norwegian Music Productions CDN 31000), one is struck by the sheer willpower that enabled Valen to spin out his often ecstatic melodies at such great length. Long stretches of music go by without strong rhythmic underpinning, yet the thread of continuity never breaks completely. It is individualistic and often gripping, especially in these sympathetic performances by Aldo Ceccato and his Bergen (Norway) Philharmonic, but makes absolutely no concessions to the listener by way of memorable motives or occasional dance rhythms to soften the bleak atmosphere.

In his rugged integrity, Valen reminds one of his more humanistic Swedish counterpart, Allan Petterson, and of the American Charles Ruggles. In a predominantly conformist world, there is something very attractive about such men.


RECORDINGS Norwegian Surprises, From Opera to Symphony

The composer Christian Sinding (1856-1941) is remembered for one of music's great chestnuts, ''Rustle of Spring,'' which brought his name into many a genteel parlor in Europe and the Americas. His symphonies, sonatas and concertos are overshadowed today, even in his native Norway, by those of his greater compatriots, Svendsen and Grieg. The last thing one would have expected from Sinding is a first-rate opera, yet such is '⟞r Heilige Berg'' (Norwegian Music Productions CDN 31002 two compact disks).

The libretto, written in German by Dora Duncker and set (in 1912) by the composer in the same language, is divided into a prologue and two following acts. In the prologue, Dion, a child, is placed in a monastery (located on ''The Holy Mountain'' for which the opera is named) by his errant father. In the first act, set 12 years later, a young woman (Daphne) is sent by Dion's dying mother to bring the youth home. They promptly fall in love and run off together, but Dion falls off a cliff and is returned, moribund, to the monastery. In the second act, all means of resuscitation (including Daphne's kisses) having failed to revive Dion, his mother appears and administers a life-giving kiss. General rejoicing, blessings in the name of mother love, and proximate nuptials end the work on a celebratory note.

The first performance took place in Dessau, Germany, just prior to the outbreak of World War I. In Oslo, a shortened version was presented in concert in 1931 the second staging finally took place there in 1986, which occasioned this recording. Obvious reasons for the work's immediate descent into obscurity are not hard to find: The war effectively hampered Scandinavian composers from reaching a heretofore sympathetic audience in Germany (both Nielsen and Sibelius had similar problems). And in the nationalistic turmoil of new-found Norwegian independence (1905), a German-language opera with music totally oblivious to native folk materials must have seemed anomalous.

Deeper currents were at work as well. The resonances of ''Parsifal'' in the libretto (there is even a Gurnemanz-like monk on hand to advise Dion throughout) probably did not seem as outdated in 1914 as they do today, but in a world that had already encountered Debussy's ''Pelleas,'' Stravinsky's ''Rite of Spring'' and Schoenberg's ''Pierrot Lunaire,'' Sinding's thoroughly tonal, melodious and romantic music represented an unstylish backwater.

Today, it can be recognized and accepted on its own very real merits, which come as a surprise, since nothing in Sinding's other work indicates an ability to sustain long periods of vocal and (especially) orchestral flow with such spontaneity and character. Without meaning to seem perjorative, one could describe the opera's style as lightened, aerated Wagner. It is greatly in the work's favor that neither the prologue nor either act lasts over half an hour, well within the composer's ability to shape effectively. Heinz Fricke conducts soloists, choristers and orchestra of the Norwegian Opera in a fine, well-recorded performance (in German), which, at slightly over 79 minutes, is just beyond the capacity of a single compact disk.

There is another pleasant surprise from Norway, David Monrad Johansen's powerful, saga-based cantata ''Voluspa'' (Norwegian Music Productions CDN 31004). Johansen (1888-1974) was an influential critic, biographer of Grieg, and as a composer, a firm follower of the latter in the use of Norwegian folk materials. In fact, his cantata sounds enough like an extension of the strong and distinctive choral music Grieg created for his (unfinished) opera ''Olav Trygvason'' that the two might be confused with each other.

As with the Sinding opera, there is a compelling reason why Johansen's work has not made its way. It was composed in 1926, by which time it undoubtedly raised the eyebrows of modernists for whom even the more advanced Sibelius (whose influence can also be heard in ''Valuspa'') was old hat. But, taken on its own terms, it makes splendid listening.

The disk also includes seven songs by Johansen, based on Norwegian folk texts. Composed in 1920, they are somewhat more adventuresome harmonically than the cantata, but the mild modernisms of the piano accompaniments clash with the simple folk-like vocal melodies. The results are certainly enjoyable, but seem trivial when compared to the firm achievement of ''Valuspa.'' Once again, the performances by Norwegian artists (the soprano Edith Thallaug and the pianist Robert Levin in the songs) are excellent, as is the recording.

In their day, both Sinding and Johansen had an audience. The same cannot be said for Fartein Valen (1887-1952), whose music is as unknown to Norwegian audiences as it is to everyone else. In the 1920's, at the same time that Schoenberg was writing his first 12-tone works, Valen developed a style based on what he called 'ɽissonant counterpoint.'' Although they started from different premises, both composers, primarily by avoiding tonal references, managed to irritate most listeners no end.

So much for the resemblances. Valen's dissonance stems from the seemingly haphazard combinations of long melodic phrases, rather than from a systematic construction by means of 12-tone ''rows.'' Listening to his First and Fourth Symphonies (Norwegian Music Productions CDN 31000), one is struck by the sheer willpower that enabled Valen to spin out his often ecstatic melodies at such great length. Long stretches of music go by without strong rhythmic underpinning, yet the thread of continuity never breaks completely. It is individualistic and often gripping, especially in these sympathetic performances by Aldo Ceccato and his Bergen (Norway) Philharmonic, but makes absolutely no concessions to the listener by way of memorable motives or occasional dance rhythms to soften the bleak atmosphere.

In his rugged integrity, Valen reminds one of his more humanistic Swedish counterpart, Allan Petterson, and of the American Charles Ruggles. In a predominantly conformist world, there is something very attractive about such men.


RECORDINGS Norwegian Surprises, From Opera to Symphony

The composer Christian Sinding (1856-1941) is remembered for one of music's great chestnuts, ''Rustle of Spring,'' which brought his name into many a genteel parlor in Europe and the Americas. His symphonies, sonatas and concertos are overshadowed today, even in his native Norway, by those of his greater compatriots, Svendsen and Grieg. The last thing one would have expected from Sinding is a first-rate opera, yet such is '⟞r Heilige Berg'' (Norwegian Music Productions CDN 31002 two compact disks).

The libretto, written in German by Dora Duncker and set (in 1912) by the composer in the same language, is divided into a prologue and two following acts. In the prologue, Dion, a child, is placed in a monastery (located on ''The Holy Mountain'' for which the opera is named) by his errant father. In the first act, set 12 years later, a young woman (Daphne) is sent by Dion's dying mother to bring the youth home. They promptly fall in love and run off together, but Dion falls off a cliff and is returned, moribund, to the monastery. In the second act, all means of resuscitation (including Daphne's kisses) having failed to revive Dion, his mother appears and administers a life-giving kiss. General rejoicing, blessings in the name of mother love, and proximate nuptials end the work on a celebratory note.

The first performance took place in Dessau, Germany, just prior to the outbreak of World War I. In Oslo, a shortened version was presented in concert in 1931 the second staging finally took place there in 1986, which occasioned this recording. Obvious reasons for the work's immediate descent into obscurity are not hard to find: The war effectively hampered Scandinavian composers from reaching a heretofore sympathetic audience in Germany (both Nielsen and Sibelius had similar problems). And in the nationalistic turmoil of new-found Norwegian independence (1905), a German-language opera with music totally oblivious to native folk materials must have seemed anomalous.

Deeper currents were at work as well. The resonances of ''Parsifal'' in the libretto (there is even a Gurnemanz-like monk on hand to advise Dion throughout) probably did not seem as outdated in 1914 as they do today, but in a world that had already encountered Debussy's ''Pelleas,'' Stravinsky's ''Rite of Spring'' and Schoenberg's ''Pierrot Lunaire,'' Sinding's thoroughly tonal, melodious and romantic music represented an unstylish backwater.

Today, it can be recognized and accepted on its own very real merits, which come as a surprise, since nothing in Sinding's other work indicates an ability to sustain long periods of vocal and (especially) orchestral flow with such spontaneity and character. Without meaning to seem perjorative, one could describe the opera's style as lightened, aerated Wagner. It is greatly in the work's favor that neither the prologue nor either act lasts over half an hour, well within the composer's ability to shape effectively. Heinz Fricke conducts soloists, choristers and orchestra of the Norwegian Opera in a fine, well-recorded performance (in German), which, at slightly over 79 minutes, is just beyond the capacity of a single compact disk.

There is another pleasant surprise from Norway, David Monrad Johansen's powerful, saga-based cantata ''Voluspa'' (Norwegian Music Productions CDN 31004). Johansen (1888-1974) was an influential critic, biographer of Grieg, and as a composer, a firm follower of the latter in the use of Norwegian folk materials. In fact, his cantata sounds enough like an extension of the strong and distinctive choral music Grieg created for his (unfinished) opera ''Olav Trygvason'' that the two might be confused with each other.

As with the Sinding opera, there is a compelling reason why Johansen's work has not made its way. It was composed in 1926, by which time it undoubtedly raised the eyebrows of modernists for whom even the more advanced Sibelius (whose influence can also be heard in ''Valuspa'') was old hat. But, taken on its own terms, it makes splendid listening.

The disk also includes seven songs by Johansen, based on Norwegian folk texts. Composed in 1920, they are somewhat more adventuresome harmonically than the cantata, but the mild modernisms of the piano accompaniments clash with the simple folk-like vocal melodies. The results are certainly enjoyable, but seem trivial when compared to the firm achievement of ''Valuspa.'' Once again, the performances by Norwegian artists (the soprano Edith Thallaug and the pianist Robert Levin in the songs) are excellent, as is the recording.

In their day, both Sinding and Johansen had an audience. The same cannot be said for Fartein Valen (1887-1952), whose music is as unknown to Norwegian audiences as it is to everyone else. In the 1920's, at the same time that Schoenberg was writing his first 12-tone works, Valen developed a style based on what he called 'ɽissonant counterpoint.'' Although they started from different premises, both composers, primarily by avoiding tonal references, managed to irritate most listeners no end.

So much for the resemblances. Valen's dissonance stems from the seemingly haphazard combinations of long melodic phrases, rather than from a systematic construction by means of 12-tone ''rows.'' Listening to his First and Fourth Symphonies (Norwegian Music Productions CDN 31000), one is struck by the sheer willpower that enabled Valen to spin out his often ecstatic melodies at such great length. Long stretches of music go by without strong rhythmic underpinning, yet the thread of continuity never breaks completely. It is individualistic and often gripping, especially in these sympathetic performances by Aldo Ceccato and his Bergen (Norway) Philharmonic, but makes absolutely no concessions to the listener by way of memorable motives or occasional dance rhythms to soften the bleak atmosphere.

In his rugged integrity, Valen reminds one of his more humanistic Swedish counterpart, Allan Petterson, and of the American Charles Ruggles. In a predominantly conformist world, there is something very attractive about such men.


RECORDINGS Norwegian Surprises, From Opera to Symphony

The composer Christian Sinding (1856-1941) is remembered for one of music's great chestnuts, ''Rustle of Spring,'' which brought his name into many a genteel parlor in Europe and the Americas. His symphonies, sonatas and concertos are overshadowed today, even in his native Norway, by those of his greater compatriots, Svendsen and Grieg. The last thing one would have expected from Sinding is a first-rate opera, yet such is '⟞r Heilige Berg'' (Norwegian Music Productions CDN 31002 two compact disks).

The libretto, written in German by Dora Duncker and set (in 1912) by the composer in the same language, is divided into a prologue and two following acts. In the prologue, Dion, a child, is placed in a monastery (located on ''The Holy Mountain'' for which the opera is named) by his errant father. In the first act, set 12 years later, a young woman (Daphne) is sent by Dion's dying mother to bring the youth home. They promptly fall in love and run off together, but Dion falls off a cliff and is returned, moribund, to the monastery. In the second act, all means of resuscitation (including Daphne's kisses) having failed to revive Dion, his mother appears and administers a life-giving kiss. General rejoicing, blessings in the name of mother love, and proximate nuptials end the work on a celebratory note.

The first performance took place in Dessau, Germany, just prior to the outbreak of World War I. In Oslo, a shortened version was presented in concert in 1931 the second staging finally took place there in 1986, which occasioned this recording. Obvious reasons for the work's immediate descent into obscurity are not hard to find: The war effectively hampered Scandinavian composers from reaching a heretofore sympathetic audience in Germany (both Nielsen and Sibelius had similar problems). And in the nationalistic turmoil of new-found Norwegian independence (1905), a German-language opera with music totally oblivious to native folk materials must have seemed anomalous.

Deeper currents were at work as well. The resonances of ''Parsifal'' in the libretto (there is even a Gurnemanz-like monk on hand to advise Dion throughout) probably did not seem as outdated in 1914 as they do today, but in a world that had already encountered Debussy's ''Pelleas,'' Stravinsky's ''Rite of Spring'' and Schoenberg's ''Pierrot Lunaire,'' Sinding's thoroughly tonal, melodious and romantic music represented an unstylish backwater.

Today, it can be recognized and accepted on its own very real merits, which come as a surprise, since nothing in Sinding's other work indicates an ability to sustain long periods of vocal and (especially) orchestral flow with such spontaneity and character. Without meaning to seem perjorative, one could describe the opera's style as lightened, aerated Wagner. It is greatly in the work's favor that neither the prologue nor either act lasts over half an hour, well within the composer's ability to shape effectively. Heinz Fricke conducts soloists, choristers and orchestra of the Norwegian Opera in a fine, well-recorded performance (in German), which, at slightly over 79 minutes, is just beyond the capacity of a single compact disk.

There is another pleasant surprise from Norway, David Monrad Johansen's powerful, saga-based cantata ''Voluspa'' (Norwegian Music Productions CDN 31004). Johansen (1888-1974) was an influential critic, biographer of Grieg, and as a composer, a firm follower of the latter in the use of Norwegian folk materials. In fact, his cantata sounds enough like an extension of the strong and distinctive choral music Grieg created for his (unfinished) opera ''Olav Trygvason'' that the two might be confused with each other.

As with the Sinding opera, there is a compelling reason why Johansen's work has not made its way. It was composed in 1926, by which time it undoubtedly raised the eyebrows of modernists for whom even the more advanced Sibelius (whose influence can also be heard in ''Valuspa'') was old hat. But, taken on its own terms, it makes splendid listening.

The disk also includes seven songs by Johansen, based on Norwegian folk texts. Composed in 1920, they are somewhat more adventuresome harmonically than the cantata, but the mild modernisms of the piano accompaniments clash with the simple folk-like vocal melodies. The results are certainly enjoyable, but seem trivial when compared to the firm achievement of ''Valuspa.'' Once again, the performances by Norwegian artists (the soprano Edith Thallaug and the pianist Robert Levin in the songs) are excellent, as is the recording.

In their day, both Sinding and Johansen had an audience. The same cannot be said for Fartein Valen (1887-1952), whose music is as unknown to Norwegian audiences as it is to everyone else. In the 1920's, at the same time that Schoenberg was writing his first 12-tone works, Valen developed a style based on what he called 'ɽissonant counterpoint.'' Although they started from different premises, both composers, primarily by avoiding tonal references, managed to irritate most listeners no end.

So much for the resemblances. Valen's dissonance stems from the seemingly haphazard combinations of long melodic phrases, rather than from a systematic construction by means of 12-tone ''rows.'' Listening to his First and Fourth Symphonies (Norwegian Music Productions CDN 31000), one is struck by the sheer willpower that enabled Valen to spin out his often ecstatic melodies at such great length. Long stretches of music go by without strong rhythmic underpinning, yet the thread of continuity never breaks completely. It is individualistic and often gripping, especially in these sympathetic performances by Aldo Ceccato and his Bergen (Norway) Philharmonic, but makes absolutely no concessions to the listener by way of memorable motives or occasional dance rhythms to soften the bleak atmosphere.

In his rugged integrity, Valen reminds one of his more humanistic Swedish counterpart, Allan Petterson, and of the American Charles Ruggles. In a predominantly conformist world, there is something very attractive about such men.


RECORDINGS Norwegian Surprises, From Opera to Symphony

The composer Christian Sinding (1856-1941) is remembered for one of music's great chestnuts, ''Rustle of Spring,'' which brought his name into many a genteel parlor in Europe and the Americas. His symphonies, sonatas and concertos are overshadowed today, even in his native Norway, by those of his greater compatriots, Svendsen and Grieg. The last thing one would have expected from Sinding is a first-rate opera, yet such is '⟞r Heilige Berg'' (Norwegian Music Productions CDN 31002 two compact disks).

The libretto, written in German by Dora Duncker and set (in 1912) by the composer in the same language, is divided into a prologue and two following acts. In the prologue, Dion, a child, is placed in a monastery (located on ''The Holy Mountain'' for which the opera is named) by his errant father. In the first act, set 12 years later, a young woman (Daphne) is sent by Dion's dying mother to bring the youth home. They promptly fall in love and run off together, but Dion falls off a cliff and is returned, moribund, to the monastery. In the second act, all means of resuscitation (including Daphne's kisses) having failed to revive Dion, his mother appears and administers a life-giving kiss. General rejoicing, blessings in the name of mother love, and proximate nuptials end the work on a celebratory note.

The first performance took place in Dessau, Germany, just prior to the outbreak of World War I. In Oslo, a shortened version was presented in concert in 1931 the second staging finally took place there in 1986, which occasioned this recording. Obvious reasons for the work's immediate descent into obscurity are not hard to find: The war effectively hampered Scandinavian composers from reaching a heretofore sympathetic audience in Germany (both Nielsen and Sibelius had similar problems). And in the nationalistic turmoil of new-found Norwegian independence (1905), a German-language opera with music totally oblivious to native folk materials must have seemed anomalous.

Deeper currents were at work as well. The resonances of ''Parsifal'' in the libretto (there is even a Gurnemanz-like monk on hand to advise Dion throughout) probably did not seem as outdated in 1914 as they do today, but in a world that had already encountered Debussy's ''Pelleas,'' Stravinsky's ''Rite of Spring'' and Schoenberg's ''Pierrot Lunaire,'' Sinding's thoroughly tonal, melodious and romantic music represented an unstylish backwater.

Today, it can be recognized and accepted on its own very real merits, which come as a surprise, since nothing in Sinding's other work indicates an ability to sustain long periods of vocal and (especially) orchestral flow with such spontaneity and character. Without meaning to seem perjorative, one could describe the opera's style as lightened, aerated Wagner. It is greatly in the work's favor that neither the prologue nor either act lasts over half an hour, well within the composer's ability to shape effectively. Heinz Fricke conducts soloists, choristers and orchestra of the Norwegian Opera in a fine, well-recorded performance (in German), which, at slightly over 79 minutes, is just beyond the capacity of a single compact disk.

There is another pleasant surprise from Norway, David Monrad Johansen's powerful, saga-based cantata ''Voluspa'' (Norwegian Music Productions CDN 31004). Johansen (1888-1974) was an influential critic, biographer of Grieg, and as a composer, a firm follower of the latter in the use of Norwegian folk materials. In fact, his cantata sounds enough like an extension of the strong and distinctive choral music Grieg created for his (unfinished) opera ''Olav Trygvason'' that the two might be confused with each other.

As with the Sinding opera, there is a compelling reason why Johansen's work has not made its way. It was composed in 1926, by which time it undoubtedly raised the eyebrows of modernists for whom even the more advanced Sibelius (whose influence can also be heard in ''Valuspa'') was old hat. But, taken on its own terms, it makes splendid listening.

The disk also includes seven songs by Johansen, based on Norwegian folk texts. Composed in 1920, they are somewhat more adventuresome harmonically than the cantata, but the mild modernisms of the piano accompaniments clash with the simple folk-like vocal melodies. The results are certainly enjoyable, but seem trivial when compared to the firm achievement of ''Valuspa.'' Once again, the performances by Norwegian artists (the soprano Edith Thallaug and the pianist Robert Levin in the songs) are excellent, as is the recording.

In their day, both Sinding and Johansen had an audience. The same cannot be said for Fartein Valen (1887-1952), whose music is as unknown to Norwegian audiences as it is to everyone else. In the 1920's, at the same time that Schoenberg was writing his first 12-tone works, Valen developed a style based on what he called 'ɽissonant counterpoint.'' Although they started from different premises, both composers, primarily by avoiding tonal references, managed to irritate most listeners no end.

So much for the resemblances. Valen's dissonance stems from the seemingly haphazard combinations of long melodic phrases, rather than from a systematic construction by means of 12-tone ''rows.'' Listening to his First and Fourth Symphonies (Norwegian Music Productions CDN 31000), one is struck by the sheer willpower that enabled Valen to spin out his often ecstatic melodies at such great length. Long stretches of music go by without strong rhythmic underpinning, yet the thread of continuity never breaks completely. It is individualistic and often gripping, especially in these sympathetic performances by Aldo Ceccato and his Bergen (Norway) Philharmonic, but makes absolutely no concessions to the listener by way of memorable motives or occasional dance rhythms to soften the bleak atmosphere.

In his rugged integrity, Valen reminds one of his more humanistic Swedish counterpart, Allan Petterson, and of the American Charles Ruggles. In a predominantly conformist world, there is something very attractive about such men.


RECORDINGS Norwegian Surprises, From Opera to Symphony

The composer Christian Sinding (1856-1941) is remembered for one of music's great chestnuts, ''Rustle of Spring,'' which brought his name into many a genteel parlor in Europe and the Americas. His symphonies, sonatas and concertos are overshadowed today, even in his native Norway, by those of his greater compatriots, Svendsen and Grieg. The last thing one would have expected from Sinding is a first-rate opera, yet such is '⟞r Heilige Berg'' (Norwegian Music Productions CDN 31002 two compact disks).

The libretto, written in German by Dora Duncker and set (in 1912) by the composer in the same language, is divided into a prologue and two following acts. In the prologue, Dion, a child, is placed in a monastery (located on ''The Holy Mountain'' for which the opera is named) by his errant father. In the first act, set 12 years later, a young woman (Daphne) is sent by Dion's dying mother to bring the youth home. They promptly fall in love and run off together, but Dion falls off a cliff and is returned, moribund, to the monastery. In the second act, all means of resuscitation (including Daphne's kisses) having failed to revive Dion, his mother appears and administers a life-giving kiss. General rejoicing, blessings in the name of mother love, and proximate nuptials end the work on a celebratory note.

The first performance took place in Dessau, Germany, just prior to the outbreak of World War I. In Oslo, a shortened version was presented in concert in 1931 the second staging finally took place there in 1986, which occasioned this recording. Obvious reasons for the work's immediate descent into obscurity are not hard to find: The war effectively hampered Scandinavian composers from reaching a heretofore sympathetic audience in Germany (both Nielsen and Sibelius had similar problems). And in the nationalistic turmoil of new-found Norwegian independence (1905), a German-language opera with music totally oblivious to native folk materials must have seemed anomalous.

Deeper currents were at work as well. The resonances of ''Parsifal'' in the libretto (there is even a Gurnemanz-like monk on hand to advise Dion throughout) probably did not seem as outdated in 1914 as they do today, but in a world that had already encountered Debussy's ''Pelleas,'' Stravinsky's ''Rite of Spring'' and Schoenberg's ''Pierrot Lunaire,'' Sinding's thoroughly tonal, melodious and romantic music represented an unstylish backwater.

Today, it can be recognized and accepted on its own very real merits, which come as a surprise, since nothing in Sinding's other work indicates an ability to sustain long periods of vocal and (especially) orchestral flow with such spontaneity and character. Without meaning to seem perjorative, one could describe the opera's style as lightened, aerated Wagner. It is greatly in the work's favor that neither the prologue nor either act lasts over half an hour, well within the composer's ability to shape effectively. Heinz Fricke conducts soloists, choristers and orchestra of the Norwegian Opera in a fine, well-recorded performance (in German), which, at slightly over 79 minutes, is just beyond the capacity of a single compact disk.

There is another pleasant surprise from Norway, David Monrad Johansen's powerful, saga-based cantata ''Voluspa'' (Norwegian Music Productions CDN 31004). Johansen (1888-1974) was an influential critic, biographer of Grieg, and as a composer, a firm follower of the latter in the use of Norwegian folk materials. In fact, his cantata sounds enough like an extension of the strong and distinctive choral music Grieg created for his (unfinished) opera ''Olav Trygvason'' that the two might be confused with each other.

As with the Sinding opera, there is a compelling reason why Johansen's work has not made its way. It was composed in 1926, by which time it undoubtedly raised the eyebrows of modernists for whom even the more advanced Sibelius (whose influence can also be heard in ''Valuspa'') was old hat. But, taken on its own terms, it makes splendid listening.

The disk also includes seven songs by Johansen, based on Norwegian folk texts. Composed in 1920, they are somewhat more adventuresome harmonically than the cantata, but the mild modernisms of the piano accompaniments clash with the simple folk-like vocal melodies. The results are certainly enjoyable, but seem trivial when compared to the firm achievement of ''Valuspa.'' Once again, the performances by Norwegian artists (the soprano Edith Thallaug and the pianist Robert Levin in the songs) are excellent, as is the recording.

In their day, both Sinding and Johansen had an audience. The same cannot be said for Fartein Valen (1887-1952), whose music is as unknown to Norwegian audiences as it is to everyone else. In the 1920's, at the same time that Schoenberg was writing his first 12-tone works, Valen developed a style based on what he called 'ɽissonant counterpoint.'' Although they started from different premises, both composers, primarily by avoiding tonal references, managed to irritate most listeners no end.

So much for the resemblances. Valen's dissonance stems from the seemingly haphazard combinations of long melodic phrases, rather than from a systematic construction by means of 12-tone ''rows.'' Listening to his First and Fourth Symphonies (Norwegian Music Productions CDN 31000), one is struck by the sheer willpower that enabled Valen to spin out his often ecstatic melodies at such great length. Long stretches of music go by without strong rhythmic underpinning, yet the thread of continuity never breaks completely. It is individualistic and often gripping, especially in these sympathetic performances by Aldo Ceccato and his Bergen (Norway) Philharmonic, but makes absolutely no concessions to the listener by way of memorable motives or occasional dance rhythms to soften the bleak atmosphere.

In his rugged integrity, Valen reminds one of his more humanistic Swedish counterpart, Allan Petterson, and of the American Charles Ruggles. In a predominantly conformist world, there is something very attractive about such men.


RECORDINGS Norwegian Surprises, From Opera to Symphony

The composer Christian Sinding (1856-1941) is remembered for one of music's great chestnuts, ''Rustle of Spring,'' which brought his name into many a genteel parlor in Europe and the Americas. His symphonies, sonatas and concertos are overshadowed today, even in his native Norway, by those of his greater compatriots, Svendsen and Grieg. The last thing one would have expected from Sinding is a first-rate opera, yet such is '⟞r Heilige Berg'' (Norwegian Music Productions CDN 31002 two compact disks).

The libretto, written in German by Dora Duncker and set (in 1912) by the composer in the same language, is divided into a prologue and two following acts. In the prologue, Dion, a child, is placed in a monastery (located on ''The Holy Mountain'' for which the opera is named) by his errant father. In the first act, set 12 years later, a young woman (Daphne) is sent by Dion's dying mother to bring the youth home. They promptly fall in love and run off together, but Dion falls off a cliff and is returned, moribund, to the monastery. In the second act, all means of resuscitation (including Daphne's kisses) having failed to revive Dion, his mother appears and administers a life-giving kiss. General rejoicing, blessings in the name of mother love, and proximate nuptials end the work on a celebratory note.

The first performance took place in Dessau, Germany, just prior to the outbreak of World War I. In Oslo, a shortened version was presented in concert in 1931 the second staging finally took place there in 1986, which occasioned this recording. Obvious reasons for the work's immediate descent into obscurity are not hard to find: The war effectively hampered Scandinavian composers from reaching a heretofore sympathetic audience in Germany (both Nielsen and Sibelius had similar problems). And in the nationalistic turmoil of new-found Norwegian independence (1905), a German-language opera with music totally oblivious to native folk materials must have seemed anomalous.

Deeper currents were at work as well. The resonances of ''Parsifal'' in the libretto (there is even a Gurnemanz-like monk on hand to advise Dion throughout) probably did not seem as outdated in 1914 as they do today, but in a world that had already encountered Debussy's ''Pelleas,'' Stravinsky's ''Rite of Spring'' and Schoenberg's ''Pierrot Lunaire,'' Sinding's thoroughly tonal, melodious and romantic music represented an unstylish backwater.

Today, it can be recognized and accepted on its own very real merits, which come as a surprise, since nothing in Sinding's other work indicates an ability to sustain long periods of vocal and (especially) orchestral flow with such spontaneity and character. Without meaning to seem perjorative, one could describe the opera's style as lightened, aerated Wagner. It is greatly in the work's favor that neither the prologue nor either act lasts over half an hour, well within the composer's ability to shape effectively. Heinz Fricke conducts soloists, choristers and orchestra of the Norwegian Opera in a fine, well-recorded performance (in German), which, at slightly over 79 minutes, is just beyond the capacity of a single compact disk.

There is another pleasant surprise from Norway, David Monrad Johansen's powerful, saga-based cantata ''Voluspa'' (Norwegian Music Productions CDN 31004). Johansen (1888-1974) was an influential critic, biographer of Grieg, and as a composer, a firm follower of the latter in the use of Norwegian folk materials. In fact, his cantata sounds enough like an extension of the strong and distinctive choral music Grieg created for his (unfinished) opera ''Olav Trygvason'' that the two might be confused with each other.

As with the Sinding opera, there is a compelling reason why Johansen's work has not made its way. It was composed in 1926, by which time it undoubtedly raised the eyebrows of modernists for whom even the more advanced Sibelius (whose influence can also be heard in ''Valuspa'') was old hat. But, taken on its own terms, it makes splendid listening.

The disk also includes seven songs by Johansen, based on Norwegian folk texts. Composed in 1920, they are somewhat more adventuresome harmonically than the cantata, but the mild modernisms of the piano accompaniments clash with the simple folk-like vocal melodies. The results are certainly enjoyable, but seem trivial when compared to the firm achievement of ''Valuspa.'' Once again, the performances by Norwegian artists (the soprano Edith Thallaug and the pianist Robert Levin in the songs) are excellent, as is the recording.

In their day, both Sinding and Johansen had an audience. The same cannot be said for Fartein Valen (1887-1952), whose music is as unknown to Norwegian audiences as it is to everyone else. In the 1920's, at the same time that Schoenberg was writing his first 12-tone works, Valen developed a style based on what he called 'ɽissonant counterpoint.'' Although they started from different premises, both composers, primarily by avoiding tonal references, managed to irritate most listeners no end.

So much for the resemblances. Valen's dissonance stems from the seemingly haphazard combinations of long melodic phrases, rather than from a systematic construction by means of 12-tone ''rows.'' Listening to his First and Fourth Symphonies (Norwegian Music Productions CDN 31000), one is struck by the sheer willpower that enabled Valen to spin out his often ecstatic melodies at such great length. Long stretches of music go by without strong rhythmic underpinning, yet the thread of continuity never breaks completely. It is individualistic and often gripping, especially in these sympathetic performances by Aldo Ceccato and his Bergen (Norway) Philharmonic, but makes absolutely no concessions to the listener by way of memorable motives or occasional dance rhythms to soften the bleak atmosphere.

In his rugged integrity, Valen reminds one of his more humanistic Swedish counterpart, Allan Petterson, and of the American Charles Ruggles. In a predominantly conformist world, there is something very attractive about such men.


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