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Between the Seasons

Between the Seasons


Kraggerud:

Equinox - 24 Postludes in all keys for Violin and Chamber Orchestra: Postludium

the last leaf - Magnus in Memoriam

Victimae Paschali

Vivaldi:

The Four Seasons


The extreme - wind, snow, cold, rainfall, thaw and heat - are vividly experienced in Kraggerud's interpretation of The Four Seasons. Henning Kraggerud manages to capture the climatic range experienced on top of the world in his music-making.

Inspired by Kremer and Desyatnikov's combination of Vivaldi and Piazzolla, Kraggerud has included four of his own works in-between the seasons. The pieces chosen evokes different connotations and new angles through which we can experience the world's most popular classical work. Kraggerud's pieces both comment and contrast Vivaldi's moods - positioned as it were between the seasons, forming an eight spoke wheel.

The album is accompanied by poetic liner notes from author Erik Fosnes Hansen, chronicling Vivaldi's life story and relating it both to the music and also the sonnets that were printed along with the original work: 'These admired and loved musical illustrations are like tapestries from a vanished era. They tell of simple, ordinary things that happen in the seasons, with all the drama that can lie in such simple and ordinary events. But just as a year has its seasons, so too does a life. So, let us look more closely at the life of this composer.'

Erik Fosnes Hansen is a Norwegian award-winning author, his work is translated into more than 30 languages.

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Octophonia

Octophonia


Lidholm:

Fantasia sopra laudi

Lutosławski:

Grave

Nordheim:

Three Stanzas for Double Bass Alone

Partita for Six Double Basses

Clamavi for Cello

Sallinen:

Elegy for Sebastian Knight, Op. 10


Dan Styffe (double bass), Ingrid Andsnes (piano)

Renowned solo double bassist Dan Styffe performs works by Arne Nordheim, Ingvar Lidholm, Witold Lutoslawski and Aulis Sallinen. Three works by Nordheim form the kernel of the album, on which Styffe has grouped music originally written for double bass with music for cello adapted for its larger relative.

Arne Nordheim was a figurehead for the entire Norwegian post-war musical modernism. ‘Clamavi’ (1980), inspired by a biblical psalm, a cry for help dividing the world into good and evil people and intentions, ‘Partita’ (1982), written unusually for six double basses (performed by Styffe and several of his students, as well as Håkon Thelin) and ‘Three stanzas for double bass alone’ (1998), all feature on ‘Octophonia’.

The other music is by composers who are in various ways associated with Arne Nordheim’s work. Ingvar Lidholm, with whom Nordheim studied, is represented by ‘Fantasia sopra laudi’ (1977). Together with Ingrid Andsnes, Styffe also plays ‘Grave: Metamorphoses for cello and piano’ (1981) by Lutoslawski, a composer who, with his sound mass techniques, was an important inspiration for Nordheim. Like Nordheim, Sallinen is a composer with a social and political involvement with music beyond the purely aesthetical. His ‘Elegy for Sebastian Knight’ (1964), a piece characterising a turning point in the composer’s practice, back to an expressive, free tonality.

Swedish-born Dan Styffe is a central figure in Norwegian musical life. He made his solo debut in 1985 and is a much sought-after soloist and chamber musician around the world. His discography is comprehensive, with several CDs and solo albums behind him, all of which received great critical acclaim. ‘Octophonia’ is his sixth solo album.

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Hardanger Fiddle in Art Music

Hardanger Fiddle in Art Music


Halvorsen:

Fossegrimen Suite, Op. 21

Kvandal:

Quintet for Hardanger fiddle and string quartet, Op. 50

Nyhus:

Three works for Hardanger fiddle solo


Åshild Breie Nyhus (Hardanger fiddle), Ingfrid Breie Nyhus (piano), Per Kristian Skalstad, Per Sæmund Bjørkum (violin), Anders Rensvik (viola), Audun Sandvik (cello)

The second album by sisters Åshild and Ingfrid Breie Nyhus is deeply rooted in a wonderful meeting between Norwegian folk music and art music. The Hardanger fiddle - in all its mythical glory - is at the heart of the recording, an instrument which played a significant role in the nation-building of 19th-century Norway.

In Norway the Hardanger fiddle was not just a mere musical instrument: in the country’s folklore it functioned as a direct contact with the underworld. Halvorsen’s ‘Fossegrimen’ is built on the myth around the fiddler Myllarguten, said to have been taught by the Grim himself, and paying for it with his soul. Drawing on her substantial experience of interpreting Norwegian folk music on the piano, Ingfrid has arranged Halvorsen’s famous suite for fiddle and piano.

Their father, folk musician, fiddler, composer and musicologist Sven Nyhus has often advanced the Hardanger fiddle’s place in the art musical world: his ‘Three pieces for solo Hardanger fiddle’ was first and foremost a contribution to increase the awareness of the instrument in a concert setting. Equally important in that regard is Johan Kvandal’s acclaimed ‘Quintet for Hardanger fiddle and string quartet’, commissioned by the Arctic Arts Festival.

Åshild Breie Nyhus (b. 1975) is a fourth generation fiddler in her family at Røros, performing as a soloist on the Hardanger fiddle with several Scandinavian symphony orchestras. Her performances of the Norwegian folk musical heritage is combined with her practice as a classical violinist and violist - in the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra. Ingfrid Breie Nyhus (b. 1978) has studied piano in Oslo, Helsinki and Hannover, won a range of awards - amongst them ‘The Norwegian Soloists Prize’ in 2005 - and is now preoccupied with a further specialization of folk-inspired music.

This is the second release by the Nyhus sisters for Simax Classics, following their hugely successful album of Edvard Grieg’s Slåtter op. 72, recorded in the composer’s own living room.

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Beethoven/Hagen: 33 + 1- Ingrid Andsnes

Beethoven/Hagen: 33 + 1- Ingrid Andsnes


Beethoven:

Diabelli Variations, Op. 120

Hagen, L P:

Diabelli Cadenza for piano and Ebow


Ingrid Andsnes (piano)

Ingrid Andsnes, sister of the world-renowned Leif Ove Andsnes, makes her solo CD debut with the most demanding work in the piano literature, Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, music that has become synonymous with the struggle and transformation in her own life.

Ingrid’s first encounter with the Diabelli Variations as a performer came directly after a very challenging period of illness: “I believe I had the Diabelli Variations 'thrown at me' because I needed exactly that music at exactly that time. I needed to play music that demanded so much power, strength, perseverance, endless dives into the music, with great technical challenges. Music that really pushes the envelope, beyond where you think it must end. I had to feel the passion, the great deep emotions, the vulnerability, and most important: the power. Reclaiming the control of unused muscles, strength and love. You could say that my life got the perfect soundtrack.”

The publisher and composer Anton Diabelli invited his fellow composers of 1819 Vienna to write a variation on his own little waltz. Beethoven turned the proposition down, only to reconsider and write not one variation, but thirty-three! In 2015 Ingrid Andsnes invited composer and curator Lars Petter Hagen to add a cadenza to Beethoven’s set of variations. Employing EBows on the strings of the piano to haunting effect, this cadenza replaces the short Poco Adagio before variation 33 in the present recording.

Ingrid Andsnes (born in 1978) is a highly accomplished pianist and one of Norway’s most endearingly passionate musicians. She studied with Joan Havill at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama and, like her brother Leif Ove, with Jiri Hlinka at Barratt Due Institute of Music in Oslo. She has collaborated with the finest of Norway’s musicians, among them Solveig Kringelborn, Arve Tellefsen, Håvard Gimse and The Norwegian Soloist Choir. In 2013 she played Beethoven’s monumental Diabelli Variations in the play “33 Variations” by Moisés Kaufman, staged at Det Norske Teateret in Oslo.

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Kraggerud: Equinox - 24 Postludes in all keys for Violin and Chamber Orchestra

Kraggerud: Equinox - 24 Postludes in all keys for Violin and Chamber Orchestra


Henning Kraggerud (violin and director)

Arctic Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra

Alongside a distinguished career as a soloist with some of the world’s greatest orchestras, Norwegian star violinist Henning Kraggerud is also a composer. On ‘Equinox’ he combines these two roles in a collaboration with Jostein Gaarder, author of ‘Sophie’s World’, playing the solo part and also directing the Arctic Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra.

Kraggerud’s composition comprises four concertos - Afternoon, Evening, Night and Morning - each of which consists of six postludes. These 24 postludes are written in 24 keys and depict 24 hours and 24 time zones, taking the listener on a kaleidoscopic tour across the world and time, and journeying musically through the circle of fifths, beginning in C major. The postludes are by turn joyful, mournful, effervescent and heart-wrenching.

Bestselling author Jostein Gaarder has written an original accompanying narrative, ‘24 keys to a world before it slips away’, charting a man’s journey through time from the Meridian Line in Greenwich, which features in live performances but not on this music-only CD. As he awaits a potentially serious medical diagnosis, the protagonist decides to make the most of his 24 hours of freedom by visiting every time zone. Kraggerud and Gaarder were inspired by centuries’ worth of discussions about the intrinsic properties of musical keys by theorists, philosophers and composers.

Henning Kraggerud is well-known with an increasing profile as a performer at festivals, including the BBC Proms, and at venues such as the Wigmore Hall. The Brodsky Quartet and Britten Sinfonia are among ensembles that have recently commissioned works from him as a composer. For Simax he has also made recordings of the Ysaÿe Sonatas for solo violin (PSC1293) and ‘Munch Suite’, 15 new pieces inspired by the paintings of Edvard Munch (PSC1322).

“The Arctic Philharmonic strings of Tromsö are as evocative as their leader - Norway now has a great school of string-teaching - and while there's nothing radical here, the music is also never backgroundy and the variety, from meditation to lopsided dance, is extraordinary. I can't wait to hear the whole thing in action” BBC Music Magazine, December 2015 *****

“The writing is streamlined…resolutely tonal, peppered with neo-Baroque gameplay and some obvious geographical signposting but generally neat and secure…Kragerrud's playing is evocative (his violin sounds almost like an oriental flute)…and the Arctic Philharmonic provide a warm, capable cushion underneath him.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2015

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Prelude - Holst, Fauré, Grieg

Prelude - Holst, Fauré, Grieg


Busto:

The Lord is my Shepherd

Chesnokov:

Dostoyno Yest

Fauré:

Messe basse

Gjeilo:

Ubi caritas

Grieg:

Ved Rondane (from 12 Songs Op. 33)

Havrøy:

O Magnum Mysterium

Holst:

Ave Maria, H49, Op. 9b

Milliken, S:

Fanfare of Praise

Norum:

Brudemarsj fra Moss

Orbán:

Lauda Sion

Tveitt:

Velkomme


Oslo Vocalis, Vigdis Oftung

The album ‘Prelude’ presents a collection of some of the most beautiful and inspiring works for choir. The performers here are the highly-rated Norwegian choir Oslo Vocalis, and the music on the disc features works by major figures like Grieg, Fauré, Holst, and Tveitt, as well as pieces by several lesser known but significant composers, including Ola Gjeillo (whose work “Prelude” gives the disc its title) and György Orbán.

The collection of choral pieces performed by the Norwegain choir Oslo Vocalis on this CD includes an arrangement by Trio Mediaeval’s Linn Andrea Fuglset of one of Geir Tveitt's best known works, “Velkomne med Aera”, as well Gustav Holst’s first published work “Ave Maria”, Gabriel Fauré's popular “Messe basse” (short mass) for female choir and organ, and Grieg's “Ved Rondane”. The album also features “Fanfare of Praise” by the Australian composer and conductor Sandra Milliken, and “O Magnum Mysterium”, a beautiful and rarely heard piece by the Norwegian composer Frank Havrøy. The title track “Prelude” was written by New York based composer Ola Gjeilo and is the final piece on the album, while another of Gjeilo’s works, “Ubi Caritas”, opens the disc.

The choir Oslo Vocalis was formed in 1988 and is comprised of 25 female singers. It has already had great success in both national and international choir competitions, including Arezzo, Sligo and Athens. They do concerts all over Europe in repertoire ranging from jazz, folk music and church music.

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Brouwer, Koshkin & Villa-Lobos: Guitar Concertos

Brouwer, Koshkin & Villa-Lobos: Guitar Concertos


Brouwer, L:

Concerto Elegiaco

Koshkin:

Bergen Concerto

Villa-Lobos:

Guitar Concerto


Stein-Erik Olsen (guitar)

Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Terje Mikkelsen

Stein-Erik Olsen has released many highly acclaimed albums throughout his career. For his first guitar concerto recording he teams up with the internationally-renowned Academy of St Martin in the Fields to perform works by Villa-Lobos, Leo Brouwer and Nikita Koshkin.

The music of these three composers covers much of the expressive range of 20th century music, with each representing a different musical sensibility and cultural background.

The disc opens with the Cuban composer Leo Brouwer’s exciting and inventive third Guitar Concerto, known as the ‘Concerto Elegiaco’. This is followed by a performance of Heitor Villa-Lobos’s well-known Guitar Concerto. Stein-Erik Olsen has previously played this work on many occasions, but on this recording he uses a copy of the original manuscript sent to him by the Villa-Lobos Museum in Rio de Janerio as a starting point. This has resulted in a number of new ideas for interpretation and has inspired a new reading of the whole piece.

The last work is by the Russian composer Nikita Koshkin, a virtuoso guitarist with an international reputation established on the back of several of his own high-quality compositions. Koshkin’s ‘Bergen Concerto’ was written for Stein-Erik Olsen in 2007.

Stein-Erik Olsen made his international debut at the Wigmore Hall in London in 1986 and since then has performed at concert halls all over Europe. The main focus of his work has always been to explore and record non-traditional music, often developed in collaboration with contemporary composers.

The Academy of St Martin in the Fields gained international recognition under the leadership of Sir Neville Marriner. The current musical director is the virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell. On this recording the orchestra is led by the distinguished Norwegian conductor Terje Mikkelsen.

“Opulent sound beautifies Olsen's guitar in Brouwer's dramatic Concerto Elegiaco and the florid Villa-Lobos. Koshkin's weak Bergen Concerto disappoints.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2015 ***

“Stein-Erik Olsen…is perfectly cast: his playing throughout the disc is clean, controlled and thoughtful…unfailingly pleasant.” International Record Review, March 2015

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Munch: Henning Kraggerud

Munch: Henning Kraggerud

Limited edition: includes 15 Munch reproductions


Firsova, E:

Moonlight over the Sea

Hakim:

Fantasia over Unge mennesker på stranden

Kahane:

Étude - Cobalt Cure

Kernis:

A Dance of Life

Kleiberg:

Ashes

Kováč:

Two People. The Lonely

Kukal:

Aftenstund

Martinsson, R:

Landscape

Müller, F:

Munch’s Traum(a)

Nelson, D:

Man and Woman

Paus, M:

The Ladies on the Bridge

Petitgirard:

Trees on the Beach

Seabourne:

Meeting

Thommessen:

Kyss på stranden i måneskinn

Tzanou:

Blick auf das Meer


Munch Suite is a unique recording from acclaimed violinist Henning Kraggerud being released to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of the painter Edvard Munch. It features 15 new solo pieces, every one directly inspired by a specific painting by the great Norwegian artist. Each piece has been written by a different composer, in this case some important figures on the international contemporary music scene including Aaron Jay Kernis, Alissa Firsova and Laurent Petitgirard. The CD is presented in a de-luxe edition box that includes reproductions of each painting depicted in the suite.

The idea to let contemporary composers interpret Edvard Munch’s iconic artworks came from the director of the Vestfold International Festival. Violinist Henning Kraggerud immediately saw the artistic potential of the project and the result is a solo suite that reflects the unique position of Munch’s work as musical inspiration. The Munch Suite features premiere recordings of 15 pieces specially written by leading contemporary composers including Aaron Jay Kernis, Naji Hakim, Olav Anton Thommessen and Rolf Martinsson. The list includes English composer Peter Seabourne and the British-Russian composer Alissa Firsova, daughter of Elena Firsova.

The work was first heard during the exhibition ‘Love’s Beach’ in 2010 at the Haugar Art Museum near the Åsgårdstrand shores, the place where Munch found motifs for many of his paintings. A small gallery able to accommodate an audience of only 60, each piece was performed in front of ‘its own’ painting. In connection with the release of the Munch Suite on CD, Kraggerud has developed an exclusive concert performance in which images of the paintings are projected.

“this Simax package is a thing of beauty. No jewel case, but a handsome, matt-black box, containing 15 glossy cards...Listening to the whole disc in one sitting isn't recommended – you're much better dipping in and out over several days. Kraggerud's playing is consistently marvellous” The Arts Desk, 2nd November 2013

“A wonderful project...Intensity and melancholy rule, as might be expected — but Kraggerud’s playing is so vivid that, paradoxically, the listener is exhilarated.” The Times, 12th October 2013 *****

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Revived in Tango

Revived in Tango


Bach, J S:

Prelude & Fugue in C major, BWV545

Bovet, G:

Tango de sesto tono, de batalla

Tiento de i tono de mano derecha

Tango de primo tono, sobre el himno Ave Maris Stella

Tango de quarto tono de falsas, per l'elevazione

Tango del decimo tono, dicho del Gato

Et tango de los tangos

Bruna:

Tiento de primer tono de mano derecha

Frescobaldi:

Toccata quarta per l'Elevazione

Grigny:

Ave maris stella

Fugue à 5

Duo

Dialogue sur les Grands Jeux

Kerll:

Battaglia

Scarlatti, D:

Keyboard Sonata K30 in G minor 'Cat's Fugue'


Ines Maidre (organ, the Binvignant- Houdtappel organ at the Hasselt Cathedral)

Guy Bovet’s organ work ‘Tangos Ecclesiasticos’ was written in 2000. Six of its twelve sections are based around works by composers from the past including Domenico Scarlatti, Frescobaldi, Johann Kerll, J S Bach, Nicolas de Grigny, and Pablo Bruna. On the CD Revived in Tango these are paired with their early musical models. The artist is the Estonian Ines Maidre who performs the set on the Binvignant-Houdtappel organ at Hasselt Cathedral.

The idea of this recording is to pair French contemporary composer Guy Bovet’s Tangos Ecclesiasticos with their related earlier musical models in order to show the source of their inspiration and how much the tango transformation reveals or changes the original. The order of the tangos on the CD is different from the original due to the artistic goals of the programme. Of the 12 Tangos Ecclesiasticos, six are presented on this album together with six works from early French (Nicolas de Grigny), Italian (Girolamo Frescobaldi, Domenico Scarlatti), Spanish (Pablo Bruna), and German (Johann Kaspar Kerll, Johann Sebastian Bach) organ literature.

A graduate of the Estonian Academy of Music, Tallinn, Ines Maidre holds soloist diplomas for both piano and organ with the highest distinctions. As a harpsichord player she frequently performs together with her early music ensemble Musica Celines. Her collaboration with various soloists and ensembles has resulted in programmes combining organ with Gregorian chant, dance, percussion, violin, harp, trumpet, trombone and synthesizer.

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Klang(!): Orjan Matre, Knut Nystedt, Olav Anton Thommessen

Klang(!): Orjan Matre, Knut Nystedt, Olav Anton Thommessen


Matre:

Klang(!)

Nystedt:

Masquerade, Op. 91

Thommessen:

Arabesk

trad.:

Halleluja, võr strid er endt (Alleluia! our strife is o'er)

Mitt hjerte alltid vanker (My heart always wanders)


Ila Brass Band & Kammerkoret Aurum, Bjorn Sagstad

On Klang (!) music by three important contemporary Norwegian composers, Knut Nysted, Olav Anton Thommessem, and Orjan Matre is performed by the Ila Brass Band and the Aurum Chamber Choir, two highly regarded ensembles from the region of Trondheim. The disc also includes two traditional pieces “Alleluia! Our strife is o’er” and “My Heart Always Wanders”. The conductor is Bjørn Sagstad.

The Ila Brass Band, which celebrates 40 years of existence in 2012, is a gathering place for aspiring musicians in the Trondheim area of Norway including skilled amateurs, music students and professional musicians. It is considered to be the premiere ensemble of its type in the region. The award-winning and ambitious chamber choir Aurum, which is also located in Trondheim, is made up of 20 singers aged from 20 to 30 years.

The Norwegian composer Ørjan Matre was born in 1979 in Bergen and studied composition at the Norwegian Music Academy. His music contains traditional elements, and although playful and often quite exquisitely refined also has a more serious and focused side.

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