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Geirr Tveitt: Variations on a Folk Tune from Hardanger
Variations on a Folk Song from Hardanger for Two Pianos and Orchestra
Geirr Tveitt: Piano Concerto No. 4, Op. 130, "Aurora Borealis"
I. The Northern Lights awakening above the autumn colours
II. Glittering in the winter heavens, and …
III. Fading away in the bright night of spring
“There are many musical depictions of the Northern Lights, but few if any on quite so lush and expansive a scale as Tveitt's Fourth Piano Concerto (1947). A paean to this extraordinary natural phenomenon, it's conceived on a Baxian scale following a seasonal cycle with its kaleidoscopic first movement, 'The Northern Lights awakening above the autumn colours', running to almost 31 of the whole 51-minute length. The slower central span, 'Glittering in the winter heavens, and…' is more straightforward and the swifter final movement ('Fading away in the bright night of spring') acts as an epilogue. The manuscript of the Fourth Concerto was lost in the calamitous 1970 fire that destroyed Tveitt's home and 80 per cent of his output. Christian Eggen was able to reconstruct it from the orchestral parts and a two-piano reduction, leaving the Third to be issued (Nos 2 and 6 are irretrievably lost). The coupling here is the delightful Variationson a Folksong from Hardanger for two pianos and orchestra, written in 1939 for Tveitt to play with his first wife, a highly diverse late-Romantic effusion and a real winner. The performances are superb, Gimse totally in the Tveitt style with exemplary support from the RSNO and Bjarte Engeset; Gunilla Süssmann makes a splendid second soloist in the Variations. Excellent sound and a marvellous disc.”