Ragnhild Hemsing (violin and Hardanger fiddle) & Tor Espen Aspaas (piano)
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‘YR’ is the debut of Ragnhild Hemsing, an artist who specialises in combining traditional Hardanger fiddle playing with classical technique of the highest level. She is accompanied on the recording by pianist Tor Espen Aspaas in performances of music for the hardanger fiddle juxtaposed with her compatriot Edvard Grieg’s Violin Sonata. The disc also includes a piece for solo violin entitled by the contemporary Norwegian composer Lasse Thoresen that skilfully combines music of the past and the present.
Ragnhild Hemsing made her debut with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 13, and a year later she performed as soloist with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. The two 'lydarlåtter' on her debut recording are pieces for hardanger fiddle developed not as dance music but as listening music. The Six Village Songs from Lom of Sparre Olsen are also based on traditional tunes, but set out for fiddle and piano accompaniment by the composer.
In his mesmerising piece for solo violin entitled YR, a word that denotes both giddiness and a drizzling kind of rain, Lasse Thoresen lets traditional archaic building blocks come together as a contemporary way of expression. Together with folk dancer Hallgrim Hansegård has also developed the piece into a stunning stage performance, which is included on this release as a bonus enhanced video track.
“her programme is cleverly chosen to show connections between the two instruments, interspersing traditional folk music with concert works. Hemsing conjures up hypnotic colours from her Hardanger fiddle.”
“Her tone is remarkably pure, with an inner steel audible in her control of intonation over larger spans...The virtuosity of Hemsing's unaccompanied playing seems effortless, her strength and delicacy evident”
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