The Norwegian Radio Orchestra with brand new Norwegian music! Alfred Janson, Jan Erik Mikalsen, Maja Ratkje and Knut Vaage have written specifically for the orchestra, who also has invited the classical star trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth for a brand new trumpet concerto.
The Norwegian Radio Orchestra and Tine Thing Helseth
The Norwegian Radio Orchestra is a flexible orchestra on a high international level, with a Chief Conductor holding a great enthusiasm for the Norwegian musical heritage, who performs everything from the symphonic repertoire and contemporary music, to pop, rock, jazz and folk music. The orchestra gives these works the high quality and commitment demanded. Miguel Harth-Bedoya is undeniably among the leading conductors today, and the cooperation is equally fantastic for The Norwegian Radio Orchestra, as it is for Norwegian musical life in general. Tine Thing Helseth is one of the leading Norwegian classical talents. She has an impressive merit list, which among other things includes the BBC Proms in Royal Albert Hall and London’s Wigmore Hall, as well as performances with The London Philharmonic Orchestra, in addition to being a curator at several festivals. Tine has received several prizes, including ‘Newcomer of the year’ by Echo Klassik Awards in 2013, Bortelli-Buitoni Trust Fellowship in 2009, and newcomer of the year at Spellemann in 2007.
Variations over variations
Tine Thing Helseth is featured in Alfred Janson’s trumpet concerto ‘Variasjoner over variasjoner over en norsk folketone’ on this recording, a variation work requiring great technical demands of the soloist, written specifically for Tine. Edvard Grieg’s variation work, ‘Ballad in g minor”, is twisted and turned with the help of musical tools from jazz and a range of other musical styles. The contemplative and melancholic mood of Grieg’s ballad is in Janson’s hands turned into a warmer and more laidback musical environment – naturally masterly performed by Tine and The Norwegian Radio Orchestra.
New Norwegian music
The four works on this album enter into a dialogue with existing music and a music history that binds them together, in very different ways. Some places musical quotes open up a door to the Norwegian, other places it re-contextualises the idea of a national music. Ratkje’s ‘Paragraf 112’ was commissioned for a national orchestral relay set to mark the 200th anniversary for the Norwegian constitution in 2014. The title is a direct reference to the environmental article in the constitution which among other things tells of the citizens right to ‘a nature where capability of production and diversity is preserved.’ The piece expands the orchestra’s ordinary timbre and establishes a vulnerable openness which later turns darker and more dangerous. Perhaps it’s the article that rises up in all its gravity and seriousness? Mikalsen’s folk-inspired ‘Songr’ moves between large orchestral roars and fragile chords, and even though it’s not a symphony, it’s length and expression is a definitive centre of gravity. Vaage’s ‘Mylder’ changes between faster parts and slower, kaleidoscopic sweeps, before it suddenly spins further on musical fragments and quotations is picks up on the way – a symphonic internet where the surface seems familiar.