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 this new release he combines these two roles in a collaboration with Jostein Gaarder, author of ‘Sophie’s World’. Welcome to the magical world of Equinox!
Around the world
The book "The Solitaire Mystery”, which ingeniously blends a deck of cards compared to weeks, days and years, gave Kraggerud the idea of a piece based on the number 24. The story of Equinox starts London, where our protagonist finds himself in a difficult situation‚ awaiting a neurological diagnose. In the middle of the day, he stumbles out into Greenwich Park, where he is catapulted on a kaleidoscopic journey to all 24 time zones, one for each fifteen degrees. The journey follows the circle of fifths from C major through the flat keys, and when the geographical odyssey crosses the date line, we move musically from 6 flats to 6 sharps.
Combining performance and composition
Following in the footsteps of great masters of the violin, such as Fritz Kreisler and Eugène Ysaÿe, Henning Kraggerud’s approach enables the performative and creative processes to develop hand in hand. In Equinox, Kraggerud has written beautiful, mournful, bubbly and heartbreaking music, organized into four violin concertos entitled Afternoon, Evening, Night and Morning. Kraggerud performs regularly with eminent conductors such as Denève, Saraste, Dausgaard, Vänskä, McCreesh, and McGegan, to name a few. A dedicated chamber musician, he performs frequently on both violin and viola in venues such as London’s Wigmore Hall, appearing alongside artists including Imogen Cooper, Adrian Brendel, Steven Isserlis, Joshua Bell, Martha Argerich, Leif Ove Andsnes, and Piotr Anderszewski. Kraggerud plays a 1744 Guerneri del Gesù, provided by Dextra Musica.
The Arctic Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra
Equinox is commissioned for and beautifully performed by the Arctic Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, of which Kraggerud has been the artistic director since 2012. Equinox was first premiered during the Nordlysfestivalen in 2014, and received excellent reviews. The Risør Chamber Music Festival sees a new performance this summer, with Gaarder himself as the narrator.