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Norwegian composer Geirr Tveitt

BIS    CD-1207

Geirr Tveitt: Concertos for Hardanger Fiddle etc. © 2002 BIS Records AB


One of the agonising situations for the owner of a 'creative talent' must be that of obscurity. For artists in whatever discipline a degree of conscious acceptance by the community is part of a chain of events that acknowledges creativity as a vital ingredient in Man's evolution. Others see this in a different light depending on their personal view of Art and its source of birth and development. Even so, all artists function more effectively if there's a clear link with those prepared to accept their offering for what it is, and to make use of it.

I feel that the Norwegian Geirr Tveitt, like so many composers, was the archetypal creative musician writing in a community which may support him, not financially but musically. He came from a farming family and was a youthful collector of folk melodies, which partially accounts for the nature of his musical material. A period of study in Leipzig undoubtedly stretched his musical horizons. Excellence as a pianist also gave him much needed experience, and another boost to his creativity.

This record contains the two concertos for Hardanger Fiddle and Orchestra, which well illustrate his Norwegian roots, and their depth. This instrument was known from about the mid-seventeenth century and principally in western Norway. Tveitt's ancestors were familiar with it, so his interest in its characteristics and quality undoubtedly were the impulse for these two concertos for the fine player, Arve Moen Bergset.

Arve Moen Bergset playing the Hardanger fiddle. Photo: Jens Arve Eldoy

So, with both concertos and a 'symphonic painting' -- a title understood by virtue of its origin through the influence of a painting, Tveitt can be partially understood and admired for his language and the structures that arose from his skills [listen -- track 3, 0:45-1:45].

Performances from the Stavanger Symphony are impressive under the direction of Ole Kristian Ruud, and there is the delight of Arve Moen Bergset with the Hardanger Fiddle. It makes for a CD untainted by the unstoppable rush for bumper sales and gleaming profits.


Copyright © 20 April 2002 Basil Ramsey, Eastwood, Essex, UK



Geirr Tveitt: Concertos for Hardanger Fiddle etc

CD-1207 DDD Stereo NEW RELEASE 65'18" 2002 BIS Records AB

Arve Moen Bergset, Hardanger fiddle, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra/Ole Kristian Ruud
Concerto No 1 for Hardanger Fiddle and Orchestra Op 163 (1955); Concerto No 2 for Hardanger Fiddle and Orchestra Op 252 'Three Fjords' (1965); Nykken, symphonic painting for orchestra Op 187 (1956)




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Record Box is Music & Vision's regular Saturday series of shorter CD reviews