Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Geirr Tveitt - A Hundred Hardanger Tunes Suites Nos. 2 & 5 (Bjarte Engeset)


Information

Composer: Geirr Tveitt
  1. (01-15) 100 Hardanger Tunes, Op. 151, Suite No. 2 "15 Mountain Songs"
  2. (16-30) 100 Hardanger Tunes, Op. 151, Suite No. 5 "Troll-tunes"

Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Bjarte Engeset, conductor
Date: 2002
Label: Naxos
http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.555770

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Review

Only four of Geirr Tveitt’s suites from his unique‚ folk­inspired collection‚ A Hundred Hardanger Tunes‚ survive. The two presented here exhibit the same principal characteristics as Nos 1 and 4 (Naxos‚ 11/01)‚ although without the quasi­narrative structure of No 4‚ Wedding Suite: 14 highly contrasted miniatures whose melodic lines share generic or familial resemblances sufficient to give each suite the feeling of a set of variations‚ culminating in a weightier 15th movement as finale.

Both suites on this new issue bear subtitles that provide some indication as to their basic character‚ though neither the Fifteen Mountain Songs of No 2 nor the Troll­tunes of No 5 do the music justice. For that one needs to explore David Gallagher’s entertaining notes. The Second Suite is largely a pastoral affair‚ though with moments of rugged grandeur befitting its subject‚ the mountains of Hardanger in western Norway. They are brilliantly orchestrated‚ as one now expects from Tveitt‚ the final six exceptionally so. The scoring of the Fifth Suite is richer still: I do not know if Tveitt ever wrote a concerto for orchestra‚ but if not‚ this vibrant set more than compensates. The trolls here are not the moronic ogres of Harry Potter or The Fellowship of the Ring‚ nor even the subterranean imps of Peer Gynt‚ but rather all the ‘netherworld’ peoples‚ whose music is as dazzling as they were legendarily beguiling.

The Royal Scottish orchestra sound as if they thoroughly enjoyed themselves in this music‚ as well they should have: the delight in their playing sets at naught the disappointing critical prejudice displayed when the Oslo Philharmonic brought the First Suite to London last autumn. A splendid and enjoyable disc‚ beautifully played and recorded. Strongly recommended.

-- Guy RickardsGramophone

More reviews:
ClassicsToday  ARTISTIC QUALITY: 10 / SOUND QUALITY: 10
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2002/Mar02/tveitt.htm
https://www.naxos.com/reviews/reviewslist.asp?catalogueid=8.555770&languageid=EN
http://www.amazon.com/100-Hardanger-Tunes-151-Suites/dp/B00005Y0MP

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Geirr Tveitt, born Nils Tveit (October 19, 1908 – February 1, 1981) was a Norwegian composer and pianist. Tveitt was a central figure of the national movement in Norwegian cultural life during the 1930s. His music draws from many styles and traditions, most notably Stravinsky, Bartók, Debussy and Ravel, always underpinned by idioms derived from Norwegian folk-music. In 1970, Tveitt's house in Kvam was burned to the ground, with almost 300 opuses of his manuscripts. 80% of Tveitt's production was gone forever. Most of Tveitt's remaining music is now commercially available on records.

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Bjarte Engeset (born 25 August 1958 in Ørsta) is a Norwegian classical conductor. He studied music at the University of Georgia, Grieg Akademiet in Norway, and Sibelius Academy in Finland. Engeset has been Music Director of Tromsø Symphony Orchestra and The Norwegian Wind Ensemble, artistic director of Northern Norway's Northern Lights Festival and the Opera Nord, and permanent guest conductor of the Flemish Radio Orchestra. Engeset has recorded several dozen CDs, for the Naxos, EMI and CPO labels. In particular, he has made many recordings of music by Scandinavian composers, such as Grieg, Sibelius and Tveitt.

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