(The) Long, Long Winter Night - Norwegian Piano Works

Author: 
hfinch

(The) Long, Long Winter Night - Norwegian Piano Works

  • (19) Norwegian Folksongs, I wander deep in thought (Jeg gaar i tusind tanker
  • (19) Norwegian Folksongs, Cattle call (Kulok)
  • (19) Norwegian Folksongs, Tomorrow you marry (Morgo ska du få gifte deg)
  • (19) Norwegian Folksongs, Cradle Song (Bådnlåt)
  • (17) Norwegian peasant dances, Halling from the hills (Haugelåt: Halling)
  • (17) Norwegian peasant dances, Prillar from the church-play (Prillaren fra Os Pra
  • (17) Norwegian peasant dances, Gangar
  • (17) Norwegian peasant dances, Knut Luråsens Halling I
  • (17) Norwegian peasant dances, The goblin's bridal procession (Tussebrurefaera pnen)
  • (50) Folk-tunes from Hardanger, Welcome with honour
  • (50) Folk-tunes from Hardanger, A-wooing
  • (50) Folk-tunes from Hardanger, The most beautiful song on earth
  • (50) Folk-tunes from Hardanger, Langeleik tune
  • (50) Folk-tunes from Hardanger, Tears and laughter for a boat
  • (50) Folk-tunes from Hardanger, Langeleik tune
  • (50) Folk-tunes from Hardanger, The Father of the Child
  • Portraits
  • Variations
  • Tunes and Dances from Siljustøl: Suite No. 3, Winflowers twiddle the moonbeam fiddle (Myrdunspel
  • Tunes and Dances from Siljustøl: Suite No. 3, Thor the hammerer (Hamar-Tor slaåtten)
  • Tunes and Dances from Siljustøl: Suite No. 4, Tone's cradle-son (Tones vuggevise)

Leif Ove Andsnes may have vowed not to touch Grieg’s Piano Concerto again for many years, but he shows he can still be a thoughtful and eager advocate of the music of his compatriots in this recital of little-known Norwegian piano pieces. The long, long winter night which so concentrates the Northern mind and imagination, and which gives this disc its name, is the title of one of the 50 Folk-tunes from Hardanger (we hear seven of them here) by Geirr Tveitt, a true radical with roots, who was born the year after Grieg died. Seventy per cent of his music went up in flames when his wooden house burnt down; but Andsnes has long been a champion of what remains. His imagination close-focuses the music even when Tveitt is doing little more than toying with his material: his constantly shifting finger-weight exploits the colours of the harmonic waywardness of “A-wooing” and “The Father of the Child”.
There is more to tease the ear in the four Portraits by the writer, critic and pianist David Monrad Johansen (1888-1974), whose “Little Stone God” and “Reindeer”, from 1918, reveal the imagination of a Nordic Debussy even before the composer began his travels to Paris. Andsnes then gives a vigorous, lucid performance of Fartein Valen’s 12 Variations on a 12-tone theme.
The recital, which began with characteristically probing and concentrated performances of nine miniatures from Grieg’s Norwegian Folksongs and Peasant dances (Slatter) ends with a tribute to Norway’s great eccentric and musical polyglot, Harald Saeverud. His maverick talent is perhaps best focused in his piano music: when I visited the feisty nonagenarian in his last days, the Ballad of revolt, dedicated to “small and large resistance fighters”, was all he wanted to talk about. Andsnes pays him enthusiastic tribute in four of the Tunes and Dances from Siljustol, and in a final extract from Saeverud’s own Peer Gynt music.'

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