Musical celebration of independence

The Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra will record one deluxe box consisting of five DVD-audios in surround sound, spanning the best of Norwegian classical music during the last 100 years. This is done in collaboration with the official celebration of Norway's 100 years as an independent state.

Arve Tellefsen

By Kyrre Tromm Lindvig

The project is entitled "Classical Norway 1905 - 2005 in Music". The first double DVD-audio, which constitutes one third of the overall project, will be recorded in august 2004 and released during 2005. It will focus on the five most known symphonic composers from the romantic era in Norway: Johan Halvorsen, Edvard Grieg, Harald Sæverud, Johan Svendsen and Geirr Tveitt. All of them have used Norwegian folk-music as an inspiration for their symphonic works.

- By creatively using the norwegian musical heritage and fusing it with the rich sound of the orchestra, they created a style of music which combines the national with the international, claims Erik Gard Amundsen, representative of the producer, the label Simax Classical.
All works on the first double DVD-audio will be recorded by the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra in the concert hall of Oslo. Conductor will be the internationally known Mikhail Jurovskij, who is currently head of the Opera Orchestra in Leipzig, Germany.

- I feel it is a great honour to be able to participate in this important project for national music in Norway, he said during a press conference.

Jurovskij has already recorded one CD with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and praises the good, pleasant and constructive atmosphere which he enjoys when working with them. He is also very fond of Scandinavian classical music.

- I have worked with Scandinavian music during the last 15 years, and I am convinced that it has potential to reach far greater audiences. Also in this respect, this recording project can prove to be most fruitful, he told the press.

Jan Erik Raanes, the managing director of "Norge 2005", which is the official committee for the celebration of Norway's 100-years of independence, stressed the importance this music has had for the development of Norway as a cultural nation. - This recording project is a documentation of how a norwegian classical sound was created, which enabled us to become a nation with a voice of its own, he said.

The remaining two thirds of the recording project have not yet been made official, but the details of the symphonic project are already available.

The following works of the five composers will be recorded:

Geirr Tveitt: "Fra Hundrad Hardingtonar"

Harald Sæverud: "Peer Gynt suite nr.1", "Kjempeviseslåtten", "Den sidste Baadnlaat", "Rondo Amoroso".

Johan Halvorsen: "Bergensiana suite", "Boyarenes inntogsmarsj", "Rapsody nr.2", "Veslemøys sang".

Johan Svendsen: "Romanze" for violin and orchestra, "Norsk kunstnerkarneval", Norwegian rapsody nr.4.

Edvard Grieg: Pianoconcert in a-minor.

In addition to the world renowned Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra under direction of Mikhail Jurovskij, the double disc also features the famous violinist Arve Tellefsen and the critically acclaimed up-and coming pianist Sigurd Slåttebrekk as main soloists.

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