To immerse oneself in music is the essence of a music festival, and not surprisingly the city of Bath has proven a traditionally good host for the experience. Even more so in later years, as fresh, sparkly Norwegian sonority has filled the musical pool.
The Bath International Music Festival is one of the most august and renowned musical gatherings in Britain. Always a place for musical luminosity, freshness and audacity, Bath is to the festival circuit what champagne is in the world of wine. No wonder then that Norway -in its prime of musical creativity and international impact- features prominently: As was the case also last year, the 2007 roster is studded with Norwegian artists and ensembles. And it is a collection of idiosyncratic and unique artists that will perform. -Artists that are like shy gems on the firmament of international music. And Bath is just the place for these; a festival for cognoscenti and those with a more than average sensitivity to aural transcendence. The program ranges widely –from folk to opera- but most of the Norwegian acts belong to the realm of jazz and adjacent reaches of the musical landscape: Hanne Hukkelberg, In the Country, Stian Carstensen, Tord Gustavsen Trio, Christian Wallumrød Ensemble; the program reads like a summary of the most acclaimed new Norwegian jazz ventures and it is no exaggeration to say that Norway dominates the jazz-part of this year’s festival. In addition Norway will be represented by the musical sage Mari Boine; whose spectral Sámi chanting has become a genre unto its own, and the wonderful crystalline song of the internationally renowned Trio Mediaeval.
Some other names worth mentioning from this year’s program are: Mingus Big Band, Maxim Vengerov, Joanna McGregor and Borodin Quartet. The festival commences on May 18th and last a full two weeks until June 2nd.