Geirr Tveitt: Piano Concerto No. 5; Variations on a Folk-song from Hardanger (2004)
Nils Mortensen (piano), Sveinung Bjelland (piano - Variations)
Stavanger Symphony Orchestra; Ole Kristian Ruud, conductor
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 223 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 156 Mb | Artwork included
Genre: Classical | Label: BIS | # BIS-CD-1252 | Time: 01:05:31
An ardent nationalist, Geirr Tveitt found inspiration in the folk melodies of the Hardanger fjord and promoted this little-known material in his songs and orchestral works. Tveitt's music is tinged with nostalgia and Norwegian brooding, communicated in a familiar neo-Romantic style that was considered reactionary by critics, but was easily accepted by audiences. The Piano Concerto No. 5, premiered by Tveitt in 1954, is in three movements. The piece is agreeably melodic with modal inflections, yet it has enough muscularity and harmonic bite in places to suggest the influence of Ravel and Prokofiev. Nils Mortensen executes the piano part with hard-edged brilliance, and the orchestral accompaniment is strong without overwhelming the soloist. The Variations on a Folksong from Hardanger is, loosely, a concerto for two pianos and orchestra. Less coherent than the Piano Concerto No. 5, the Variations tend to ramble, and Tveitt's self-indulgence and impulsiveness may have contributed to this piece's episodic construction. Mortensen and fellow pianist Sveinung Bjelland are a solid pair, always synchronized and audible above the orchestra. The Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Ole Kristian Ruud, plays with sufficient vigor and color, though this moody music affords them few opportunities to shine. The sound is fairly soft in places, so volume adjustments may be necessary.