8. An epithalmion, an epitaph and some strong ale

Three Norwegian composers – three very different works:

Arne Nordheim (1931-2010) was one of Norway’s foremost composers. His interest in spatial effects and the use of electronics can be sampled in Epitaffio for orchestra and magnetic tape (perhaps his best known work) which melds recordings of a choral setting of Quasimodo’s Ed è sùbito sera [And suddenly it’s evening] with live instrumental sounds.

Arne Nordheim:

Geirr Tveitt (1908-1981) was the most ‘Norwegian’ of these three composers. He collected and arranged the folk music of Hardanger (see below), his family home, and wrote two concertos for Hardanger fiddle. This fascination with things Norse led to his rejection of Christianity in favour of the reinstating of the old gods – Odin, Thor, etc. – and, unfortunately, his acceptance, during World War II, of the politics of the pro-Hitler government during the German occupation, an acceptance which cast a significant pall over his post-war reputation.

Geirr Tveitt:
A Hundred Hardanger Tunes
(Suite II)

No. 16 Far, Far Across the Fells to Turid – 0:00
No. 17 With Wolves and Reindeer in the Upland Storm – 2:58
No. 18 Høno, Hunden, Kjyrae Og Hesten – Badnasull (Hen, Hound, Crow and Horse – Nursery Rhyme) – 5:32
No. 19 Fjell-Lokk (Mountain Cattle-Call) – 6:36
No. 20 Med Sterkt Ol Té Fjells (Bringing Strong Ale up into the Mountains) – 9:26
No. 21 Seljeflyta Yver Stillt Fjellvatn (Willow Flute Across the Quiet Tarn) – 10:56
No. 22 Gamle-Erik Sin Klage-Song (Old Nick, His Lament) – 12:58
No. 23 Rjupo Pao Folgafodne (Snow Grouse on the Folgafodne Glacier) – 15:43
No. 24 A! Høyre Du Songjen I Fossaduren (Do You Hear the Song in the Waterfall’s Roar?) – 19:18
No. 25 Huldraslaotten Hans Halte-Lars (Lame Lars, His Fairy Fiddle-Tune) – 21:03
No. 26 Songjen Inne I Huldrahaugjen (The Song Inside Hulder-Hill) – 22:08
No. 27 Eldebrand I Skjegget (Beard Ablaze) – 25:34
No. 28 Munnharpe-Ljod (Jew’s Harp Melody) – 27:27
No. 29 Fjellmannsjento Upp I Lid (The Mountain Girl Skiing Downhill) – 28:25
No. 30 Eg Saog Meg Ut So Vida (I Saw So Far Away) – 29:54

Fartein Valen (1887-1952) compositions are contrapuntal and atonal. His Epithalmion (a poem or song in celebration of a marriage) was written for his nephew Arne’s engagement. It was first performed publicly in 1958.

Fartein Valen:

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