June 9, 2012
10:00 am Pre-concert talk with Hailey and two members of the Norwegian Chamber Ensemble. They were funny and smart and talked about their dedication to the ensemble as well as how German and Norwegian Romaticism connect.
The first concert was once again dazzling; this one focusing on Wagner, Berg, and even good ‘ole Beethoven. The concert opened with Eivind Buene’s “Langsam und Schmachtend” (2003), a 20 minute piece performed by the Norwegian Chamber Ensemble who were all casually dressed and received applause as they entered for doing so. The program notes mention that this string orchestra piece “makes a clear allusion to Tristan.” That was news to me but nice to learn about the connection. The rest of the first set alternated Wagner and Berg compositions. Some sung by brilliant Christianne Stotijn and others featuring the equally brilliant and mesmerizing clarinetist, Martin Frost and staggeringly talented Andsnes and Marc-Andre Hamelin on piano. After intermission, Berg’s “Four Songs, Op. 2” performed by Marc-Andre Hamelin and Stotijn and ending with Beethoven’s “Piano Sonata in C Major Op. 53, Waldstein” featuring Andsnes, piano. Not only was the music glorious but birds in the area also added by chirping along as well as flying about the sunlit stage.
There was then a lovely Legacy Luncheon at an outdoor restaurant.
Two films were shown in the afternoon but I also missed them. Next year I will do everything.
Just a brief note about this concert as I realize I am going on and on. The music was by Haflidi Hallgrimsson (an Icelandic composer), “Poemi” (1983); an American premiere by Bent Sorensen, “Piano concerto No. 2, La Mattina” (2009); Mozart’s “Trio in E-Flat, K. 498” (1786); Kurtag’s “Hommage a Robert Schumann, Op. 15d” (1990) and my favorite of the night, “Anders Hillborg’s “Peacock Tales” (1998-2000) for clarinet and tape. The latter was performed by Martin Frost who not only played but also danced, donning a peacock mask. He is also a dancer so the whole thing was impressive. I wish I could have captured a photo but he moved to fast and the stage was too dark.
Third concert of the day. Whew.
However, it was just right, as usual. Leos Janacek’s “String Quartet No. 1 Kreutzer Sonata” (1923) for string orchestra (Norwegian Chamber Orchestra) and Teodor Janson, actor, reading from Tolstoy. One 50 minute piece that was entertaining and assumed that we were all wise enough to get it. By 11:30 pm it was time to head out, get some sleep and ready ourselves the final two Sunday concerts. NYTimes review: nyti.ms/MzuIYd