Award-winning contemporary performer Ellen Ugelvik releases new album. This time, she performs pieces by Helmut Lachenmann, Christian Blom, and Christian Jaksjø.
The work ‘Serynade’ by Helmut Lachenmann is rarely performed because of its extreme difficulty. The pianist plays two music pieces on top of each another, one piece reverberating out in the room, while the other piece is mutely pressed down into the musical keyboard. The result is that the mute music piece appears in the shadows of the work performed, as a deep, vibrating resonance in the distance or as large vibrations of the audible tones. Ellen Ugelvik performed Lachenmann’s piano concerto ‘Ausklang’ with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Christian Eggen in 2010, and her rendition of the concert was nominated for the Norwegian Critics Prize for Music.
The work title is misspelled on purpose; the "y" refers to the pianist Yukiko Sugawara, whom the piece was written for. Lachenmann is one of the most important and most original composers of our time, and has tremendous influence on the future development of piano music.
Christian Blom and Christian Jaksjø
The two Norwegian pieces on this release go further into the timbre world of the grand piano, and are written specifically for Ellen Ugelvik. Blom hides a poetic core of the music behind a wall of staccato cluster chords in the beginning of his work. In the second part, the arrangement of chords reminiscences Erik Satie. Jaksjø wants to give the listener access to the resonances we in Lachenmann´s piece only can guess. Using a ring modulator and by transmitting the sound back into the piano, the instrument itself becomes engaged in a self-modulating song. With his piano piece, Jaksjø has made the grand piano a lookout with views far into the 21st century.
Ugelvik has immersed herself into the performance of contemporary music and tours regularly as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the world. In October she gave birth to little Solrun, but already three weeks later she performed as a soloist with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. These last months she has given recitals at major festivals in England, France and Luxembourg. She has also toured in the U.S. where she played at a house concert in Madonna’s former villa in Beverly Hills. She is one of the profiles of the Risør Chamber Music Festival this year, where she perform as a soloist in John Cage´s ´Concert for Piano and Orchestra’, and perform several works by Magne Hegdal who is nominated for the Nordic Council Music Prize for 2012.