Knut Vaage is one of the contemporary composers who’s music reach out through a wide variety of channels. Projects for young, choir music, chamber music, operas and now: a portrait CD with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra.
The Gardens of Hokkaido
This concerto for piano and orchestra was written for the pianist Einar Røttingen and the BPO. The idea for the piece came during a train voyage to the island of Hokkaido in Japan. And listening to this music might very well be experienced as a journey at high speed through a landscape. We have the excitement of being dangerously near – almost too close for comfort – to something which is in continuous change and yet still the same.
Cyclops and Chaconne
The Cyclops, a one-eyed giant, is known from Greek mythology. Vaage’s orchestral work utilize the mythical world as a structural idea; allowing the listener to take part in the tug of war between chaos and concentration. Cyclops was commissioned by the conductor Eivind Aadland. Chaconne is of course a traditional compositional pattern where a chord progression is repeated, forming the basis for variation. In Vaages Chaconne each section is given a specific character, and the different sections engage in a dialogue – constituting both the moulding element and the musical dramatic structure for the piece. Chaconne was commissioned by the BPO and the soloists Turid Kniejski and Gro Sandvik.
Vaage (1961) lives and work in Bergen, Norway, where he makes his living as a composer. He works within different musical genres, exploring the regions where improvised and composed music overlap. Vaage’s music is regularly performed by orchestras, choirs and chamber ensembles both at home and abroad. At the moment he is working on a new full-scale opera for the Norwegian Opera.