The Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra’s new release presents the beautiful and wondrous music of Lars Petter Hagen.
Provincial freedom and humour in the fringe of Europe
‘Norwegian Archives’ was written for the Donaueschingen festival in 2005. Hagen managed to create rather a stir at this bastion of modernism with his intended folklore ‘exotismus’, presenting a stereotype idea of ‘Norwegian authenticity’. In 2011 the concerto ‘To Zeitblom’, where Hardanger fiddle soloist Gjermund Larsen brings in his folk musical roots into the improvised solo part, was premiered at the same festival. Here the composer has even written himself into the piece, midway through the whole thing he suddenly enters the stage to explain his ideas and goals with this particular piece. Simultaneously ‘translated’ live into German by the Adorno translator Wieland Hoban…
“The history of the orchestra after Mahler is a ruin”
The themes ‘archive’, ‘ruin’ and ‘fragment’ are central to Hagen’s work. In ‘Tveitt-Fragments’ he builds his music on bits of burned score pages found in the ruins after the fire on the Geirr Tveitt farm in 1970, which is said to have destroyed more than 300 works. The ‘Funeral March over Edvard Grieg’ may be about Edvard Grieg and the composer’s search for a musical identity, but it is also a funeral march about a funeral march.’The Artist’s Despair…’ reflects on the situation of the symphony orchestra post-Mahler, and Hagen has described the piece as a “brand new ruin”.
Lars Petter Hagen (b 1975)
His music has been performed at arenas like Donaueshinger Musiktage, Maerzmusik, Eclat-festival and Gaudeamus Music Week, by ensembles like Ensemble Modern, SWR Symphony Orchestra, Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2012 he did a collaboration with electronic music producer Pantha du Prince, released on Rough Trade Records in 2013 as Pantha du Prince and The Bell Laboratory. In addition to instrumental, vocal and electronic music he also works with sound-installations and music for stage and film. In 2003 he was awarded the Arne Nordheim Prize, and in 2004 the Edvard Prize. Lars Petter Hagen has been the artistic director of Ny Musikk and the festivals Happy Days, Nordic Music Days, and is the artistic director of Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival.