Emerging as an unconventional and powerful band on the contemporary music scene, the NABB are ready with a new release, this time together with Messiaen expert Håkon Austbø as soloist in the Oiseaux Exotiques.
As a young pupil Messiaen was encouraged by his teacher Paul Dukas to listen to birdsong, a suggestion he was later to take to heart to such an extent that birdsong became one of the main ingredients of his music. In Oiseaux Exotiques (1956) Messiaen combines the songs of birds from different parts of the globe. The work is therefore to a much greater extent an abstract composition using birdsong as musical material, in which the Indian species Mynah, Shama and Laughing Thrush have prominent parts alongside the American species Cardinal, Cat-bird and Bobolink – these two latter species engage in a brilliant duet which constitutes the longest of the piano cadenzas. Håkon Austbø studied with Messiaen himself, and is regarded as the foremost executor of his piano music today.
Winds of Changes and Topographics
Aagaard-Nilsen’s piece is written for the NABB. The second movement finds J. S. Bach’s chorale “Ach, Gott, erhör mein seufzen und wehklagen” superimposed on Nilsen’s own music. Written around the 9/11 attacks there lies a reminiscence of what was lost; of goodness, innocence and purity; whereas the interweaving lines of the rest of the music perhaps reflect our awareness and doubt that good will ever be victorious. Buene relates that his Topographics is a depiction of various landscapes rather than a story that is told. Soloist and ensemble play out their gestures in a field of different modes of expression and patterns of movement. The concerto is written for percussion soloist Eirik Raude, who received great critical acclaim for his debut CD ‘I Ching’ with works of Lindberg, Adderley and Nørgård.
NABB and Peter Szilvay
Norwegian Army Band, Bergen is a professional wind band, counting 28 musicians. Peter Szilvay is a sought after young Norwegian conductor, working with many national and international orchestras. He has also recorded several world premieres with orchestras like the Oslo Philharmonics and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra.