What in the world is going on in Sverre Riise’s kitchen? Trombone music by Norwegian composers Arne Nordheim, Jon Øivind Ness and Ørjan Matre.
The trombone – the composer’s best friend
The trombone is not a common solo instrument, despite having nearly unlimited resources. A well-trained trombonist like Riise is able to play surprisingly fast, ranging between an impressive 4 1/2 octaves. The instrument also possesses wide possibilities in dynamics. Because of this the composer is able to comfortably write almost anything he can think of, without having to worry about the limitations of the instrument. Almost anything is possible!
Works written especially for the trombone is a rare thing, so Riise got in touch with some of the foremost Norwegian composers to change that. Ørjan Matre has a distinct sense of working with sound, which is very clear in ”…since I say it now”. The piece shows a playing technique where the trombonist sings while playing. Jon Øivind Ness is known for the humorous undertones in his music, like what we hear in ”The Dangerous Kitten” from 1998, inspired by Zappa’s ”The Dangerous Kitchen”. He has previously stated that he’s stepping away from his humorous image, but ”Moray” seems to be an exception. A moray is actually an eel-like, blood thirsty fish, and the subtitle should be read in a lisp – ”The piece formerly known as Phekph Piphtolph”.
Arne Nordheim is one of the most well-known Norwegian composers of our time. He himself had a background as a trombonist, giving him an advantage in understanding the instrument’s techniques. His legendary pieces ”The Hunting of the Snark” and ”The Return of the Snark” are based on Lewis Carroll’s nonsense verse. Nordheim uses the trombone to represent the sound a ”snark” might have made if it was real. In addition, the piece ”Vevnad” is recorded for the first time on this release.
Sverre Riise studied with Professor Ingemar Roos at the Norwegian Academy of Music, and graduated with the highest grade in 1996. Since his graduation, he has been principal trombonist of the Norwegian Opera Orchestra (1996) and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, where he still is today. Riise has also been alternating solo trombonist of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra in 2000-2001, and then as a substitute 2. trombonist in the same orchestra in 2006. In addition to teaching at the Barratt Due Institute of Music, he has on several occasions been soloist with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Oslo Sinfonietta and Ensemble Ernst.