The epic works of Lasse Thoresen emerge between traditional folk music and art music. Celebrating 60 years in 2009, Thoresen has many years of sublime reception of his work from audiences, musicians and reviewers alike. The Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra give tribute to an exquisite orchestral composer with this powerful release.
To the Brother Peoples
For the first time the traditional instruments of Norway (Hardanger fiddle) and Sweden (nyckelharpa/keyed fiddle) meet up in a grand concerto. The work was commissioned by the 2005 Centenary maring the dissolution of the union between the two countries. The first movement Rammislagr is naturalistic magic written for Hardanger fiddle soloist with a folk dance tune from Setesdal. The characteristic uneaven metre is stomped by the whole orchestra at times, and in the orchestral image you can also hear the Norwegian national bird (white-throated dipper) and powerful elements of nature. The second movement is with the nyckelharpa as solo instrument and reflects the more continental Swedish aristocracy – including a quotation of Boccherini’s famous minuet. The Swedish royal anthem and the Norwegian national anthem meet in an orchestral turmoil, is war imminent? The third movement find the two soloists coexisting in the face of new dangers – are we amusing ourselves to death? So high, so low. It is time for the final whistle.
The Sun of Justice is a musical reflection on the founder of the Bahá’i religion Bahá’u’lláh (1817-1892) and his prophecy that life on earth will become harder before the true sun of justice rises. Musically this is expressed by ever-increasing intensity and dynamics. This symphonic poem is built around a melody from South America and contains references to several symphonic masters – like the Tuba Mirum of Berlioz’ Requiem, the sun rise motive from Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra and Bruckner’s Te Deum.
The Sami title means “Joik – come forth!” (the joik is the traditional Sami song/chant) and the music emerges from a joik-like melody. The joik encourages people to stand forth in the world with their song, their goodness and their strength. Behind the orchestra are placed two trombones which provide solo interpretation of the joik element. This material is subsequently used and transformed in many different ways, from birdsong-like patterns to isorhythmic structures at various tempi.