In 2010 it is 200 years since the birth of Ole Bull, and his position is stronger than ever before in modern times. It is no exaggeration to say that this is largely due to the inspired work of one man: Arve Tellefsen. This celebration re-issue is a manifest over two outstanding Norwegian artists.
Bull and Grieg
It is well known that Grieg had Bull as his inspiration when searching for his own ‘national tone’ of expression. Still there seems to be only one documented case of the two performing officially together. August 11th 1873 there was a fund raising concert supporting a Leiv Erikson statue that Bull wanted put up in Boston. Two of Grieg’s pieces – Gavotte and Menuet – were programmed. As a special feature both these works are a part of this celebratory release. They were later to be found in Griegs’s works as the Ved Mannjævningen and the 2nd mvt. of the F major violin sonata.
Ole Bull of Norway
“Ole Bull was the first international celebrity to come out of Norway. He was the ‘star’ of the 1800s, admired, despised, ambitious and intense”, says Arve Tellefsen “the stories are many and separating fiction from fact is not always easy. Just as the pop stars of today, Ole Bull had a good sense for what kind of stories that would stick in the minds of the public.”
Tellefsen and Bull
That Tellefsen has succeeded in his work to bring out the name and music of Ole Bull can be experienced in many ways this year. The Norwegian Bank now presents a new 10kr coin with Bull’s portrait as the motif. For the first time the 2010 Menhuin Competition was held somewhere else than London. Not only was it moved to Oslo, but the mandatory Paganini was replaced with Ole. This year the International Festival in Bergen includes a big Ole Bull night June 2nd, with Tellefsen featuring as the performing host of the show.