In 2011 Arne Nordheim would have been 80 years. Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra celebrate the leading composer of Scandinavia with a fantastic recording of his earliest and last orchestral works. The emotional and terrifying beauty of Arne Nordheim’s orchestral music have never been more captivating than in these new recordings.
His early works, Canzona (1960) and Epitaffio (1963) attracted big commissions from such names as Mstislav Rostropovich, L.A. Philharmonics/Metha, Peter Pears and many other prominent artists. We hear how Nordheim very early on developed his signature motifs and themes, material that he would return to again and again. ‘I have been writing on the same piece my whole life’ was one of Nordheim’s famous lines
The late works
Adieu was written in 1994, in memory of Lutoslawski, and the work is related to both The Dream Ballade and the great oratorio Nidaros. Monolith was commissioned by the International Program for Music Composition, Tokyo, in 1990. Soloist Marius Hesby worked closely together with Nordheim on the trombone concerto Fonos, which was premiered in 2005 and was to be the composer’s final work for orchestra.
Nordheim’s artistic drive made him a beacon throughout the modern world for over 50 years. In his own country his open attitude made him an easy target for attacks and scorn, seen as representing modernistic art in general. He had the strength and the vision to stand fast and continue his work. Eventually Nordheim was given the highest acknowledgements for his work, and in 1982 he moved into Grotten, the Norwegian Government’s honorary residence near the Royal Palace. Arne Nordheim passed away only weeks after the present recording was finished, and was given a state funeral.