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Holberg Variations – 1B1

EDVARD GRIEG: Holberg Suite (for string orchestra) · Holberg Suite (for piano) · EDVARD GRIEG, ERLEND SKOMSVOLL: Skomsvoll's Holberg Variationsmore… (Recomprimprovariations)

Erlend Skomsvoll, piano · Christian Ihle Hadland, piano · 1B1

Erlend Skomsvoll as a kind of old Baroque master in a ‘Late Night’ version that really hits the spot.

kr 139

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Grieg’s Holberg goes jazz Three highly individual interpretations of the same masterpiece! In this project these outstanding musicians show us what endless artistic possibilities are hidden in music we think we know so well. Christian Ihle Hadland gives an intimate and uniquely beautiful reading of Grieg’s original piano version of the Holberg. Chamber orchestra 1B1 have all the freshness and refinement you can imagine in their rendering of the string version. And, taking it all that step further; this time 1B1 have teamed up with composer/pianist Erlend Skomsvoll, internationally acclaimed for his work together with Chick Corea and such bands as Come Shine. And the idea is just as simple as it is crazy: A classical orchestra improvising together with a jazz musician, dancing and playing their way through the iconic Holberg suite. Morphing Grieg’s themes into vamps, groovy pulsating passages or lingering mists of sound – with Skomsvoll as a kind of old Baroque master in a ‘Late Night’ version. Orchestra and impro versions are also available on 180g vinyl PSLP1332.


The Holberg Suite occupies a unique position in Grieg’s output and an unusual place in Norwegian music history. Holberg Variations are three very different approaches to this small piece of Norway. The ensemble 1B1 have teamed up with jazz musician and composer Erlend Skomsvoll and Norway’s most exciting pianist Christian Ihle Hadland, in a tribute to Edvard Grieg. Launched with a concert 13. August at the Stavanger International Chamber Music Festival.

Grieg’s stylistic frolic

Several composers have written music within an idiom from earlier times. Grieg has a masterly hand with the five stylized dance movements from the Baroque era – and occasionally adds a touch of Norway too. History relates that Grieg himself often referred to the suite as a ‘periwig piece’. Nevertheless, under the wig there is room for personal expression, and folkmusic-like means of expression are lingering in the harmony.

Three times Holberg

Christian Ihle Hadland conjures up a multitude of rhythmic and timbral nuances, lifting the original Holberg Suite into European piano tradition. Then 22 string players go at it; as if a herd of foals are emitted to the fields on a spring day – unstoppable and joyful. One thing is the sound of string instruments, but 1B1 also lets experience in early music shine through as they forms Grieg’s elegant themes.

Orchestra improvising with jazz musician?

It’s these iconic themes and motives from Grieg’s hand which Erlend Skomsvoll assumes when he leads the string orchestra in an improvisational game. The motives gets transformed into pulsating passages or lingering textures. With Skomsvoll as the pilot, the young string players follow. Improvisation requires a kind of immediate responsiveness which certainly is not taught at the conservatories. This is where the unique flexibility of 1B1 kicks in – just the kind of musical challenge and exploration the orchestra search for in absolutely everything they do. Orchestra and impro versions are also available on 180g vinyl PSLP1332

Release date:

EAN : 7033662013326

Cat.No.: PSC1332

Priskategori : CD