With their new Chief Conductor Christian Kluxen and Henning Kraggerud as soloist/composer/arranger, everything is ready for a release containing the most iconic of all violin concertos.
To Beethoven through improvisation
For Henning Kraggerud the road to Beethoven has been from the traditions he grew up with, through thorough studies of the composer’s manuscripts, and not least through improvisations! Kraggerud states in his liner note: “As a means to get to know the score better I started improvising over every motif and theme found in all movements and in all parts of the orchestral score. And I also let myself be inspired by harmonic progressions in other works by Beethoven close to my heart including his piano sonatas and quartets. Not only did that lead to the cadenzas found on this album, but I also discovered a lot about Beethoven’s compositional techniques and most importantly: I got a feeling of ownership to the score in a completely different way than before.”
Mantra-Metamorfosen and Quartetto Serioso
Kraggerud wrote the Mantra-Metamorfosen while rehearsing Strauss’s ‘Metamorphosen’ for Arctic Philharmonic’s festival on the island of Svalbard in 2019. Closing the album is the master’s quartet no. 11 in F Minor, one of the most compact of all of Beethoven’s string quartets, in Kraggerud’s own arrangement.
Arctic Philharmonic and Henning Kraggerud
Based well north of the Arctic Circle, the Arctic Philharmonic is the world’s northernmost professional orchestra. The orchestra strives to be as raw and real as the surrounding nature, and each musician tries to reach the outer limits of their performance and communication with the audience. Kraggerud is Artistic Director of the Arctic Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, and together they have released several albums to great critical acclaim:
– […] one of the best recordings – maybe the best – of the Vivaldi cycle. Maybe you can scrap the ones you already have! The solo playing is stunning, the orchestra, the world’s youngest and northernmost, is fantastic and the recording is superb in every respect. Besides that there is a very personal essay on Vivaldi and his four seasons by Erik Fosnes Hansen. Things couldn’t be better! [Recording of the Month / Musicweb-international.com]
– Kraggerud’s flamboyant playing is always at the service of the music, and the orchestral playing is phenomenal. Erik Fosnes Hansen’s discursive sleeve note is an enjoyable read, and Simax’s engineering is stunning. [The Arts Desk]