Norwegian Variations presents the three most important and artistically most ambitious works in the Norwegian piano tradition from Grieg, Tveitt and Valen. Pianist Einar Røttingen emerges as a masterful interpreter of these different approaches to the concept theme and variations.
The great Ballad
Grieg’s Ballad in G minor is a work surrounded by myths. It was conceived under critical circumstances in the composer’s life, and it has later been speculated that the work was so emotionally tough for Grieg that he could not make himself perform it. This unusually deep and touching work is a landmark in the European musical tradition.
Mysterious and rare
The fatal fire at the Geirr Tveitts home in 1973 consumed most of his manuscripts. There is supposed to have been around 40 piano sonatas, but the only one left is the Sonata no. 29, a fantastic display in variation of thematic, rhythmical and sound beyond any comparison. Fartein Valen’s music appears a mystery even today. Sonata no. 2 was written in 1940-41, in a period of Valen’s life where he worked particularly with larger musical formats. The four symphonies, piano and violin concertos were also written in this period.
Since his highly acclaimed debut in 1987 Einar Røttingen has performed with several Scandinavian symphony orchestras, and is a regular participant at the Bergen International Festival and the Troldhaugen concert series. His close collaboration with composer Harald Sæverud has resulted in the complete recordings of his piano works for Simax Classics. Einar Røttingen is Professor of piano at the Grieg Academy in Bergen.