Geirr Tveitt and his music have received much attention and praise over the last years. In 2008 we celebrate his 100th birthday, and baritone Per Vollestad present this release with a number of songs which have never been recorded before.
A rich heritage
Geirr Tveitt retained close links throughout his life with western Norway, Hardanger and the family home Tveit in Norheimsund. The Tveit farm was a place with long traditions and a rich heritage of music, literature and art. In 1941 Geirr Tveitt withdrew from Oslo to settle at the family home. In the course of just a few years Tveitt collected some 1000 local folk tunes, most of them from neighbouring farms and homesteads. The orchestral suites which make up his opus 151, Hundrade hardingtonar, build on this material. Geirr Tveitt therefore had an excellent fundament and point of departure when invited by Norwegian radio to contribute to a series of portraits of poets from western Norway.
Hauge and Tveitt
The poet and the composer were born the same year, and they both had a close connection to Hardanger. Still they did not meet before they had turned 50, in fact it was this radio series which brought them together. Although very different men the two had a mutual respect for each other’s work; both had strong national roots, but were also very oriented towards the international scene. When Tveitt wrote music to Hauge’s lyrics, he gave the songs a singular character – with advanced harmonies and original melodic lines. In connection with Hauge’s 60th birthday, Tveitt stated that he had written “loads of Hauge-tunes”, but today only 10 of them are known. The rest were probably lost in the great fire at the Tveit farm in 1970, where the better part of his works burned up – all originals with no copies.
An acclaimed duo
Per Vollestad and Sigmund Hjelset have recorded several albums together for Simax Classics. Vollestad wrote his PhD and recorded 3 discs with the songs of Christian Sinding in 2004. Further releases include highly praised Grieg, Schumann, Schubert and Wolf. In 2006 they were awarded the Grieg Prize for their work with the music of Edvard Grieg.