One of the best-kept secrets of Norwegian music history is the musical mastery of Halfdan Kjerulf (1815-1869). Starting off our series Nordic Edition is this premiere recording of his complete works for piano collected in a 3-CD box.
The musical legacy of Halfdan Kjerulf could not be in better hands
It was of the utmost importance to find exactly the right musician to bring this treasure out to the audience. When a capacity like Einar Steen-Nøkleberg gets involved, the musical legacy of Halfdan Kjerulf could not be in better hands! His world famous CD-series of the complete Grieg piano music is revered as a golden achievement. One of the unique qualities to Steen-Nøkleberg’s playing is his ability to capture that very special mood and expression which is unique to a certain piece. He brings the music forth with a dazzling technique and an ability to make the most exquisite rhythmical nuances.
Who, then, was Kjerulf?
He was, with one important exception, to be a citizen of Oslo, then Christiania, all his life. He made one trip to the continent from 1849-1851, which gave him inspiration to last a lifetime. There is something in his music which brings Mendelssohn to mind, especially the slender contours of his melodies and harmonies, effortlessly penned. The more than 60 adaptations of Norwegian folk-dances and -tunes, originals found in the Lindeman Collection, displays a surprising insight into the secrets of traditional music. Remember that this was quite some time before Grieg enters the stage! And what was to come we all know, with Grieg, Svendsen, Halvorsen, Monrad Johansen and Tveitt. But was it, perhaps, with the works of Halfdan Kjerulf it all begun?