Attracting enormous attention while alive and active, performers are sadly forgotten once they step out of the limelight and their sound has left our memory. Names and their particular way of making music, fade into oblivion. This series is a treasure hunt in broadcasting and private archives, bringing back the artistry and styles of the greatest Norwegian performers over the past 60 years.
Marit Isene (1923–2003) made her debut in 1946, and went to the Stockholm opera in 1950. A few years later she was engaged by Sir Georg Solti for the part of Leonore in Frankfurt. On the verge of a great international career, Isene was asked by Kirsten Flagstad to become part of the first Norwegian opera in 1958. In later years she often expressed how she had regretted accepting this offer – rather than pursuing her options abroad. But Oslo was blessed with her natural voice authority and rare dramatic talent. Ernst Glaser (1904–1974) studied with Carl Flesh and was concert master of the Oslo Philharmonic for more than 20 years, with a huge number of works written for him by composers such as Kielland and Egge. The spirited session on this CD took place soon after Glaser and his wife (at the piano) returned to a liberated Norway, having fled the country under the German occupation.
Arild Sandvold (1895–1984) led the national development within church music for two generations. Here he excels in the bravura variations by L.M. Lindeman, on one of his favourite organs in Paulus church in Oslo. Ørnulf Gulbransen (1916–2004) was principal flautist in the Oslo Philharmonic for more than 30 years. In the 1960s he was connected with the Marlboro festival in Vermont, and gave concerts with such artists as Rudolf Serkin and Pablo Casals. Robert Riefling (1911–1988) was the first Norwegian to perform the complete Das wohltemperierte Klavier in concert, a work he also recorded twice (once for Decca) together with the complete sonatas of Beethoven. His performances bear the mark of sophistication and clarity, a true Norwegian gentleman.