Acclaimed Norwegian trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth releases her new album “Magical Memories” on LAWO Classics. The recording is deeply personal. It is made up of Helseth’s favorite pieces which explore the full sound, range, and moods of the instrument.
The album includes music she remembers hearing during her childhood such as Lindberg’s “Gammal Fabodpsalm fran Dalarna” and Purcell’s “Trumpet Tune in C major” as well as modern songs for special occasions such as Sjoberg’s “Den forsta gang jag sag dig” a Swedish love song translated as “The First Time I Saw You”. Composers include Marcello, Telemann, Grieg, Moraeus, Lindberg, Sommerro and many more.
Tine Thing Helseth says: “This is a very personal album to me. Whilst I was growing up my mother also played the trumpet, and many of these pieces are works that I listened to laying on the floor next to the organ whilst she was at rehearsals. She took me from when I was 6 weeks old! Other tracks are just lovely melodies and songs that people often use on special occasions: happy or sad. So, the album is filled with my musical memories and my hope is that it will bring musical memories to the listeners as well.”
Helseth and organist Kare Nordstoga recorded the album in Oslo Cathedral, during Norway’s lockdown in late August and early September 2020. They worked from late in the evening into the early hours of the morning. The sessions were designed to carefully capture the perfect sound, undisturbed by even the already minimized noise of the outside world.
This physical sanctuary reflects the haven Helseth creates for her audience and throughout the album, the listener is transported into a world of vivid colors and emotions. For Helseth, it is a place where she can express herself in the most personal and genuine way. She and Nordstoga improvise on three of the tracks – the Sjoberg and two wedding marches – joining them together with listeners to experience the magic of music.
Tine Thing Helseth – Trumpet
Kare Nordstoga – Organ
Total time: 01:07:39
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Oslo Cathedral in Oslo on August 30, 2020 thru September 1, 2020
|Release Date||May 28, 2021|
There are some artists who have the unteachable gift of turning the simplest, most ordinary, and even third-rate music into gold. In the past, one thinks of Kreisler and Tauber and their myriad recordings of short, encore-type pieces which can sometimes catch you unawares and leave you with a lump in your throat – or, indeed, a smile on your face.
Such a one is Tine Thing Helseth. Whatever she’s got, I’d like some too. Lockdown has inspired a number of artists to return to the music of their childhood – their adult comfort food – and this is a program of 25 morceaux for which the Norwegian trumpeter has a particular affection, many of which are less than two minutes in length. Even Charpentier’s Te Deum and Clarke’s ‘Trumpet Voluntary’ are shortened to 1’21” and 1’23” respectively. These and other popular, perky pieces from the 17th and 18th centuries are given the kind of performances that have you involuntarily conducting in your armchair and provide a jaunty contrast with sequences of elegiac works by Grieg, Mendelssohn, that old favorite ‘Trad’, and little-known Norwegian composers.
Trumpet and organ are one of music’s great natural partnerships (I say ‘trumpet’; in fact, during the recording Helseth uses a Yamaha Chicago C trumpet, Scherzer rotary piccolo trumpet and Yamaha flugelhorn) and the superb quality of the sound engineering aside, it is the contribution of Kåre Nordstoga, organist of Oslo Cathedral (where the recording was made) who shares the laurels with Helseth. His judicious choices of registration are models of taste and refined musicality, bright reeds in the Baroque numbers (we also hear a particularly sympathetic one in the lovely Koppången by Per-Erik Moraeus) with tonally warm 16-foot pedal stops underpinning the mellow lyrical pieces, neither intrusive nor self-effacing.
I have no idea if Helseth and Nordstoga are regular recital partners but on this evidence, musically at least, they sound as though they are joined at the hip. ‘The melodies [on this album] are like a thread’, writes Helseth in the booklet. ‘There is nothing as difficult to play as a really simple melody – a simple, unadorned, honest melody coming from within. It’s magic!’ In the hands of these two musicians, it is indeed.
The Arts Desk
Highly enjoyable, and superbly engineered. More, please.
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