Magical Memories for Trumpet and Organ

Kare Nordstoga, Tine Thing Helseth

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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

Tracklist

1.
Te Deum, H.146 - Prelude
01:21
2.
Bridal March from Osterdalen - Arr. Tine Thing Helseth and Kare Nordstoga
03:59
3.
Concerto in C Minor, S.Z799 - Adagio
04:01
4.
Men gar jag over angarna - Arr. Jarle Storlokken
03:33
5.
Sofou unga astin min - Arr. Jarle Storlokken
03:11
6.
Ved Rondane, Op. 33 No. 9
02:24
7.
12 Marches heroiques 'Heldenmusik', TWV 50 - 31-42 I. Die Wurde
02:24
8.
12 Marches heroiques 'Heldenmusik', TWV 50 - 31-42 II. Die Anmut - La Grace
02:51
9.
12 Marches heroiques 'Heldenmusik', TWV 50 - 31-42 III. Die Tapferkeit - La Vaillance
01:24
10.
Bridal March from Sorfold - Arr. Tine Thing Helseth and Kare Nordstoga
03:46
11.
Shenandoah - Arr. Jarle Storlokken
04:04
12.
Fanfares et Simphonies - Rondeau
01:35
13.
Gammal fabodpsalm fran Dalarna
04:05
14.
Auf Flugeln des Gesanges, Op. 34 No. 2
01:52
15.
Elegy for Trumpet and Organ, Op. 27
03:20
16.
Den forsta gang jag sag dig - Arr. Tine Thing Helseth and Kare Nordstoga
02:43
17.
Varen, Op. 33 No. 2
04:43
18.
Suite in D Major - I. Prelude, The Duke of Gloster's March
01:25
19.
Suite in D Major - II. Minuet
00:46
20.
Suite in D Major - III. Sybelle
01:06
21.
Suite in D Major - IV. Rondeau, The Prince of Denmark
01:23
22.
Koppangen - Arr. Jarle Storlokken
03:32
23.
Varsog - Arr. Kare Nordstoga
03:34
24.
Peer Gynt, Op. 23 No. 2 - Solveig's Lullaby
03:22
25.
Trumpet Tune in C Major, ZT 678
01:15

Total time: 01:07:39

Additional information

Label

SKU

LWC1216

Qualities

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Artists

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Composers

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Genres

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Mastering Engineer

Thomas Wolden

Original Recording Rate

DXD

Instruments

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Original Recording Format

Producer

Vegard Landaas

Recording Engineer

Thomas Wolden

Recording Location

Oslo Cathedral in Oslo on August 30, 2020 thru September 1, 2020

Release Date May 28, 2021

Press reviews

Jordan News 5 out of 5

She hails from Oslo, Norway. She is only 34 but already is regarded as a great master of the trumpet in the classical world. Tine Thing Helseth’s album “Magical Memories for Trumpet and Organ” was released earlier this year by Lawo Classics, a Norwegian record label. It is considered as being among the best 20 albums in the world that were recorded so far this year, in the genre.

The album is attractive from many a viewpoint. First, it is smartly designed and features 25 short tracks, the longest being four minutes and the shortest 46 seconds. Those who usually find long classical pieces too long and too hard to listen to will be delighted here!

Then is the choice of the music. It is a subtle, elegant combination of baroque, traditional, and contemporary compositions.

The album opens with the well-known Charpentier’s Te Deum. The triumphant melodic line is a perfect opening for an album that, for most of the tracks, is on the joyful, cheerful side. Those who watch the yearly Eurovision annual song contest may recognize in the Te Deum the signature tune of the prestigious show.

In addition to Charpentier, the composers chosen by the musician also include, among others, Georg Telemann (particularly brilliant when it comes to the trumpet), Edvard Grieg (Helseth’s compatriot), Jeremiah Clarke, and Henry Purcell, also well-known for his compositions where the trumpet has a major, leading role.

The entire album is easy and a real pleasure to listen to. The contemporary tracks, such as Leif Strand’s composition for example, may surprise the listener who may be only familiar with the more traditional works of Grieg, Purcell Clarke or Telemann, but — again — all the album shines, from track one to 25. By covering periods from the seventeenth century till today, the album brings a welcome variety of styles and compositions, while the sound of Tine Thing Helseth ensures the important homogeneity and continuity.

Helseth’s interpretation is peerless and can be compared to the greatest trumpeters known, like the late French Maurice André or contemporary American Jazz musician Chris Botti. Several of the renowned composers and musicologists consider that the trumpet is one of the instruments that are the closest to the human voice. Not all performers, however, are able to produce a sound as soft and refined as Helseth’s. She possesses the innate gift to make music great, irresistible. It is a gift that cannot be taught.

The first word that comes to your mind to qualify the sound when playing the album, perhaps with eyes closed, is “heavenly”.

Tribute must be given to organist Kåre Nordstoga who plays with Tine Thing Helseth on the album. Whereas his parts remain in the background on most of the tracks of the production, his contribution to the resulting quality and sonic atmosphere is invaluable. His touch as magical as Helseth’s.

This is an album of Magical Memories.  With a magical sound indeed.

4 Bars Rest 5 out of 5

The ability to make the familiar sound fresh or the well-known revitalized has tested the abilities of many solo performers over the years. That is what makes this intuitively performed release by Norwegian trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth such a delight.

The music is allowed to speak for itself. The soloist supported only by the equally conscious textured accompaniment of organist Kåre Nordstoga (with a notable mention to producer Vegard Landas who makes the acoustic of Oslo Cathedral sound both spacious as well as immediate).

There is a subtle appreciation of dynamic nuance and flow throughout – from the sensitive lyricism of Mendelssohn’s ‘Auf Flugeln des Gesanges’ and resonant expression of Grieg’s ‘Solveig’s Lullaby’ from ‘Peer Gynt’.

The repertoire (20 tracks in all) spans genre, time and title; from 17th baroque to 20th century contemporary, folk tunes to march steps, the celebratory to the reflective, weddings to funerals – each shaped with elegant phrasing and linear progression.

Helseth’s ability to broaden her tonality to encompass the darker timbres of ‘Shenandoah’, and the melancholy of the traditional ‘Gammal fabodpaslam fran Dalarna’ is balanced by the evocative atmosphere created on ‘Elegy for Trumpet and Organ’ by Sommerfeldt and tenderness of ‘Varsag’ by Sommerro.
Subtle appreciation

There is a subtle appreciation of dynamic nuance and flow throughout – from the sensitive lyricism of Mendelssohn’s ‘Auf Flugeln des Gesanges’ and resonant expression of Grieg’s ‘Solveig’s Lullaby’ from ‘Peer Gynt’.

Elsewhere high grade tempered musicality is displayed with the razor-edged clarity of the Mouret ‘Rondeau’, filigree neatness of Telemann’s ‘Heldenmusik’ and the bravura of Clarke’s ‘Suite in D Major’.

Add in a pinch of zestful Charpentier and Purcell to top and tail things and all the magical memories of life, love and even loss are complete.

The Light Music Society

Tine Thing Helseth is a Norwegian soloist, who has been the recipient of critical praise across six continents and numerous awards for her musical work. She is joined throughout this release by the principal organist at Oslo Cathedral (Domkirke), Kåre Nordstoga. Remarkably, as in my last review, it opens with the Prélude from Charpentier’s Te Deum.

Among the other 24 tracks (none is longer than 4:43) are well-known works like the traditional Shenandoah, Mendelssohn’s Auf Flügen des Gesanges (On Wings of Song), Grieg’s Våren (The Last Spring), Purcell’s Trumpet Tune in C major, and – my favourite – Jeremiah Clarke’s Suite in D Major, the fourth movement of which is his “Trumpet Voluntary”.

Other Helseth’s personally chosen cherished “Magical Moments” include beautiful Norwegian bridal marches, more Grieg, an elegy, traditional and Baroque melodies (Jean-Joseph Mouret’s Rondeau from Fanfares et Simphonies is evidently a popular piece at weddings), as well as modern songs for special occasions. The arrangements are by the two musicians and Jarle Storløcken; the booklet notes by the star trumpeter.

This stylishly played recording in first-rate sound was made at the aforementioned Cathedral during Norway’s lockdown in late August and early September 2020, with everyone working from late evening into the early hours of the morning to avoid the already minimized noise of the outside world.

The trumpet and the organ are both among my favorite instruments and the album is a joyful listen from beginning to end.

AllMusic 5 out of 5

Trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth’s album of Magical Memories was recorded during the coronavirus pandemic and intended as a positive statement, suggesting childhood memories that bring strength at a difficult time.

The memories are Helseth’s own. She heard her mother play the trumpet with an organist in church and loved the combination. It’s a simple and direct concept, but it conceals several challenges that Helseth has successfully surmounted on this lovely release.

First of all, in Helseth’s own words, “There is nothing as difficult to play as a really simple melody — a simple, unadorned, honest melody coming from within. It’s magic!” She offers traditional Norwegian folk melodies and classical favorites, and she’s right. To make these more than ordinary is difficult, but she pulls it off with really charismatic performances of the likes of “Solveig’s Lullaby” from Grieg’s Peer Gynt. Further, although the trumpet-and-organ pair is native to Baroque music, it is novel in Helseth’s transcriptions, mostly her own or those of organist Kåre Nordstoga, and these contain a good deal of artistry in making them fit into the context here.

The album weaves a spell. One may also note the distinctive Scandinavian graphics from the Lawo Classics label. Various trumpeters have contended for the space of successor to the famous trumpeters of the late 20th century, but with this modest release, Helseth takes a big step toward filling it.

Gramophone

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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