Arne Nordheim was Norway’s most significant and respected composer until his death in 2010, and one of the few figures in contemporary western music who proved himself able to move beyond traditional harmonic relationships while maintaining a distinct ability to communicate widely through his striking, physical music.
The Bergen Philharmonic has been far from immune to that music’s power, championing it throughout the composer’s lifetime and premiering his first orchestral work, Canzona, as well as his last, Fonos. It has given multiple performances of Nordheim’s orchestral works and has recorded Tenebrae (Cello Concerto), Aurora and Wirklicher Wald. In 1992, Nordheim was the subject of a special focus at the Bergen International Festival, where the orchestra premiered Magic Island – a revised version of Be Not Afeard (the starting point for The Tempest).
Nordheim’s music for The Tempest is the conjuring of a musical realm as elusive as Shakespeare’s stage equivalent – one in which time as we know it, along with so many other anchors (including text) barely exists. It is a world of ‘transfigured, consonant lyricism’ to quote on critic, in which we clearly hear Nordheim’s central creative urge to reconcile simple, lucid material with his own protracted schemes and techniques. For conductor Edward Gardner, the process draws us into a ‘beautiful, seductive world’ and music possessed of ‘a glow that can only be Nordheim’s.’ Norwegian soprano Beate Mordal and English baritone Jeremy Carpenter contribute as soloists to this contemporary masterpiece.
The Bergen Philharmonic
Edward Gardner – Conductor
Beate Mordal – Soprano
Jeremy Carpenter – Baritone
TracklistPlease note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Total time: 00:49:36
|Original Recording Format
|March 24, 2023
Wow! What a full-throated, full-orchestra roller coaster of a ride through Arne Norheim’s The Tempest! Norheim’s music is darkly, magically, compelling—almost physical in impact. He synthesizes the ethereal mystic magic of this alternative realm with the dark power of natural forces, while utilizing the full range of orchestral instruments, along with strikingly persuasive use of a broad range of percussion. Norwegian soprano Beate Mordal and English baritone Jeremy Carpenter contribute great strength and aural complexity to the sonic landscape Norheim presents, not so much in text but in vocalizations that further extend this darkly magical world…
Highly recommended for music, performance and recording excellence!
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