Thoresen: Symphonic Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra (DSD EP)

Amalie Stalheim, Ingar Bergby, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra

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Cellist Amalie Stalheim is accompanied by the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra with conductor Ingar Bergby on her debut DSD EP for LAWO Classics.  It features the Symphonic Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra composed by Lasse Thoresen.

Extremely technical and virtuosic, the three-movement Symphonic Concerto was premiered in 2008 and presents rich musical motives, dramatic climaxes, and passages of delicate microtonality.

Amalle Stalheim tells us “‘The Concerto evokes images of the high Norwegian mountains, with fog drifting by along the trees and a valley so deep that you can’t see over the horizon. For the composer Lasse Thoresen, the valley is a metaphor for a state of mind and the music explores this wide and disorientating terrain. 

I am so happy and proud to have recorded Lasse Thoresen’s spectacular Cello Concerto together with fabulous Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra (Oslo-Filharmonien) and conductor Ingar Heine Bergby. It was a huge pleasure to collaborate with the Oslo Phil. The music sounds soooo beautiful.

I’m also very grateful to have worked for the first (but definitely not the last) time with LAWO Classics, who make really superb sounding albums. The whole team of LAWO deserves the biggest thank you for all their support during the entire process.

And of course, a big, big thank you to Lasse Thoresen, who has composed such a beautiful and unique cello concerto.

I hope you will listen and enjoy.” 

Amalie Stalheim, Cello
Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
Ingar Bergby, Conductor

Tracklist

1.
"Symphonic Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra ""Journey Through Three Valleys"", Op. 38: La prim
10:58
2.
"Symphonic Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra ""Journey Through Three Valleys"", Op. 38: La seco
15:39
3.
"Symphonic Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra ""Journey Through Three Valleys"", Op. 38: La terz
15:00

Total time: 00:41:37

Additional information

Label

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LWD2008

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Original Recording Format

Release Date December 2, 2021

Press reviews

Klassisk Musikk (Classical Music) 5 out of 5

Could this be the best recent Norwegian cello concerto?  Thoresen’s expressive purpose with it at least stands out as unusual.

“The valley is a metaphor for a state of mind, a basic mood you are in a phase of life. You cannot see what is on the other side, being in a valley means you have a limited horizon. Then there are transitions to other perspectives, which one had no idea about down in the valley.” It was written by Lasse Thoresen in 2008 before the premiere of Viaggio attraverso tre valli (Journey through three valleys). The performance of the music that is surrounded by this landscape – the three valleys in the title – is a picture of an inner journey that characterizes the concert’s unusual structure: ricercare, serenade and fugue, and finale. The work is, however, experienced more as a collection of symphonic poems than as a traditional concert. In fact, Thoresen describes it as a symphonic concert, in recognition of its more integrated nature.

The Cello Concerto (2006-8) is the first in a larger sequence or «journey» with five orchestral works, including the subsequent «symphonic concerts», for viola (La valle dell’unità , op. 45, 2011) and piano ( Città della luce , op. 49, 2017), part of Sounds of the Arctic (2019) and which culminates with the work Thoresen considers his magnum opus, the choral and orchestral work Ωn – Det værende(op. 63, 2019), whose premiere is postponed due to the pandemic. The cello concerto was a joint commission from the Oslo Philharmonic and Radio France, and was premiered by Truls Mørk, conducted by Jukka-Pekka Saraste in November 2008.

The cello is a clear and dominant soloist, the main character in this expressive conversation that leads the listener through a tonal and textural terrain (like the landscape of the soul) full of convincing harmony and allusions.

I do not know Amalie Stalheim as a musician (have previously only heard her in a short piece by Anna-Lena Laurin), but her interpretation is convincing and beautifully detailed, while presenting the concert’s overall structure with impeccable clarity. The Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra is in top form in Thoresen’s glittering orchestration, and Lawo’s recordings, made during the Ultima festival 2020, is wonderfully rich and clear.

Highly recommended.

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