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Music : Norwegian label 2L releases Blu-ray/SACD music title
Norwegian label 2L releases Blu-ray/SACD music titleYesterday the Norwegian record label 2L released its first ever Blu-Ray record.

“Divertimenti” is a milestone in many ways. It is the label’s 50th record release and it marks the twentieth anniversary of the Trondheim soloist whose concert in Selbu Church is captured on “Divertimenti.” A label always at the forefront technologically, 2L (Linberg Lyd) found the occasion right to make “Divertimenti” a milestone also in format.

The Blu-ray technology makes use of five separate sound tracks, which entails a complex recording and mixing process conditioned by very sophisticated equipment. 2L has cooperated with equipment manufacturers and the record now available is the fruit of a combined effort opening up new vistas of sound rendition. The sound is, as with Blu-ray images, like nothing you’ve heard before. Each instrument is clearly positioned, creating a multidimensional listening experience of utmost clarity. But since very few so far have the proper home equipment to actually play Blu-ray discs, the release also includes a SACD disc, playable on all standard CD players and computers.

Trondheimsolistene –the Trondheim soloists- is one of Norway’s finest orchestras. Under the leadership of Øyvind Gimse they have developed into an ensemble of international renown, and undertaken successful tours all over Europe, in America, Japan and Brazil.

Divertimento (of which divertimenti is the plural) is a musical style characterised by light and playful pieces. The effortless and elegant nature of the style has been defining for chamber music as we know it today.

The repertoire on “Divertimenti” is as follows:

Bejamnin Britten: Simple Symphony
Grazyna Bacewicz: Concerto for string orchestra
Terje Bjørklund: Carmina
Béla Bartók: Divertimento for strings

Blu-ray Disc contains following audio formats:
- Stereo Linear PCM 24 BIT / 192 kHz
- MCH 5.1 Linear PCM 24 BIT / 192 kHz
- MCH 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio 24 BIT / 192 kHz
- MCH 5.1 Dolby True HD 24 BIT / 192 kHz
- MCH 5.1 DD 48kHz

The divertimento as a musical genre dates back to the nineteenth century. Divertimenti were composed for various social occasions and were intended to be light, uncomplicated and cheerful. Such pieces were often scored for small string ensemble. Over the years this effortless, elegant form has appeared in many different musical styles and, to a large extent, set the standard for the virtuosic concert chamber music we know today. A number of the most prominent composers of our age have engaged with this most fascinating ensemble style and have contributed to its further refinement as a chamber-symphonic showpiece.

Edward Benjamin Britten (born 1913 in Lowestoft, Suffolk; died 1976 in Aldeburgh, Norfolk) was one of the most influential composers ever in the history of English music. His fascinating career led him through a wide variety of genres; among his many superb works are to be found operas, orchestral works, chamber music and several songs. He was especially fond of children, composing a children’s opera (Let’s make an Opera!) in 1949; his wonderfully playful nature gave rise to the Simple Symphony op. 4, built on eight melodies from his childhood – to tunes for each of the work’s four movements. The music is witty and exciting, and brilliantly orchestrated. It demonstrates the full range of Britten’s human qualities as a composer, priceless wit alongside youthful earnestness, genuine and moving. Grażyna Bacewicz (born 1909 in Łódź; died 1969 in Warszawa) was a Polish composer and violinist, and one of very few female composers in Poland of her generation who achieved recognition outside her native country. Bacewicz received her first violin lessons from her father, going on to study piano and violin at the Warsaw conservatoire in 1928. She continued her studies in 1932 at the École Normale de Musique in Paris with Nadia Boulanger, taking private violin lessons from Henri Touret. Later she returned to Paris to study with the Hungarian violinist Carl Flesch.

After completing her studies Bacewicz embarked on an extensive career as a composer and performer, taking up the post of concertmaster in the Polish Radio Orchestra. Throughout World War II she remained in Warsaw where she gave a number of underground concerts and secret first performances of her own music. After the war Bacewicz was appointed professor at the state conservatoire in Łódź. She expanded her composing activities at the expense of her performing career, and after a serious car accident in 1954 she turned her full attention to composing. Bacewicz’ list of opuses contains a great many works for strings, including seven violin concertos, five violin sonatas, seven string quartets, two piano quartets and four symphonies. The Concerto for String Orchestra (1948) demonstrates her formal craftsmanship and distinctive colouring. Although her musical language reveals traces of Lutosławski and Szymanowski, it is first and foremost highly original and distinctly personal. The dark, many-facetted textures of the second movement, for example, are unparalleled.

Terje Bjørklund (born 1945 in Narvik, Norway) operates with a soft, radiant musical palette. His Carmina (“Songs”) consists of long lines and a gentle unfolding of musical texture, interrupted only occasionally by shorter, more active passages. The work is built up around an imperturbable descending scale of compelling beauty, supported by softly flowing, minimalistic sound modules. Bjørklund’s scoring is exquisite, demonstrating the value of his long-lasting, genre-transcending musical involvement. Bjørklund was an active jazz pianist for many years, and in 1983 he was awarded the Norwegian Jazz Federation’s Buddy statuette for his contribution to Norwegian jazz. Since 1980 Bjørklund has concentrated on composing, producing works for the most part in so-called ‘serious’ art music genres. In many of Bjørklund’s works harmony is a central element; the voicing of chords and nuanced textures are often reminiscent of modern jazz. He has been commissioned to write for choir, orchestra and various solo and chamber scorings. He has composed a substantial corpus of works for strings, inspired by the number of excellent string players in Trondheim. Carmina was originally written for the Chilingirian String Quartet and was transcribed by Bjørklund for the TrondheimSolistene string ensemble for this recording. The work was inspired by ‘The Pindar Odes’ which were written for winners of the Olympiad in ancient Greece. Béla Bartók (born 1881 in Nagyszentimiklós; died 1945 in New York) suffered a great deal of illness as a child. This might contributed to his early musical awareness and creative maturity. He was thirty-eight at the end of World War I when the Treaty of Versailles divided his native Hungary, distributing three-fifths of the country between other nations – an act which aroused his fierce commitment to Hungarian folklore and culture. Together with his close friend and colleague Zoltán Kodály he would embark on long research journeys in all the Hungarian-speaking regions (including Romania) to collect folk music material. In the Divertimento for Strings (1939) we encounter the mature Bartók – he was simultaneously working on his sixth string quartet and had just completed his violin concerto and the piece Contrasts for violin, clarinet and piano for Benny Goodman. At this time the political climate in Europe was making it very difficult for the anti-Nazi Bartók to continue his activities in Hungary, and the following year he and his wife emigrated to the USA, settling in New York, where he died in 1945. Bartók’s highly individual style becomes increasingly evident in the works from the last period of his life; his lifelong interest in Hungarian and Romanian folk music resulted in ever more lucidly articulated acts of musical genius. The man, who by an American music critic was described as being “graceful and meticulous in his movements – more like a professor of botany than a composer”, created music of almost ruthless energetic quality. In the Divertimento he convincingly succeeds in uniting folklore elements with radical, modernistic devices such as note-clusters and multi-tonal passages. Craftsmanship alone is never allowed to determine the result, however – there is a principal musical idea behind every impulse. One of the most fascinating aspects of the work is the relationship between the movements’ mutual expression. Bartók loved to juxtapose extremes and in this instance we encounter extremes in choice of tempi and length of musical subject: the stabbing rhythms of the outer movements are contrasted by the slow middle movement with its almost infinite linear interplay in which we seem to encounter the composer’s passionate emotional life in its entirety.

TrondheimSolistene (The Trondheim Soloists) is one of Norway’s most exciting young ensembles performing on the international stage. Thanks to the orchestra’s dedication, commitment and enthusiasm it has quickly established itself as an innovative chamber orchestra with invitations to collaborate with artists of the highest level across a broad range of genres. Formed in 1988 by Bjarne Fiskum, TrondheimSolistene was for many years the main forum for professional concert training in Trondheim. The orchestra announced its arrival on the international stage in 1990 with a rapturously received debut in London and further international concerts followed confirming the orchestra’s reputation. In 1999 the orchestra was invited to accompany the violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter on her new recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons for Deutsche Grammophon, thus initiating an important artistic collaboration for both groups. In 2001 the orchestra made its Carnegie Hall debut with Mrs Mutter followed by further concerts in Washington, Boston, Chicago and Ann Arbor with the violinist Joshua Bell. In 2007 Trondheim-Solistene toured Germany, Spain and Ireland with Mrs Mutter and in 2008 the orchestra accompanies her once more on an extensive tour of the Far East with concerts in China, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan, in addition to performances at the Lucerne Festival. The orchestra regularly performs with many of Scandinavia’s leading artists, and recent collaborations have included concerts with Leif Ove Andsnes, Lars Anders Tomter, Arve Tellefsen, Solveig Kringelborn and Ole Edvard Antonsen. The orchestra is a leading advocate of Scandinavian music, and regularly includes Scandinavian music in its programming, recordings and commissions. The Orchestra’s remarkable versatility enables them to perform a broad range of musical genres and styles from baroque to tango, jazz, pop and rock.

violin at the Barratt Due Institute of Music in Oslo. He has released several recordings a.o. with works by Bach, Nielsen and Grieg. Geir Inge Lotsberg plays on a violin by Joseph Guarnerius filius Andreae from 1703, provided by Dextra Musica AS. Violinist Anders Kjellberg Nilsson (b.1983) has already made a name for himself as a mature and versatile musician. His early inspiration came from the active string department of the Barratt Due Institute of Music in Oslo, subsequent studies continuing in Berlin and in Stockholm with Ulf Wallin. In 2008 he completed his soloist diploma studies at the Norwegian Academy of Music with Detlef Hahn as his teacher. Anders Kjellberg Nilsson has performed solo with the majority of Norwegian orchestras, and he is a frequent guest of the nation’s chamber music festivals. He is also an accomplished viola player and is regularly engaged to coach and lead various chamber orchestras. Anders Kjellberg Nilsson has won several national and international prizes, among these Prinsesse Astrids musikkpris, and in 2007 at the Bergen International Festival he was awarded a place on the Rikskonsertene’s INTRO-classical programme for the 2008-09 season.

Violin Geir Inge Lotsberg (track 1-7), Anders Kjellberg Nilsson (track 8-11), Anders
Larsen, Elisabeth Rolfsjord Uddu, Ola Lindseth, Kjell Are Strøm, Stina Andersson,
Sigmund Tvete Vik, Ian Hedley, Hannah Wilder, Margrete Pettersen, Åse Våg Aaknes,
Kristoffer Gjærde and Johannes
Leonard Rusten.
Viola Ole Wuttudal, Ragnhild Torp,
Frøydis Tøsse and Anne Våg Aaknes.
Cello Øyvind Gimse, Tove Törngren,
Marit Aspås and Katrine Pedersen.
Bass Rolf Hoff Baltzersen and Aslak
Trønnes Skau.
Britten and Bjørklund: 5 - 4 - 3 - 3 - 1
Bartok and Bacewicz: 6 - 6 - 4 - 4 - 2

Recorded at Selbu church
November 2007 by Lindberg Lyd AS

Recording producer and balance engineer Morten Lindberg
Recording engineer Hans Peter L’Orange
Editing and mastering Morten Lindberg
SACD authoring Lindberg Lyd AS
Blu-ray authoring Sony DADC
Frontpage photo Trym Ivar Bergsmo
Sessionphotos Lindberg Lyd AS
Text Wolfgang Plagge / Translation Andrew Smith
Artwork and graphic design Morten Lindberg
Musical director Øyvind Gimse
Executive producers Steinar Larsen and Morten Lindberg
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