- Audio CD (18 Dec. 2008)
- SPARS Code: DDD
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Simax
- ASIN: B000JCDTVQ
- Other Editions: MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,324,410 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
Arne Nordheim Draumkvedet CD
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Draumkvedet / The Dream Balllad (Nordheim)
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'Draumkvedet', (The Dream Ballad), was originally written for a stage production in connection with the Winter Olympic Games at Lillehammer in 1994. It was constructed by the composer Arne Nordheim around sounds and intervals arising from folk music, and uses these elements as more than just quotations, fusing them with his own distinctive electro-acoustic musical idiom. Singers perform both within and outside the classical tradition, and are challenged to move beyond their normal vocal range and sound.
This release also marks Arne Nordheim's 75th birthday, and further establishes him as a major creative force in European modern music.
The position of the original 'Draumkvedet' is unique in Scandinavian culture. It belongs to the tradition of unaccompanied singing (kveding) in Telemark County in the central part of southern Norway and dates back to mediaeval times. The text tells the story of a man, Olav Åsteson, who falls asleep on Christmas Eve and does not wake up until Epiphany. He then rides to church where he recounts how, while asleep, he had a dream in which he made a pilgrimage along the path trodden by the dead, and caught a glimpse of Purgatory and the blissful souls in Paradise. After coming face to face with angels and devils, he finally witnessed the Day of Judgement when St. Michael weighs the souls of the people on a pair of scales.
Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Ingar Bergby (conductor), Grex Vocalis
Njål Sparbo - (baritone), Unni Løvlid - (vocal), Torunn Østrem Ossum - (mezzo), Carl HøgsetRasmus Høgset, - (countertenor), Frank Havrøy - (baritone), Sigve Bøe, Kjell Viig - (tenor), Benjamin Isaksen - (boy soprano), Paul Ottar Haga, Sigmund Sæverud - (recitation), Åshild Breie Nyhus - (Hardanger fiddle), Mats Claesson - (electronic sound design)
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
For once Nordheim incorporated folkloristic elements and Norwegian folk music - including uses of hardanger fiddle and willow flute - an unusual move for him, but he blends it with more avantgardistic techniques and electronic elements (he even tries to mix operatic singing with techniques drawn from the folk singing tradition). Does it work? Well, it is undeniably very effective at certain points, though at others the work sounds like a pastiche in desperate search for stylistic unity. Perhaps it is wrong to look for such unity; if one just appreciates the invention and interesting, imaginative ideas as they flow along the listening experience is more successful and certainly very engaging.
The performances are committed and often powerful; Unni Løvlid deserves particular mention for her powerful folk singing but the soloists are overall very compelling. I particularly appreciated the choral contributions, but that may partially be because the choral scenes are generally the strongest ones musically speaking. The instrumental contributions are compelling as well, and everyone involved manages to navigate the stylistic juxtapositions with remarkable skill and fluency. Overall this is definitely a work worth hearing - not a masterpiece, but engaging and enjoyable (and accessible, for those who wondered), superbly executed. The recording is clear and detailed.