LARS PETTER HAGEN (b.1975): Norwegian Archives for Chamber Orchestra and Electronics, The Artist's Despair Before the Grandeur of Ancient Ruins for Orchestra, Tveitt-Fragments for String Orchestra, Funeral March over Edvard Grieg for Chamber Group and Off-stage Symphony Orchestra, To Zeitblom for Hardanger Fiddle and Orchestra.

Catalogue Number: 11P083

Label: Aurora

Reference: ACD 5074

Format: CD

Price: $18.98

Description: Metafiction in music; compositions about composing, Norwegian music about writing Norwegian music, contemporary music about viewing the ruins of contemporary music traditions from an historical perspective. Admittedly, if you hadn't read the long, detailed booklet essay and interview, these nuances might pass you by, leaving you wondering, for instance, whether The Artist's Despair is a pastiche of Mahlerian style, replete with almost-quotations, or a parody of it, laced with irony. But this ambiguity is part of the point. Archives rejoices in its Norwegian cliches - recordings of nationalistic choral music, Hardanger fiddle, harmonies borrowed from Grieg and others; Tveitt-Fragments constructs a genuinely affecting elegy from burned fragments of the older composer's manuscripts recovered from the house fire that destroyed them; Funeral March is an effective requiem, deconstructing Grieg, and the concerto is what it says it is, but is interrupted by electronic bleeps and squeaks, and then by a piece of music theatre, juxtaposing a 'speech' by the composer, 'mistranslated' as a lecture on Adorno's ideas. All very skilfully put together, and nothing if not thought-provoking. Gjermund Larsen (hardanger fiddle), Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra; Rolf Gupta.


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