wed 28/06/2017

Norway

Sunday Book: Jo Nesbo - The Thirst

The jacket designs of Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole thrillers don’t muck about. The novelist’s name with its anglicised spelling is branded in eye-catching upper-case yellow, accompanied by the latest sales figures. "Over five million copies sold worldwide...

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CD: Ulver - The Assassination of Julius Caesar

The Frankie Goes to Hollywood of “Two Tribes”. Talk Talk. Stadium-era Depeche Mode. Laibach. a-ha’s aural dramas “Stay on These Roads” and “Manhattan Skyline”. “New Year’s Day” by U2. These are the musical building blocks of Ulver’s The...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Alnæs, Granados, Kelly, Mompou

Eyvind Alnæs: Piano Concerto & Symphony Håvard Gimse (piano), Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra/Eivind Aadland (Lawo Classics)Eyvind Alnæs’s C Minor Symphony, written in 1897 after his return to Norway from studying in Leipzig, hints at great things,...

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thertsdesk in Oslo: Mozart beneath a Munch sun

Leif Ove Andsnes directing two great Mozart piano concertos from the keyboard may be the chief attraction when the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra comes to London's Cadogan Hall on Friday to celebrate its 40th birthday. It was certainly the bait which...

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theartsdesk in Bergen: Questions upon questions at Borealis Festival

There comes a point in any experimental music festival when you have to accept the silliness and go with it. And at Borealis, that point comes very early. Only a couple of hours off the plane in Bergen and we're in a pedestrian tunnel under the bus...

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Mørk, Bergen Philharmonic, Gardner, Cadogan Hall

The Bergen Philharmonic recently appointed Edward Gardner as its Chief Conductor – ENO’s loss is Bergen’s gain. He is contracted to 2021, so this is the start of a long relationship. On the strength of this concert, the London leg of a UK tour, it...

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Hedda Gabler, National Theatre

Theatre conventions are a funny thing. Today, it’s actually quite difficult to see a modern classic dressed in the clothes and performed on the set of its specific historical period. It has to be in contemporary dress. And in a contemporary setting...

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theartsdesk at the Rosendal Festival: Schubert above a fjord

More than just a great and serious pianist, Leif Ove Andsnes is a Mensch. His special gift in recent years has been to bring young musicians just establishing their careers together with star players like himself in beautiful and/or interesting...

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CD: Hedvig Mollestad Trio - Black Stabat Mater

Thirty-three minutes is not long for an album. What actually counts is not length but what is said and its impact. Norway’s Hedvig Mollestad Trio know what they are doing and over Black Stabat Mater’s 33 minutes they do it with such clarity, force...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Folque, Undertakers Circus

The names may be unfamiliar, but Folque and Undertakers Circus are as good as better-known bands. Despite being musical bedfellows neither Norwegian band is as esteemed as, say, Trader Horne and Trees or Colloseum and Lighthouse. Folque issued their...

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Art of Scandinavia, BBC Four

Through the snowy wastes we crunched. The winter scenery was overwhelmingly beautiful and almost devoid of any human habitation: gorgeous mountains in the distance, the black waters of the fjords gleaming, the winter sun shining through the pale...

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Andsnes and Friends 2, Dulwich Picture Gallery

Nature, nationalism, folk culture: the broad themes of Norway’s visual arts map easily onto its music. That has given Leif Ove Andsnes and his colleagues plenty of leeway in planning their musical tributes to the painter Nikolai Astrup. For this,...

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