sat 24/02/2018

Norway

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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Andsnes and Friends at the Astrup Exhibition, Dulwich Picture Gallery

It's rare that a sponsor does more than stump up the money for culture and sometimes request a mention in a review (usually ignored). Last night's godparent, though, the Savings Bank Foundation DNB, is a true self-styled "collaborator", responsible...

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theartsdesk in Oslo: Vasily Petrenko, the Leningrad Dynamo, comes to town

I've never thought of myself as a Shostakovich fan, tending to regard what I know of his output as bleak and forbidding. Photographs of the stone-faced composer with the mortuary attendant's demeanour haven't helped.All this changed after a night...

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Nikolai Astrup: Painting Norway, Dulwich Picture Gallery

Dulwich Picture Gallery, the oldest public painting gallery anywhere with one of the world’s finest collections of Old Masters, has in recent years built up a deserved reputation for bringing to the British audience unfamiliar aspects of well known...

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The Master Builder, Old Vic

Demons, trolls and dead souls have a habit of latching onto Ibsen's bourgeois Norwegians. Surely the best way for actors to handle them is to keep it natural, make them part of the furniture and, in Dostoyevsky's words, "render the supernatural so...

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Kraggerud, Gimse, Wigmore Hall

All three Grieg violin sonatas in a single recital may seem like too much of a good thing. The similarities between them outweigh the differences, which are more of quality than intent. But, when heard in chronological order, they provide a...

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