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This August, Leif Ove Andsnes Presents Norway’s Third Annual Rosendal Chamber Music Festival, Exploring Music “In the Shadow of War (1914–18)”

This summer, Founding Director Leif Ove Andsnes presents the third annual Rosendal Chamber Music Festival (Aug 9–12). Exploring music composed “In the Shadow of War (1914–18),” the 2018 season comprises twelve concerts, an exhibition, lectures, and pre-concert talks in the idyllic Norwegian village of Rosendal, where the celebrated pianist will be joined on stage by a stellar roster of guest artists: soprano Anna Prohaska; baritone Matthias Goerne; flautist Guy Eshed; clarinetist Fabio Di Càsola; violinists Johan Dalene, Henning Kraggerud, and Akiko Suwanai; violist Lars Anders Tomter; cellist Edgar Moreau; double bassist Tim Gibbs; harpist Sivan Magen; the Dover Quartet; and pianists Ingrid Andsnes, Bertrand Chamayou, Kirill Gerstein and Eric Schneider.

Set in a green valley beneath dramatic mountains, Rosendal may be reached by boat from Norway’s Bergen airport. The Baroniet Rosendal Manor House and Gardens date from 1665, offering visitors a glimpse of Norwegian history in one of the country’s most spectacular natural settings. As The Arts Desk (UK) put it, “It is a utopian place for utopian musicians.” France’s Diapason magazine adds:

Leif Ove Andsnes has found a winning formula. … In addition to the intelligence of its programming and the high level of its performers, the festival benefits from what is often lacking in the most exclusive of locations: authenticity and atmosphere – truly magical.”

Looking forward to the 2018 season, Andsnes explains:

“The early 20th century was one of the most extraordinary periods in music with an enormous variety of new musical styles which burst onto the scene. Over four days the Rosendal Chamber Music Festival will focus on the years 1914–18, exploring a poignant and diverse legacy of music that was written by composers either in reaction to or in spite of the war that raged around them.”

The instrumental lineup includes Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale Suite, which was premiered in the last months of World War One, and Ravel’s La Valse, widely seen as a metaphor for the predicament of European civilization in the aftermath of war. Other works include Janáček’s expressionistic Violin Sonata, the final movement of which recreates the sound of bombs; Vaughan Williams’s hauntingly beautiful Lark Ascending; Ravel’s neo-classical Le tombeau de Couperin, dedicated to the memory of friends who died in combat; and the pure folksong settings of Armenian composer Komitas, who was arrested and deported to a prison camp by the Ottoman government in 1915. A complete program is dedicated to the music of Debussy, who died in Paris during the 1918 Spring Offensive, his funeral procession making its way through deserted streets as German guns bombarded the city. Other composers represented include Bartók, Lili Boulanger, Elgar, Scriabin, Webern, Zemlinsky, and Sibelius, whose solo piano pieces The Birch and The Spruce – as heard on the recent Billboard bestseller Leif Ove Andsnes: Sibelius – will be reprised by the pianist at the festival’s closing concert.

Rosendal also welcomes two singers whose programs address similar themes through works spanning a wider period. Soprano Anna Prohaska performs “Behind the Lines,” a personally curated and moving collection of songs set to wartime poetry by composers including Eisler, Quilter, Weill and Ives. Baritone Matthias Goerne returns to Rosendal to join Andsnes for an account of Schubert’s Winterreise, a song cycle epitomizing isolation and loneliness by the composer who was the focus of the inaugural 2016 festival.

A two-part exhibition curated by distinguished Norwegian art historian Gunnar Danbolt will accompany the festival. This will examine paintings created in response to World War One and the work of Trondheim’s Håkon Bleken (b. 1929), who was one of the first artists to confront the 2011 massacre on the Norwegian island of Utøya in his work. Featured artworks include copies of Per Krohg’s The Grenade (1916) and Otto Dix’s The War (1932), one of the most shocking artistic responses to World War One.

There will also be lectures and pre-concert talks – three of them in English – by Danbolt, Astrid Kvalbein, Erling Sandmo, and John Pellowe of Meyer Sound, the Berkeley-based creators of Constellation, Rosendal’s superlative electroacoustic architecture system.

A full listing for the 2018 festival is provided below. To download high-resolution photos of Rosendal, click here, and for more information about the festival, click here.

The Rosendal Chamber Music Festival extends deep thanks to the Kristian Gerhard Jebsen Foundation, whose meaningful financial support has made the festival’s ambitious artistic goals attainable.

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This September 7, Andsnes looks forward to the release of Chopin: Ballades & Nocturnes on the Sony Classics label. Interspersing the Romantic master composer’s four Ballades – works immense in the range and power of their expression – with three of his nocturnes, the new album represents the pianist’s first recording of Chopin’s music in more than a decade, and marks the latest addition to his already extensive and distinguished discography. Now an exclusive Sony Classical artist, he is a Gramophone Hall of Fame inductee whose output has been recognized with six Gramophone Awards, eight Grammy nominations, an unprecedented ten Norwegian Spellemannprisen, and BBC Music magazine’s “Recording of the Year.”

Third Annual Rosendal Chamber Music Festival
Aug 9–12
Bergen, Norway
Leif Ove Andsnes, Founding Director

Anna Prohaska, soprano
Matthias Goerne, baritone

Guy Eshed, flute
Fabio Di Càsola, clarinet

Johan Dalene, violin
Henning Kraggerud, violin
Akiko Suwanai, violin
Lars Anders Tomter, viola
Edgar Moreau, cello
Tim Gibbs, double bass
Sivan Magen, harp
Dover Quartet

Leif Ove Andsnes, piano
Ingrid Andsnes, piano and harmonium
Bertrand Chamayou, piano
Kirill Gerstein, piano
Eric Schneider, piano

Thurs, Aug 9 at 8pm
Opening concert
Nielsen: Chaconne Op. 32 (1916) (Andsnes, piano)
Bartók: Romanian Dances (1915) (Suwanai, violin; I. Andsnes, piano)
Ravel: Le tombeau de Couperin (1914-17) (Chamayou, piano)
Berg: Hier ist Friede, Op. 4, No. 5 (1917) arranged for four instruments (Andsnes, piano; I. Andsnes, harmonium; Suwanai, violin; Moreau, cello)
Dohnányi: Piano Quintet No. 2, Op. 26 (1914) (Andsnes, piano; Dover Quartet)

Fri, Aug 10 at 10am
Great Hall: lecture
Preconcert talk
Astrid Kvalbein (in English)

Fri, Aug 10 at 11am
Great Hall: concert
Kreisler: Toy-Soldiers March (1917) (Kraggerud, violin; I. Andsnes, piano)
Zemlinsky: String Quartet No. 2, Op. 15 (1914-17) (Dover Quartet)
Janáček: Violin Sonata (1914) (Kraggerud, violin; Gerstein, piano)
Ysaÿe: Trio for two violins and viola, “Le Londres” (1915) (Kraggerud and Dalene, violins; Tomter, viola)
Scriabin: Vers la flamme, Op. 72 (1914) (Gerstein, piano)

Fri, Aug 10 at 1pm
Manor House: open house
Music performed in all rooms by students from Rosendal and surrounding villages

Fri, Aug 10 at 3pm
Great Hall: lecture
Introduction to the exhibition
Gunnar Danbolt, professor of art history (in Norwegian)

Fri, Aug 10 at 4:30pm, 5:30pm and 6:30pm
Manor House Red Room: concert
Signe Lund: Peace Bells (1918) (I. Andsnes, piano)
Busoni: Albumblatt (1916) (Eshed, flute; I. Andsnes, piano)
Stravinsky: Three Pieces for String Quartet (1914) (Dover Quartet)
Fauré: Cello Sonata No. 1, Op. 109 (1917) (Moreau, cello; Chamayou, piano)

Fri, Aug 10 at 9pm
Kvinnherad Church: lecture
Pre-concert talk
Erling Sandmo (in Norwegian)

Fri, Aug 10 at 10pm
Kvinnherad Church: concert
Schubert: Winterreise D.911 (1827) (Goerne, baritone; Andsnes, piano)

Sat, Aug 11 at 10am
Great Hall: “Exotic Morning” concert
Debussy: Syrinx (1913) (Eshed, flute)
Alf Hurum: Exotic Suite, Op. 9 (1915) for violin and piano (Dalene, violin; I. Andsnes, piano)
Debussy: Élégie (1915) (Gerstein, piano)
Debussy: Les soirs illuminés par l’ardeur du charbon (1917) (Gerstein, piano)
Komitas: Folk Songs (Gerstein, piano)
Szymanowski: Myths, Op. 30 (1915) (Kraggerud, violin; Chamayou, piano)

Sat, Aug 11 at 11am
Great Hall: lecture
Lecture and demonstration of the Constellation electro-acoustic architecture system
John Pellowe, Meyer Sound (in English)

Sat, Aug 11 at 2pm
Kvinnherad Church: concert
Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending (1914) (Suwanai, violin; I. Andsnes, piano)
Lili Boulanger: Cortège (1914); D’un matin de printemps (1917) (Eshed, flute; Gerstein, piano)
Fauré: Une Châtelaine en sa tour, Op. 110 (1918) (Magen, harp)
Ravel: Introduction and Allegro (1907) (Suwanai, and Dalene, violins; Tomter, viola; Moreau, cello; Eshed, flute; Di Càsola, clarinet; Magen, harp)
Elgar: Piano Quintet, Op. 84 (1918-19) (Kraggerud and Suwanai, violins; Tomter, viola; Moreau, cello; Gerstein, piano)

Sat, Aug 11 at 4pm
Manor House: open house
Guides available

Sat, Aug 11 at 6:30pm
Great Hall: lecture
Pre-concert talk
Erling Sandmo (in English)

Sat, Aug 11 at 7:30pm
Great Hall: concert
Ives: Piano Sonata No. 2, “Concord” (1915) (Chamayou, piano)
“Behind the Lines”: Songs by Beethoven, Eisler, Wolf, Pleshcheyev, Traill, Ives, Quilter, Cavendish, Schubert, Schumann and Kurt Weill (Prohaska, soprano; Schneider, piano)

Sat, Aug 11 at 11pm
Great Hall; concert
Sinding: Abendstimmung, Op. 120a (1915) (Kraggerud, violin; Andsnes, piano)
Webern: Cello Pieces, Op. 11 (1914) (Moreau, cello; Gerstein, piano)
Kreisler: Berceuse Romantique, Op. 9 (1916); La Gitana (1917) (Dalene, violin; I. Andsnes, piano)
Reger: Clarinet Quintet (1915-16) (Di Càsola, clarinet; Dover Quartet)

Sun, Aug 12 at 9am
Rosendal Fjordhotel: lecture
About music and war: “History’s Echo”
Astrid Kvalbein and Erling Sandmo (in Norwegian)

Sun, Aug 12 at 11am
Great Hall: concert
Debussy: Danse sacrée et danse profane (1904) (Magen, harp; Dover Quartet; Gibbs, double bass)
Debussy: En blanc et noir (1915) (Andsnes, piano; Chamayou, piano)
Debussy: Sonata for Cello and Piano (1915) (Moreau, cello; Chamayou, piano)
Debussy: Sonata for Flute, Viola, and Harp (1915) (Eshed, flute; Tomter, viola; Magen, harp)
Debussy: Sonata for Violin and Piano (1916 – 1917) (Suwanai, violin; Andsnes, piano)

Sun, Aug 12 at 3pm
Great Hall: lecture
Pre-concert talk
Astrid Kvalbein (in Norwegian)

Sun, Aug 12 at 4pm
Great Hall: closing concert
Stravinsky: Soldier´s Tale Suite (1918) (Di Càsola, clarinet; Suwanai, violin; Gerstein, piano)
Sibelius: The Birch, Op. 75, No. 4 (1914); The Spruce, Op. 75, No. 5 (1914) (Andsnes, piano)
Busoni: Improvisation for two pianos on Bach’s Chorale “Wie wohl ist mir, O Freund der Seele” (1916) (Gerstein, piano; Andsnes, piano)
Bartók: String Quartet No. 2 (1915-17) (Dover Quartet)
Ravel: La Valse (1919) (Chamayou, piano; Gerstein, piano)

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© 21C Media Group, July 2018

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