New & Nordic
Edvard Grieg: Holberg Suite, op. 40
Asger Buur: Nordic Night
Johan Svenden: Romance for violin and orchestra, op. 26
Kristoffer Refer: Andante for strings, op. 3
When the words ‘nordic’ and ‘string music’ are combined, it can produce the thought of a very particular sound - a certain particular light. Thanks to Grieg, Nielsen, Sibelius and other Scandinavians who have used the string orchestra to express the Nordic nature and the Nordic soul. Maybe because our Nordic longing for light makes a string chord one of the brightest sources of it. This is very much the case in Johan Svendsen’s Romance, a musical incarnation of a summer evening, this time with Romane Queyras as soloist, and of course also in Grieg’s celebrated Holberg Suite, which to the sounds of light also adds the Nordic folk music.
We will, besides these Nordic classics, also play music that is ‘new and Nordic’, namely music by two young Danish composers who are very much inspired by the Nordic as idea and by the rich Nordic history of music for strings. Kristoffer Refer’s Andante for strygere (Andante for Strings) has an epic and narrative character, which is mediated through a tonal language. Refer grew up in Odense and has in structuring the narrative elements of his music been quite inspired by the tales of H. C. Andersen. In Asger Buur’s Nordisk nat (Nordic Night), it is the Nordic nature that is the central subject and the title refers to the long and dark Nordic winter night, which has been the inspiration of so much music, art and literature. Buur contrasts the harsh objective nature with subjective loneliness and melancholia, that can catch one off guard at nighttime or - as one might add - in the middle of a pandemic.