Frank Nordensten / Dan René Dahl

Organ Concertos

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: Lawo Classics
UPC: 7090020181646
Catnr: LWC 1142
Release date: 03 November 2017
1 CD
✓ in stock
€ 19.95
Lawo Classics
Catalogue number
LWC 1142
Release date
03 November 2017

About the album

FRANK NORDENSTEN (b. 1955) started composing at the age of 12, earning accolades as both performer and composer in his teenage years. His impressive collection of LPs accompanied by their scores bear witness to a remarkably meticulous regime of self-study. He started his formal music education at the Norwegian State Academy of Music in 1975, initially a Bachelor's degree under the instruction of Søren Gangfløt (organ), Hans Solum (piano) and Ketil Haugsand (harpsichord). In 1979, he embarked on a composition class under the inspiring and encouraging tutelage of Finn Mortensen. Nordensten (who himself claims to have ‘conductive’ fingers) also established his own production studio for electronic music, and through this has been both a successful studio technician and record producer, continuing to be a key player in the field of digital music notation.

Nordensten has composed works in most genres, with the most notable amongst these being the chamber work Ricochet, Violin Concerto No. 1, Symphony No. 2, the ballet Grieg ajour (Bergen International Festival 1993, The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet 1994), 24 Preludes and Fugues for Piano, as well as the symphonic epos Masada. Organ works play a central role in his output, prolonging the streams of the Central European symphonic organ tradition. He has premiered several of his own organ works. In his capacity as solo pianist he has also premiered his Piano Concerto No. 2 with wind ensemble Norske Blåsere as well as Piano Concerto No. 3 with The Norwegian Wind Ensemble.

What is the inspiration behind the two organ concertos on this CD?
Both the organ in Fredrikstad Cathedral and the large Jørgensen Organ in Glemmen Church helped shape me musically. The organ in general is probably the instrument that fascinates me the most, and it’s the one I always gravitate back to. The first (Concerto No. 2), is a virtuoso dialogue between the organ and the orchestra, with a purely instrumental approach. There is no deep philosophical attempt to create any illusions here. This is more a case of absolute music leaping out of the intrinsic possibilities of the instruments and the space.

Concerto No. 3, on the other hand, is inspired by the prevalence of time. I have alluded to the size of the universe through the titles of the movements – Venus, Satellite etc. It is an attempt to create an atmosphere for the listener, taking them into a more timeless dimension. The short texts are based on some of the small aphorisms by my good friend, the entrepreneur and amateur poet Rolv Møll Nilsen. Stylistically, the two concertos are not very dissimilar, even though the musical expression is very different. For instance, the way I construct the harmony is the same. This is, in many ways, ”old-fashioned" music. Contemporary music seems to be largely inspired by abstract and intellectual scenarios, whereas my inspiration is always emotional. My motivation is communication and I always strive to communicate on a level that can be universally recognisable.

At the edge of time
As the sea meets land
As all that’s to come meets all that has been
You meet me
When time kneels humbly at the feet of genesis,
When future turns to past
You stand and place the moment in my hands
Time is the sole face of God.

(Rolv Møll Nilsen, 2011)
FRANK NORDENSTEN (1955) begann im Alter von 12 Jahren mit dem Komponieren und erhielt schon als Heranwachsender sowohl als Interpret als auch als Komponist Auszeichnungen. Seine musikalische Ausbildung begann er 1975 an der Norwegischen Staatlichen Musikakademie, zunächst mit einem Bachelor-Abschluss bei Søren Gangfløt (Orgel), Hans Solum (Klavier) und Ketil Haugsand (Cembalo). 1979 begann er eine Kompositionsausbildung unter der inspirierenden und ermutigenden Leitung von Finn Mortensen. Nordensten gründete auch sein eigenes Produktionsstudio für elektronische Musik und war dadurch sowohl als Studiotechniker als auch als Schallplattenproduzent erfolgreich und weiterhin ein wichtiger Akteur auf dem Gebiet der digitalen Tontechnik.
Nordensten hat Werke in den meisten Genres komponiert: das Kammermusikwerk ‚Ricochet‘, Violinkonzert Nr. 1, Sinfonie Nr. 2, das Ballett ‚Grieg ajour‘ (Bergen International Festival 1993, The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet 1994), 24 Präludien und Fugen für das Klavier sowie das sinfonische Epos ‚Masada‘. Orgelwerke spielen eine zentrale Rolle in seinem Schaffen, da sie die Tradition der mitteleuropäischen symphonischen Orgeltradition verlängern. Er hat mehrere eigene Orgelwerke uraufgeführt. Als Solo-Pianist z. B. sein Klavierkonzert Nr. 2 mit Bläserensemble Norske Blåsere sowie Klavierkonzert Nr. 3 mit dem Norwegischen Blasensemble.
Was ist die Inspiration hinter den beiden Orgelkonzerten auf dieser CD?
‘‘Sowohl die Orgel in der Kathedrale von Fredrikstad als auch die große Jørgensen-Orgel in der Glemmener Kirche haben mir musikalisch geholfen. Die Orgel im Allgemeinen ist wahrscheinlich das Instrument, das mich am meisten fasziniert und es ist das Instrument, zu dem ich immer wieder zurückkehre. Der erste (Konzert Nr. 2) ist ein virtuoser Dialog zwischen Orgel und Orchester, der rein instrumental angelegt ist. Es gibt hier keinen tiefen philosophischen Versuch Illusionen zu erzeugen. Dies ist mehr ein Fall von absoluter Musik, die aus den inneren Möglichkeiten der Instrumente und des Raumes springt.
Konzert Nr. 3 wiederum ist von der Dominanz der Zeit inspiriert. Ich habe auf die Größe des Universums durch die Titel der einzelnen Stücke - Venus, Satellit usw. - angespielt. Es ist ein Versuch, dem Hörer eine Atmosphäre zu schaffen, die ihn in eine zeitlosere Dimension führt. Die kurzen Texte basieren auf einigen der kleinen Aphorismen meines guten Freundes Rolv Møll Nilsen. Stilistisch sind die beiden Konzerte nicht sehr unterschiedlich, auch wenn der musikalische Ausdruck sehr unterschiedlich ist. Zum Beispiel ist die Art und Weise, wie ich die Harmonie konstruiere, dieselbe. Das ist in vielerlei Hinsicht "altmodische" Musik. Die zeitgenössische Musik scheint weitgehend von abstrakten und intellektuellen Szenarien inspiriert zu sein, während meine Inspiration immer emotional ist. Meine Motivation ist Kommunikation und ich strebe immer danach, auf einer Ebene zu kommunizieren, die allgemein erkennbar ist.‘‘ Frank Nordenstern


DAN RENÉ DAHL (b. 1967) started learning organ music from the age of 15. He studied under the supervision of Søren Gangfløt in the period 1982–89 and continued his education majoring in Church Music at the Norwegian Academy of Music from 1989 to 1993. His organ teachers were Bjørn Boysen, Halgeir Schiager, Kåre Nordstoga and Terje Winge. He graduated in 1995 where-after he took a semester in Paris with organists Michel Chapuis and Olivier Latry.

Since June 1996, Dahl has been employed as principal organist at Fredrikstad Cathedral. He has performed numerous concerts as an organist both in Norway and abroad, including the Berlin Cathedral and St. Hedwig’s Cathedral in Berlin, and in St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

He has performed on CD recordings with the Oslo Philharmonic Chamber Choir (Hovland motets, 1994), Oslo Cathedral Boys’ Choir (2005), the Vocalis Women’s Choir (2007) and the Borg Vocal Ensemble (2009). He has premiered several works by Frank Nordensten, among others Concerto No. 2, which was dedicated to Dahl, as well as Concerto No. 3.

On the piano he has been most active as an accompanist, including Chorus Master in the Oslo Philharmonic, the Norwegian Opera, and for Opera Østfold, though he has also performed as a soloist in Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. He has also served as a pianist in Big Band settings. He has contributed as a pianist on the CDs Rubato (2003) and Con Amore (2008) both with violinist Per Viggo Nilsen and Den fyrste song (2010) with the Cathedral Children and Youth Choir (currently the Cathedral Girls’ Choir).

Between 1996 and 2007 he was organist at Torsnes Church and worked with both the children's choir and youth choir there. The latter would later develop into the all female choir Senza Rigore in 2007, a vocal ensemble Dahl is still working with.

THE NORWEGIAN WIND ENSEMBLE is regarded as an orchestra for the whole of the Østfold region in south-eastern Norway, and holds a unique place in the cultural milieu of the area. It is the only civil ensemble of its kind in Norway – comprised of 24 of the country's foremost professional musicians. The ensemble's high level of quality and creativity attracts guest conductors and soloists from all over the world. The ensemble is based in Halden, and with a history dating back to 1734, is the oldest continuously operating orchestra in Norway.

Over the course of many years, The Norwegian Wind Ensemble has evolved from being a military band to becoming a genre-crossing orchestra that delivers the highest quality in all styles, though with a particular focus on being innovative in the areas of Early Music and Real-time music.

As the oldest orchestra in Norway, The Norwegian Wind Ensemble chooses to immerse itself in historical performance practices, focusing on the time period from the Renaissance to Viennese Classicalism. The combination of authentic and modern instruments gives the ensemble a unique sonic profile which adds a freshness to well-known works from this period.

The Norwegian Wind Ensemble has in recent years paved the way, both domestically and internationally, for a new musical expression with improvisation as a core element – always using classical music as the framework. Real-time music is music created live in the moment, here and now, and which can never be repeated. Their commitment to this outlook has led to the ensemble's great success on the German concert scene.

In addition to these two main focus areas, the ensemble performs several concerts with a range of different styles every year – everything from opera to family concerts and other types of light productions. The Norwegian Wind Ensemble is also the main orchestra for Opera Østfold's performances at the Fredriksten Fortress in Halden, and they also go on tour for Den kulturelle skolesekken, a national professional arts and culture initiative for school children.

The ensemble regularly records albums that document their artistic platform, especially within their main areas of creative focus. These include Messiah – with the BBC singers (2016), The Mission (2014), The Brass From Utopia – A Frank Zappa Tribute (2013) and several Oscar Borg productions.



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