Tora Augestad

Portraying Passion

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: Lawo Classics
UPC: 7090020181868
Catnr: LWC 1164
Release date: 16 November 2018
1 CD
✓ in stock
€ 19.95
Lawo Classics
Catalogue number
LWC 1164
Release date
16 November 2018

About the album

When Tora Augestad releases a musical portrait together with the Oslo Philharmonic, there’s nothing less than Kurt Weill, Marcus Paus, and Charles Ives on the menu. Augestad's repertoire for “Portraying Passion” takes the musical qualities of modernist, individualistic composers and places them squarely within the context of the 21st century.

Paus’ contemporary composition enhances Ives’ visionary dissonance as well as the contrasting melodic shifts of Weill’s orchestrations, yet brings something entirely new to the table, with its startling text and cabaretesque presentation. Parker and Brecht could just as well walk arm in arm down the conceptual pathway of understated satire, counterbalanced by the ethereal, transcendental text of Ives’ songs, forming a complementary whole. Add Augestad’s unique approach to these works into the equation, and the listener is served with a program certain to make them re-examine any former assumptions, and delight at the outcome. And therein lies the timeless dimension of this mezzo-soprano’s considerable artistry.

Norwegian mezzo-soprano Tora Augestad is an artist equally at home in concert halls, theater and cabaret stages, and contemporary music arenas. Through commissioning new works and through collaboration with her various ensembles, she continuously seeks new challenges and the exchange of artistic ideas. Theatrically convincing with a compelling personality, her vocal capabilities defy easy classification. She has received the Lotte Lenya prize, and has collaborated with Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Wien, and Christoph Marthaler, among others.

Additional contributors to this CD: Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, conductors Joshua Weilerstein and Christian Eggen, and soloists Magnus Staveland, Torbjørn Gulbrandsøy, Halvor F. Melien and Olle Holmgren.
Das Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra porträtiert die Mezzosopranistin Tora Augestad in einer Zusammenstellung mit Musik von Kurt Weill, Marcus Paus und Charles Ives. Augestads Repertoireauswahl für PORTRAYING PASSION nimmt die musikalischen Qualitäten modernistischer, individualistischer Komponisten auf und stellt sie in den Kontext des 21. Jahrhunderts.
Paus' zeitgenössische Komposition verstärkt die visionäre Dissonanz von Ives sowie die kontrastierenden melodischen Verschiebungen von Weills Orchestrierungen, bringt aber vor allem in ihrer verblüffenden Text- und Kabarettperformance etwas ganz Neues in die Gleichung. Parker und Brecht könnten genauso gut den konzeptuellen Weg der zurückhaltenden Satire einschlagen, der durch den ätherischen, transzendentalen Text von Ives' Liedern zu einem ergänzenden Ganzen ausgeglichen wird. Wenn man Augestads einzigartigen Ansatz für diese Werke in die Gleichung einbezieht, erhält der Zuhörer ein Programm, das ihn dazu bringt, alle früheren Annahmen erneut zu überprüfen und sich über das Ergebnis zu freuen. Und darin liegt die zeitlose Dimension der großen Kunstfertigkeit dieser Mezzosopranistin.
Die norwegische Mezzosopranistin Tora Augestad ist eine Künstlerin, die in Konzertsälen, Theater- und Kabarettbühnen oder bei Festivals für zeitgenössische Musik gleichermaßen zu Hause ist. Durch die Vergabe neuer Werke und die Zusammenarbeit mit ihren verschiedenen Ensembles sucht sie ständig nach neuen Herausforderungen und dem Austausch künstlerischer Ideen. Sie weiß, wie man theatralisch überzeugend ist und weiß, wie man ihre stimmlichen Fähigkeiten, die sich einer einfachen Klassifizierung entziehen, angemessen und überzeugend einsetzt. Sie hat den Lotte Lenya-Preis erhalten, zu ihren Mitarbeitern gehören das Ensemble Modern, das Klangforum Wien und Christoph Marthaler.
Andere Mitwirkende: das Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra unter der Leitung von Joshua Weilerstein und Christian Eggen, sowie die Solisten Magnus Staveland, Olle Holmgren, Halvor F. Melien und Torbjørn Gulbrandsøy.


Tora Augestad’s versatility inspires composers, theatre directors, conductors, and fellow musicians alike. Her vocal capabilities defy easy classification: she is flexible, expressive yet precise, theatrically convincing with a compelling personality. Augestad (b. 1979) sings a broad variety of genres, primarily devoting herself to repertoire of the 20th and 21st centuries. She regularly commissions new works, amongst them a feministic chamber opera by Cecilie Ore that premiered at the Bergen International Festival in 2015. Since 2010 she has collaborated with the Swiss director Christoph Marthaler, spanning opera projects with music by Handel, Verdi, and Beat Furrer, to the playful combination of classical, jazz, cabaret, and pop music in Marthaler's own projects.

Born in Bergen, Norway, she studied classical music and jazz singing in Oslo and Stockholm before graduating with a master’s degree in cabaret singing from the Norwegian Academy of Music. A fascination with German cabaret led her to Berlin where she has resided since 2007. In 2004 she founded the ensemble Music for a While with exquisite performers from the Norwegian music scene. Her ensemble, BOA explores the landscape between avant-garde and pop music. In 2015 she was nominated for the Nordic Council Music Prize. In addition, she works closely with the composer and saxophonist Trygve Seim. Since 2014, Tora Augestad is joint artistic director of the Hardanger Musikkfest.

Augestad regularly performs with orchestras such as the Bergen Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Bamberg and NDR Symphony Orchestras, Ensemble Modern, and Klangforum Wien. In 2019 she will make her debut at both the Philharmonie de Paris and Elbphilharmonie Hamburg with a world premiere by Philippe Manoury.

Joshua Weilerstein (b. 1987) is the Artistic Director of the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne. Recognized for his integrity, clarity of musical expression, and profound, natural musicianship, he is committed to performing a wide range of repertoire and aims to bring new audiences into the concert hall.

He maintains a number of close relationships with leading international orchestras, including the Oslo Philharmonic, where he returns each season, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Stockholm Philharmonic, and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra.

Weilerstein has also lead the London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Netherlands Philharmonic, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, NDR Hannover, SWR Stuttgart, Bamberg Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Czech Philharmonic, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, West Australian Symphony, and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. In North America, he has appeared with the Vancouver Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic, where he was Assistant and Associate Conductor.

In 2017, Weilerstein made his debut at the BBC Proms at London’s Royal Albert Hall where he conducted the BBC Symphony Orchestra with his sister, Alisa Weilerstein as soloist.

Joshua Weilerstein believes passionately in programming traditional and contemporary repertoire side by side and aims to include a work by a living composer in each of his concert programs. He is a strong advocate for open communication between the stage and audience. In 2017 he launched Sticky Notes: The Classical Music Podcast, a podcast for music lovers of any level of expertise. He is accessible on social media for further discussion on all aspects of classical music and the experience of concert-going.

Conductor, composer, and pianist Christian Eggen (b. 1957) is one of the most influential figures on the Norwegian music scene. His field of expertise ranges from contemporary music via genre-merging projects, installations, television and radio drama productions to film, theatre, jazz, opera, and classical music.

As a conductor, he is known as one of Europe’s finest interpreters of contemporary music and has worked closely with composers such as Morton Feldman, John Cage, and Helmut Lachenmann. As a conductor of the Ny Musikk Ensemble, The Norwegian Radio Orchestra, and later as permanent conductor and artistic director of Cikada and Oslo Sinfonietta, he has developed Norwegian sinfonietta repertoire since the early eighties and regularly appears on the European contemporary music scene with groups such as the Ensemble MusikFabrik and Ensemble InterContemporain. He has worked with many orchestras including the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala in Milan, and the Royal Philharmonic in London.

He has written music for a vast range of formations and settings. His first opera, Franz Kafka Pictures, received its complete world premiere at the Norwegian National Opera in the autumn of 2013. Sections of the opera have been performed since 2009. As a pianist, Eggen is internationally renowned for his interpretations of Mozart and Carl Nielsen, the latter presented on the recording Carl Nielsen: Piano Music on the Victoria label.

Christian Eggen has collaborated on a multitude of recordings within all aspects of his faceted musical career. He was the Festival Artist of the Year at the Bergen International Festival in 2007 and was appointed Commander of The Royal Norwegian Order of Saint Olav for his contribution to contemporary music in Norway and abroad.

On 27 September 1919, a new orchestra took to the stage of the old Logan Hall in Oslo to give its first public concert. Conductor Georg Schnéevoigt presided over thrilling performances of Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto and Christian Sinding’s First Symphony. After forty years of making-do, the Norwegian capital had at last got the orchestra it deserved. The Oslo Philharmonic was born.

In the eight months that followed, the Oslo Philharmonic gave 135 concerts, most of which sold out. It tackled passionate Mahler, glistening Debussy and thrusting Nielsen. Soon, world famous musicians were coming to conduct it, relishing its youth and enthusiasm. Igor Stravinsky and Maurice Ravel visited Oslo to coach the musicians through brand new music. National broadcaster NRK began to hang microphones at the orchestra’s concerts, transmitting them to the whole of Norway.

Over the next half-century, the Oslo Philharmonic’s reputation grew steadily. Then, in 1979, it changed forever. A young Latvian arrived in Norway, taking the orchestra apart section-by-section, putting it back together a finely tuned machine with a whole new attitude. Under Mariss Jansons, the orchestra became a rival to the great Philharmonics of Vienna, Berlin and New York. It was soon playing everywhere, from Seattle to Salzburg, Lisbon to London. Back home in Oslo, it got a modern, permanent concert hall of its own. In 1986, EMI drew up the largest orchestral contract in its history, ensuring the world would hear the rich, visceral sound of the Oslo Philharmonic.

Three decades after that, the world is still listening. The Oslo Philharmonic retains its spirit of discovery and its reputation for finesse. Under Jukka-Pekka Saraste it cultivated even more the weight and depth that Jansons had instilled; under Chief Conductor Vasily Petrenko, it works at the highest levels of detail and style. Still the orchestra travels the globe, but it has never felt more at home. Its subscription season in Oslo features the best musicians in the business. Outdoor concerts attract tens of thousands; education and outreach programmes connect the orchestra with many hundreds more. In 2019/2020 the thriving city of Oslo will celebrate 100 years of the Oslo Philharmonic, the first-class orchestra it still deserves.


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