Kvindelige Studenters Sangforening

Stille Som Sne | Quiet as snow

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: Lawo Classics
UPC: 7090020182315
Catnr: LWC 1209
Release date: 04 December 2020
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Label
Lawo Classics
UPC
7090020182315
Catalogue number
LWC 1209
Release date
04 December 2020
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
EN

About the album

SILENT AS SNOW
Snow is pure and peaceful. It clears the air, softens surroundings, and “silences softly the voices that speak too loudly”.

The Christmas story has become a universal story in our time. It speaks of peace and reconciliation, love, hope and generosity, ideals we all can and ought to strive for, especially in a time when our part of the world is more turbulent and unpredictable than it has been for a long time. Differences are accentuated, and it can be difficult to hear what is being said for the din of voices of those who believe they are right.

But the Christmas carols speak of a light that is lit, offering hope to the world. They speak
of something larger in our midst permeating our day-to-day lives and helping us see the special in the ordinary. The wish for peace and the call to look out for each other resonates more perceptibly at Christmas and must not be forgotten when the holiday is over. It is our hope that our album Stille som sne can help us to remember these very things and continue to proclaim the message of peace on Earth in the title of the first KSS Christmas release, Arme jord ha jolefred.

This year (2020) the Women’s Choral Society of the University of Oslo (Kvindelige Studenters Sangforening — KSS) is celebrating the 125th anniversary of its founding. The choir has always been committed to contributing to a diverse range of music for and by women — out of pure necessity in the beginning, as at the end of the nineteenth century the repertoire for female choir was scant indeed. Choir singing was the domain of men. Over the years, however, the role of women has changed in this realm of music, as well as in the world at large, and the time has long passed that KSS has had to turn to the male repertoire to fill out its concert programme.

As a tribute to this progress, and as a further contribution to the stock of the Norwegian female choir repertoire, this album Stille som sne consists almost entirely of music arranged for KSS in recent years. Its span is broad in terms of the age and origin of the songs, but the focus on Norwegian texts is what they all have in common.

Artist(s)

KVINDELIGE STUDENTERS SANGFORENING – KSS
The Women’s Choral Society of the University of Oslo (Kvindelige Studenters Sangforening — KSS) was founded in 1895 and is the official female choir of the University of Oslo. As the world’s oldest academic choir for women, we can look back on 125 years and the creation of traditions that are still alive today. The choir has played an important role for the university and for the feminist movement, while at the same time securing its place in music history through its musical accomplishments and premiere perfor­mances of works for female choir.

KSS is an organisation with lofty ambitions and a high level of achievement. In 2006 the choir was awarded First Prize for female choirs at the Mu­sica Mundi International Competition in Riva del Garda, Italy. In 2015 and 2019 the choir partici­pated in the European Choir Games and Grand Prix of Nations in Magdeburg and Gothenburg, respectively, and emerged victorious both times in the category “Folklore” and in “Open Com­petition”. These accomplishments have led to KSS’s ranking since 2015 as the world’s best female choir by the music organisation Inter­kultur, in addition to a first place in “Folklore” and a twelfth place independent of class (as of 2020). During the Tolosa Choral Contest in Basque Country, Spain, in 2017, KSS achieved a second place in the category “Folklore”, and in the spring of 2019 the choir won a third place in the prestigious Fleischmann International Trophy Competition in Cork, Ireland.

Stille som sne is the choir’s fifth release on the LAWO Classics label, all under the direction of conductor Marit Tøndel Bodsberg Wey­de. The Christmas album Arme jord ha jolefred (LWC1009) came first in 2009, and the associ­ated music video Folkefrelsar won a second place in the European Choral Video Awards in 2012. Brahms (LWC1054), a selection of Johannes Brahms’s compositions for female choir, was re­leased in 2013, followed by Kom regn (LWC1134), a collection of Norwegian contemporary music, in 2017, and, one year later, Som den gylne sol frem­bryter (LWC1144), featuring Norwegian National Romantic music and traditional folk music.


MARIT TØNDEL BODSBERG WEYDE – CONDUCTOR
Marit Tøndel Bodsberg Weyde (born 1981) comes from Byneset in Sør-Trøndelag and has been the conductor of KSS since 2008. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from the University of Agder/ Music Conservatory of Kristiansand, with major areas of study in composition, singing and flute. In 2005 she was the only student accepted to study for a Master’s degree in conducting at the Norwegian Academy of Music. At the choir’s 120th anniversary cel­ebration, she was appointed Commander of KSS’s order Bene de Cantu Meritae.

She has worked with a number of Norway’s leading choirs and ensembles. In addition to KSS, she is conductor and artistic director of the professional vocal ensemble Kilden Vokalensemble in Kristiansand, Vestoppland Cham­ber Choir and the Norwegian Student Choral Society. She teaches conducting at the Nor­wegian Academy of Music and is in charge of master’s-level courses in ensemble singing at the University of Agder. She has served as jury member at competitions in Norway and abroad, and she offers seminars, workshops and master classes on a regular basis for both conductors and singers.

Bodsberg Weyde has contributed to a long list of recordings as singer, conductor and flau­tist, and she has won numerous national and international competitions. In the autumn of 2012, she received the Conductor Prize for KSS’s performance at Norway’s national cho­ral competition, and in 2015 and 2019 she led KSS to victory in two classifications during the European Choir Games and Grand Prix of Nations. In addition, all the choir’s releas­es with Bodsberg Weyde as conductor have received glowing reviews. She was awarded the Conductor Prize in the autumn of 2015 while competing with the Vestoppland Cham­ber Choir at the Canta al Mar Barcelona competition, and in 2017 she won two first places and a Conductor Prize while conduct­ing the Norwegian Student Choral Society at the Sixth International Anton Bruckner Choir Competition.


INGER-LISE ULSRUD – ORGANIST
Inger-Lise Ulsrud is Professor of Organ and Organ Improvisation at the Norwegian Acad­emy of Music, and organist at Uranienborg Church in Oslo. In addition to her extensive concert engagements in Russia and through­out Europe, she offers regular master classes in Norway and abroad. She has contributed to a number of recordings, and her solo album releases include Meditatio, two organ cycles of Kjell Mørk Karlsen, and Olivier Messiaen: Early Organ Works. She has collaborated with KSS on a number of occasions, including at the choir’s annual Christmas concerts, and on the Brahms release in 2013.

Ulsrud was a member of the Chorale Book Committee in connection with the publication of the Norwegian Hymnal in 2013. She has been a board member of the Oslo International Church Music Festival, a jury member at the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, for the Oslo Organ Festival, and at other international organ competitions. For a number of years she has been head of the Department of Church Music at the Norwegian Academy of Music. Her instruction book on organ improvisation, En improvisators betroelser, was published by Cantando Musikkforlag in the autumn of 2018.

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