NyNorsk Messingkvintett


Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: Lawo Classics
UPC: 7090020182438
Catnr: LWC 1221
Release date: 06 August 2021
1 CD
✓ in stock
€ 19.95
Lawo Classics
Catalogue number
LWC 1221
Release date
06 August 2021

About the album

In our time, the poet Keats’ famous adage “beauty is truth, truth beauty” might sound like a lost dream, but Nils Henrik Asheim’s collection Hornflowers, reimagines this relationship and brings hope to contemporary ears. Asheim is not a beauty-worshipping esthetician in the same way as Keats, but he examines the idea of beauty through poetic compositions.

Today, beauty and truth appear almost as opposites — truths are disputed and dismantled, while reality can come across as anything but beautiful. The works on this release, performed by the NyNorsk Brass Quintet, are also full of contradictions. Collected fragments, sounds, patterns, words, and dichotomies are utilized as building blocks, freed from their original context and strung together in surprising and powerful constellations. Asheim has also given several of the pieces oxymoronic titles, like Burning Ice, Singing Stones, and Scream Soft, and by this invites the listener to reflect upon differences of opinion and improbable compilations. The brass instruments occupy and explore spaces we do not normally hear them occupy — undressed and playful — and their obvious natural place and inclusion in these constructions is both astonishing and liberating. It is precisely in the surprises, in the contrasts, in the distance between the building blocks and the grout that holds them together, that the uniqueness and tactility of this music is revealed. In this way, Asheim creates his own musical lyricism where beauty and truth are exposed through contradictions and improbabilities.


Throughout a versatile career, Nils Henrik Asheim (b. 1960) has combined his compositional craft with work as an organist and performer, curator, and artistic and creative leader in organizations and projects for new music.

Both as a composer and performer, Asheim has frequently collaborated with performers in jazz, classical, noise music, electronics, and church music. His candor and open-mindedness characterize both his groundbreaking productions and his relationships with various art environments. Through his role as organist and performer, he represents the liberating combination of solid virtuosity and carefree playfulness.

As the works on this release demonstrate, Asheim likes to experiment with harmonic components and sonic tactility. It may come naturally to an organist — Asheim’s compositions are characterized by a sensitivity for the sound space, both with instruments and in concert halls, harmonics, and the rich sound spectrum that varies depending on proximity and distance.

Asheim has four previous releases on the LAWO Classics label: Mazurka – Remaking Chopin (LWC1016), Mazurka – Researching Chopin (LWC1049), Edvard Grieg: Ballade / Geirr Tveitt: Hundrad hardingtonar (LWC1151) and Degrees of White (LWC1206).

Asheim is a graduate of the Norwegian Academy of Music and the Sweelinck Academy at the Amsterdam Conservatory. He has won several prestigious music and culture prizes for his artistic efforts, such as the Nordic Council Music Award, a Norwegian Grammy Award (Spellemannprisen), the Norwegian Society of Composers “Work of the Year,” the Lindeman Prize, the Edvard Prize, the Arne Nordheim Composer Prize, and 2nd prize at UNESCO’s Rostrum Competition in Paris. He has been awarded both Stavanger municipality’s and Stavanger Aftenblad’s culture prize, and in 2018 he was appointed Knight of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav.

Erlend Aagaard-Nilsen—trumpet
Jørgen Arnesen—trumpet
Daniel Weiseth Kjellesvik—horn
Ingebjørg Bruket—trombone
Berger Iver Færder—tuba

NyNorsk Brass Quintet focuses on new, Norwegian music and genre-crossing projects, and since its debut in 2016 has premiered as many as 26 works by composers such as Therese Birkelund Ulvo, Nils Henrik Asheim, and Marcus Paus. The ensemble has also given Norwegian premieres of works by James Tenney and Gerard Grisey. They have created a repertoire with a varied and distinctive soundscape through collaborations with artists such as Tora Augestad, organist Anders Eidsten Dahl, bandoneonist Per Arne Glorvigen, actor Ivar Nergaard, and countertenor Sean Bell. NyNorsk Brass Quintet has appeared at festivals such as Only Connect Festival of Sound, BrassWind, Bergen Kirkeautunnale, and the Egil Hovland Festival, and in the autumn of 2019 toured Helsinki and Tallinn. They have developed several of their own concert productions that lie at the intersection between contemporary music, literature, and performing arts, and where Ole Paus and Kjartan Fløgstad, among others, have contributed new texts.



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