Atle Sponberg

Tango 4 Strings

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: Lawo Classics
UPC: 7090020182520
Catnr: LWC 1230
Release date: 07 January 2022
1 CD
✓ in stock
€ 19.95
Lawo Classics
Catalogue number
LWC 1230
Release date
07 January 2022

About the album

“Tango: a dance from the heart. Tango is a man and a woman in the search for each other, in the search for an embrace, a way of being together."

"The tango comes from inland areas and the coast, from seaman’s shanties. It comes from the African slaves and the Andalucian Gypsies. It has incorporated the guitar from Spain, the accordion from Germany, and the mandolin and the aria from Italy.”

Tango has always been performed with a variety of ensembles throughout its history, and I have thus in the course of the years commissioned arrangements for strings only — either solo violin and string section, or for chamber orchestra. There have been quite a few tangos through the years, so I thought it might be time to record them in order to preserve the soul and rhythm of the tango for string ensembles only. The tango can be intense, sentimental, sensual and passionate, as well as aggressive, rough and aching: both complex and simple at the same time.

- Atle Sponberg

When you are writing arrangements of the tango and other Latin American music for classical string orchestras, there are some special challenges. Most of these involve how one can incorporate all the musical elements that are not included as part of the notation. Things that the musicians just know because they know the style, but that are not written down, and are often very difficult to notate. In the tango one often talks about playing ‘con mugre’ (with ‘dirt under your nails’), which is a way of describing all the small nuances in the playing that must be there if it is going to feel right, but that are not necessarily ‘correct’ on the instrument. This often involves untraditional ways of creating added sounds and effects while you are playing, or the way you use accents, staccato, glissando and crescendo, at a subtle and detailed level that is often difficult to distinguish from a particular musician’s personal style. How much of this can be marked in the music notation? I am constantly experimenting to find a good balance that does not include so much information that it becomes impossible to read/play, but enough to give it a reasonably authentic character.

- Sverre Indris Joner, Arranger, pianist and composer


Atle Sponberg has earned a reputation as a multifaceted musician. He is active as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestra leader, has toured throughout Norway, and has played at festivals all over Europe, in the USA and in Australia.

Sponberg has performed as a soloist with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, the Norwegian Wind Ensemble, the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, the Trondheim Soloists, the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra, the Tromsø Chamber Orchestra, the Pori Sinfonietta in Finland, Nordbotten Chamber Orchestra, the Northern BBC Orchestra and the Ulster Symphony Orchestra. He has collaborated with conductors including Rolf Gupta, Ari Rasilainen, Walter Weller, Andrew Manze, Øyvind Gimse, Terje Tønnesen and Bryden Thompson.

As a chamber musician he has appeared at festivals in England, Ireland, Finland, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Australia and Norway. Sponberg has played with musicians including Adrian Brendel, Prya Mitchell, Christian Poltera, Kathryn Stott, Nicholas Dautricourt, Jan-Erik Gustafsson, Alexander Sitkovetsky, Piers Lane, Henning Kraggerud, Arvid Engegård, Juliet Jopling, Håvard Gimse, Øyvind Gimse, Øystein Birkeland, Knut Erik Sundquist and the Vertavo String Quartet.

Among Sponberg’s many recordings are the critically acclaimed Quietude with the Gjøvik Sinfonietta, Tango for 3, several CDs with the Engegård Quartet and releases featuring new music by Antonio Bibalo, Randall Meyers, Ståle Kleiberg and Nikolai Apollyon, among others. He also has many years of experience in the areas of early music and Argentinian tango.

Sponberg is a permanent member of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra and is the artistic director of Orkester Innlandet. He plays tango in a number of ensembles with bandoneonists Marcelo Nisinman, Åsbjørg Ryeng, Andreas Rokseth and Per Arne Glorvigen, among others.

Atle Sponberg plays on a violin made in 1752 by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini in Milan, on loan from the Savings Bank Foundation DNB.

Soprano Ann-Helen Moen is an extremely versatile singer who is known for her musical interpretations of a broad repertoire ranging from the early baroque to the great romantic composers and contemporary music. She performs both in concerts and in operas.

Together with Liv Glaser on fortepiano she has recorded Mozart’s Lieder for SIMAX Classics. She performs regularly with all the Norwegian and Danish orchestras, and collaborates with the Engegård Quartet and pianists such as Christian Ihle Hadland, Håvard Gimse, Liv Glaser and Ingrid Andsnes. Conductors she has sung with include Ed Gardner, Masaaki Suzuki, Rinaldo Alessandrini, William Christie, Harry Christophers, Sir Andrew Davis, Paul McCreesh, Eivind Gullberg Jensen, Philippe Jordan, Kristjan Järvi, Andrew Litton, Susanna Mälkki and Juanjo Mena.

Moen studied with Susanna Eken at the Opera Academy in Copenhagen. Upon completing her studies she was engaged as a soloist at the Graz Opera in Austria for three years.

Orkester Innlandet is a professional ensemble that, since its establishment in 1990 as the Gjøvik Sinfonietta, has offered audiences a wide variety of outstanding concert experiences. Violinist and municipal conductor Rolf Bækkelund founded the ensemble. Since 2000, Orkester Innlandet’s artistic director has been Gjøvik’s internationally respected violinist Atle Sponberg, a former student of the Gjøvik School of the Arts. In addition to concerts featuring classical music, the orchestra focuses on genre-transcending productions, resulting in several critically acclaimed CDs and concert productions.


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