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(Elena Maria Șorban, muzicolog – 21 octombrie 2015)

afișMUSICA BOREALIS …is the name of a Norwegian – Romanian music project. A masterclass and a conference held by the composer Lasse Thoresen, as well as a concert programme consisting of the music of Norwegian contemporary composers, these are the results of the project founded by EEA Grants.

Seven musical works were presented, which I will place under the sign of the boreal light, seen as a spectrum. Even more so, for the reason that spectralism as a musical technique was also used by this evening’s authors – all of them played for the first time in the city of Cluj.

The performers were the flute – piano duo Interplay from Norway: Maiken Mathiesen Schau and Trond Schau, as well as members of the AdHOC Ensemble, from the Music Academy of Cluj, conducted by Matei Pop. Each piece was introduced by suggestive psychological and musical comments by the leading Romanian composer Adrian Pop.

Red: Inventiones (2007) for violin and piano, by Ketil Hvoslef (b. 1939). Not a neo-baroque triptych, but still a meta-music. As motto of the first Invention, I identify a circus-tune, of the second, an onomatopoeia (a grig-like one), of the last heard – a Mozart theme (from the beginning of Symphony in g-minor, K 550), cognoscible by everyone. Very gumptious treatments – deserving the title of the works as Inventions. I mostly liked the heterogenic structure in the final piece (the dreaming violin and the playful piano), that if I composed, I could use it as a principle of expressive heterogeneity. Red has also heterogenic significances, meaning both love and death. A choral-like ending sounds edifying. The violinist Dorina Mangra and the pianist Eva Butean were at their best: very well coordinated and very expressive.

Orange: Microludes (1999) by Olav Berg (b. 1949). The flute and the percussion (mostly tom-toms and vibraphone) mix the ambiguity of metal and wood like a luminous infusion of yellow into red – adding the colours of cymbals and wood-blocks. Great musical wisdom dissimulated into well-expressed sincerity. A mixture between the Norwegian flute player Maiken Mathiesen Schau and the very young and skillful Romanian percussionist Dorin Pop served the qualities of this charming work.

Yellow for Lasse Thoresen (b. 1949). Stages of the Inner Dialogue (for solo piano; 1980) – an introspection in the mirror of modalism, from diatonic until to clusters, from lyricism to virtuosity, crossing the darkness and reaching an endless luminosity. An introspection led by the pianist Trond Schau as an alter ego of the composer. Sea of the Names (2012-2015) – a memorial work for flute and piano, occasioned by the death of Lasse Thoresen’s mother – callings answered by strange echoes, an infinity of timbral nuances. The expressive power of authenticity embodied by the spectral sound language. A very interesting stylistic mixture: the flute resembling an ancient Greek elegiac aulody, while the piano overflowing romantically – performed by duo Interplay: Maiken Mathiesen Schau and Trond Schau – appears like a cathartic rain of delight and light.
Green about Bjørn Howard Kruse (b. 1946), saw while listening to his Syntax for clarinet and percussion (1987; performers: Aurelian Băcan, Emil Simion, Dorin Pop from AdHOC Ensemble). The “syntax” reveals a kaleidoscopic perpetuum mobile, where each performer becomes one with his instrument(s). A quasi improvisatorial freedom – matching my suggestion of green. (And also a coincidence: Kruse has an opera called The Green Knight…).

Arne Nordheim (1931-2010): his work Solitaire for electronic medium (1968) matches the blue. It consists of a sequence of homogenous and graded sonorous events. This evening, the computer was handled by Ciprian Pop.

The mystery of indigo is explored, in my listening interpretation, by Åse Hedstrøm (b. 1950), in the string quartet Sorti (“Fates”; 1989). It seems to be a study for new sound landscapes – in which cries, meows, rustlings end in silence. All these processes were carefully recreated by Melinda Béres, Csongor Dénes (violins), Ovidiu Costea (viola), Ovidiu Marc (cello).

Violet is, optically, the way to a new cycle beginning with red. Jostein Stalheim (b. 1960), in his piece Glimpses of a Daylight (1989) declares to intend a sound depiction of the reflexes perceived by a baby. The ensemble conducted by Matei Pop, bringing together duo Interplay and AdHOC members, had a notable imaginary challenge in this topic (which it would have been more delicate if played on its dynamic scale). Nevertheless – a considerable artistic achievement.

afiș The concert Musica borealis – integrated in the longest running festival “Musical Autumn from Cluj” – had a numerous audience, consisting mainly of students and teachers of the Music Academy “G. Dima” and of the Norwegian language Department of the “Babeș – Bolyai” University. The program, overall, was complex and relevant. It is to hope that the mutual knowledge of contemporary music from Norway and Romania will be continued!


Copyright: cIMeC 2015