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Wind Band Classics - Tveitt: Sinfonietta Di Soffiatori / Royal Norwegian Navy Band


Release Date: 12/16/2008 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8572095   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Geirr Tveitt
Conductor:  Bjarte Engeset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Norwegian Navy Band
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



TVEITT Sinfonia di soffiatori. Prince Christian Frederik’s Honor March. The Old Mill on the Brook. Hymn of Freedom. Sinfonietta di soffiatori. 100 Folk-Tunes from Hardanger: Suites No. 2, 4, 5 (arr. Nordhagen) Bjarte Engeset, cond; Royal Norwegian Navy Band NAXOS 8.572095 (65:14)


Thanks to ongoing series from BIS and Naxos, Geirr Tveitt (1908–1991) has emerged from the shadow of Edvard Grieg as one of Norway’s finest composers. A virtuoso pianist, Read more he honed both performance and compositional skills at the prestigious Leipzig Conservatory, but blossomed as a composer when studying in Paris with Honegger, Villa-Lobos, and Nadia Boulanger. Intensely big-hearted and emotional, his music is brooding and nostalgic and often enlivened by references to the scenery, people, and folklore of Western Norway. Tveitt absorbed many influences during extensive travels in Europe, especially the French Impressionists, Stravinsky, and Bartók, but unlike near-contemporary Fartein Valen, his style remained firmly rooted in native folk music, especially the distinctive music of his own Hardanger district.


This single disc presents all of Tveitt’s surviving scores for wind ensemble. The Sinfonia de soffiatori is a late masterpiece. Structurally simple, but tonally and psychologically complex, a characteristic conflict between pervasive gloom and wistful aspiration that animates many of his later work is presented definitively here. The central “Alla marcia” is still tinged with the folk-inspired grotesquery of Peer Gynt , but the work ends enigmatically with glowering brass, bells, and harp glissandos creating an arresting tonal and spiritual ambiguity. Tveitt called this his third symphony, which offers the hope that there are more among the damaged scores that await restoration efforts after the disastrous fire that destroyed his home and most of his life’s work in 1970. The Sinfonia was, sadly, one of only a few works that he wrote after that cataclysm.


The Prince Christian Frederik’s Honor March was written earlier in 1970. It celebrates one of Norway’s heroes of freedom, who served as elected king of a democratic Norway for five months in 1814, until obliged by force of arms to abdicate in favor of union with Sweden. The march is simple and forthright, with subtle undercurrents, as befits this visionary. The remaining works composed for wind ensemble were all written for a Norwegian Band Federation competition in 1962. Tveitt took first, second, and third prizes for, respectively, the Sinfonietta di soffiatori, The Old Mill on the Brook , and the Hymn of Freedom . The Hymn of Freedom is celebratory, but musically slight. The painfully nostalgic Old Mill and the moody Sinfonietta are powerful but melancholy works, reflecting again the aging Tveitt’s pessimism and sense of loss. It is good, therefore, that Naxos includes transcriptions of a selection of Tveitt’s earlier, exuberant 100 Folk-Tunes from Hardanger . Not only did Tveitt obviously find great joy in the modal folk melodies, but here—as in the orchestral originals—one can discover some of his most original composition. The nine miniatures, grouped in three suites, celebrate good ale, wooing a bride, downhill skiing, and the trolls of Norwegian folklore. Full of orchestral novelty and infectious rhythms, these are irresistible.


The Old Mill and the Sinfonietta are the only works here that are currently available in a competing version, on Chandos 10038. Fine as the Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra’s versions are, Bjarte Engeset and his Norwegian musicians are the more idiomatic advocates. The Chandos Old Mill is disqualified, in any case, by editing which unnecessarily lightens the gloom of the original orchestration. Norwegian conductor Engeset has been a guiding force behind the uniformly excellent Naxos Tveitt edition and leads all of the orchestral releases. This is not, perhaps, the most likely starting point for exploration of this fascinating composer’s work—I’d choose his glorious Fourth Piano Concerto (Naxos 8. 555761, Fanfare 26:6) for that—but this CD comes highly recommended nonetheless.


FANFARE: Ronald E. Grames
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Works on This Recording

1. The Old Mill on the Brook, Op. 204 by Geirr Tveitt
Conductor:  Bjarte Engeset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Norwegian Navy Band
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1962; Norway 
2. Hymn of Freedom by Geirr Tveitt
Conductor:  Bjarte Engeset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Norwegian Navy Band
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1962; Norway 
3. Sinfonietta di soffiatori, Op. 203 by Geirr Tveitt
Conductor:  Bjarte Engeset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Norwegian Navy Band
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1962; Norway 
4. Folktunes (100) from Hardanger, Op. 151: Suite no 2 "Fifteen Mountain Songs" by Geirr Tveitt
Conductor:  Bjarte Engeset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Norwegian Navy Band
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1954; Norway 
5. Folktunes (100) from Hardanger, Op. 151: Suite no 4 "Wedding Suite" by Geirr Tveitt
Conductor:  Bjarte Engeset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Norwegian Navy Band
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1954; Norway 
6. Folktunes (100) from Hardanger, Op. 151: Suite no 5 "Troll-tunes" by Geirr Tveitt
Conductor:  Bjarte Engeset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Norwegian Navy Band
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1954; Norway 
7. Sinfonia di soffiatori "no 3" by Geirr Tveitt
Conductor:  Bjarte Engeset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Norwegian Navy Band
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1974; Norway 
8. Prince Christian Frederiks Honor-March by Geirr Tveitt
Conductor:  Bjarte Engeset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Norwegian Navy Band
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 08/13/1970; Norway 

Sound Samples

Sinfonia di Soffiatori: I. Moderato
Sinfonia di Soffiatori: II. Alla Marcia
Sinfonia di Soffiatori: III. Andante
Prinds Christian Frederiks honnormarch (Prince Christian Fredrick's March of Honour)
Det gamle kvernhuset (The Old Mill on the Brook), Op. 204
Hymne til fridomen (Hymn to Freedom)
Sinfonia di soffiatori: I. Intonazione d'autunno
Sinfonia di soffiatori: II. Ricordi d'estate
Sinfonia di soffiatori: III. Fanfara funebre
Sinfonia di soffiatori: IV. Allegria alpestre
Sinfonia di soffiatori: V. Canto di congedo
100 Folk-tunes from Hardanger, Op. 151: Suite No. 2, "15 Mountain Songs": No. 20. Med sterkt ol te fjells (Strong ale to the mountain farm)
100 Folk-tunes from Hardanger, Op. 151: Suite No. 2, "15 Mountain Songs": No. 23. Rjupo pao folgafodnae (Snow grouse on the glacier)
100 Folk-tunes from Hardanger, Op. 151: Suite No. 2, "15 Mountain Songs": No. 29. Fjellmansjento up i lid (The mountaineer´s daughter on skis)
100 Folk-tunes from Hardanger, Op. 151: Suite No. 4, "Wedding Suite": No. 47. Friarfoter (Going a-wooing)
100 Folk-tunes from Hardanger, Op. 151: Suite No. 4, "Wedding Suite": No. 52. Graot og laott aot ain baot (Tears and laughter for a boat)
100 Folk-tunes from Hardanger, Op. 151: Suite No. 4, "Wedding Suite": No. 60. Haringol (Hardanger ale)
100 Folk-tunes from Hardanger, Op. 151: Suite No. 5, "Troll tunes": No. 70. Garsvoren dansar (The brownie dancing)
100 Folk-tunes from Hardanger, Op. 151: Suite No. 5, "Troll tunes": No. 72. Tussmyrkre (Twilight)
100 Folk-tunes from Hardanger, Op. 151: Suite No. 5, "Troll tunes": No. 75. Domedag (Doomsday)

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Unbeatable Band! March 19, 2014 By bess holloway (Boulder, CO) See All My Reviews "I can't imagine any band in the world sounding better than this one. Even if you haven't heard anything else by Geirr Tveitt, go with this recording--it's fantastic!" Report Abuse
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