Geirr Tveitt

Biography

Born: October 19, 1908; Kvam   Died: February 19, 1981; Oslo, Norway  
Folk music and the very conscious application of aspects of folk music -- tunes, gestures, sonorities -- to serious concert music, was all the rage during the early twentieth century and it seems like every major country or ethnic group had its native champion or champions. Hungary had Béla Bartók and Zoltán Kodály; the United States had Charles Ives; and Norway had a man named Geirr Tveitt, a composer, pianist, teacher, and folk music collector Read more who never earned anything like the fame awarded those other "folkish" composers but who has, in the years since his death in 1981, been investigated by Norse music lovers and scholars with ever-increasing interest. Efforts to paint a clear and accurate picture of the man's life and work have proven difficult, however: A fire ravaged his home in 1970, making ash of most of his compositions and folk music collections.

Tveitt was born in October 1908 and grew up, for the most part, in the region of Norway known as Hardanger. The piano and the violin were familiar to him from early childhood on, but when he went to the Leipzig Conservatory or formal schooling (1928 - 1932) it was composition on which he focused. After stops in Vienna (the Vienna State Academy) and Paris, where from 1932 to 1935 he took private lessons from Villa-Lobos and Honegger, he returned to Norway and supported himself writing criticism in Oslo and teaching privately. In 1941, he was awarded a Norwegian state pension and in 1942, he took up residence in the Tveitt family farm in Hardanger, devoting himself mainly to composition and to the collection and transcription of the region's folk music. His life's sailing was not always smooth, though: A scandal involving the Nazi's during the German occupation of Norway in World War II resulted in Tveitt having his state pension taken from him (it was reinstated in the late '50s) and several thousand pages of work -- including the bulk of 300 original works and reams of notated folk music unavailable except through Tveitt's transcriptions -- were lost to the above-mentioned 1970 fire. From time to time, Tveitt appeared as a performing pianist in his own works.

Tveitt's personal musical style draws heavily on the folk music with which he was so familiar, as much or more so even than does Bartók's. In 1937, he authored a theoretical treatise, Tonalitätstheorie des parallelen teittonsystems (Theory of parallel modal systems), seeking to support his own personal conclusion that the modal scale system (the so-called church modes) employed to various degrees and in various ways throughout the history of Western music are actually based on ancient Norwegian folk scales. His conclusions have for the most part been ignored, but the treatise still offers a great window through which to better observe the methods and manner of his own music-making. His output was prolific, including some 29 piano sonatas, five operas, a half-dozen piano concertos, a violin concerto, several suites for orchestra, miscellaneous chamber music, and works for various other solo instruments, including harp and saxophone. There is also a large body of pseudo-folk vocal songs. His best-known works are those that rely most on folk music: One Hundred Folk Tunes (1954 - 1963), a series of orchestral suites; and a volume, famous in Norway, called 100 Hardanger Tunes. Read less
Tveitt: Piano Concertos No 1 & 5 / Gimse, Engeset, Et Al
Release Date: 04/17/2001   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8555077   Number of Discs: 1
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Tveitt: A Hundred Hardanger Tunes Suites / Engeset, Et Al
Release Date: 09/18/2001   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8555078   Number of Discs: 1
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Tveitt: A Hundred Hardanger Tunes Suites 2 & 5 / Engeset
Release Date: 03/19/2002   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8555770   Number of Discs: 1
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Tveitt: Piano Concerto No 4, Etc / Engeset, Gimse, Süssmann
Release Date: 10/22/2002   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8555761   Number of Discs: 1
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Tveitt: Sinfonia & Sinfonietta di Soffiatori / Royal Norwegian Navy Band
Release Date: 12/16/2008   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8572095   Number of Discs: 1
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There are 26 Geirr Tveitt recordings available.

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Works

Formats & Featured

Geirr Tveitt


MOST POPULAR WORKS
I. Prologue to Act I
II. Act I
III. Prologue to Act II
IV. Act II
I. Allegretto
II. Andante
III. Allegro moderato
I. Hardangerfjord: Tempo tranquillo e deciso
II. Sognefjord: Mesto maestoso - Danza determinata e lenta - Tempo I
III. Nordfjord: Giocoso
I. Tranquillo
II. Giocoso
III. Lento
I. The Northern Lights awakening above the autumn colours
II. Glittering in the winter heavens, and ...
III. Fading away in the bright night of spring
I. Tempo di "Springar"
II. Danse aux campanules bleus
III. Tempo di "Halling"
I. Schnell (Snoggt)
II. Langsam (Seint)
III. Schnell (Snoggt)
I. Intonazione d'autunno: Lento - Poco piu mosso - Tempo I
II. Ricordi d'estate: Tempo moderato di springar
III. Fanfara funebra: Andante, deciso
IV. Allegria alpestre: Mosso moderato
V. Canto di congedo: Tranquillo - Poco piu mosso - Tempo I - Poco piu mosso - Tempo I - Grave
I. Gudane gloymer mistelteinen (The Gods Forget the Mistletoe)
II. Baldurs balferd (Baldur's Bonfire Journey)
III. Dansen i pileregnet (Arrow Dance)
WORKS
I. Prologue to Act I
II. Act I
III. Prologue to Act II
IV. Act II
I. Allegretto
II. Andante
III. Allegro moderato
I. Hardangerfjord: Tempo tranquillo e deciso
II. Sognefjord: Mesto maestoso - Danza determinata e lenta - Tempo I
III. Nordfjord: Giocoso
I. Tranquillo
II. Giocoso
III. Lento
I. The Northern Lights awakening above the autumn colours
II. Glittering in the winter heavens, and ...
III. Fading away in the bright night of spring
I. Tempo di "Springar"
II. Danse aux campanules bleus
III. Tempo di "Halling"
No. 1: Velkomne med aera (Welcome with Honour)
No. 2: Flyteljod (Flute Air)
No. 3: Fagraste viso pao Jorae (The Most Beautiful Song on Earth)
No. 4: Moltor og myrabaer (Cloudberries and Moorberries)
No. 5: Stavkyrkjestev (Stave Church Song)
No. 6: A naoe meg no fo mi tusta (Alas, My Girl)
No. 7: Uppskoka (Consecration of the New Beer)
No. 8: Syrgjeleg song um ein tom brennevinsdunk (Lament for an Empty Brandy Keg)
No. 9: Langeleiklat (Langeleik Tune)
No. 10: Stolstone (Echo from the Summer Hillfarm)
No. 11: Hastverksbrudlaup (Hasty Wedding)
No. 12: Guds Godhet og Guds Storhet (God's Goodness and Greatness)
No. 13: Vise folks folkevisa um visse folk (Wise Folks Gossip about Certain People)
No. 14: Storskrytarstev (Braggart's Ballad)
No. 15: Siste Farvel (The Last Farewell)
I. Langt, langt te fjells te Turid (Far into the mountains to Turid)
II. Med ulvar og rein i uver pao viddae (Wolves and reindeer in moorland storm)
III. Hono, hunden, kyrae og hesten (Badnasull) (The hen, the hound, the cow nad the horse (Nursery rhyme))
IV. Fjell-lokk (Mountain melody)
V. Med sterkt ol te fjells (Strong ale to the mountain farm)
VI. Seljeflyta yver stillt fjellvatn (The willow flute across the quiet tarn)
VII. Gamle-Erik sin klagosong (Old Nick´s lament)
VIII. Rjupo pao folgafodnae (Snow grouse on the glacier)
IX. A! Hoyre du songjen i fossaduren? (Do you hear the falls singing?)
X. Huldraslaotten hans Halte-Lars (The lame fiddler´s hulder-dance)
XI. Songjen inne i Huldra-haugjen (A song ascends from the Huldra-Hill)
XII. Eldebrand i skjeggjet (Beard on fire!)
XIII. Munnharpe-ljod (The harp played by the mouth (Jew´s harp))
XIV. Fjellmansjento up i lid (The mountaineer´s daughter on skis)
XV. Eg sang meg ut so vida (I saw afar)
No. 46: Du... (You...)
No. 47: Friar-foter (Going a-wooing)
No. 48: Eit gamalt sel fortel (Tale from the Old Mountain Hut)
No. 49: Belaresveinen (The Matchmaker)
No. 50: Pao veg te Brudlaupsgaren (Off to the Country Wedding)
No. 51: Krune-brure (Bridal Crown)
No. 52: Graot og laott aot ain baot (Tears and Laughter for a Boat)
No. 53: "So stillt dei ror pa glitre-fjord" (How Silently They Row on the Glittering Fjord)
No. 54: Kjomeistar-visa (Toastmaster's Song)
No. 55: "Nar kvite skaut i sumarbrisen bylgjer" (When White Scarves Wave in the Summer Breeze)
No. 56: Rikje Ragna med jarnhendene (Rich Ragna with the Iron Hands)
No. 57: "Skottrarar" (Guisers)
No. 58: Brura-drammane (The Bride's Drink)
No. 59: Fylle-snakk - hommage a l'atonalite (Drunken Talk - Homage to Atonality)
No. 60: Haring-ol (Hardanger Ale)
60. Haringol (Hardanger ale)
Haringol
No. 61: Troll-tuned Hardanger fiddle
No. 62: Hulder transhumance
No. 63: Hulder hush-a-bye
No. 64: Hulder wedding-breakfast
No. 65: The changeling
No. 66: Folgafodne glacier keeps its secret
No. 67: The boy with the troll-treasure
No. 68: Spell-song
No. 69: The crooked harp that could talk
No. 70: The brownie dancing
No. 71: The water-sprite playing
No. 72: Twilight
No. 73: Fairy flageolet
No. 74: Echo from the other side
No. 75: Doomsday
I. Schnell (Snoggt)
II. Langsam (Seint)
III. Schnell (Snoggt)
I. Moderato
II. Alla Marcia
III. Andante
I. Intonazione d'autunno: Lento - Poco piu mosso - Tempo I
II. Ricordi d'estate: Tempo moderato di springar
III. Fanfara funebra: Andante, deciso
IV. Allegria alpestre: Mosso moderato
V. Canto di congedo: Tranquillo - Poco piu mosso - Tempo I - Poco piu mosso - Tempo I - Grave
I. Gudane gloymer mistelteinen (The Gods Forget the Mistletoe)
II. Baldurs balferd (Baldur's Bonfire Journey)
III. Dansen i pileregnet (Arrow Dance)


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