The Norwegian Radio Orchestra with brand new Norwegian music! Alfred Janson, Knut Vaage, Maja S. K. Ratkje and Jan Erik Mikalsen have written for the orchestra, including a brand new trumpet concerto. Variations over Variations presents four Norwegian composers and their works, performed and commissioned by The Norwegian Radio Orchestra, under their Chief Conductor, the Grammy-nominated and Emmy Award-winner Miguel Harth-Bedoya. Variations over Variations is a great snapshot of contemporary Norwegian orchestral music.
The four works enters into a dialogue with existing music and a music history that binds them together, in very different ways. Some places musical quotes open up a door to the Norwegian, other places it re-contextualises the idea of a national music. Soloist star trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth is featured on the title track in Janson’s trumpet concerto ‘Variations over variations on a Norwegian folk tune’, a variation over Edvard Grieg’s ‘Ballad in G minor’. Ratkje’s ‘Paragraf 112’ expands the orchestra’s ordinary timbre and establishes a vulnerable openness which later turns darker and more dangerous. Mikalsen’s folk-inspired ‘Songr’ moves between grand orchestral roars and fragile chords, while Vaage’s ‘Mylder’ could be described as a symphonic internet where the surface seems strangely familiar.