Friday, September 18, 2009

Summer in the Hamardomen

Summers in Norway are short but most enjoyable. Likewise, this summer in Norway - in the form of Piazzolla's Verano Porteño - is most enjoyable. The arrangement sounds like the one originally created by Leonid Desyatnikov for Gidon Kremer and the Kremarata Baltica and can be found on the CD, Eight Seasons. It strays more than a little from the original composition written for bandoneon, electric guitar, violin, piano and contrabass and even inserts bits from Vivaldi's Seasons aimed at bringing smiles to the face of the knowing. I want to dislike the arrangement because it doesn't respect the original but it sounds so good, I just can't help but like it every time I hear it.

The work of the musicians here also make it easy to like. The soloist, noted young Korean violinist Soyoung Yoon, is perfection on the violin and the Trondheim Soloist Chamber Orchestra, under the leadership of artistic director and cellist, Øyvind Gimse, is well rehearsed and crisp. This is a remarkable set of mostly young musicians who have toured the globe and currently have four CD's available, unfortunately none contain any works by Piazzolla.

The venue deserves more than a casual look - it deserves a visit. It is on the outskirts of the town of Hamar on a high point of land overlooking Lake Mjøsa, the largest lake in Norway. On that spot, a Romanesque cathedral was built in the 12th century. The cathedral was destroyed in the 16th century and never rebuilt. Towards the end of the 20th century, a contest was held to design a building to preserve the ruins and the result was a glass "cathedral" designed by architect Kjell Lund. It was in this protective glass structure, known as the Hamardomen, that this concert was held.

The high quality of the sound and video capturing this performance is the result of the good work of Tor Melgavis. Thanks, Tor.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

To learn more about Piazzolla videos, visit the Piazzolla Video site.

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