It has been more than 30 years since Trondheim’s soloists have emerged as a breath of fresh air in the Norwegian musical life.
In all these years, the chamber orchestra has served as a powerhouse for young string players in the Trondheim region.
Meanwhile, Trondheim’s soloists have distinguished themselves internationally, through collaborations and recordings with such classical stars as violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and cellist Alyssa Wellerstein.
Less than a month ago, the orchestra acted as a supporting band for Björk itself, giving concerts in Trondheim and Bergen.
There was something completely different on the program during the two Trondheim Soloists concerts during this week’s Oslo Chamber Music Festival. Here, the inhabitants of Tronder presented a selection of works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with many collaborators, ranging from intimate to large.
The concerts featured an orchestra who, under the direction of artistic director Geir Lutzberg, had developed an astonishingly good understanding of Mozart’s music. There is no superficial beauty out there in the courtyard – here the audience got Mozart that really moves body and mind.
Magic in the first
The first concert was held on Friday evening in the university’s lecture hall. Here, Trondheim soloists played the first three piano pieces composed by Mozart in Vienna, as well as the chamber orchestra’s version of Mozart’s String Quintet quintet in C minor KV 406.
The soloist of all three concerts was pianist Havard Jamesy, who this year resigned as chair of the Artistic Council of the Oslo Music Festival.
Gimse’s gameplay in Mozart is characterized by a kind of unhurried continuity. It gives music a distinctive form of life and progress.
Gimse is wonderfully surrounded by Geir Inge Lotsberg, who does a great job as lead for Trondheim’s soloists. It makes the people of Trondheim play with something that I at least experience as an authentic Viennese swing.
The orchestra is accentuated by a rich, warm autry sound and pays special attention to rhythmic detail within a slightly soothing percussion setting.
The piano concerto in A Major KV 414 in particular turned out utterly magical in Aulaen’s generous acoustics, with Munch visuals as a literally gorgeous backdrop.
Double Mass in the cathedral
Already the next evening, the soloists of Trondheim returned to work, this time as part of a much larger ensemble at the Oslo Cathedral.
The Trønders family was supplemented here by four soloists, the Oslo cathedral choir and wind instrumentalists from the Royal Norwegian Marines, all managed by the cathedral Vivian Sidnes.
On the program was Mozart’s famous Requiem for D minor from the year the composer died in 1791.
First, however, the audience should try one else Requiem, composed by fellow Mozart composer Michael Haydn, is 19 years older than him.
In the introduction to the ceremony, mezzo-soprano Marianne Bate Keeland suggested that Mozart might have used the work of 20-year-old Haydn as a model when composing his own works.
This is not excluded. Mozart and Haydn were colleagues in Salzburg, and 16-year-old Wolfgang participated in Haydn’s 1771 Requiem. Portions of the works are strikingly similar, although Haydn’s works are simpler in style and lack the large choral movements inspired by Handel. in Mozart.
Notwithstanding: Michael Hayden’s Requiem is undoubtedly a fine work, and contains many beautiful parts. In particular, “Lux Aeterna” with its rising melodic movements in a solo soprano must have made an impression on the young Mozart.
Rarely is Mozart great
However, there is no doubt that the truly great experience comes after the break, when Mozart’s famous Mass is finally allowed to vanish into the church room.
This performance of this legendary work simply belongs to the rarest of its kind.
The four soloists, led by soprano Anne Helen Moen, provide impressive vocal performances. Oslo Domkor, frankly, I’ve never heard better. Marinen contributes a wonderful, powerful sound of woodwinds and brass.
Orchestra conductor Vivian Sydneys has remarkable control over the grand organ. It delivers drive and precision from start to finish, in an interpretation that strays from the heavy and bulky.
Therefore, the soloists of Trondheim sit in the center of all the splendor of sound and contribute rhythmic impulse and momentum. Playing this way requires one to really be an insider of the classic Viennese style.
Trondheim’s soloists’ work with Mozart has already led to a record release, which was probably under the radar for many when it was released last year. It will be interesting to see what they come up with next.
Judging from the two concerts that were held this weekend, there’s definitely something to look forward to.
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