Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Another two performances of Flashing

It seems to be accordionist season. I have found two uploads of Arne Nordheim's Flashing from the last two weeks. So far I've heard five performances of the piece this year. It seems to really have become central to the contemporary accordion repertoire. The level of both performances are stunning!

First out is the Russian (?) Arseniy Strokovskiy, a very sharp and virtuosic performance.

Next is the Serbian Palágyi Krisztián. Maybe not as clean-cut as Strokovskiy, but with plenty more pathos, something that fits the piece well. The performance is a part of a very nice collection of contemporary accordion-works, found on his channel.

I have added both videos to my list of Arne Nordheim live performances on Youtube. The list now contains 10 versions of Flashing!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Two new Nordheim-videos on Youtube

I have found two new additions to my Youtube-playlst of Arne Nordheim live performances. First a nice performance of Flashing by accordeonist Nerea Rodríguez, and then a performance of The Hunting of the Snark by trombonist Brad Myers. Check out the playlist below:

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Arne Nordheim playlists

I have made a little collection of playlists with music by Arne Nordheim; on Youtube, Vimeo and Spotify. I will update these list as new videos and tracks are getting uploaded.

The Youtube playlist contain videos of live performances of Arne Nordheim's music. As of today, I have found 31 videos - most of them of his works for soloists: Flashing (for accordeon), Clamavi (cello) and The Hunting of the Snark (trombone).

The Vimeo playlist has fewer videos than the one on Youtube (naturally): Arne Nordheim (live performances)

The Spotify playlist contains all tracks I have found from Nordheim on Spotify. I have organized it by release date, with the newest on top.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Lyd og ulydighet

I just finished "Lyd og Ulydighet" - the newly published hisotry of Ny Musikk, the ISCM branch in Norway. This is an essential addition to any library on Norwegian music - in particular 20th century contemporary music and avant garde jazz.

Here it is on Goodreads:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Pål Eide: Arne Nordheim's "Listen"

Most of the time, interest in the music of a classical music composer vanes after his or her death. This has not been the case for Arne Nordheim. Since his passing in 2010, there has been a steady stream of new recordings of his works - at least two or three each year. That might not be a lot for big guns like Stravinsky or Bartók, but even Stockhausen is not that much further ahead in number of new releases.

Today I was made aware of a "new" recording by Pål Eide of Listen! - Nordheim's only piece for piano solo. Actually, it's not completely new. Eide's website claims the CD was released already in 2010, but it seems to have been made available on Spotify only during the last few days. Point is, I've never heard about the release before, so to me it's new.

Listen! is one of Nordheim's most frequently recorded works. If I'm not wrong, it's actually the 9th time it has been committed to disc. Not too bad for a piece of contemporary music! And all the better: this is actually one of the best versions I've heard. Pål Eide is a great performer with a light and elegant touch and a fine melodic nerve. The waves of "rain" in the introduction roll evenly away with a charming ease, and the accented "drops" fall elegantly at just the right moments. The trills in the middle section flow like a breeze. All in all, it's a much nicer interpretation than the three other alternatives on Spotify; the abridged and a bit sloppy Bekkelund from 1996 and the somewhat stressed out Steen-Nøkleberg from 1999 and 2007 (hør under).

The rest of the album is nice as well. Listen! pairs well with Jesper Koch's Images of Lorca. Maybe Eide's lightness and elegance is a bit too much for Bach, and maybe the Rachmaninoff-sonata lacks a bit of weight. But on Listen, I feel that Eide's getting it just right.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Nordheim in Lasse Thoresen's book on aural sonology

After something like 30 years in the making, Lasse Thoresen has finally published his magnum opus on aural analysis: Emergent Musical Forms: Aural Explorations. In this mammoth book Thoresen sums up all his theories on sonology and musical analysis, and reviews virtually all approaches to listening-based analysis under the sun. I had the manuscript for a while, and I can attest to that it's quite a handfull to get through. But it is well worth it.

Thoresen uses Arne Nordheim's Solitaie as one of his example pieces, and this particular analysis sums up most of his theories. I might not agree on everything he writes. For instance we disagree on labeling and number of parts that the piece consists of (this will of course be addressed in my PhD thesis in due time). Still, it's one of the better analyses of an electronic music piece that I know of out there. The website accompanying the book has an entire page dedicated to Solitaire.

Thoresen's 2007-article in Organised Sound might have left things a bit hanging in the air, and because of that his system is probably not as widely used as it potentially could be. The book (and the website!) on the other hand gives all the tools one needs (and more!) to get involved in this wonderful analytical system. It's highly recommended.

It seems that the book still only is available in the USA, but I expect the Norwegian distributor to get it soon.
A little excerpt from my own dabbling in Thoresen's graphical notation.