Discover Pods: Podcast Spotlight with ‘The Nordics Unveiled’

Discover Pods, Podcast spotlight

DECEMBER 10, 2020 by Discover Pods

You may think you know Nordic history, but there is still so much to be discovered. After all, the stories span generations, stretching back hundreds of years. In this podcast, Norwegian host and violinist Eldbjørg Hemsing aims to answer one question: What is typically Nordic? To investigate, Hemsing and her expert guests deep dive into Nordic mythology, folk music, philosophy, architecture, nature, and more. She speaks with celebrated composers and inspiring artists, discussing inspirations, styles, and dreams. Have no fear if you’re one to zone out during longer podcasts because Hemsing’s interesting questions will bring you right back in.

The Nordics Unveiled really takes listeners on a journey, showing the weird and wonderful side of Nordic history! Hemsing gives ample space for her guests to share their experiences and the audio is crystal clear. She even uses some of her own music in the show’s introduction, so listeners get a truly Nordic experience. This is recommended for the curious and lovers of Nordic history. 

The Nordics Unveiled official

We were fortunate to talk with Hemsing about the podcast, how they differentiate from other podcasts, and their future plans in podcasting. See below for our full Q&A.

Listen on your favorite podcast platform:


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DISCOVER PODS: How’d you get into podcasting?

HEMSING: During the lockdown and numerous concert cancellations due to COVID-19, I finally had the chance to do projects that I usually don’t have the time to fit into my calendar. And during a normal concert season, when performing around the world one of the most common question I get asked is “what is typically Nordic” and “what is the sound of the north”. As a Norwegian, you don’t really ask yourself this question, so I became very curious myself to find out! As a passionate communicator, I thought let’s combine the best components in the situation and share the passion of music to my core audiences and people, who might not know much about classical music.

DISCOVER PODS: In your own words, why should listeners tune in to The Nordics Unveiled?

HEMSING: I really hope people will join me on the journey to discover what the Nordic is, whether its music, history, art, design or just some of the societal values. It is particularly the societal values that are underlying all the conversations, so I would it say the Nordics Unveiled is almost an introduction ahead of your first or next visit. With exceptional guests and surprising discoveries, I hope this podcast will offer new inspiration and insights for listeners to dive into the Nordics.

DISCOVER PODS: What kind of feedback have you heard from your listeners?

HEMSING: We are still on the early side, with only 3 episodes released, but the feedback from listeners is very positive. I particularly feel so humbled, once reading a review from fellow Norwegians, who live on the other side of the world saying “the podcast really makes me feel like I am back home in the North”. So I hope this curiosity from audiences will continue.

DISCOVER PODS: Describe your recording set up? What equipment are you using?

HEMSING: I am quite lucky that I have a technical support to make the podcast sound as good as possible. As a recording artist, the quality of sound is something I would not be ready to compensate on. If not mistaken, we are using the Zoom recorder that is supposed to be one of the best.

DISCOVER PODS: What’s the biggest challenge you face as a classical musician in a role podcaster?

HEMSING: I think the biggest challenge creating a podcast is starting from scratch, without having any mainstream media to lean on as a full promotional challenge. Luckily, I have was able to introduce the podcast also to my performing audiences. On the other hand, I personally like to challenge myself being innovative and not following any other podcasting styles and trends.

DISCOVER PODS: Where do you want to take your podcast?

HEMSING: I would love to take the episodes of podcast on TV – I think we could make a truly fantastic series!

DISCOVER PODS: What other podcasts are you listening to now?

HEMSING: I mostly listen to Norwegian podcasts mostly. In general, I like a big contrast to my artistic profession, so I enjoy listening to the very fact and analysis based podcasts, rather than comedy.

DISCOVER PODS: Anything else you’d like to add?

HEMSING: Subscribe to the podcast and I hope you will join me on the journey to the mystical North!

TAGS The Nordics Unveiled

Klassiskmusikk.com: Eldbjørg Hemsing med ny podcast

Eldbjørg Hemsing violinist

Klassiskmusikk.com – Publisert 18. 11. 2020

Hva er typisk nordisk? Hva karakteriserer vår historie, utvikling og hvem er vi i dag? Disse spørsmålene stiller Eldbjørg Hemsing i sin nye podcast, The Nordics Uveiled, som lanseres i disse dager.

Hun tar sikte på å nå et internasjonalt publikum som for tiden er sulteforet på levende konserter, og inviterer dem til å legge ut på en reise nordover for å utforske temaer i nordisk mytologi, folkemusikk og samisk tradisjon, samt oppdage glemte nordiske verk innen musikk, filosofi, arkitektur og natur.

– Den såkalte «nordiske klangen» er sterkt inspirert av natur, stemninger og forskjeller, fra nordlys til høye fjell, dype daler og vann. «Lyrisk», «melankolsk» og «forsiktig optimisme» er ord som ofte brukes om det nordiske; det rene, enkle og pittoreske. Samtidig det modige og kraftfulle, som man forbinder med nordiske folkeeventyr – gjerne forbundet med varm humor. Mange av disse trekkene kan man finne igjen i andre kunstarter. Hvordan har historien formet oss og hva kan vi lære av hvordan vi er i dag? skriver Hemsing i sin presentasjon av podcasten.

De tre første episodene ligger allerede ute. Der presenteres Lasse Thoresen og hans bruk av folkemusikk, Mette Henriette med bruk av sin samiske arv og Ottar Kåsa som spiller «djevelens instrument» hardingfele. Hver episode har en kort skriftlig presentasjon, en spilleliste og lenker til aktuelle nettsteder for videre lytting.

Klassisk CD blogspot: Podcast: Unveiling Nordic (NO)

Klassisk CD BlogspotTrond Erikson , 16. november 2020

Fiolinisten Eldbjørg Hemsing har lansert podcasten The Nordics Unveiled, der hun ønsker å utforske temaene nordisk mytologi, folkemusikken, samisk tradisjon, oppdagelse av glemte verk innenfor musikken, filosofi, arkitektur og natur. Slikt blir det spennende lytting av.

Eldbjørg Hemsing har vokst opp i en bygd og et dalføre som har en rik folkemusikktradisjon som har påvirket og inspirert komponister som Grieg, Ole Bull og Halvorsen. Folkemusikken har vært en stor kilde til inspirasjon for mange komponister. Den nordiske lyden er også sterkt inspirert av naturen, stemninger og forandringer. Alt fra nordlyset, til dype fjell og daler, til vann. Den lyriske, melankolske og ofte forsiktige optimismen er et nøkkelord for å forklare hva som ofte kan karaktiseres som nordisk. Det rene, enkle og ofte billedlige. Samtidig som det er et mot og en pågangskraft som kan hentes fra nordiske eventyr, ofte med en lun humor. Mange av disse egenskapene vises også i andre sjangre enn musikk. Hvordan har historien formet oss og hva kan vi lære av hvem i er i dag?


Podcasten The Nordics Unveiled finner du her!

Oppland Arbeiderblad: Eldbjørg Hemsing med podkast om det mystiske nordiske (NO)

Eldbjørg Hemsing - The Nordics Unveiled for Oppland Arbeiderblad

Frode Hermanrud – Oppland Arbeiderblad, 8. 11. 2020

Eldbjørg Hemsing med podkast om det mystiske nordiske: – Jeg ser på podkaster som lydbøker som har tatt et steg videre

Det såkalte nordiske uttrykket har blitt en sjanger både innenfor litteratur og musikk, men hva er egentlig typisk nordisk? I podkasten «The Nordics Unveiled» dykker Eldbjørg Hemsing ned i det nordiske kulturhavet med spennende gjester som kartlesere.

Det nordiske uttrykket beskrives ofte som lyrisk og melankolsk uten de helt store faktene. Dramatikken i naturen, nordlyset, den mørke vinteren er så langt unna blinkende neonlys man kan komme. Sagt på annen måte: Det er stor forskjell på interiøret i en Volvo og en Kia, og musikken til den finske samtidskomponisten Kaija Saariaho kan helt sikkert beskrives som litt av hvert, men neppe svulstig og pompøs.

Hjemme er best

Med 95 prosent av spillejobbene satt på vent, fant Eldbjørg Hemsing ut at hun måtte ha noe finne på mens hun gikk og klødde i fingrene hjemme i leiligheten i Oslo. For ja, verdensmusikeren har flyttet fra Berlin og bosatt seg en trivelig biltur unna hjembygda Aurdal, et trekk hun er glad hun gjorde for ett år siden.

Read full article here

Musical chairs: new Stradivaris for top violin soloists

The Strad – September 16, 2020

Eldbjørg Hemsing receives the 1707 ‘Rivaz, Baron Gutmann’ while Janine Jansen has the 1715 ‘Rode, Duke of Cambridge’

Two of the world’s leading female violinists have been granted the use of ‘golden period’ Stradivari violins. Norwegian soloist Eldbjørg Hemsing is now playing the 1707 ‘Rivaz, Baron Gutmann’ Stradivari violin, owned by the Dextra Musica foundation. Its most recent player, Janine Jansen, has been gifted the use of the 1715 ‘Rode, Duke of Cambridge’ Stradivari, courtesy of a European benefactor. ‘I want to thank Dextra Musica for having given me the fantastic opportunity to play on one of the finest Stradivari violins for these past years,’ said Jansen. ‘The velvety beauty, depth and richness of sound have been a true inspiration for me. I wish Eldbjørg Hemsing and the “Rivaz, Baron Gutmann” a wonderful journey together.’

‘Being part of the Dextra Musica family for over twelve years, I am thrilled and grateful to continue expanding this fruitful collaboration,’ said Hemsing. ‘Having the support of a foundation loaning me this incredible violin, one of the world’s finest, is truly a honour as well as a huge artistic inspiration. I am very much looking forward to continue building the artistic legacy of the instrument as well as inspiring audiences with its sound.’

To read the full article follow the link on the Strad

Norland Music Festival – SPIRE

Nordland Music Festival Chamber Music – Academy Program

SPIRE is a mentoring program presented within Norland Music Festival, specifically designed for talents within the classical music sphere that facilitates self-development in several areas. SPIRE´s focus is to support musicians in development of artistry both on their instrument as well as in the process of developing their career. Participating musicians will be working in close collaboration with Eldbjørg Hemsing, who is taking the role of Artistic director and Mentor of the program.

Nordland Music Festival is one of the oldest music festivals in the Northern Arctic part of Norway,
celebrating 40th anniversary in 2020. Apart from presenting some of the biggest artistic names during a 2 week festival program, SPIRE is an edition to the festival core that aims to look at stimulating and building a much stronger young artistic base in the city of Bodø and in the Arctic region.


SPIRE has been initiated as part of the artistic projects leading towards the Bodø 2024
The European Capital of Culture and has been also endorsed by the leading music foundation Dextra Musica DNB Savings Banks Foundation. Eldbjørg Hemsing is proud to be named the Artistic director of this chamber music academy program.

“ Most important for young musicians is to know that there is no set path someone should
follow they should be evolving curiosity and stimulate their experimentation to not become
only musicians, but also thinkers, leaders, entrepreneurs and agents of change. We have
the responsibility of shaping a more future oriented generations of classical musicians,
where artists are the driving force towards a society with culture at its core, not afraid of
experiments and possible failures.”

Guest faculty members:

Dorran Alibaud, cello

Sveinung Bjelland, piano

Julia Kaiser, guest lecture – masterclass

Manuel Dengler, guest lecture – masterclass

Alexa Smith, guest lecture – masterclass

Recording review: Rheinische Post – Geigerin Eldbjørg Hemsing gilt als eines der größten Klassik-Talente (DE)


Von Wolfram GoertzRheinische Post, 28. 6. 2020

Oslo Anne-Sophie Mutters Erbin: Eldbjørg Hemsing aus Norwegen gilt als herausragendes Musikertalent. Auf ihrer neuen CD spielt sie die Sonaten ihres berühmten Landsmanns Edvard Grieg.

Die Welt schaut seit einigen Jahren gern nach Norwegen, weil das eher unscheinbar an die Westkünste Skandinaviens geflanschte, tief zerfurchte Land der Welt einen neuen König geschenkt hat. Es ist der Schachspieler Magnus Carlsen. Der gilt als Brüterich und unter Fans der Sportart als Boa, als Würgeschlange. Wer ihm gegenüber sitzt, erlebt bei mangelhafter Gegenwehr seine langsame Erdrosselung.

Eldbjørg Hemsing ist Norwegens neue Königin, ihr sieht man gern zu, sie hat nichts Kriegerisches, sie ist eine aparte junge Frau mit langen blonden Haaren, sie könnte in Oslo die Rechtsabteilung des Umweltministeriums leiten oder einen Bootsverleih in Trondheim. Doch sie ist Musikerin, sie spielt Geige, und weil das halt nicht so ganz ungewöhnlich ist, hat sie irgendein Troll aus der Marketing-Abteilung ihrer Plattenfirma BIS fürs Cover ihrer neuen CD in eine steinige norwegische Flechtenlandschaft gestellt. Zuvor hat er ihr einen Feen-Overall verpasst und ihr die Geige in die Hand gedrückt. Auf wen soll sie da warten? Auf Peer Gynt etwa, den Hallodri der nordischen Mythologie? Eher wartet sie auf Edvard Grieg, der irgendwie von den Toten aufersteht, Hemsing ernst in die Augen schaut und ergriffen sagt: „Von dir, mein Kind, habe ich mein ganzes Leben lang geträumt!“

In ihrer Heimat hat sie ein eigenes Festival

Kammermusik Gemeinsam mit ihrer Schwester Ragnhild, die ebenfalls Geigerin ist, hat Eldbjørg Hemsing im norwegischen Dorf Aurdal ein Kammermusik-Festival gegründet.

Neue CD Edvard Griegs drei Sonaten für Violine und Klavier (mit Simon Trpceski, Klavier) sind beim Label BIS erschienen.

Vermutlich ist sie Anne-Sophie Mutters ideale Erbin. Ihr Geigenspiel ist brennend ausdrucksvoll, wie eine Reizstrombehandlung, wie eine Nervenstimulation, nicht schmerzhaft, aber intensiv. Dieser Intensität gibt man sich umso lieber hin, als es sich bei der neuen CD um die drei Violinsonaten von Grieg handelt, hochromantische, virtuos ausladende, etwas versponnene Musik. Über die zweite Sonate geht die Legende, dass nach ihrer Premiere Griegs Kompositionslehrer, der Däne Niels Wilhelm Gade, tadelnd gesagt haben soll: „Nein, Grieg, die nächste Sonate müssen sie nicht so norwegisch machen!“ Darauf soll Grieg geantwortet haben: „Im Gegenteil, Herr Professor, die nächste wird noch schlimmer.“ Sie wurde aber kein Elfentanz, kein Gnomenreigen, sondern ein durch und durch europäisches Meisterwerk.

Das hört man aus Hemsings Interpretation herrlich heraus. Sie zeigt uns Grieg als weltgewandten Meister, der mit formalen Einfällen nicht geizt, gern durchs Unterholz der Harmonik streift, aber vor allem ein rassiger Melodiker ist. Hemsing spielt das wie mit glühenden Fäden, die den Himmel über der Musik zart erleuchten. Da muss Strom im Spiel sein! Gleichwohl zeigt sie nur selten ihre Muskeln, ihr Vibrato ist eher diskret; sie zersägt die Saiten nicht, sie vertraut darauf, dass der Ton ihrer Guadagnini-Geige auch ohne großen Bogendruck die Luft in Schwingung versetzt und nur im äußersten Fall durchschneidet. Es ist wie der Klang der Stille.

Das Auffallende ihres Spiels ist jedes Fehlen von Kalkül. Keine Sekunde verbreitet sie das Phänomen von Geiger-Raffinesse, von retortenhafter Emotion. Im Moment des Spielens scheint sie den allerersten Zugriff aufs Stück zu wagen, immer steckt ein Funke Risiko in ihrem Musizieren, eine latente Gefährdung. Doch an Absturz kein Gedanke, denn Hemsing besitzt ein gesundes Urvertrauen. Diesmal gilt es dem fabelhaften Pianisten Simon Trpceski, der kein Norweger, sondern ein Mazedonier ist. Aber er fühlt sich in der kühlen Luft den Nordens wohl. Er kennt den Weg. Beide atmen die geistige Freiheit, die ein gutes Duo immer auch besitzt: Einer kann sich auf den anderen in jeder Sekunde hundertprozentig verlassen.

Die Grieg-Platte ist ein neuerliches Dokument, das Eldbjørg Hemsing, 1990 im norwegischen Aurdal geboren, als Geigerin der Zukunft zeigt. Sie ist keine Spur kontaktscheu, sie hat das Violinkonzert des chinesischen Komponisten Tan Dun erstmals für die Platte eingespielt. Sie hat das wunderbar schmachtende Violinkonzert ihres Landsmanns Hjalmar Borgstrøm von jeder Schwerblütigkeit befreit und nebenbei das Schostakowitsch-Konzert als erfrischende Konzeptkunst umgedeutet (als Platte ebenfalls bei BIS).

Die Natürlichkeit ihres Spiels hat zweifellos mit ihrer Herkunft zu tun. Sie stammt aus einem winzigen Dorf nördlich von Oslo, fast abgeschieden von der Welt. Bereits mit zwei Jahren hatte sie erstmals eine Geige in der Hand, mit sechs gab sie ihr erstes öffentliches Konzert, mit elf verpflichtete sie das Symphonieorchester in Bergen für einen Soloauftritt. Fürs Studium ging sie nach Wien. Jetzt steht ihr die Welt offen. Doch ohne Norwegen geht es nicht. Ein hübsches Promo-Video zeigt sie als flinke Langläuferin auf Skiern, die in dichtem Schneetreiben mal eben Besorgungen macht.

Demnächst, in besseren Zeiten, besuchen wir dann auch mal ihr kleines feines Kammermusikfestival in Aurdal. Dort knarren die Stühle, wenn die Zuhörer zu unruhig sind. Passiert aber nicht, weil Eldbjørg Hemsing, die neue Königin der Geige, wirklich jeden in ihren Bann zieht.

Recording review: Music Web International on Grieg Sonatas

Richard Masters – Music Web International

For pieces that are not often heard in the concert hall, the violin sonatas of Edvard Grieg are well-served on disc. The third sonata is the best-known of the three; we have recordings from Fritz Kreisler, Toscha Seidel, Jascha Heifetz, and Josef Suk, among others. The abandonment of the sonatas by modern violinists is mystifying, particularly when hearing such persuasive performances as found on this disc.

The first, composed in 1865, is the least-played of the sonatas. This sonata is a more assured composition than the piano sonata (op. 7) written in the same year; harmonically, it is much more interesting, and the overall structure is less stilted. The op. 8 sonata seems to draw more inspiration from folk music than the other violin sonatas; Hemsing successfully imitates the twang of the Hardanger fiddle in the second movement, while Trpčeski doesn’t shy away from the rustic dissonances that Grieg would fully embrace in the much later Norwegian Folk Dances (Slåtter), op. 72. This sonata is a delightful discovery.

Hemsing and Trpčeski have nothing to fear from their storied competition in the other sonatas. The duo combines a sophisticated color palette with a wide dynamic range, and the results are stunning. Hemsing draws forth a husky, whispered timbre in more intimate moments, but is capable of exploding with the sort of concentrated tone that would do Heifetz proud. She is also not afraid to use a bit of old-school portamento; it is a wonderful effect, particularly in the climaxes of the third sonata. If only more modern violinists could be convinced to play with this sort of swing and joie de vivre! Trpčeski digs into the meaty chordal batteries with gusto, but also provides impressive clarity in softer, speedier fingerwork.

The final piece on the album is Hemsing’s own composition, a short set of variations for solo violin on a “folk tune from Valdres.” Piano buffs will recognize the tune used as the basis for Grieg’s “Ballade in the form of variations,” op. 24. The piece is conservative, and does not seem out of place alongside the sonatas.

In trying times, we have a responsibility to find joy wherever we can. Hemsing and Trpčeski provide that joy in spades with their vivacious, probing, and ultimately life-affirming performances.

Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907)
Violin Sonata no. 1 in F Major, op. 8 [22:58]
Violin Sonata no. 2 in G major, op. 13 [20:27]
Violin Sonata no. 3 in C Minor, op. 45 [23:48]

Eldbjørg HEMSING (b. 1990)
Homecoming: Variations on a folk tune from Valdres [3:33]
Eldbjørg Hemsing (violin)
Simon Trpčeski (piano)
rec. 2018/19, Sandesaal, Bremen, Germany; Aurdal Church, Norway
BIS BIS2456SACD [72:30]

Live-streamed concert review: Eldbjørg Hemsing (violin) Sveinung Bjelland (piano)

By Tim HomfrayThe Strad

Tim Homfray watches a Facebook performance on 19 March from the comfort of his own armchair.

Watch the concert here (Facebook)

At the beginning of March London concerts started to be cancelled as the spread of coronavirus put paid to artists’ travels. By mid-month there would have been nowhere for them to play, as one after another the concert halls closed down. So we cast online and further afield, and instead of Wigmore Hall I sat in my study and listened to a short recital by violinist Eldbjørg Hemsing and pianist Sveinung Bjelland from Norway in what looked like a living room. And most entertaining it was too, once I’d spent five minutes mastering the necessary technology (not my strong point). There was one camera, one microphone, Hemsing gave charming introductions to each piece, and it all worked splendidly.

They opened with the Allegretto quasi Andantino second movement from Grieg’s F major Sonata op.8, plaintive and lively, and followed it with an affecting account of ‘Våren’ from his Two Elegiac Melodies op.34. Hemsing performed Ølstein Sommerfeldt’s Sonata Saxifraga, increasingly virtuosic and with many double-stops and left-hand pizzicatos, with verve and gentleness, after which a few people could be heard clapping – so she wasn’t playing to an empty room. After the ‘Méditation’ from Massenet’s Thaïs came a passionate account of the second movement of Grieg’s Third Sonata and finally a joyous performance of the opening movement of his second. I didn’t miss Wigmore Hall at all.

TIM HOMFRAY

Recording review: Gramophone Magazine – Grieg

Richard Bratby, Gramophone Magazine – May 2020

Game of Tones? I know it’s not the done thing to comment on CD covers, but when an artist has made an effort to look strikingly, it surely deserves mention. Eldbjørg Hemsing stands in a brooding northern landscape, looking utterly commanding; an image which everything about this disc supports. Its’s not the only possible approach, by any means, but if you hear Grieg’s violin sonatas as wild, fantastic tales of adventure and romance from the distant north, these three magnificent performances should certainly hit the spot.

Hemsing and Simon Trpceski come hard on the heels of more homespun interpretations by Elene Urioste and Tom Poster, and to call them a powerhouse pairing is to do a grave injustice to the poetry, playfulness that are – on the whole – on a heroic scale. Typically, Trpceski creates a setting: opening vast spaces with the soft opening chords of the First Sonata, building grandiloquent climaxes or giving exactly the right springiness to a dance-finale. Hemsing takes the role of an adventurer in these sonic landscapes: combining a gleaming virtuoso panache with whispered, deep-toned confidence on the lower strings.

But they always play as a team. Listen to how they trade phrases at the opening of the finale of the Third Sonata, while Tpceski simultaneously maintains both a background tension and a sense of forward momentum. They’re impulsive too; if I have one reservation, it’s that their immersion in the musical moment occasionally makes Grieg’s sonata structures feel slightly episodic. But the passion and flair of these performances is ample recompense: pristine recorded sound and a fiery unaccompanied encore composed by Hemsing herself are the icing on the cake.

Grieg Three Violin Sonatas

Hemsing Homecoming

Eldbjørg Hemsing vn Simon Trpceski pf

BIS 2456

Grieg – selected comparison: Uriste, Poster

Radio feature: Deutschlandfunk – Tonart Klassik

‚Tonart Klassik‘ im Deutschlandfunk und Deutschlandfunk Kultur , Montag 11 Mai – Moderation: Philipp Quiring

Die Violinsonaten von Edvard Grieg stehen im Mittelpunkt der Sendung. Die drei Werke dokumentieren verschiedene Lebensphasen von Grieg, stehen für seine Studentenzeit in Leipzig, seine Eheschließung und nicht zuletzt für seine norwegische Heimat. Die Geigerin Eldbjørg Hemsing hat sie eingespielt. Sie spricht über die verschiedenen traditionellen Einflüsse. Den Halling-Tanz, bei dem die Männer mit akrobatischen Einlagen versuchen, die Frauen zu beeindrucken. Sie geht auf das wesentliche Instrument der norwegischen Volksmusik ein, die Hardangerfiedel, auf der unzählige Melodien gespielt wurden. Außerdem weiht sie die Hörer*Innen in das ein oder andere Märchen ein.

Programm anhören

Tonart Klassik, Deutschlandfunk KulturPhilipp Quiring

Eine echte Wiederentdeckung sind hingegen die Klaviersonaten des russischen Composer-Pianisten Samuil Feinberg. Der Zeitgenosse von Sergej Rachmaninow hat gerade in seinen frühen Jahren ebenfalls brachial virtuose Sonaten geschrieben, in denen sich immer wieder der harte Kontrast zu melancholisch elegischen Melodien findet. Der kanadische Pianist Marc-André Hamelin hat sechs dieser Sonaten von Feinberg bewältigt.

Recording review: Eldbjørg Hemsing hjem til Valdres med Grieg

Eldbjørg Hemsings spenstige og kraftfulle spillestil får Griegs fiolinsonater til å fremstå mer duggfriske enn noensinne.

Edvard Griegs tre fiolinsonater tilhører standardrepertoaret for fiolinister, og er noe av det fineste norsk musikkhistorie har å by på.

Ved siden av de «Lyriske stykkene» for klaver er sonatene den eneste verkkategori hvor man kan følge Griegs kunstneriske utvikling, fra den unge idealist i København (hvor Grieg skrev den første, bare 22 år gammel), til den siste store sonaten i c-moll, komponert av en verdensberømt kunstner som nå hadde vendt tilbake til sine hjemtrakter.

Prinsessen fra Nord

Eldbjørg Hemsings internasjonale karriere skjøt for alvor fart for tre år siden da hun undertegnet kontrakt med det svenske plateselskapet BIS. Røttene i folkemusikken og nærheten til hjembygda Aurdal har hele tiden vært en del av Hemsings varemerke, og tendensen til mytologisering når et nytt høydepunkt på dette albumet.

Med et coverbilde som burde appellere i Game of Thrones-segmentet (Hva? Har Daenerys Targaryen begynt å spille fiolin?) skulle budskapet være tydelig: denne dama sitter ikke på kaffebar mellom slagene. Kraften i spillet kommer fra naturen selv, slik den har formet Valdres-folk gjennom uminnelige tider.

Det er imidlertid gode grunner til å plassere nettopp Griegs fiolinsonater i spennet mellom myte og virkelighet, fantasi og realitet. Lengselen mot «det andre stedet» er gjennomgående i disse tre verkene: Grieg komponerer den mest nasjonalromantiske av sonatene (nr. 2) i Kristiania, og den mest internasjonale (nr. 3) på Troldhaugen.

Slik befinner Grieg seg i spennet mellom det norske eventyret og den strenge «tyske» satsteknikken han lærte ved konservatoriet i Leipzig, en syntese som riktignok aldri blir helt sømløs i Griegs komposisjoner i det store formatet.

Spenstige strøk

Det er når lyden strømmer ut av høyttalerne at det blir mer enn tydelig at Eldbjørg Hemsing er the real thing. Elementer fra folkemusikken (Hemsing er også en kløpper på hardingfele) er en integrert og naturlig del av hennes spillestil. Disse merkes i spensten i strøkene, de kvikksølvaktige ornamentene, den fleksible bruken av vibrato, den suverene rytmiske presisjonen i dobbeltstrøkene, og den usentimentale rett-på-sak-aktige innfallsvinkelen til Griegs duggfriske sonater.

Det er rett og slett en friskhet, vitalitet og nyanserikdom i spillet som jeg opplever som enormt tiltalende.

Pianist i toppklasse

Raffinert klangkunstner: Simon Trpčeski.
Foto: Benjamin Ealovega / KulturOp

Hemsings makker på albumet er Simon Trpčeski, opprinnelig fra Macedonia, og nå en av Europas mest etterspurte konsertpianister. Hans mer bohemaktige spillestil gjør det sannsynlig at han ikke var til stede da coverbildet ble tatt.

Trpčeski har lenge vært en av mine favoritter blant pianister i sin generasjon, og slår meg aller mest som en raffinert klangkunstner med et særegent blikk for detaljer. Hans behandling av klaverstemmen er simpelthen magisk – jeg kan ikke huske å ha hørt bedre pianospill i disse sonatene siden Maria João Pires tidlig på 90-tallet.

Trpčeskis musikalske personlighet er i utgangspunktet noe mindre spenstig og utadvendt enn Hemsings, og han bidrar derfor til å farge Griegs musikk i litt mer melankolsk retning. Dette understrekes av den utmerkede lydproduksjonen (sonatene er spilt inn i et radiostudio i Bremen, av alle steder), hvor den runde og mørke klaverklangen utgjør en fin og naturlig kontrast til Hemsings funklende og overtonerike buestrøk.

Hjem til slutt

Som et naturlig punktum avsluttes albumet med «Homecoming», som er Hemsings egne variasjoner for solofiolin over temaet Grieg bruker i sin Ballade i g-moll, Op. 24. Grieg fikk denne melodien (via Ludvig Mathias Lindeman) fra Hemsings tipptippoldefar, Anders Nielsen Pelesteinbakken. Som seg hør og bør er denne flotte fiolinminiatyren spilt inn i Aurdals korskirke fra 1737.

HOMECOMING: Hemsing avslutter med variasjoner for solofiolin over folkemelodien hennes tipptippoldefar sang, og som til slutt endte opp i Griegs berømte Ballade i g-moll.
Foto: Nikolaj Lund

Med klare referanser til 1800-tallsvirtuoser som Paganini skaper Hemsing sin egne forbindelse mellom hjemtraktene og den romantiske fiolintradisjonen. Slik kommer Grieg omsider til Aurdal, etter selv å ha brakt bygda ut til kontinentets fornemme salonger og konsertsaler gjennom sitt berømte klaverstykke.

Det ble ingen Spellemann på Eldbjørg Hemsing forrige helg. Hun var nominert for sitt forrige album med musikk av den kinesiske stjernekomponisten Tan Dun. Det sier noe om nivået på vinneren – Oslo filhamornien og dirigent Mariss Jansons innspilling av Gustav Mahlers Symfoni nr. 3 – for på sin siste plate står Hemsing frem som nettopp en fenomenal spellemann.

Recording review: Pizzicato – Dem Ansinnen von Grieg folgend

Rezension von Uwe Krusch – Pizzicato

Die drei Violinsonaten von Grieg sind schon eine Welt für sich. Einerseits hochgradig ausgefeilt komponierte Musik, machen sie doch immer wieder Platz für volksmusikalische Rhythmen und Melodien. Diese beiden Schichten, die auch generell ein Charakteristikum der Werke dieses Komponisten sind, lässt manche Hörer an der Werthaltigkeit dieses Œuvre zweifeln. Mit seinen drei Violinsonaten wollte Grieg der Welt zeigen, dass er auch große Formate beherrschte. Das ist ihm zumindest nach ungeteilter Meinung des Publikums gelungen.

Vielleicht geht Eldbjorg Hemsing deshalb in ihren Interpretationen den Weg, der die ausgereifte Seite der Kompositionen betont und dem Liedhaften und Tänzerischen nur den unbedingt nötigen Raum lässt. Trotzdem gelingt es ihr, Schwung und Temperament zu halten und den Schwung nicht untergehen zu lassen. Insgesamt gleicht sie mit ihrer instrumentalen Intensität derjenigen ihres Begleiters am Piano.

Ihr Begleiter aus Mazedonien, Simon Trpceski, verleiht seinem Klavierbeitrag eine kraftvoll klar strukturierte Seite, die der Partnerstimme aber trotzdem auch die Luft und mitunter die Ruhe lässt, sich ebenfalls zu entfalten. Zusammen zeigen sie diese Musik, in der Freude, Überschwang und auch Selbstbewusstsein verpackt sind, mit genau dem interpretatorischen Ansatz, der diese Merkmale betont.

Quasi als Zugabe trägt Hemsing als Solistin ihr selbst komponiertes Werk Homecoming vor, bei dem sie Variationen über ein ruhiges Volkslied aus Valdres, einer Region im südlichen Binnenland Norwegens mit Impetus gestaltet.

The Grieg violin sonatas are very special. They are highly sophisticated, yet always leave room for implements from the folk music. With these sonatas, Grieg wanted to show the world that he also mastered large formats. Perhaps this is why Eldbjørg Hemsing’s interpretations emphasize the mature side of the compositions and leave only the absolutely necessary space for song and dance. Nevertheless, she manages to keep up the momentum and temperament. Her instrumental intensity resembles that of her companion on the piano, Simon Trpceski, whose playing is powerful and clearly structured, yet allows the violin to run smoothly. Hemsing, as a soloist, plays her own work Homecoming, in which she creates variations on a quiet folk song from Valdres, a region in Norway.

Edvard Grieg: Sonaten für Violine und Klavier, Eldbjorg Hemsing: Homecoming; Eldbjorg Hemsing, Violine, Simon Trpceski, Klavier; 1 SACD BIS 2456; Aufnahmen 12/2018, 03+09/2019, Veröffentlichung 03/2020 (72’30)