Successful and all Norwegian from Stavanger Symphony Orchestra

The Norwegian Composers´ Society celebrates 75 years and yesterday Stavanger Symphony Orchestra highlights it with an all Norwegian concert in Oslo Concert Hall. A small selection of composers from our own time were chosen, with father David Monrad Johansen first and son Johan Kvandal last.

Monrad Johansen’s symphonic poem ‘Pan’ is often found on the orchestra’s programme, but has never before had such dynamic performance. The work has a magical atmosphere, excellently brought out by conductor Ole Kristian Ruud.

One of the first to perform Fartein Valen’s Violin concerto from 1940 was Camilla Wicks. Fartein Valen was a very humble man, but displays a strong mind and power on many levels in his violin concert. In the final choral ‘Jesus is my hope, my comfort’, Valen’s heartfelt Christian belief comes to the fore. It has a truly special effect and it was a great pleasure to experience Camilla Wicks again. Through a long artist life she has kept the same sparkling sound in her instrument, the same warmth. But her play has just matured even more through the years.

It was a long leap from Valen’s fervour to the significantly younger Ragnar Søderlind’s ‘Trauermusik’. It is a great piece, effectful, well-constructed. And it had an excellent performance.

Johan Kvandal is a significant composer with a rich production. ‘Antagonia’ – Concerto for 2 string orchestras and percussion is exciting with the two orchestras playing against each other. The musicians made an effort deserving respect, with a tight, solid interplay. The composer himself received a lengthy tribute from the audience for his solidly cast work.

 by Torstein Gilje, Stavanger Aftenblad, 02.10. 1992