Tveitt: A Hundred Hardanger Tunes; Suite No. 1; Suite No. 4 (Wedding Suite)

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WORKS: A Hundred Hardanger Tunes; Suite No. 1; Suite No. 4 (Wedding Suite)
PERFORMER: Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Bjarte Engeset
CATALOGUE NO: 8.555078
If Tveitt’s musical schooling was cosmopolitan (he studied with Honegger, Wellesz, Florent Schmitt and Villa-Lobos), his musical outlook was steeped in the Hardanger music of western Norway. Although almost 80 per cent of his output was destroyed in a fire, he almost rivalled Milhaud, Niels Viggo Bentzon or Villa-Lobos in fecundity. The Fourth Suite of Hardanger tunes was the first Tveitt work to be recorded on LP, way back in the Sixties, albeit in a much less complete form than it is here. Listen to ‘So stillt dei ror på glitre-fjord’ (How silently they row on the glittering fjord), and you will understand why Tveitt enjoyed such an enviable reputation as an orchestrator. His sound-world is highly original and imaginative, and as in ‘På vej till Brudlaupsgarden’ (Off to the wedding), unfailingly inventive. Each of these suites comprises 15 numbers, which some may find too much of a good thing, and there is something to be said for making one’s own shorter compilations. All the same, there is both variety and inspiration in both suites and David Gallagher’s booklet notes are well informed and perceptive. The Royal Scottish National Orchestra plays with evident enthusiasm for Bjarte Engeset, who has collated the various different sources in preparing his edition. Nearly all these pieces are attractive and some are quite captivating. Robert Layton