Performers: Martin Grubinger (percussion), Kroumata Percussion Ensemble, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Jaap van Zweden, John Axelrod

Includes: ActDas war schön!Tides

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label: Ondine Code: ODE 1118-2

“Act” is the première album on Ondine of Norvegian composer Rolf Wallin – one of Scandinavia’s leading composers and a figure of increasingly international renown who celebrated his 50th birthday in 2007. The world première recordings of three of his works feature the world-class Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of respectively Jaap van Zweden (1), John Axelrod (2-6) and music director Jukka-Pekka Saraste (7).

Commissioned by the Cleveland Orchestra, Act (2003) “is a piece about speed, about the joy of activity, and, above all, about the power of acting together.” The CD booklet notes reveal what inspired Rolf Wallin to write this piece, “the symphonic orchestra is for me one the most amazing examples of human collaboration. A large orchestra consists of around 100 extremely skilled and highly individual musicians, acting together as one enormous, resounding organism, transforming the stiff lines and dots of the score into living and moving, yet ephemeral cathedrals of sound.” The British Guardian described Act as “a wonderfully tangled study in orchestral acceleration, full of scorching details and driven by a visceral force.” (Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 16 November 2007)

A project of the Vienna Mozart Year 2006, the five-movement percussion concerto Das war schön! (2006) (“that was nice!” – a comment taken from W.A. Mozart’s diary) focuses on different musical and biographical sides of the picture of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The three middle movements are composed on the basis of musical excerpts from his oeuvre. This recording features the works dedicatee, young Austrian percussion star Martin Grubinger (born 1983) who was recipient of the “Bernstein Award” at the 2007 Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and chosen “Rising Artist 2007/08” by the European Concert Halls Organisation.

A commission by the performing Swedish Kroumata Percussion Ensemble, Tides (1998) is a piece written for six percussionists and orchestra. “The soloists, not the orchestra, carry the whole form of the piece, a strictly calculated philigrane of waves, expanding and diminishing in the course of three large ‘tides’.” (Rolf Wallin)