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BULL´s eye

Orchestras / Ensembles
Catalogue numberBIS-1512 SACD
Release date2006-03-30
Orig. sample rate44100Hz
Total time55:35

For a number of years Olav Anton Thommessen (b.1946) has been a colourful and dynamic player in the musical life of Norway. He was one of the initiators behind the creation of the Norwegian Music Information Centre as well as the composition course at the Norwegian Academy of Music, and has for years been participating in the ongoing discussion about the role of music in society. Born into a family of diplomats, from an early age he encountered influences from the most varied of cultures. Most important was his stay in the USA in the late 1960s, when he studied at Indiana University. His encounter there with Bernard Heiden, a student of Hindemith, and Iannis Xenakis, guest professor at the university in 1967, had a decisive impact on him. In 1972, after studies in Warsaw and Utrecht, he was given a position at the Norwegian Academy of Music. It was in these years that his earliest important works were composed. The orchestral Some Sound, subtitled Solstykket (Sunpiece), was chosen for performance at the ISCM Festival in London in 1970 and was inspired by the famous murals by Edvard Munch in the Oslo University Hall. In 1973 the chamber work Mutually was premièred and in the following years Thommessen received a number of commissions for chamber works, operas and orchestral music, among them Stabsarabesk, Maldoror, The Secret Gospel, The Overtone and the chamber opera The Hermaphrodite.
In the 1980s, as part of a strategy of communication with the public, Thommessen began to use the history of music as a musical warehouse. In the same way that nationalistic composers had utilized folk music, Thommessen envisaged the heritage of classical music as a supply-room of musical building components. A characteristic work from this period is the Macrofantasy over Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor from 1981, which is part of the evening-length cycle A Glass Bead Game. This consists of six independent compositions: Prologue, Macrofantasy for piano and orchestra, Beyond Neon for horn and orchestra, Choral Symphony over Beethoven’s Eighth, Through a Prism for cello, organ and orchestra and Encore over Verdi’s Dies Iræ – Apotheosis. The 1980s also saw the creation of a number of chamber music works, as well as other orchestral works and concertos. Many of these, such as EingeBACHt for piano and the opera Hertuginnen dør (The Duchess Dies), with its expressive incorporation and use of the madrigals of Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa, are excellent examples of how Thommessen developed his technique of quotations towards the violin concerto BULL’s eye.
Thommessen’s work-list consists of more than 100 opus numbers, and many of them have brought him prestigious awards and distinctions, including the 1990 Nordic Council Music Prize.

Some press voices:

"... here is one composer whose extravagance rewards the effort and attention made in getting to know him. ,,, Thommessen's music deserves far greater exposure than it has received, but until that day comes, if it ever does, this disc makes an excellent introduction to his ebullient and provocative art. ,,, Stunning engineering, particularly vivid with the extra spatial presence of SACD multichannel sound, completes this wholly winning picture. ,,,The Oslo Philharmonic also plays very well under Rolf Gupta, making this one of the standout contemporary music releases of 2006." 05/2006
    File formats included in STUDIO QUALITY
    • FLAC 24-bit Stereo
    • FLAC 24-bit Surround 5.0
    • FLAC 16-bit Stereo
    • MP3 Stereo
    File formats included in CD QUALITY | MP3
    • FLAC 16-bit Stereo
    • MP3 Stereo
$ 11.47
Extra material for download
  Composer: Thommessen, Olav Anton
  BULL's eye 34:17
01 I. Andante maestoso 11:05 $ 2.33 USD
02 II. Adagio cantabile 02:38 $ 0.55 USD
03 III. 02:26 $ 0.51 USD
04 IV. Più vivo 02:57 $ 0.62 USD
05 V. Poco più lento 02:29 $ 0.52 USD
06 VI. Moderato molto con fuoco 04:16 $ 0.90 USD
07 VII. Cadenza accompagnata 08:26 $ 1.77 USD
08 Please Accept my Ears for violin and piano 05:46 $ 1.21 USD
09 Cantabile (Etyde-cadenza) for solo violin 14:33 $ 3.06 USD
  Album total 55:35
ComposerThommessen, Olav Anton
ViolinHerresthal, Peter
OrchestraOslo Philharmonic
ConductorGupta, Rolf
PianoMoreno, Gonzalo

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