the soloist

the soloist

Gunnar Berg FRISE in WIEN 2013

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Video-recording of Gunnar Berg's FRISE I-VII for piano and chamber orchestra (1961) from June 14, 2013 in Wiener Konzerthaus, Mozart-Saal. The concert "Abend europäischer Musik" with orchestral music by Benjamin Lang (DE), Roman Berger (SK), Ulpiu Vlad (RO), Dussan Bavdek (SI), Dieter Kaufmann (A) and Gunnar Berg (DK) was a celebration of Austrian Composer's Society 100 Years. Young Swedish piano-talent OSCAR MICAELSSON was the soloist, and Korean Salzburg-based CHUNGKI MIN conducted ECCO - European Contemporary Composers' Orchestra. Film edited by Morten Schuster Rossel - http://www.superskaffer.com FRISE is published by http://www.edition-s.dk/composer/gunnar-berg, and the Danish label Danacord has released historical recordings of Berg's for piano concertos ESSAI ACOUSTIQUE FRISE, POUR PIANO ET ORCHESTRE and UCULANG with Aloys Kontarsky, Béatrice Berg and Elisabeth Klein. In the booklet (http://www.danacord.dk/frmsets/records/611-612-r.html) Mogens Andersen writes about FRISE: The title alludes to Lavard Friisholm the conductor, to whom the work is dedicated. Friisholm had led the first performance of Berg's El triptico gallego and commissioned this work for his chamber orchestra Collegium Musicum and Béatrice Berg, with whom he made the first performance. The title also indicates that the movements are chained as a frieze of pictures with recurring motives. I: Densely intertwined lines move slowly upwards and gradually spread. Concords of thirds and octaves soften the harmonic expression. Flute with added bass clarinet and two trumpets gradually come to the front. The sound becomes increasingly brighter, underlined by the glockenspiel, the halting rhythm marked by wooden sticks and temple blocks. II: A gentle game with scattered single notes, only few above mezzo piano; muted trumpet and tubular bells, the strings play con sordino a high A in changing harmonics. The piano joins in and contributes with sharp sounds; after a couple of minutes the pulse becomes more regular, indicating a quiet waltz played together with the trumpets. The strings contribute with plucked notes and towards the end yet again with new harmonics. III: A shrill contrast to the second movement: loud, scattered single notes in a high pitch, some played crescendo, others decrescendo, and abrupt entries in the piano with irregular lumps of chords. IV: The largest tableau of the frieze is a pointillist shimmer of single notes played by the whole orchestral palette joined by the piano. Leaping changes of pitch and dynamics in ragged rhythm, now condensed, now diluted. The tremoli of the beginning eventually spread out as rapid tone repetitions, now and then longer notes pop out. V: A nocturnal scenery of regular tone repetitions and turns, played by xylophone, glockenspiel and the piano adding scattered solo fi gures. Muted strings join in and contribute with glissandi. VI: A ragtime with solo introduction and epilogue. Plucked string chords in a syncopated, motoric rhythm, jazzy melody figures and chords, trumpets with wawa mutes, and in the background increasingly brighter woodwind chords. VII: A subdued summary. A figure of three repeated notes accompany a melodic phrase in the trumpet, mirrored by violin and bassoon. The melodic phrase consists of the same intervals as the violin played in the first movement (6+5 chromatic steps; the figure also appears in the intermediate movements). The note repetitions later become faster like in the fourth movement. Melody snatches and scattered harmonies emerge like in a puzzle picture with tremolo, glissandi, harmonics and finally muted trumpets, to make the listener remember the preceding movements.