For this concert the artistic director of the chamber orchestra, Henning Kraggerud, has invited two eminent colleagues to Tromsø: we will make the acquaintance of guitarist Petter Richter, and welcome back Miriam Helms Ålien who appeared as a soloist with the symphony orchestra back in 2016.
Two premier performances
To begin with we will hear Kraggerud and Ålien in Kurt Atterberg’s Suite for violin, viola and string orchestra. Originally composed as theatre music for two violins and organ, the piece was later reworked as a suite.
Not only do we have two visiting soloists for this concert, they will in addition each give the first performance of two new works by the Norwegian composer Marcus Paus. The first is a work for guitar and strings called Decameron: Concerto Rifugio. It was commissioned during the pandemic, which immediately led the composer to draw associations with Giovanni Boccaccio’s book Decameron.
Decameron was written shortly after the Black Death plague had ravaged Europe, and consists of stories told by a group of people who sought refuge in a secluded villa while they waited for the plague to run its course. In Paus’ work, the soloist takes the author’s role, presenting a series of musical narratives.
“During the composing process, many of my previous musical memories came back to me, and the music consists therefore of a mix of entirely new material, as well as direct and indirect quotations of earlier works,” says Paus of the genesis of the work.
The second premier performance is a shorter piece dedicated to Miriam Helms Ålien, entitled Voyage for Solo Violin & Strings. Paus conceived the work as a violin concerto in a miniature format.