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  BIS -
  Thommessen: Bull's Eye - Herresthal, Gupta
  Olav Anton Thommessen: Bull's Eye, Please Accept My Ears, Cantabile

Peter Herresthal (violin)
Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
Rolf Gupta (conductor)
Track listing:
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Reviews: 3

Review by Peter June 6, 2007 (5 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
This is a rough translation of the above.

Here is a completely accessible disc of contemporary music, easy access which avoids the hermetism, even masochism, of a number of contemporary compositions. Born in 1946, Olav Anton Thommessen is “one of the founders of the Information Centre of Music of Norway and pioneer of the composition course at the higher National Academy of Norwegian music”. Author of more than one hundred of works, Thommessen undertook the composition of his symphonic poem “Bull’s eye” for solo violin and double orchestra, back in 2003, when the forgotten composition, Concerto for violin in A major by Ole Bull, was discovered. At this point in time, faithful to his style, in particular in his concertante works, Thommessen intended “to borrow components of the themes, harmonies, tempo/rhythm, orchestration and virtuosity of Bull, to examine them thoroughly and to then confront them with his own material”.

The result is completely remarkable. In a kind of “organic fusion” where a double orchestra and the solo violin intermingle, the force of the musical language lies in an immense palette of play, for both orchestra and soloist. Between virtuosity and elegiac evocation, the work flows like a vast river carrying a multi-coloured range of musical memories. Let us praise the more than remarkable violinist Peter Herresthal who manages to combine in the same breath, virtuosity and melody dash. The programme of this extremely interesting CD continues with a piece for violin and piano from 1981 called “Please accept my ears”, a kind of play between two instruments in the heart of an interactive space. Then comes a hit for solo violin “Cantabile comes” which is in fact a study whose creation goes back to 1995. Here, soft nostalgia seizes the stringed instrument in a song lying in particular at the top of its range. For all who are in love with music and for those who do not dare to venture on the path of contemporary creativity, this recording is a discovery not to be missed.

Jean-Jacques Millo

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Review by raffells March 27, 2008 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
This is more of a report than a review and is to to add to JJs review.
Firstly I would describe the main work 34.17" as a Violin concerto
with a very large orchestra in a modern style and occasionaly just
wandering into the avante garde.
This main work described as a "wrapping of Ole Bulls opera"
is broken down into 7 sections of which the first part is longest @
11.05 and the final 7th is a Cadenza at 8.26. So each of the middle
varied and contrasting sections never gets time to outweigh their welcome.

The recording quality of the huge orchestra and the extremely wide
dynamics is probably one of the best I have heard.Certainly
demonstration quality. To some extent this recording
quality distracted me from the work itself.
It would also be very difficult to describe this as comparable
with any other composers work.Though there are hints of various styles
and scandi music.Even a crib from Mozarts Musical Joke for a few seconds.
Occasionally the virtuosity is of a Paganini magnitude and then at times
the soloist is battling against the orchestra.(Its starts this way)
I must admit that this work will challenge the average listener and is
probably not recommended for the casual classical music listener.

The second work Please accept my Ears for violin ad piano is just as well
recorded and to some extend in a similair vein to the main work.Virtuostic
dramatic poetic and a challenge to listen to. 5 46"

Finally track 9 is a Cantabbile for solo violin which at times makes the
previous violin gymnastics seem quite tame.Afer several months of trying
I will probably give up on this .

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Review by JJ June 5, 2007 (4 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
Voici un disque de musique contemporaine tout à fait abordable, d'accès facile qui refuse l'hermétisme voire le masochisme de nombre de partitions d'aujourd'hui. Né en 1946, Olav Anton Thommessen est "l'un des fondateurs du centre d'information de musique de la Norvège et l'initiateur du cours de composition au Conservatoire national supérieur de musique de Norvège". Auteur de plus d'une centaine d'oeuvres, Thommessen entreprit la composition de son poème symphonique "Bull's eye" pour violon solo et double orchestre, datant de 2003, lorsqu'il découvrit la partition oubliée du Concerto pour violon en la majeur de Ole Bull. C'est alors que, fidèle à ses habitudes, notamment dans ses œuvres concertantes, Thommessen eut l'intention "d'emprunter des composantes des thèmes, harmonie, rythme, orchestration et virtuosité de Bull, de les examiner minutieusement et de les confronter ensuite avec son propre matériel". Le résultat est tout à fait remarquable. Dans une sorte de "fusion organique" où s'entremêlent un orchestre double et le violon solo, la force du discours musical réside en une immense palette de jeu, à la fois orchestrale et soliste. Entre virtuosité et évocation élégiaque, l'oeuvre s'écoule tel un vaste fleuve charriant un éventail coloré de réminiscences musicales. Saluons la prestation plus que remarquable du violoniste Peter Herresthal qui parvient à allier en un seul souffle, virtuosité et élan mélodique. La suite du programme de ce Super Audio CD fort intéressant nous propose une pièce pour violon et piano datant de 1981 intitulée "Please accept my ears". Sorte de jeu entre deux instruments au cœur d’un espace interactif. Vient ensuite une page pour violon solo "Cantabile" qui est en fait une étude dont la création remonte à 1995. Ici, une douce nostalgie s'empare de l'instrument à cordes dans un chant se déployant notamment sur le sommet des notes les plus aiguës. Pour tous les amoureux de musique et pour ceux qui n'osent s'aventurer sur la voie de la création contemporaine, cet enregistrement est une découverte à ne pas manquer.

Jean-Jacques Millo

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Works: 3  

Olav Anton Thommessen - Bull's Eye
Olav Anton Thommessen - Cantabile
Olav Anton Thommessen - Please Accept My Ears