New recordings

I’ve uploaded some recordings from my concert in Arna church 25th of April. I’ve replaced the recording of Bachs “Dorian”, recorded in Vardeneset church, with a recording from Arna church, and I’ve uploaded a recording of Cesar Franck’s Choral in a minor.

Especially on the latter one, you will hear a quite annoying squeaking noise. This is caused by one of the shutters in the swellbox for the Swell Organ, and it wasn’t fixed before the concert (actually, it hasn’t been fixed yet, but I hope to do some day).

Johann Sebastian Bach: Toccata & Fuga, d minor “Dorian” – Arna church

Cesar Franck: Choral no. 3, a minor

Organ concert in Arna church

25.04.2012
20:00to21:30

During “Culture Days” in Arna, I will have my first organ concert as organist/director of music in Arna church.

The organ of Arna church, was built in 1955 by Norwegian organ builder, Jørgensen. As many organs produced in the 40s, 50s and 60s, there were some fairly large issues with the organ, mostly electrical errors, but also damaged pipes etc.

All these issues led to a conclusion in the mid-1990s, that the organ had to be demolished, and there was a fund raising to collect money to build a new organ. Fortunately, one of my predecessors, discovered that the organ had many, many good qualities. They were just hidden behind all the electrical issues. After a while, he managed to convince the church of Bergen that a restoration of the organ would be sufficient.

So a couple of years ago, the organ was restored, repaired and enlarged, with 3 additional stops, which gives the organ a total of 43 stops, making it one of the largest instrument in Bergen municipality, except those found in downtown Bergen. During the restoration, air pressure inside the organ’s bellows, were increased, making it a much more powerfull organ than it was originally.

I’m very excited about this concert, and looking forward to perform my first of many organ concerts in Arna church.

 

Admission: Free

Program

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750): Toccata & Fugue, “Dorian”, BWV 538

Dietrich Buxtehude (1637 – 1707): Ein Feste Burg Ist Unser Gott, BuxWV 184

Félix-Alexandre Guilmant (1837 – 1911): Grand Choeur, op. 84

Olivier Messiaen (1908 – 1992): From “La Nativité du Seigneur”: Jésus accepte la Souffrance

Flor Peeters (1903 – 1986): Aria, op. 51

César Franck (1822 – 1890): Choral no. 3, a minor

New job

As I may have written somewhere on my website, I moved back to Bergen in May to work in Salhus church in Bergen. However, I’m now quitting that job, and from January 1st, I will be Musical Director of Arna church, Bergen.

To tell you a little bit about Salhus first, the church has a really bad organ from 1941(-ish). Actually, yesterday, as I was about to start the annually christmas-concert, the organ collapsed. We’re working on a new organ, but that won’t be in the church before summer 2014 – IF we’re lucky. The present organ is also quite small, 14 stops, and the new organ will be between 11 and 14 stops. Salhus church is also a tiny church, situated next to a fjord and a beach. But all though it’s only about 15 km to Bergen city centre from Salhus, it actually takes a while to go that way. As I don’t own a car, I have to use bus, and that actually takes close to one hour. Each way.

So that’s Salhus. In addition, my current job is 80%, which means I’m loosing about 55,000 NOK (app. $ 10,000) each year compared to a 100% job.

Well, my new job in Arna, is 100%. And it’s a quite big church (500 seats) with a fairly large organ with three manuals (28 stops + 15 = 43 stops) which was built in the 1960s, and acutally was not so good, but was completely restored in 2009. Air-pressure was increased, pipes cleaned, the organ was revoiced etc etc. There is only one (or two) jobs left on the organ now, and that is that the console has to be moved to a new position at the organ-loft. In a long term, I hope we will get a new console, but that’s many years ahead.

Arna Church is also located next to the sea, and there is a river floating by my office. And within two minutes walking-distance, there’s a train, taking you to Bergen city centre in less than 10 minutes (and where the buses in Salhus very often is delayed, the train Bergen – Arna actually has the best on time-statistics in Norway, with I believe close to 96% ON TIME).

Also, Arna is one of the places in Bergen which will probably be facing a really large expansion over the next 20-30 years, which in that timespan could increase population from about 8,000 to close to 30,000. So Arna is a really exciting place to be.

I really look forward to start my new job, and I hope that I will be in that job for many, many years.

Recordings from Odense

I’ve waited a while to upload the recordings from my concert in Odense cathedral last month, but now they’re here, so please enjoy them, and feel free to give me any feedback :)

Johann Sebastian Bach: Piece d’Orgue, BWV 572

Dietrich Buxtehude: Vater Unser Im Himmelreich, BuxWV 219

Alexandre Guilmant: Sonata no. 5 – Allegro Appassionato

Alexandre Guilmant: Sonata no. 5 – Adagio

Alexandre Guilmant: Sonata no. 5 – Scherzo

Alexandre Guilmant: Sonata no. 5 – Recitativo

Alexandre Guilmant: Sonata no. 5 – Choral et Fugue

Just a little update

This weekend, I was in Skien church in Telemark county, to play a concert. For those who don’t know so much about Norwegian organs and churches, Skien church has the third largest organ in Norway with 70 stops (not sure how many ranks…), only exceeded by Nidaros Cathedral and Oslo Concert-Hall.

At this concert I played some repertoire by Bach, Buxtehude and Guilmant. I arrived very late friday night, due to a 2 hour flight-delay, and saturday I practiced between some weddings.

Late saturday night (not sure about what time it was, I was very exhausted) I did a little recording for my aunt.
She loves the Toccata by Charles-Marie Widor, and she has nagged me for years to make a special recording for her, with me playing it, but I haven’t an organ to do a proper recording of this piece, until now.

So I did this little recording saturday night. Enjoy!

Charles-Marie Widor: Toccata from Symphonie no. 5 (recorded in Skien church)

Concert in Skien church

26.06.2011
19:00to20:30

This evening I will play a concert in Skien church in Telemark county. Skien church has Norway’s third largest organ, with 4 manuals and 70 stops. The oldest parts of this organ dates back to 1894 when norwegian organ-builder Olsen & Jørgensen built an instrument with 2 manuals  and 31 stops. It has since been rebuilt in 1936 (added a third manual and 8 stops) and 1954, at which the organ was enlarged to its present size.

The program for this concert will be the same program that I’m going to play in Odense, Denmark:

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750): Piece d’Orgue

Dietrich Buxtehude (1637 – 1707): Vater Unser im Himmelreich

Alexandre Guilmant (1837 – 1911): Sonata pour Orgue no. 5, op. 80

I don’t know yet if it’s going to be sold tickets or if  the concert is free of charge, but I will publish this as soon as I know.

Concert in Vardeneset church with singer Espen Samuelsen

10.04.2011
19:00to20:15

This evening, I will have concert together with norwegian singer Espen Samuelsen who lives in Stavanger. We will perform some well-known pieces from both the classical genre and the more “popish” music litterature. Between the songs, norwegian lyricist, Kjellaug Bakke, will read some poems of herself and some written by others. I will also play an organpiece during this concert.

Tickets: NOK 100,-

Concert in Vardeneset church

29.05.2011
19:00to20:15

In a couple of months, I’ll pack all my stuff and move back to Bergen. A couple of weeks ago, I got an offer for a job in Bergen. Long story short, I start in this job June 1st.
So this concert will be my last in Vardeneset church as musical director there.

Tickets: Free

Program:

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750): Piece d’Orgue, BWV 572

Dietrich Buxtehude (1637 – 1707): Vater Unser in Himmelreich, BuxWV 219

Thèodore Salomé (1834 – 1896): Grand Choeur

Philip Hayes (1738 – 1797): Pastorale

Max Reger (1873 – 1916): Benedictus, op. 59 no. 9

Egil Hovland (f. 1924): Jesus Frelser, vi er her

Olivier Messiaen (1908 – 1992): Fra “l’Ascension” (The Ascension); Prière du Christ montant son Père (Prayer of Christ ascending towards his Father)

Flor Peeters (1903 – 1986): Toccata, Fugue et Hymne sur Ave Maris Stella, op. 28

Concert in Odense cathedral, Denmark

21.07.2011
20:00to21:30

It’s an honor and a great pleasure for me to announce that this summer, I will give my first solo-concert abroad. I have been invited to Odense, Denmark to play a concert featuring both of the organs in Odense Cathedral. The concert will be in two parts; in the first part, I will be playing on the choir organ, and in the second part, I will be playing on the great organ.

The choir-organ was built by the Danish organbuilder Carsten Lund in 1998. It has 20 stops and is tempered after Schnitger in 1724, so it is a perfect organ for Bach, Buxtehude and other composers from the baroque-era and earlier eras.

The main-organ has it’s history from about 1752, when a Danish organbuilder named Amdie Worm, built an organ with 42 stops, a significant large organ at that time (for instance, the great organ in Marienkirche, Lübeck, had at that time an organ of about 50 stops. Now, the great organ of Marienkirche has 101 stops).
In 1862 another Danish organbuilder, Marcussen & Søn, built a new organ with 40 stops behind Worm’s beautiful organ-casing. In 1934, Marcussen & Søn, expanded the organ so it had 53 stops. In 1965 they did another expansion, so today the organ has 57 stops. The organ has also been equipped with 2.000 setzer-combinations, which makes it very easy to make very big changes in the sound of the organ.

The program for this concert is:

1st part (on the choir-organ):
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750): Piece d’Orgue, BWV 572

Dietrich Buxtehude (1637 – 1707): Vater Unser in Himmelreich, BuxWV 219

2nd part (on the main-organ):
Félix-Alexandre Guilmant (1837 – 1911): Sonata no. 5 pour Orgue, op. 80