We are thrilled to be able to welcome you to Fjord Classics for the first time! Sandefjord will be our main arena, with two marvellous concert venues: Sandefjord- and Sandar Church.
Both are established concert settings, with all one could wish for from a concert hall: superb acoustics and captivating atmosphere, plenty of space for musicians to perform in, - for audiences to listen and see. Beautiful rooms that tell a story even before the music starts. We have explored numerous places in the county of Vestfold that lend themselves to musical presentations, and alongside Sandefjord we’ll be bringing music to selected locations; incredible medieval churches that Vestfold is so replete with, magical places like Verdens Ende (World’s End), the country house/farm Engø Gård, and Jarlsberg Manor. With the light on summer nights barely dimming, there’ll be time for cheerful reflection over the day’s musical events at Draaben bar.
We are delighted to be able to present an exceptionally exciting mix of international musicians – some will be well-known to many, others less so, but they all represent the absolute highest level of today’s classical music world.
The theme of this first year will be: ‘The Dance of Life’, inspired by Edvard Munch’s painting from the turn of the last century. This brings with it associations with the era, not least in Paris, then as now a hub of western culture, a place Munch and other artists sought out for impulses. An incredible amount of exciting music, art and science unfolded; perception of the soul and spirit was stretched in all directions. A new kind of beauty was seen in what before had been considered too ugly. Or rather, the ugliness too was seen perhaps as an important element of true human expression.
Stylistically too, it’s a vibrant, hectic time, and all is captured in Munch’s art: Expressionism, impressionism, symbolism. And these –isms are all equally important to music too. Stravinsky, Debussy, Chausson, Ravel. The latter is represented in our programme by, for instance, his effervescent La Valse, a whirling dance of life gone askew.
Rounding off our programme will be, we believe, the first presentation in Norway of Enescu’s magnificent Octet for Strings. Composed in Paris in 1900, the same year Munch completed his painting, where the final movement once again is a grandiose waltz, but this time celebratory and sincere, with none of Ravel’s irony and calculated decadence.
Bach’s 6 Suites for Solo Cello will be performed over two evenings by the brilliant Hungarian cellist Istvan Vardai. Once again pure dance movements. Ever-towering Bach will also fill an evening on his own with piano music; his Goldberg Variations will be played its entirety by the young Icelandic piano sensation Vikingur Olafsson.
We are hugely looking forward to launching Fjord Classics. And we shall be doing our utmost to be the pearl in the Vestfold Music Festival’s mussel!
Kathryn Stott & Lars Anders Tomter