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Dear audience

30. nov


 



Dear audience,

The festival programme features several major highlights. We celebrate the 500th anniversary of German theologian and church reformer Martin Luther nailing his 95 revolutionary theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. We also commemorate the 250th anniversary of the death of Georg Philipp Telemann, and we continue our three-year focus on this Baroque composer who is named in the Guinness World Records as one of Europe's most prolific composers.
Last but not least, we highlight female artists: composers, musicians and conductors who today are helping to shape the classical church music tradition. We will look at women's place in church music past and present, and link this to, among other things, women's lack of religious freedom and freedom of speech in other parts of the world.

Church music masterpieces
In this year's opening and closing concerts we present two of the greatest masterpieces of church music history: first in line is J.S. Bach's St John Passion, in a rarely performed version from 1725. The work will be presented by world-renowned German choral and orchestral institution Balthasar-Neumann, under the direction of its founder and conductor Thomas Hengelbrock. The conductor first founded a soloist choir consisting of first-class soloists from all over Germany, and then a few years later an orchestra to supplement the choir. In a unique reconstruction of the premiere of Mozart's Requiem from 1791 we will meet the outstanding Scottish choir and orchestra Dunedin Consort under the direction of award-winning conductor and organist John Butt. Music researcher Butt has returned to the sources and studied how the variations in tempo originally followed the human pulse as the intensity increased, in line with Enlightenment ideals. When the festival now presents Mozart's Requiem for the first time, it does so with a distinctive interpretation of this familiar work.

Jordi Savall: Bal-Kan
The stage is set for a unique experience when we host the legendary Spanish-Catalan gambist and music theorist Jordi Savall and his ensemble Hespèrion XXI. In this concert Savall takes us to the south-eastern corner of Europe, the Balkans, which houses a multitude of nations, religions and languages – and thus a sea of different musical styles. Bal-Kan has received excellent reviews and garnered international acclaim on its recent tour of Europe.

English and Dutch vocal specialists
True to tradition, we will also delight our audience with two of the world's leading vocal ensembles. Cappella Amsterdam will appear under the leadership of Daniel Reuss, a conductor who has visited us a number of times with the world's leading vocal ensembles. This time Reuss will also hold a master class for students at the Norwegian Academy of Music. The acclaimed choir Tenebrae will be coming from London to perform under the direction of founder and artistic director Nigel Short, also known from The King's Consort and The Tallis Scholars. We will experience a concert programme that spans Spanish and Italian Renaissance to German Romantic music, and that will show how the Romantic composers were influenced by Renaissance polyphony.

World premieres
We are proud to premiere a full-length work written by the two prominent folk musicians Benedicte Maurseth and Berit Opheim. In Tidekverv the two composers take us on a journey that honours the summer and winter solstices, and the spring and fall equinoxes. The work is written in ballad style with Baroque elements, and can be perceived as a silent protest against our own time, where all kinds of music are available all the time, while in earlier times music was associated with specific religious holidays and rituals. The text is written by Bergsveinn Birgisson and Erlend O. Nødtvedt, and the work will be premiered on the day of the vernal equinox. In Prison Poems, composer Lasse Thoresen has based his work on the poems of the Iranian poet Mahvash Sabet who has been imprisoned since 2008 for her Bahá'í faith. The poems can be seen to portray women's lack of freedom of religion and freedom of speech in Iran today. The work is premiered with recitation, electroacoustic material, flute and the Oslo Cathedral Choir.
The festival also offers several newly written works: Cecilie Ore's Dead Pope on Trial is based on the true story of Pope Formosus, who was exhumed after his death to stand trial. The work will be performed together with a choral work by Maja Ratkje, interpreted by Norway's fantastic six-voice A cappella group Nordic Voices in a concert inspired by women in church music. A beautiful experience awaits when Sinikka Langeland interprets poems by the recently deceased Nobel laureate in literature, Tomas Tranströmer, in The Half-Finished Heaven. In an afternoon concert, cantor and professor Inger-Lise Ulsrud will look at some of history's female organ composers, including Jeanne Demessieux and Signe A. Lindeman.

Telemann
The Telemann anniversary will be commemorated in large and small formats: Barokkanerne and The Norwegian Soloists Choir with conductor Grete Pedersen will perform the oratorio Die Donner-Ode, written after the Lisbon earthquake of 1755. Norwegian Baroque Orchestra under the direction of Kristin von der Goltz will perform in chamber music format when they present cantatas taken from Harmonischer Gottes-Dienst. We also meet Telemann in a family event when The Young Strings of Norway under the direction of Soon-Mi Chung perform character pieces by the composer. Moreover, Minken Fosheim will give us a sneak preview of Eventyret om Telemann, which will have its world premiere at the festival in 2018. Early music specialist, professor and block flautist Frode Thorsen has researched Telemann for many years, and will give a lecture on the importance of Telemann's sacred music and place the composer in a wider contemporary context.

Luther
"Bach is unthinkable without Luther" says Alf van der Hagen in his lecture. For Martin Luther music and song were of central importance. Luther was a great hymn composer, and left a lasting mark in our hymn repertoire. We will experience this in a lunchtime concert and during several of our nine Festival High Masses. In Oslo Cathedral, cantor Kåre Nordstoga invites us to a late evening concert featuring an organ programme devoted to the German reformer. There will also be a world premiere for jazz quartet and church choir: Luther Suite written by the Danish jazz musician Jakob Buchanan and the famous percussionist Marilyn Mazur. The work will be performed by the Danish choir Concert Clemens under the direction of Carsten Seyer-Hansen, along with a jazz quartet which includes the composers themselves.
The leading German orchestra Musica Fiata and choir La Capella Ducale will, under the leadership of Roland Wilson perform a variety of J.S. Bach's Luther Cantatas.
The popular Boysen bus is ready for new adventures, and the famous organist Hans Fagius will hold both a concert and a master class with the Swedish Church of St Margareta's newly built Baroque organ.

Festival High Masses (Services)
This year's nine Festival High Masses will offer beautiful Bach cantatas, a Mozart mass with girls' choir, boys' choir and youth choir, a choir anniversary celebration and two world premieres: three new prayers and a new Magnificat. In addition, Luther and the anniversary of the Reformation will be celebrated – to name just a few highlights.

We promise outstanding concerts, interesting introductions, exciting lectures, instructive open rehearsals and excellent master classes. In other words, rich servings of church musical experiences throughout the city.
Welcome!

Bente Johnsrud
Festival and Artistic Director



We wish to thank:
HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Festival Patron.

The Royal Palace, Arts Council Norway, the City of Oslo, Bergesenstiftelsen,
DNB Savings Bank Foundation, Dextra Musica, Fritt Ord Foundation, Tekstforfatterfondet, Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, Thon Hotel Opera, Vårt Land, Norwegian Academy of Music, the Embassy of Germany, the Embassy of Spain, the Embassy of the Netherlands, Barratt Due Institute of Music, Aftenpostens A-kort, Oslo Bilutleie, Marianne Helliesen, Kirkelig fellesråd i Oslo and the Church of Norway, the parish of Oslo Cathedral and the parishes of the churches of Trefoldighet, Gamle Aker, Sentrum and St. Hanshaugen, Sofienberg, Nordberg, Akershus Slottskirke, Frogner, Østre Aker, Uranienborg and Grønland, and the Swedish Church of St Margareta.

English translation: Glen Farley
 
 
Program 2017
torsdag 16. mars
14:00
Åpen prøve for studenter og andre interesserte

fredag 17. mars
13:00
Mesterklasse med Hans Fagius

19:00
Åpningskonsert: J.S.Bach Johannespasjonen

lørdag 18. mars
12:00
Orgelkonsert med Marcus André Berg

13:30
Telemann-foredrag

16:00
Familieforestilling: Telemann for barn

19:00
Urfremføring: Prison Poems

21:30
Senkveld med Hans Fagius

søndag 19. mars
11:00
Festivalhøymesse i Oslo domkirke

11:00
Festivalhøymesse i Svenska Margaretakyrkan

11:00
Festivalhøymesse i Akershus Slottskirke

11:00
Festivalhøymesse i Østre Aker kirke

13:00
Bach er utenkelig uten Luther

14:00
Boysen-bussen

15:00
The Romantic Legacy of Renaissance Polyphony

20:00
BAL-KAN

mandag 20. mars
20:00
Urfremføring: Tidekverv

tirsdag 21. mars
12:00
Åpen prøve for studenter og andre interesserte

19:00
J.S. Bachs Luther-kantater

onsdag 22. mars
19:00
Passions and Lamentations

torsdag 23. mars
10:00
Mesterklasse med Daniel Reuss

13:00
Åpen prøve for studenter og andre interesserte

20:00
Urfremføring: Luther-suite

fredag 24. mars
19:00
G.P. Telemann: Die Donner-Ode

21:30
The Half-Finished Heaven

lørdag 25. mars
15:00
Matinékonsert med Inger-Lise Ulsrud

19:00
Dead Pope on Trial

21:30
Senkveld med Kåre Nordstoga

søndag 26. mars
11:00
Festivalhøymesse i Oslo domkirke

11:00
Festivalhøymesse i Grønland kirke

11:00
Festivalhøymesse i Frogner kirke

11:00
Festivalhøymesse I Uranienborg kirke

11:00
Festivalhøymesse i Nordberg kirke

15:00
G.P. Telemann: Harmonischer Gottes-Dienst

19:30
Avslutningskonsert: W.A. Mozart: Requiem