Frøydis Ree Wekre
Lisa Ford & Jan-Olav Martinsen
Atle Sponberg violin 9-11 | Tor Espen Aspaas piano 9-11
Wolfgang Plagge piano 1, 3-4 | Andrea Clearfield piano 13
Why did I choose to play an instrument like the horn? Many have asked this question, myself included, since the horn was a rather unusual instrument for a woman at that time. As a teenager I was a capable violinist, very keen on chamber music. Still I experienced a strong attraction to this wind instrument with the eternal sound. My whole musical focus moved towards the horn, even though I did continue with the violin for another couple of years. Maybe it was the feeling of having my own voice in the orchestra? Maybe it was the joy of melting in equally well with strings, woodwinds and brass? In any case, my conversion to the horn turned into a performing and pedagogical adventure, which so far has lasted for over 40 years. My choice was triggered by the discovery of the huge expressional potential of the horn, and the challenges - for myself and for the students - of attempting to master this. For many years I have felt it to be an obligation - as well as a blessing - to help the growth of the literature for my fantastic instrument. Thus the title CEROS, which is the Greek word for HORN. In this recording I have chosen works of chamber musical nature, all composed during the last 25 years; with two exceptions they were either commissioned by or dedicated to me. The composers tell their stories in different ways and through a variety of instrumentations; musical diversity, variation and emotional content have been decisive elements for my choice of repertoire. Sound recordings are an important medium in our time, both for documentation and for helping the continued lives of newer works. This project is accomplished together with several great, sensitive and inspiring musicians. It is my hope that our musical energy will reach to the listeners. - Frøydis Ree Wekre
Wolfgang Plagge was born in 1960 in Oslo, Norway. He started with music at a very young age and had an extensive pianistic career already as a child. As a composer he also had an early start; his first published work was written when he was 12 years old. Later he studied composition in Oslo and in Hamburg. Plagge is much sought after internationally as a pianist, composer and pedagogue, and his works are performed frequently. About the music presented here the composer writes: RAGA op. 106 is inspired by the formal structures and the philosophical content of classical music from India. However, it was never the intention to give the work an indian sound profile. The two horn parts start with completely different materials; later the calm and seemingly unchangeable piano part brings them together. Monoceros op. 51 is a fantasy around the secretive legendary animal Unicorn, the animal everybody has heard about, but nobody has seen. In this work it appears clearly where we do not expect to find it, but as soon as we sense it, it gallops out of sight again.
In Sonata IV op. 115 I am exploring some of the unique middle-age-material from the old archbishopric in Nidaros, Norway. During the time of the Reformation (from catholicism to protestantism) a large part of the handwritten music from the 11th century was destroyed. Only fragments of the irreplacable works are preserved. In this Sonata I have woven in the two sequences Veni Creator Spiritus and Summi Triumphum Regis.
Sigurd Berge (1929-2002) received his teacher's degree in 1952 and studied composition in Oslo, Stockholm and Utrecht. As an educator of music he became a pioneer for contemporary music in Norwegian public schools. He gave numerous lectures and published books and articles about creativity in teaching music. The music of Berge shows great variation in style; there are traditional, tonal compositions, twelve-tone, pedagogical, and electronic works, as well as music for stage and television, and chamber music. Trio for three horns from 1986 was commissioned by the group Hot Lips. Berge has also made beautiful arrangements of norwegian folk tunes for three and four horns and for woodwind and brass quintets.
Trygve Madsen (b. 1940 in Fredrikstad) came from a family of strong musical traditions and began to write music already at the age of 7. He studied piano with Ivar Johnsen and composition with Egil Hovland; later studies took place at the Academy of Music in Vienna. Among his compositions we find more than 50 songs, piano music, chamber music for various combinations, three symphonies, two overtures and other music for orchestra, and the satirical opera Circus Terra, which was premiered at the Prague State Opera in 2002. About his Trio op. 110 the composer writes: There is only one reason for a horn player, a violinist and a pianist to want to perform together, and that reason is the Brahms Horn Trio op. 40. I hope that my Trio can serve as the obligatory warming up for Brahms.
Johan Kvandal (1919-1999) is one of the most well-known Norwegian composers from his generation. He represents a national style in his way of expression, with a clear inspiration from Norwegian tonality. As the son of composer David Monrad Johansen he grew up in a home where music was central, and he gradually developed his own musical language. He travelled to Paris to study with Nadia Boulanger, and met many of the greatest names of the time there. Kvandal's large production includes chamber music and orchestral works, and also vocal music and the opera Anne Pedersdotter. Hymn Tune for horn solo was written for the late Ragnhild Gjerde, formerly principal horn in Trondheim Symphony Orchestra.
Andrea Clearfield (b. 1960) from the USA is a prolific composer and pianist. She has written for instrumental and vocal soloists, for various chamber music combinations and for choir and orchestra. Internationally reknown musicians have performed her works. She teaches composition at The University of the Arts, is the coordinator of the accompanists at the Sarasota Music Festival and a member of the group The Relache Ensemble for contemporary Music. Clearfield has received several prestigious grants and prizes. Originally from Philadelphia, her master degree as a pianist was done at the University of the Arts, and her doctoral degree in composition was accomplished at Temple University in the same city. Into the Falcon's Eye for two horns and piano was commissioned by Frøydis Ree Wekre and premiered at the Sarasota Music Festival in 2003.
Frøydis Ree Wekre (born 1941 in Oslo, Norway) is professor of Horn and Chamber Music at the Norwegian Academy of Music, where she has educated several generations of horn players from many countries. Among her most important teachers were Wilhelm Lanzky-Otto and Vitaly Boujanovsky. Formerly active as co-principal horn of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, she has had an extensive international career throughout Europe and North America as a soloist, chamber musician, lecturer and adjudicator. Wekre has been a frequent guest artist and teacher at festivals like the Sarasota Music Festival (USA) and Banff Centre of the Arts (Canada), and there have been numerous appearances at the International Horn workshops since her US debut in 1973. She has commissioned and premiered numerous works by composers from Norway and USA; some of these works are recorded on the labels Philips, Simax, and Crystal. Wekre is an honorary member of the International Horn Society, and her book, Thoughts on Playing the Horn well has been very well received and translated to several languages.
Horn players Lisa Ford and Jan-Olav Martinsen are both former students of Frøydis Ree Wekre. Ford is principal horn in Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, and Martinsen is 3./1. horn in the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. Both are active as soloists, chamber musicians and teachers. Violinist Atle Sponberg is concertmaster in the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and enjoys an extensive career as a soloist and chamber musician. He has participated in numerous recordings, spanning from contemporary music to Argentine tangos. Pianist Tor Espen Aspaas is associated professor at the Norwegian Academy of Music, in addition to having a very active performing career. He is also the artistic leader of the Winter Festival of Røros, Norway.
01. RAGA 6:30
02. MONOCEROS 3:23
03.-04. SONATE nr. 4 3:20 / 7:03
05.-08. HORNTRIO 1:19 / 3:29 / 3:01 / 1:39
09.-11. TRIO 4:56 / 7:18 / 5:24
for violin, horn and piano
12. SALMETONE 3:09
13. INTO THE FALCON'S EYE 11:11
Wekre: F/B dobbelthorn Rauch
Sponberg: Joseph Rocca (1850)
Aspaas/Plagge/Clearfield: Steinway D-mod
Track 1: Martinsen (1st), Wekre (2nd), Plagge (piano)
Track 5-8: Wekre (1st), Martinsen (2nd), Ford (3rd)
Track 13: Wekre (1st), Ford (2nd), Clearfield (piano)
distributed in Australia by
SACD, DSD & and their logos are trademarks of Sony Corporation