Saturday, June 18, 2005

Snåsa Review: Band

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Met with bravos in Snåsa

SNÅSA: Young, American music students were met with shouts of bravo for their music in Snåsa church yesterday evening.

Photo caption: Celebration concert: Director Timothy Mahr had to play three encores before the Snåsans would go home.

By Guri Hjulstad (translation by Karen Hansen)

Led by their charismatic director, The St. Olaf Band took the breath away from a nearly soldout church as they set in motion mostly contemporary music with their trombones, trumpets, flutes and clarinets.

And it was not only that they played; they sang and clapped and played glittering solo parts. The American students impressed also by introducing the works in nearly error-free Norwegian. And the Snåsa public answered with applause and even with shouts of “bravo” that you otherwise must go to more southerly regions to hear.

Three encores
Snåsans didn’t give up until the Americans had played three encores, with the Norwegian Valdres March to close. The popular guests had received three standing ovations.

The music selection was demanding. This was not at all familiar classical sounds; it was advanced contemporary music. And contemporary music is not always easily accessible.

It is not the melodies that captivate, but rather the rhythm and the surprising sound pictures. Suddenly a sound, a line comes in from the sideline, completely unexpected, and garners attention.

The hawk’s experiences
It helped us to know that the “The Soaring Hawk” was inspired by meditation about the hawk’s experience of the life on the earth – seen from the air.

The orchestra led us into a landscape where the trees, the tall grass, the clear water are. The musicians played with a closeness and a gleam in the eye that drew the audience along even where we did not understand everything.
On the other hand, we understood quite quickly that Matthew Nudelle is an eminent and charming trombone soloist. With a fantastic solo, he played the instrument from cellar to attic at the same time that he communicated with the audience. Then Snåsans shouted “bravo” in return.

Very demanding
Afterward, the band set in motion a symphony, Symphony No. 2, with music that describes both the outer realm and humankind’s inner world, with mystical dreams.

It was very demanding, said Ben Wareham during intermission. He sat in front of the pulpit in the church, and therefore didn’t have contact with the musicians farther back. He quite simply couldn’t hear them.

“I had to guess,” said the young music student. Director Timothy Mahr expressed thanks for the radiant reception the Americans had received in Snåsa – “Snåsa is our second home,” said Mahr.


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