The Bath International Music Festival is one of the most august and renowned musical gatherings in Britain. Always a place for musical luminosity, freshness and audacity, Bath is to the festival circuit what champagne is in the world of wine. No wonder then that Norway -in its prime of musical creativity and international impact- features prominently: As was the case also last year, the 2007 roster is studded with Norwegian artists and ensembles. And it is a collection of idiosyncratic and unique artists that will perform. -Artists that are like shy gems on the firmament of international music. And Bath is just the place for these; a festival for cognoscenti and those with a more than average sensitivity to aural transcendence. The program ranges widely –from folk to opera- but most of the Norwegian acts belong to the realm of jazz and adjacent reaches of the musical landscape: Hanne Hukkelberg, In the Country, Stian Carstensen, Tord Gustavsen Trio, Christian Wallumrød Ensemble; the program reads like a summary of the most acclaimed new Norwegian jazz ventures and it is no exaggeration to say that Norway dominates the jazz-part of this year’s festival. In addition Norway will be represented by the musical sage Mari Boine; whose spectral Sámi chanting has become a genre unto its own, and the wonderful crystalline song of the internationally renowned Trio Mediaeval.
Some other names worth mentioning from this year’s program are: Mingus Big Band, Maxim Vengerov, Joanna McGregor and Borodin Quartet. The festival commences on May 18th and last a full two weeks until June 2nd. sd
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