Geirr Tveitt is one of Norway’s most original composers. He was born in 1908 in the city of Bergen. Through his culture loving parents he learned about ancient Norwegian poetry, northern mythology and folk songs, all of which were important influences when he started to create music.
Tveitt started to write and compose music when he was just 17 years old and showed great talent. People around him encouraged the young man to pursue a music career, and he went to Leipzig in Germany to study composition and piano. After he graduated he went to Paris to learn more about French music, and the French impressionism had a great influence on him. His love for Norwegian culture and traditional folk music, in addition to his interest in French music, contributed to make him an innovative and original composer.
Although many of Tveitts 300 compositions sadly were destroyed in a fire, one was able to save 90 of them. It is some of these works that Naxos has been recording and releasing for the last six years.
Norwegian pianist Håvard Gimse is one of the musicians who have been involved in the project from the start in 1996. He is also featured on this last recording which include piano consert nr. 4 and the so-called ”Double concert”, for two pianos. Gimse plays together with the exciting young pianist Gunilla Süssman on that particular piece.
The Royal Scottish National Orchestra has also been involved in the recordings on a grand scale, and thanks to them, the conductor Bjarte Engset and Gimse, Tveitt's music has been revitalised. Five of the compositions in the Naxos releases had never been recorded earlier.
- We felt that Tveitt’s works had been neglected, his works deserve more recognition, says Kjell Wernøe, head of the Tveitt project.
- And there has been an enormous interest in these recordings, we have sold 30 000 copies, which is a huge amount for a record like this.
Critics in Norway and abroad have given the records rave reviews and among the honourable mentions are two ”Editor’s Choice” in Gramophone and two ”Five Star Awards” in BBC music magazine.
In Norway Naxos introduces this latest Tveitt recording as "the record of the month".