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The violinist Ragnhild Hemsing and the “Trondheim Soloists” ensemble – Edvard Grieg – CD review, the 16th of March 2022

Wednesday, 30 March 2022 , ora 9.03

Ever since releasing her debut album for the Berlin Classics record label, in the February of 2021, the Norwegian violinist Ragnhild Hemsing was able to inspire concert-goers with her music, playing both the violin and the Hardanger fiddle - Norway's national stringed instrument. For her new album, released on the 25th of February 2022 and recorded together with the Trondheim Soloists ensemble, the musician remains consistent and loyal to her roots, presenting the famous incidental music piece op. 23 "Peer Gynt" composed by Edvard Grieg, the greatest composer in Norwegian history. What's special about this recording is the new way in which Grieg's music is being performed, an arrangement for violin or Hardanger fiddle and string orchestra, improvisational moments in-between, an arrangement written by Tormod Tvete Vik, a 46-year-old Norwegian composer, creator of music for films, theater and television programs. This is Ragnhild Hemsing's sixth album and it embodies an old dream of the musician - to perform the "Peer Gynt" suite using the traditional Norwegian instrument. The violinist states: "I've always thought that some parts of this incidental music piece would sound perfectly performed on the Hardanger fiddle combined with the solo violin and the string orchestra. But I wanted to immerse myself deeper in this music, convinced that traditional creation and the Norwegian instrument are the sources of inspiration that Edvard Grieg must have used in his music."

Ragnhild Hemsing, who studied in Oslo and Vienna with Boris Kushnir, had her debut at the age of 14, interpreting Mendelssohn's Concerto in E minor with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra. Since then, she has been evolving as a soloist for the most important Norwegian orchestras, as well as other prestigious ensembles like the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, the Hanover Symphony Orchestra or the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich. She has been an artistic director for the Hemsing Festival since 2013, and plays a Francesco Ruggeri instrument made in 1694 in Cremona.

Larisa Clempuș
Translated by Cristina-Bianca Ion,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu