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Ionarts-at-Large: The Oslo Philharmonic (No. 1)

Off the much delayed plane at the Gardermoen airport in Oslo at 6.18PM, onto the express train into town at 6.46, out at the Nationaltheatret train station, a healthy trot over to the 1400-seat, 1977 Concert House that is the functional, if not particularly pretty home of the Oslo Philharmonic, and I managed to slink into my seat with half a minute to spare before the lights went out at 7.30 for the concert on Wednesday, March 2nd.

Marc Albrecht conducted Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin in which the crisp tempi (about as breathless in the opening as I was) and the organically emerging sounds gave the work a cool, foreign character that belied the French origins but were—eventually—pleasurable in their own right.

available at Amazon W.A.Mozart, PC Nos.21 & 22,
C.I.Hadland / A.Engegård / Oslo Phil

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Albrecht closed with Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring that lacked nothing in precision nor in individual contributions—but missed the tooth and the ruthlessness that makes the Rite work its propulsive, ruthless magic.

The highlight came in form of a cancellation. Not that it wouldn’t have been nice to hear Lars Vogt in Mozart’s C-Major Piano Concerto No.21, K. 467, but 28 year old Christian Ihle Hadland (a Stavanger native) stepped in and managed something remarkable. His Mozart was bubbly, but never precious… confident, but not flamboyant… playful, but not distorted and exaggerated: Excellence by elimination of transgressions... and the orchestra played along at all times.

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