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Kraggerud and Hadland
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Sunday April 23, 2006 13:02 by Sean Crudden sean.crudden at iol dot ie Jenkinstown, Dundalk, Co Louth. 042 9371310
Long-haired Young Norwegians
Yesterday evenings recital was an effort by the Association of Music Lovers to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Norwegian composer Christian Sinding.
The Peppercanister Church with the critic, Sean Crudden, in the foreground.
The program notes for Saturday evening’s concert in The Peppercanister Church begin,
"This evening’s recital is presented with generous support from The Arts Council under its Small Festivals and Events Scheme. We are also indebted to JENSEN BEDS (Norway) and to THE BEDROOM STUDIO in Dalkey. The Royal Norwegian Embassy has also been helpful."
The concert was promoted by the Association of Music Lovers.
The performers were Henning Kraggerud (violin) and Christian Ihle Hadland (piano).
The program was:-
Mozart (1756 - 1791). Violin sonata in B flat K.454
Prokofiev (1891 - 1953)
Christian Sinding (1856 - 1941) A selection of shorter pieces
Tiredness on my part (golf earlier in the day and the car-drive from here to Dublin) caused this recital for me to sag in the middle. The latter part of the Mozart was lit up by the piano playing of Hadland. This stout young player has a presence which appeals to me and his playing has that eloquent touch of musical madness which is part and parcel of a great musician in my estimation. The sound was not large where I was sitting in the church but the tone was sweet and rounded and the general swing of the music was very engaging.
Sinding is a composer who has a characteristic style - as far as I can see from this brief hearing. The modus operandi is to ask a question and search for a note or answer - a sort of long winded cadenza effort. There is a good deal of expression along the way and the note or answer, when found, is not always the one you expect. Kraggerund spun out the music with a good deal of intensity and conviction and my impression was that I knew after the recital (from his playing and from the biographical anecdotes he gave between some of the Sinding pieces) something that I did not know before it.
I think that Kraggerund’s objective was an educational one and I think it succeeded. A case, perhaps, of a young performer educating an old audience. There were one or two younger people in the audience as well!
The final piece in the recital - before the encore - was well chosen, and the final notes of this piece were exquisitely rendered. Pardon me for being unable to give the reference for the piece. The program for the second part of the recital was given viva voce and I did not bother to make any notes.
For those who want to get some idea of the sound of Kraggerund’s playing he has a cd on the Naxos label (recorded in 2003) of Sibelius (Violin Concerto) and Sinding (Violin Concerto No 1) with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. I got a free copy of the cd yesterday evening from John A Ruddock because I bought two tickets for the concert. I put it on the cd player last night before I went to bed and I listened inattentively to it again before I went to Mass this morning and I have no hesitation in giving it every recommendation.