Eldbjørg Hemsing's Favourites
In a playlist curated exclusively for IDAGIO, Norwegian violinist Eldbørg Hemsing shares a personal selection of the music and performances – from Bach to Borgstrøm – that have a special meaning for her.Read more…
- Suk • Piano Pieces op. 7 • 1. Píseň lásky (Love Song). Adagio non troppo lentoPiano Pieces op. 7
1. Píseň lásky (Love Song). Adagio non troppo lentoMargaret Fingerhut (Piano)January 1990, Snape, Snape Concert Hall
- Schubert • String Quartet No. 14 in D minor D 810 “Death and the Maiden” • II. Andante con motoString Quartet No. 14 in D minor D 810
II. Andante con motoHagen Quartett
Lukas Hagen (Violin), Rainer Schmidt (Violin), Veronika Hagen (Viola), Clemens Hagen (Violoncello)℗ 1992
- Bartók • Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 2 BB 117 Sz. 112 (1937-1938) • II. Andante tranquilloConcerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 2 BB 117 Sz. 112 (1937-1938)
II. Andante tranquilloIsaac Stern (Violin), Leonard Bernstein
New York Philharmonic1958, New York, 30th Street Studios
- Bach • Concerto for Harpsichord, Strings and Basso Continuo No. 5 in F minor BWV 1056 • II. LargoConcerto for Harpsichord, Strings and Basso Continuo No. 5 in F minor BWV 1056
II. LargoAcademy of St Martin in the Fields
Murray Perahia (Piano)℗ 2002
- Borgstrøm • Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in G major op. 25 (1914) • II. AdagioConcerto for Violin and Orchestra in G major op. 25 (1914)
II. AdagioEldbjørg Hemsing (Violin), Olari Elts
Wiener SymphonikerSeptember 2015, Wien, MuTh Concert Hall
- Shostakovich • Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 1 in A minor op. 77 • IV. Burlesque. Allegro con brio – PrestoConcerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 1 in A minor op. 77
IV. Burlesque. Allegro con brio – PrestoEldbjørg Hemsing (Violin), Olari Elts
Wiener SymphonikerSeptember 2015, Wien, MuTh Concert Hall
- Schubert • String Quintet in C major op. posth. 163 D 956 • I. Allegro ma non troppoString Quintet in C major op. posth. 163 D 956
I. Allegro ma non troppoHagen Quartett
Lukas Hagen (Violin), Rainer Schmidt (Violin), Veronika Hagen (Viola), Clemens Hagen (Violoncello), Heinrich Schiff (Violoncello)℗ 1994
Josef Suk, Six Piano Pieces op. 7, 'Pisen Lasky' (Love Song):
I used to spend a quite bit of time in the Czech Republic when I was young, for masterclasses and competitions. In one of the competitions, an arrangement of this piece for violin and piano was the mandatory piece and I remember listening to it being played over and over again at least 30 times. Something about it really spoke to me and I could even say it went directly to the heart – it was kind of love at first sight. So much so that I have, in fact, asked to make an arrangement of it for violin and orchestra for my next recording with BIS, which is going to include repertoire by Dvořák and Suk.
Franz Schubert: String Quartet No. 14 in D minor D 810 "Death and the Maiden", II. Andante con moto:
My very first meeting with this piece was when I was 10 years old at a summer academy in the US, at Meadowmount School of Music. Each week there were four concerts in their concert hall, which, due to very warm summers, was partially open-air. I can recall the feeling of sitting in this hall at night – complete darkness outside, the sound of crickets and birds chiming and the wind softly touching the skin – while all attention was directed towards the stage and on Schubert’s ‘Death and the Maiden’. It was a very powerful moment and I have cherished the piece deeply ever since.
Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 8 in G major op. 88 B 163 nr. 8, III. Allegretto grazioso – molto vivace:
In this movement one can dream oneself away to Musikverein and its glorious Golden Hall…the grandiose lines and warmness of sound in this recording give me an idea of the golden era in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Edvard Grieg: Ballade in G minor op. 24:
I have a very strong connection to this piece due to a very interesting family link to it: Grieg travelled through Norway to collect folk tunes and melodies to use for his compositions; among the numerous places he visited were the Valdres region and Aurdal, the village that I come from. Grieg actually met my great-great-great grandfather in Hedalen in Valdres. He sang the melody to Grieg, who used it as the main theme for his Ballade op. 24. It's a very special feeling to listen to this piece, picturing Grieg meeting my ancestor and hearing the musical result of the encounter.
Béla Bartók: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 2 BB 117 SZ. 112 (1937-1938), II. Andante tranquillo:
I’ve had a strong fascination for Bartók for a long time. His tonality and musical language always felt familiar but at the same time were evocative of a different world. I learned his Second Violin Concerto when I was 14 and later had the chance to play it for Gábor Takács-Nagy. I learned a lot from him and we even spoke to Bartók’s son on the phone, who at that time lived in the US. The second movement starts out with a small melody before more and more layers are added and the orchestra sounds thicken. The violin goes from a small melody to playful passages, heavy chords, a teasing dialogue with the flute and an ethereal part high up on the G-string, before ending with a heavy, sweet sound.
Johann Sebastian Bach: Concerto for Harpsichord, Strings and Basso Continuo No. 5 in F minor BWV 1056, II. Largo:
This concerto, and especially the second movement, is perfect winter music for me: I imagine tiny snowflakes slowly falling on the piano. While there's tons of snow and the cold outside and icy frost biting the cheeks, I like nothing more than having a big cup of tea curled up on the sofa and listening to this piece…
György Ligeti: Concert Romanesc:
Work as a composer in communist post-war Hungary was not easy with government-imposed limitations and expectations. Ligeti’s 'Concert românesc' (Romanian Concerto) was completed in 1951, but instead of you might expect to hear, he goes back to his early childhood musical experiences in Romania. Ligeti wrote about how he remembered that, as a child, Romanian folk music seemed alien and alluring, especially the alpenhorn melodies from the Carpathian Mountains and the shamanistic rituals of the Romanian countryside. In 1949, he began transcribing Romanian folk songs from wax cylinder recordings at the Folklore Institute in Budapest. These melodies, and the musical memories from his childhood, directly inspired his Romanian Concerto. The second movement is an energetic dance with rhythms breaking in at the start of the "Allegro vivace".
Sergei Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5 in B flat major op 100, II. Allegro marcato:
One of the "catchiest" movements I know of. The hunting, never-resting forward momentum combined with the precision and character of this recording mean that it's always exciting to listen to.
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A major op. 92, Allegretto:
This is the most touching, powerful piece I can think of. It has been with me through some of the most difficult situations and phases of my life, and there is just something about Beethoven and especially this movement that is so emotional and uncompromising. There is no extra embroidery or fuss, just the purest music…
Hjalmar Borgstrøm: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in G major op. 25 (1914), II. Adagio:
Hjalmar Borgstrøm was a Norwegian composer who was sadly forgotten after his death. I discovered his Violin Concerto by chance and recorded it with Wiener Symphoniker and Olari Elts. Borgstrøm went to Germany at the age of 23 and stayed there for 16 years. He met a lot of radical characters, such as the composer and pianist Ferruccio Busoni, and was open to the European musical trends at that time. He was very much taken with the idea of programme music, where music should express thoughts, ideas and feelings of non-musical character. For me, the violin concerto has a very interesting structure. The first movement is very fragmented and left rather open in terms of form; it requires quite a lot of openness and imagination to play. The second movement feels almost as though it's an opera aria, with its singing phrases; it's quite a dream for a violinist to play. The third movement has the most Norwegian feel in terms of rhythm, I think: there is a “folky” pulse which can be found, for instance, in Halling, a traditional dancing tune from Norway. Here I am happy to give you a taste of the concerto with the second movement.
Dmitri Shostakovich: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 1 in A minor op. 77, IV. Burlesque. Allegro con brio – Presto:
The fourth and final movement of Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto is a bit of a dark, sinister dance which cannot be stopped, bubbling closer and closer to boiling point before quite literally exploding and ending with a bang. My first encounter with this concerto was many years ago and I just loved the intensity and emotional expression so much. It is a very demanding piece to play, both physically and emotionally, and a piece which will continue to grow with me.
Franz Schubert: String Quintet in C major op. 163 D 956, I. Allegro ma non troppo:
One of the greatest works by Schubert, in my opinion. The incredible beauty, exciting playfulness and great energy make it a piece I listen to over and over again…