Ørjan Matre is nominated for the 2020 Nordic Council Music Prize for the orchestral work Lyric Pieces (2019).
The jury’s rationale:
The work plays creatively on Grieg’s simple melodic lines, offering surprising and fresh twists. The orchestral sounds are rich and brilliant, while fragments of the old pieces burst through and insist on their timelessness. Yet this is by no means an orchestration of Grieg. Matre regards Grieg as a peripheral memory – something abstract yet near and dear. Respectful and approached with love.
Lyriske stykker is pleasing to the ear and is a beautiful universe that, by way of detours through Hollywood, Disney, and the contemporary, makes both modern orchestral music and the classical legacy relevant to more listeners. This is elegant and stylish music in which Matre clearly shines through, with fleeting visits from Grieg.
Read about the nomination and the other nominees here:
In November 2019, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Edward Gardner premiered Lyric Pieces, based on six of Edvard Grieg’s iconic piano pieces (see the performance here). On June 15 2020, their first concert after COVID-19 with an actual audience in the hall, they will perform it again, this time with Leif Ove Andsnes at the piano. They have also commissioned an extra movement, Notturno, based on Grieg’s Notturno from his Op. 54.
The Edvard Grieg International Piano Competition 2020 has commissioned a short piano solo work to be included in the competition. Notturno, a 4 minute piece which vaguely points towards Edvard Grieg’s Lyric Piece with the same name, can until April 20 be dowloaded on the following page: Edvard Grieg Competition – Repertoire.
Lyric Pieces is nominated for the Norwegian Publisher Price 2020, in the category “Contemporary work of the year”. Ørjan Matre is also nominated as “Classical/Contemporary Composer of the year”. The price winners will be announced on February 26, 2020. Lyric Pieces is published by Edition Peters and was premiered in November 2019 by Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Edward Gardner.
The Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Øyvind Bjorå, will start 2020 with four performances of Lyric Pieces (Excerpts). For the performances in Bergen they will be joined by poet Erlend O. Nødtvedt reading texts from his book Bergens beskrivelse.
Lyric Pieces will be premiered by Bergen Philharmonic Orhcestra and Edward Gardner on November 14 in the Grieg Hall, Bergen. The piece is based on six of Edvard Grieg’s Lyric Pieces; Arietta, Spring Dance, Solitary Traveller, Butterfly, Bell Ringing and Remembrances. It is not a conventional orchestration of the piano pieces, rather composed interpretations inspired by Grieg’s harmonic and rythmic ideas. Grieg himself is piano soloist in the last movement, in a recording from 1903.
A new version of the harp concerto “…yet from those flames no light…” is performed on November 3rd in Bergen Domkirke. The piece was premiered in 2015 by Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Edward Gardner and harp soloist Johannes Wik. The orchestra and the soloist are the same for this performance, but the piece now also includes choir (Bergen Domkor) and organ (Sigurd Melvær Øgaard).
The stage setup will be quite spectacular, with the orchestra distributed throughout the church, completely surrounding the audience.