Ståle Kleiberg: Do You Believe In Heather?
Hilstad, Jan Petter; Kielland, Marianne Beate; Gimse, Oyvind; Potter, Ruth; Nordstrom, Annika; Haagenrud, Ole Christian; Larsen, Anders; Kateraas, Ida; Wuttudal, Ole; Sponberg, Atle
"Some of the most beautifully played and appealing contemporary chamber and piano pieces you're likely to hear", said American Record Guide about the album Mezzotints – Chamber Music by Ståle Kleiberg. And now there is a follow-up: a new string quartet, two trio constellations and the song cycle ‘Do You Believe in Heather?’, which has given the album its title. Ståle Kleiberg is often called a "modern romantic", and for good reason. We encounter a distinctive and highly individual alloy of modern and romantic elements in his music, whether it is characterized by a still, meditative lyricism or an energizing vitality. His String Quartet no. 3 encompasses this entire range of expression. The music speaks of summer. It is imbued with joie de vivre, and was composed with a full command of the genre and with considerable virtuosity. The flute-viola-harp ensemble is less common, but by no means unknown. Following Debussy's Sonata, several trios have been composed for this ensemble, and Kleiberg's ‘Trio Luna’ is a fine and most welcome addition. The work's three movements capture the mood of three dissimilar outer and inner landscapes, all of them bathed in moonlight, albeit at different times of day and night. ‘The Light Smith’ is also a trio; it is a song cycle for mezzo-soprano, clarinet and piano, and is chamber music on a very high level of inspiration. Both ‘The Light Smith’ and ‘Do You Believe in Heather?’ are settings of poetry by the distinguished Norwegian poet Helge Torvund. These poems engage with such archetypal themes as light, quietude, love, death and nature, but they treat these themes as real, everyday experiences, rather than abstract concepts. While the theme of ‘The Light Smith’ centers on the beginnings, growth and culmination of life, it is autumn and winter we meet in ‘Do You Believe in Heather?’