Kwetzinsky, Løvlid and the “mountainous Grieg”

As part of the Grieg year 2007; the commemoration of the great composer’s death one hundred years ago, pianist Joachim Kwetzinsky and folk singer Unni Løvlid will perform a series of concerts in the south Norwegian mountains, at places that exerted great influence on Grieg and his music.

Joachim Kwetzinsky på Festspillene i Bergen, 2005

The opening concert will take place on Saturday June 16th at Luster, while the following day sees a performance at Fossli Hotel in Eidsfjord, which is where Grieg was staying while composing “Norwegian folk songs opus 66” in 1896. The material in this oeuvre is taken from the traditional musical heritage of the mountains, and directly inspired from local performances Grieg enjoyed during his extensive roaming in these areas. Grieg reinterpreted the songs into piano pieces. The collection represents Grieg at the apex of his national romanticism; fitting material for summer concerts in the year of Norwegian Grieg celebrations.

Kwetzinsky and Løvlid will do a tour of the areas in question; performing at select places intimately bound to Grieg and to the scenarios, emotions and local culture that was so significant to him. But concerts will also be given in Oslo and Bergen. The two performers are part of a group of carefully chosen musicians that make up “Grieg Force”; a kind of musical task force set up for the Grieg year Grieg 07 with the intention of bringing his music, in exquisite and vital presentation, around the country and the wider world.

Previously -celebrating the Norwegian national day in May- Kwetzinsky and Løvlid played this Grieg material in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and later on in the summer they will go to Iceland for two concerts.

Joachim Kwetzinsky is a young pianist already highly acclaimed for his exquisite musicality and magnificent technique. He was the winner of the prominent national “Intro-classical” competition in 2004. The jury emphasised his audacious repertoire, his unique overview and ability to mould the material, his technique and his unsentimental sensitivity.

Unni Løvlid is among the most sought after and versatile traditional vocalists in Norway. She was pronounced “Folk musician of the year” at last year’s national gathering of folk music “Folkelarm”

Løvlid represents an unbroken line to the songs and the performers that so inspired Grieg, while Kwetzinsky is the classical pianist of great virtuosity and sensitivity that matches the classical genius of Grieg.

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