Halvorsen, Johan – Norwegian Rhapsody Nr.2 (1920)
(geb. Drammen, 15. März 1864 – gest. Oslo, 4. Dezember 1933)
Johan Halvorsen was one of Norway’s most prominent musicians during his lifetime. His music, similar to that of Edvard Grieg and Johan Svendsen, is strongly influenced by Norwegian folk music. It is also characterized by excellent instrumentation and colorful harmonies. While his music was almost forgotten outside Norway, there has fortunately been a renaissance of his works in the last 20 years. Thus, many of his works have appeared on recordings.
Halvorsen was born in 1864 in the town of Drammen near the Oslofjord, the son of a police officer. His musical talents were evident from an early age. In his hometown he was trained on the violin, flute, cornet and other brass instruments by the immigrant German musician Christian Jehnigen, who led both the brass band and a string orchestra in the town. At the age of 15, Halvorsen went to Kristiania, then Oslo, where he lived for a year as a pupil and wind player in the military band. His love, however, was the violin. For four years he played the violin in the orchestra of the “Christiania Folketheater” and at the same time received music lessons from Gudbrand Bøhn….
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