Halvor Haug – Duetto Bramoso for violin and guitar (1976)
First performance: February 8th 1977, NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Company)
A recording (now unavailable) of the work was released in 1980 by Philips (Norway) under the “Contemporary Music from Norway” series. The players in that recording are Simon Walter Hauge, violin and Sven Lundestad, guitar.
Further studies in Helsinki brought him, in 1973, in contact with Einar Englund (1916 – 1999) and Erik Bergman (1911 – 2006) who where his teachers for a year. Bergman was one of the pioneers of modernism in Finland. Englund (one of the foremost Finnish symphonists in the generation after Sibelius) taught Haug mainly orchestration. These two impulses proved to be of great importance for the development of Haug’s artistic personality. In 1978 Haug received advice from the English composer Robert Simpson (1921 – 1997), another great symphonist in the second half of the Twentieth Century.
The 1976 work “Symfonisk Bilde” (Symphonic Picture) marks Haug’s first truly independent composition, written without outside guidance. Further works such as “Stillhet” (Silence) for strings and the orchestral pieces “Poema Sonoro”, “Poema Patetico” and “Furuenes Sang” (Song of the pines) established Haug as one of Norway’s foremost symphonic voices. Five symphonies followed, the last three of which were commissioned, nos. 3 and 5 by the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra and no. 4 by the Oslo Philharmonic.
The work “Insignia” was commissioned for the Lillehammer Olympic Games in 1994. It became one of Haug’s most often performed works internationally. Other commissions include the symphonic song cycle “Glem aldri henne” (‘Never forget her’ – Trondheim S.O. for the celebration of the 1000th anniversary of the city of Trondheim, 2000) and “Il Preludio dell’ Ignoto” (Ungdomssymfonikerne).
Haug has also written a number of remarkable chamber works, amongst which the most prominent are his two string quartets (1985 and 1996) and the Piano Trio (1995). The second string quartet was premiered at the 1996 Stavanger Chamber Music Festival, where Haug was festival composer that year. Other pieces in smaller format include the early “Sonatine” for violin and piano (1973), “Duetto Bramoso” for violin and guitar (1976) a Brass Quintet from 1981 and “Essay” for alto trombone and string quartet (1987).
Christoph Schlüren, one of Halvor Haug’s tireless advocates, has the following to say about his music: …
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