Petite Suite for 2 Violins and Viola (score and parts)
Kasberg Evensen, Bernt
Bernt Kasberg Evensen
(b. Tønsberg, 2 February 1944)
Petite Suite for 2 Violins and Viola (1988)
Allegretto con slancio – Chanson triste. Lento – Scherzino. Giocoso
Bernt Kasberg Evensen is essentially self-taught as a composer. He has travelled widely and has lived and worked in several countries in the course of his life: Mexico, Scotland, Germany and, of course, Norway.
Evensen has, by and large, lived a life of service, always putting the welfare of others (family, friends and associates) before any concern for his own success. His years in Scotland established his competence and passion for working with the disabled and with psychiatric patients, as well as his close association to the Camphill and Anthroposophist philosophy and community, which continues to this day.
Evensen is also an excellent baritone singer and has performed extensively as such. He is almost certainly the only singer to have performed Franz Schubert’s “Winterreise” and Allan Pettersson’s “Barfotasånger” side by side. A recent, very moving performance of the latter (from November 2014) can be enjoyed on YouTube.
All the same, he knew that composition was his true vocation from a very early age. The Norwegian Music Information data base lists over 100 works by Evensen in many genres: symphonic, chamber, vocal, stage music, music for children…
For many years Evensen worked closely with the School Concert Department of the Norwegian Concert Institute (Rikskonsertene). This prompted him to compose several musical fairytales, which he performed at schools throughout Norway between 1976 and 1988.
His concert music includes some of the most fascinating material written by any composer in Norway. Evensen has a very personal and unique tonal language. He has a keen awareness of the intrinsic tension of intervals and, although his music is often harmonically and contrapuntally complex, rare is the composition where he does not include one or several unison passages where intervals are allowed to stand starkly, creating a dramatic play of tension and release. Since the 1980s Evensen has experimented with scales derived from the writings of theosophist Anny von Lange. He has also used twelve-tone techniques in a free, personal way. Ravel has remained a favourite composer through Evensen’s life, an influence the essence of which he has assimilated into his music without ever resorting to idle imitation.
“Petite Suite”, from 1988, exists in three versions. It was originally written for two oboes and cor anglais, on request from the cor anglais player of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra Håvard Norang. The composer soon adapted this spontaneously written work for solo piano and in the present version for two violins and viola. The piano version was premiered in Lübeck by Thomas Preuss on 25 May 1990. The version for string trio was first performed on 28 November 2014 during a four-day festival at the Grieg Academy in Bergen (Norway) in celebration of Evensen’s 70th birthday. The players in that performance (which can be enjoyed on YouTube) were Ricardo Odriozola and Dmytro Kozar (violins) and Johanne Skaansar (viola).
The lively opening and closing movements are nearly identical, bookending three delightful, very brief character pieces that are typical of Evensen’s style, be it in their treatment of tonality, singing character or rhythmic vitality.
Ricardo Odriozola. Svelvik, 12 June 2017
225 x 320 mm
Set Score & Parts