Brevet til Loise for women’s choir with flute, cello and piano (first print, score and parts)
Brevet til Loise (1991)
(b. Mosterhamn [Bømlo], 16 January 1961 – d. Bergen, 24 December 2006)
Kenneth Sivertsen was arguably the most staggering musical talent to emerge from Norway at the tail end of the 20th century. Born in the island of Bømlo (south of Bergen) he learned to play the guitar at a very young age, soon forming a pop band with two of his older siblings and becoming very active in the local music scene. He took composition lessons from Magnar Åm (b. 1952) for a year and guitar lessons from Arild Hansson for a short period. Other than this Sivertsen was essentially self-taught. He wrote his first symphony at the age of twenty. At twenty five he was the youngest Norwegian to be accepted into the Norwegian Composers’ Union. His work For Ope Hav was chosen to represent Norway in the 1986 edition of Nordic Music Days in Iceland.
Sivertsen was equally active as a composer and performer. He was a world class guitarist and an able singer and pianist. Being of a restless and inquisitive nature he worked and excelled in many different musical genres: contemporary classical music, popular song, jazz and rock. He wrote two symphonies, numerous chamber works, many songs, an oratorio, a trumpet concerto, ballet music and a Requiem, besides countless arrangements. The recordings he left behind attest to his baffling versatility. These include several CDs of songs in popular style, an album of guitar compositions, ballet music, religious songs, chamber music and three acclaimed jazz albums in which he played with some of the world’s finest jazz musicians at the time.
Kenneth Sivertsen became a very public figure in Norway, particularly from the early 1990s. Besides his musical ability, he possessed an uncanny comical talent. The latter was exploited relentlessly by the media and made him a darling of the entertainment circuit in Norway for many years. The chaos of life on the road eventually took its toll on Sivertsen’s health. After several years of intermittent illness he died on Christmas Eve 2006.
Sivertsen’s music defies categorization. Surprising and unpredictable as life itself, it often changes atmosphere and style radically, even within the same composition. Sivertsen was a master at creating moods that draw the listener close to the music. He wrote some of the most beautiful and gripping music ever to come from a Norwegian composer.
Brevet til Loise (1991)
Original score available from the Norwegian National Library (www.mic.no)
Brevet til Loise (Letter to Loise) was commissioned by the Stord Youth Choir and their conductor Reidun Hagenes. Sivertsen finished writing the piece on Christmas Eve 1991. With characteristic precision, he notes 14:35 as the time of completion. No date for the first performance is available, but a personal source once told me that the Stord Youth Choir (an excellent female choir founded in 1980 by R. Hagenes) did indeed perform the piece in the early 1990s.
Writing for this choir must have been particularly stimulating for Sivertsen. In 1990 he had composed Whistling Wind (mph-Amethyst Edition no. 4002) for the same ensemble. The two works share a tenderly intimate mode of expression and an uncanny ability to evoke deep human emotions and memories. Significantly both works are settings of original texts by the composer (who normally used words by other poets). Whereas the text of Whistling Wind was in English, Sivertsen wrote a short poem in his mother tongue, Nynorsk, for Brevet til Loise.
In it the composer shares a happy, albeit distant memory (whether real or imagined) of great poignancy: …
Read full preface > HERE
Choir/Voice & Instrument(s)
225 x 320 mm
Set Score & Parts