Vinding's Music - Songs From The Alder Thicket

Ketil Bjørnstad

A double album as literary soundtrack, its release coinciding with Norwegian publication of the one-volume edition of Ketil Bjørnstad’s highly-acclaimed fictional trilogy “To Music”/”The River”/”The Lady In The Valley”, and with the author’s 60th birthday on April 25. After keeping his musical and writing activities separate for decades, Ketil dissolved the boundaries with his “Vinding” books: “When I had the idea of writing a trilogy about the young piano student Aksel Vinding, I realised that I would have to grant music access to my world of writing. This felt surprisingly liberating, almost like a confession. Music is a powerful source of inspiration for many writers, and so it was for me when I relived, through the novels, my experiences as a young piano student in Oslo in the late 1960s and early 1970s.” When the trilogy was completed, a concert of music referenced in Bjørnstad’s narrative was mounted in Oslo. Pianists Jie Zhang and Gunilla Süssman, with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, performed compositions by Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, Ravel, Rachmaninoff, and Barber, with conductor Christian Eggen also heard as piano soloist in the second movement of Mozart’s A major piano concerto. A recording from the concert comprises volume two of the present set. Disc one features Bjørnstad as improvising solo pianist, meditating upon themes related to his protagonist.

Featured Artists Recorded

March & December 2009

Original Release Date

27.04.2012

  • CD 1
  • 1So Far, So Hidden
    (Ketil Bjørnstad)
    11:36
  • 2If Only
    (Ketil Bjørnstad)
    07:36
  • 3Outside Skoog
    (Ketil Bjørnstad)
    04:25
  • 4The Stones, The River
    (Ketil Bjørnstad)
    06:27
  • 5Promise
    (Ketil Bjørnstad)
    05:16
  • 6She Didn't Say
    (Ketil Bjørnstad)
    04:42
  • 7Evening Voices
    (Ketil Bjørnstad)
    03:22
  • 8Remembrance I
    (Ketil Bjørnstad)
    05:16
  • 9New Morning
    (Ketil Bjørnstad)
    06:51
  • CD 2
  • Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major, KV 488
    (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)
  • 1Adagio06:10
  • Suite bergamasque
    (Claude Debussy)
  • 2Clair de lune05:15
  • Piano Concerto No. 2 in c minor, op. 18
    (Sergey Rachmaninov)
  • 3Adagio sostenuto12:10
  • 4Ballade No. 1 in g minor, op. 23
    (Frédéric Chopin)
    08:55
  • Piano Concerto in G major
    (Maurice Ravel)
  • 5Adagio assai09:02
  • Sonata No. 30 in E major, op. 109
    (Ludwig van Beethoven)
  • 6Gesangvoll, mit innigster Empfindung. Andante molto cantabile ed espressivo13:36
  • 7Adagio for strings
    (Samuel Barber)
    09:44
For years Ketil Bjørnstad’s work has gathered momentum on two fronts. While each of his ECM recordings has met with positive responses in the international press, Bjørnstad has also been making headway, and headlines, as a novelist. Where once he kept the disciplines separate, with his fictional “Vinding Trilogy” – comprised of "To Music", "The River" and "The Lady In The Valley" - the narratives have recently become interwoven and interrelated. The central character of this trilogy, pianist Aksel Vinding, shares his creator’s musical obsessions. So it seems logical that Bjørnstad now connects his fields of activity with “Vinding’s Music - Songs From The Alder Thicket”, issued by ECM in collaboration with Ketil’s Norwegian and German publishers, Aschehoug and Suhrkamp. A double album as literary soundtrack, its release coincides with Norwegian publication of the one-volume edition of the Vinding trilogy, and with the author's 60th birthday on April 25

"When I had the idea of writing a trilogy about the young piano student Aksel Vinding, I realised that I would have to grant music access to my world of writing. This felt surprisingly liberating, almost like a confession. Music is a powerful source of inspiration for many writers, and so it was for me when I relived, through the novels, my experiences as a young piano student in Oslo in the late 1960s and early 1970s."

After the trilogy was completed, a concert of music referenced in Bjørnstad's narrative was mounted in Oslo. Pianists Jie Zhang and Gunilla Süssman, with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, performed compositions by Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, Ravel, Rachmaninoff, and Barber, with conductor Christian Eggen also heard as piano soloist in the second movement of Mozart's A major piano concerto. A recording from the concert comprises volume two of the present set. Disc one features Bjørnstad as improvising solo pianist, meditating upon themes related to Axel Vinding. Some tracks are pure improvisations. Others “focus on themes that arose there and then in the studio, which I elaborated on during a session lasting nearly an hour. Nothing was added or taken away. Inspiration can come unexpectedly, from a picture, a musical composition, a theatre production, or a sentence in a book. It was this kind of inspiration that I wanted to convey through the protagonist’s repeated visits to the alder thicket, in the forest by the river…”
YEAR DATE VENUE LOCATION
2024 October 25 Schloss Engers Neuwied, Germany