Foto: Marie Søndergaard

A bright light in the dark period

On Thursday November 24th it was possible to experience “Mørketidsbarok – The Brandenburg concerts 3-6” by NOSO Chamber Orchestra at the Cathedral in Tromsdalen. The church was full with an audience where every age group was represented.

Written by Marie Søndergaard

The calendar might say that we are in the dark period, but this concert managed to shed a light on it.

With an incredible opening with the Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G Major the expectations for the rest of the concert was high. They started with a concert where the instrumentation was equally distributed. The constellation of instrumentation changed throughout the concert ending with soloists whom definitely managed to live up to the expectations set by the first set.

Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 in B flat Major was originally written for 6 violas. Bach played the viola himself and loved to write pieces, which was led by the viola. The two violas start the first movement with a vigorous subject in close canon, and as the movement progresses, the other instruments are gradually drawn into the music. They managed to drag the audience through the canon in the first movement, to the silent second movement and all the way to the gigue of the third movement. The violas performing this night were impressive. Their timing was stunning and their passion was incredible.

In the Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G Major the constellation is changing and soloists are presented. Two recorders and a violin. Their performance was convincing from the start and lasted throughout all three movements. The two recorders were incredible and it was easy to feel their passion. However, I would like to highlight the violin part, which was magnificent. I have seen a couple of NOSO’s concert and I have seen Yuko Kawami several times – but so far, this is one of her best performances I have seen. I was hypnotized by her passion for the piece. This concerto is extremely virtuosic in the first, and especially in the third movement, but she nailed it all the way!

Photo: Marie Søndergaard
Photo: Marie Søndergaard

The concert ended with Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D Major with a harpsichord, violin and a flute as soloists. Elisabeth Eide played the flute intensely and beautifully. The acoustic of the church blended amazingly with her low key, and helped changing the atmosphere of the piece in the second movement making it more mournfully.

However, there is now doubt that the star of this concerto was Kertil Haugsand playing the harpsichord. This concerto is showing of all the qualities of the harpsichord and the virtuosity of its player. It was definitely his time to shine and he surely did.

No doubt that the greatest composer of the Baroque period was Johann Sebastian Bach; and when his music is played this convincing and astonishing, it is only possible to walk out of the Arctic cathedral and entering the dark night with a bright smile.