My Eklund & Lisa Oscarsson
GOLDBERG 1.5 by Kondens
The Goldberg Variations is a Baroque piece still played, acclaimed and discussed today, with regard toregarding interpretational issues as well as its origin and structure: Is Glenn Gould’s interpretation “correct” even though it is not traditional in its execution? What tempo should the aria have? Did Count Kaiserling suffer from what we today would call insomnia? Why did Johann Sebastian Bach create so few pieces with variations, and is it justifiableright to rearrange such a conscientiously composed piece at all?
In 2015, Kondens received a substantial endowment from The Swedish Arts Council: A commission of five new pieces by five different composers, and the project was called Goldberg 1.5. The concept was to let the composers be inspired by the originals and then go on to create their own interpretations. The new variations are presented side-by-side with the originals, integrating with them and creating a new composition together. The driving force behind this project is curiosity, how these variations, created by female and male composers with various musical backgrounds, whose lifetimes may beare separated by centuries, would be perceived by audiences, composers, and by us.
Knowing that this music from a distant era is, due to its beauty, still sought-out today is impressive. The fact that these new pieces bear the imprint of history increases their presence and relevance. This was our mission, to celebrate music and its profound impact across time, age and style.
Our versions are not a remix, where old and new material are fused together, creating a hybrid. A more apt description is to call them a time-specific collage where the separate parts are gathered together and displayed in the same frame. We hope that the interplay between the versions, the impact of history and the present moment, along with placing the original versions in a new context, will provide listeners with a sense of timelessness.
The five Swedish composers who honored us with their compositions are Daniel Hjorth, Ida Lundén, Mattias Petersson, Jan Sandström and Lisa Ullén.
My Eklund and Lisa Oscarsson (Kondens) July 2017
Recorded February 28 –March 1, 2017, in Växjö Cathedral
Producer Per Sjösten
Mix and mastering Per Sjösten www.sound.se
Mastered for iTunes
Text editor Karin Ekedahl
Translations Ingrid Eng
Photography Patrik Bonnet
Graphic design Jocke Wester
Executive producer Per Sjösten
The recording was made @ 96 kHz/24 bit, using Pyramix and Horus/Hapi from Merging Technologies.
Footprint is proud to present a probing reaction to one of the landmarks of western art, Bach’s Goldberg Variations, from five Swedish composers and the acclaimed recorder-organ duo Kondens.
Goldberg 1.5 is the duo’s fresh look at the Baroque masterpiece Bach’s Goldberg Variations premiered in 2016, which asks how living composers and audiences can react anew to Bach’s hallowed but fertile music. Alongside Bach’s originals, it includes five new works by composers Lisa Ullén, Mattias Petersson, Ida Lundén, Jan Sandström and Daniel Hjorth.
Kondens is increasingly recognized as a distinctive creative force on the Nordic new music scene. Lisa Oscarsson is Organist to the City of Umeå and a graduate of the Royal College of Music and the Concert Organist Programme at the Piteå School of Music. My Eklund studied at the Malmö Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music and is known as one of Europe’s most progressive recorder players. They use an assortment of instruments on Goldberg 1.5 including two organs at Växjo Cathedral and Eklund’s collection of modern and Baroque recorders.
Goldberg 1.5 takes listeners on an absorbing, boundary-blurring journey from the familiar to the new. It is blessed with a single focus but leads to an explosion of musical possibilities and reactions, and is realized through sensitive performances that push the boundaries of technique. They are captured with clarity and presence on this new recording.
November 29, 2017