Guest Performance: Iceland Symphony Orchestra

Yan Pascal Tortelier Conductor, Víkingur Ólafsson Piano

Guest Performance: Iceland Symphony Orchestra

Yan Pascal Tortelier Conductor, Víkingur Ólafsson Piano

Event has already taken place

The orchestra brings the best of Iceland: Anna Thorvaldsdóttir’s Aeriality, which was released on Deutsche Grammophon and garnered a lot of attention, and pianist wonder Víkingur Ólafsson, who made the Gothenburg audience gasp on his visit in 2014.

He’ll play Richard Strauss’ breakneck Burleske for Piano and Orchestra, a 20 minute display for any virtuoso worth their salt. Yan Pascal Tortelier is the conductor, and also he leads the orchestra in a piece Gothenburg knows well: Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2.




Thorvaldsdottir Aeriality
13 min

Written for The Iceland Symphony Orchestra. AERIALITY was premiered in the new Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Center, HARPA, by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra November 24th 2011, conducted by Ilan Volkov. Awards and honors: AERIALITY was nominated as Composition of the Year at the Icelandic Music Awards 2012. Program notes: AERIALITY is a work for a large instrumental force, written in 2010/2011, consisting of vast sound-textures combined – and contrasted with – various forms of lyrical material. The piece was commissioned by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra to be premiered November 24th 2011, conducted by Ilan Volkov in Harpa, the new Concert and Conference Center in Reykjavik, Iceland. AERIALITY refers to the state of gliding through the air with nothing or little to hold on to – as if flying – and the music both portrays the feeling of absolute freedom gained from the lack of attachment and the feeling of unease generated by the same circumstances. The title draws its essence from various aspects of the meaning of the word ‘aerial’ and refers to the visual inspiration that such a view provides. ‘AERIALITY’ is also a play with words, combining the words ‘aerial’ and ‘reality’, so as to suggest two different worlds; “reality”, the ground, and “aerial”, the sky or the untouchable. AERIALITY can be said to be on the border of symphonic music and sound art. Parts of the work consist of thick clusters of sounds that form a unity as the instruments of the orchestra stream together to form a single force – a sound-mass. The sense of individual instruments is somewhat blurred and the orchestra becomes a single moving body, albeit at times forming layers of streaming materials that flow between different instrumental groups. These chromatic layers of materials are extended by the use of quartertones to generate vast sonic textures. At what can perhaps be said to be the climax in the music, a massive sustained ocean of quartertones slowly accumulates and is then released into a brief lyrical field that almost immediately fades out at the peak of its own urgency, only to remain a shadow. The piece is in one movement and is approximately 13 minutes in duration.

Strauss Burleske
19 min

25 min

Sibelius Symphony No. 2
44 min


Islands Symfoniorkester

Yan Pascal Tortelier Conductor

Víkingur Ólafsson piano

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