There are just three weeks to go before the Rosendal Festival begins and preparations are in full flow.  The new concert hall – converted from an old barn – is nearly complete and the famous rose garden is in full bloom.

The festival – which sold out in just a few days of being announced last November – will open it’s doors on 11 August and over four days Leif Ove Andsnes will be joined by both fellow Norwegian and international artists including Bertrand Chamayou and Jie Zhang (Piano), Vilde Frang and Guro Kleven Hagen (Violin), Eivind Holtsmark Ringstad (Viola), Frida Fredrikke Vaaler Wærvågen and Sol Gabetta (Cello), Marius Flatby (Doublebass), the Brentano String Quartet, Matthias Goerne (Baritone), Mari Eriksmoen (Soprano), Sharon Kam (Clarinet), Peter Whelan (Bassoon) and Ragnhild Lothe (Horn).

For the first festival theme Leif Ove has chosen the year “1828”.  Franz Schubert died on 19 November 1828 at just 31 years old, leaving behind him an extraordinary legacy of over 1500 works.  Despite being severely ill throughout the last year of his life his creativity did not cease to flow and he produced some of his most remarkable works in the final months before his death.  In each festival concert at least one of Schubert’s last works from 1828 will be performed: Schwanengesang, Piano Trio Nos. 1 & 2, the String Quintet, Fugue in E Minor and Fantasie in F Minor for 4 hand piano and, last but not least, the touching and life-affirming The Shepherd on a Rock.

Other works will include John Harbison’s haunting piano quartet November 19, 1828  (1988) where he imagines the day Schubert dies and the journey the composer makes to “the other side” and Jörg Widmann’s Idyll and Abyss (2009) – an intriguing contemporary piece, focusing on Schubert’s style of piano writing and musical expression.


Source: Rosendal Festival