About Respiro, ACD5021

”Ragnhild Berstad (b. 1956 in Oslo) was relatively late in starting her career as a composer. In return, her dedication to creating a unique sonic space has been total, and the production from early –90s and up until today easily places her among the most interesting younger Norwegian composers today. On Respiro Berstad proves capable of maintaining unity in the diverse settings of the music. Through works written for everything between solo clarinet with electronics and the full symphonic orchestra – the core of her project always come across to the listener. As she herself puts it: ‘I want to create a sonic space that insists on a presence and an auditive consciousness. Music has an inherent ability to reveal the extended moment’. In many ways Berstad has taken the full consequence of what possibilities there lies in recording technique – this is music with the microphone as a key player.

The fact that Berstad"s music finds its way to many different types of ensembles and performers is very encouraging. Both the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Affinis and Oslo Chamber Choir participates on this recording. The Arditti Quartett also contributes with a sparkling performance of Toreuma from the world premiere at the Ultima-festival 2001.

Berstad is not likely to be out of work in the future either. Commissions from Oslo Sinfonietta, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Presence festival in Paris 2005 are just some of the new things she is working on right now.”

Grappa, from press release
- she's a composer worth getting to know; and this disc is an excellent introduction.

About Toreuma
” The Arditti Quartet closed the festival with one of its astounding canters of works by Nancarrow, Carter, Harvey and Ligeti. But it was the work by the Norwegian composer, Ragnhild Berstad, which touched most. Norway (and Ultima) has a bright future.” ANNETTE MORREAU, The Independent, 5/11 1999

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