7 October 2012

Hurtigruten

Back on ship. We’re taking the famed Hurtigruten line up the Norwegian coast to Nordkapp - the northern-most point in Europe, on the good and quite compact ship MS Richard With. It’s an interesting cross of mail and supply ship, ferry and modest cruise ship. There’s not much music, so the reports will be sparse, but before leaving, a student of the Grieg Academy (Griegakademiet) came on board for a short concert of Grieg’s music. I understand the Grieg Academy is a music conservatory in Bergen serving two institutions. They are lucky enough to have one but Norway has done some clever things that Australia hasn’t. Think oil wealth and fisheries. Through state ownership and licensing of exploration and production, they have made a motza and invested it wisely in a sovereign fund. We struggle with our MRRT* and even then it's controversial. Fisheries, too. A Norwegian in the fisheries industry told us of Norway, unlike Europe, managing its fisheries for sustainability. And as for conservatoria, I presume Bergen understands how easy it is to dismantle and how difficult to build. But what of Grieg?

Katrin Sofia Heyland played six tunes from Grieg on piano. The circumstances were poor but she played capably considering the unresponsive and relatively dull electric piano and the chatty bar. This is classics as in Hippo: noise and chatter. I found the Grieg Norwegian folk-inspired, quite jumpy with odd time feels, sometimes leaden with left hand melody, sometimes impressionistic, sometimes lighter and sprightly but not too often, sometimes mournful. A worthy performance, doubly so given the circumstances. Katrin Sofia Heyland (piano) performed Grieg on the Ms Richard With while in port in Bergen.

  • * Mining the truth, Australia Institute, viewed 7 Oct 2012
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