Following his 2001 disc of works by Arne Nordheim, Norwegian violinist Peter Herresthal and BIS have collaborated on the project ’A String of Releases’ – recordings of contemporary violin concertos, in several cases written especially for Herresthal. Featured composers so far have been Olav Anton Thommessen, Henrik Hellstenius and Ørjan Matre – all from Norway – as well as Thomas Adès and Per Nørgård.&&& Utterly fearless in his approach to these complex works, Herresthal has received recognition for his recordings, earning a Spellemannprisen (the ‘Norwegian Grammy’) as well as being shortlisted for a Gramophone Award.
The latest additions to Herresthal’s ‘string’ are two digital-only albums, featuring the composers Eivind Buene (BIS-8020) and Rolf Wallin (b. 1957). Especially for Herresthal, Wallin – one of Scandinavia’s leading composers – has made a version of Under City Skin, his 2009 concerto for viola and ensemble. The work is a poetic and sonic journey through an imaginary cityscape, with the solo violin and the string orchestra playing off and with a pre-recorded soundtrack. Herresthal is partnered by the conductor Øyvind Bjorå and the chamber orchestra of the Arctic Philharmonic, and it is musicians from the same orchestra who make up the Sinfonietta in the work that closes this digital album. Like the concerto, Wallin’s Appearances also exists in another version – performed here by fifteen musicians, it originated as a work for orchestra.