Norges musikkhøgskole Norwegian Academy of Music
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Symphonies Reframed

The project Symphonies Reframed – orchestral music in a new framework; an investigation into artistic and educational opportunities in medium-sized chamber ensembles looks at the artistic and educational potential that emerges when recreating and performing orchestral works in a chamber music format.

In the project, Symphonies Reframed large orchestral works are re-arranged for a medium-sized chamber ensemble comprising 7–9 instrumentalists plus singers where required. Examples of such works are Brahms’ Symphony No. 4, Schumann’s Symphony No. 2, Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20, Brahms’ A German Requiem and Mozart’s The Impresario. Since the ensemble is made up of equal numbers of strings and winds plus piano, the instrumental format is dubbed “triharmonic ensemble”. As well as reducing orchestral formats to medium-sized chamber scores, the project also includes expanding smaller-scale works. Brahms’ Sonata No. 1 for Clarinet and Piano has for example been enlarged to involve eight musicians rather than two.

Our chamber ensembles are made up of NMH students and teachers. All transcriptions are by Sigstein Folgerø.

More about the project

Read more about the project and view videos in Research Catalogue.

Perspectives

Symphonies Reframed examines artistic, educational and historical perspectives.

Artistic perspectives

  • Which artistic innovations can come to light when symphonic repertoire is recreated and performed as chamber music?
  • Which musical roles do the musicians in the triharmonic ensemble assume?
  • How can the triharmonic ensemble explore new performance platforms?

Educational perspectives

  • How can the triharmonic ensemble engage with teaching and learning?
  • How might the triharmonic ensemble work as a relevant practice platform for instrumental and voice students at the NMH?
  • How can we enable the students to reflect on their own learning processes?

Historical and contemporary perspectives

  • How can we view our triharmonic ensemble in light of traditions involving the transcription of orchestral music, e.g. for piano two hands or four hands, string quartet and medium-sized chamber ensemble?
  • How might it be relevant to view this project in light of Arnold Schoenberg’s performances at the Society for Private Musical Performances (established 1918)?