Norwegian violinist Mari Samuelsen has enjoyed a remarkable rise on the international concert stage through a characteristic mixture of artistry and enterprise. Her concerts combine a breathtaking musical finesse and virtuosity and an imaginative and innovative approach to presentation.
Norwegian violinist Mari Samuelsen will release a brand new solo albumcalled Nordic Noir on September 15 on Decca Classics. It showcases her passion for contemporary music and celebrates her native culture. For the album, Mari commissioned new music from a host of composers – many of whom have written scores for TV and film – including Frans Bak(The Killing), Uno Helmersson and Johan Söderqvist (The Bridge). The new recording also includes original compositions and arrangements by Arvo Pärtand Ólafur Arnalds, evoking the mood now recognized around the world as "Nordic Noir."
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At the emotional heart of the album is Bach's Chaconne in D minor, whose serenity Samuelsen has chosen to counter with the nervous agitation of "Knee Play 2" from Philip Glass's "Einstein on the Beach." The rest of the program grew organically from the seeds of Bach and Glass, tracing themes of change and renewal, from the increasingly complex variations of the Chaconne to the expansive melodic development of Clark's "Mammal Step Sequence." The album also contains Vladimir Martynov's "The Beatitudes," Peter Gregson's "Sequence (Four)," arrangements of Jóhann Jóhannsson's "Heptapod B" and Brian Eno's "song By this River," and Peteris Vasks' "Vientulais Engelis (Lonely Angel)". The mix also includes four works by Max Richter, with whom she collaborates on a regular basis, including "Vocal," for solo violin, and "November." "The need to go into a room and just listen to sound – almost like sound therapy – is bigger than ever," Mari said. "People are hungry for it, and I wanted to use my creativity to collaborate and experiment with some of the great people living today. Slowing down, and people leaving their busy lives behind, is only going to become more important, so there will be more room for this type of collaboration, and this type of music, in the years to come."
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The Norwegian violinist Mari Samuelsen has signed an exclusive agreement with Deutsche Grammophon. Her first single, Max Richter's ‘November', was released on Friday to coincide with the ARTE broadcast of her performance at Beijing's Forbidden City in October, as part of the DG 120 celebrations.
Samuelsen's debut DG album, which will be released in early summer 2019, was recorded with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin and conductor Jonathan Stockhammer. Tracks range from Bach's Chaconne in D minor to orchestral pieces by leading contemporary composers, including Max Richter, Brian Eno, Jóhann Jóhannsson and Peter Gregson.
Max Richter's music has become a core part of Mari's personal playlists as well as her live repertoire. Immediately taken with his 2012 DG release Recomposed, she has since played the Vivaldi-inspired score with Richter in concert, most recently in December 2018 in Hong Kong. They have also performed Memoryhouse and worked together on his latest album for DG, Three Worlds – Music from Woolf Works. ‘Apart from being a wonderful violinist,' says Richter, ‘Mari has an instinctive understanding of my compositional world and an uncanny ability to communicate my intentions.'
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