INSTRUMENTATION: violin or harding fiddle



PREMIERE: Ultima Festival/Osa Festival 10th and 12th of October 2003, by Liv Merete Kroken – harding fiddle

COMMISSION: Ultima Festival

ABOUT: hardingfela is a Norwegian, traditional folk music violin, which still has a very strong position in the cultural life of Norway. The hardingfela has four strings, just like the classical violin, but also four extra sympathetic strings underneath, which create a special resonance and sound quality that is characteristic for the instrument. It is a beautiful instrument with rich decorations, such as carved flowers on the body of the instrument, mother of pearl details and a dragons head at the tuning pegs. ”…när korpen vitnar” was composed for one of Norway’s finest folk musicians Liv Merete Kroken, who premiered the piece in Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival in October 2003. The piece has later also been successfully performed on a classical violin. The title (transl: ”…when the raven whitens”)  is a fragment from a medieval Swedish folk ballad that I used as a starting point of the piece. The ballad, as well as my piece, suggests a dialogue between ”Sven i Rosengård” and his mother. Sven has killed his brother and has to flee the country. He bids his mother farewell. ”When will you return? – When the raven whitens. – When will the raven whiten? – The raven will never whiten.”

PUBLISHER: Swedish Music Information Centre