Livestream: Sæverud's Peer Gynt
Watch the concert live on this page. The transmission starts at 19.25 on Friday 7 May.
After the war, Harald Sæverud was considered to be the doyen of Norwegian composers and he gained wide popularity for a number of his compositions. His Fifth Symphony is the first of the so-called ''War-symphonies'', written in 1941. The symphony is sub-titled ''Quasi una fantasia'', a title which invited the war-time audience to draw their own conclusions. After the war the real title was revealed: ''Symphony of Resistance''. It was first performed by the Bergen Philharmonic 6th March 1941 with the composer conducting.
Sæverud was asked to write incidental music to Henrik Ibsen's Peer Gynt, and after first having declined to do it, he completed it in 1948. The music was commissioned by the Norwegian Theatre in Oslo, which wanted to create a deromanticised version of Peer Gynt.
Harald Sæverud, photo: Roar Christiansen, Bergens Tidende.