Frode Haltli: Arne Nordheim Complete Accordion Works

Accordionist Frode Haltli is held in the highest regard world wide for his innovative work on the instrument over the past 10 years, including several successful albums in the ECM catalogue. On his new release Frode Haltli presents the first recording ever of the complete works for accordion by his fellow countryman and musical explorer: Arne Nordheim.

The Nordheim oeuvre for accordion belongs to the standard of the international repertoire for the instrument, but has never been presented as a whole – until now. And Frode Haltli’s musical sensibility goes directly to the core of the musical expression of this modernistic romantic icon.

«If I can write a piece for aquarium?», Arne Nordheim exclaimed. This story was told by the legendary Danish accordinonist Mogens Ellegaard, after having approached Nordheim on a bad phone line in 1967. His invitation, after the initial misunderstanding had been cleared, resulted in Nordheim’s first work for accordion. All in all he wrote five pieces, all of them associated with Ellegaard. In fact Ellegaard also contributes on this recording also, as it is his playing we hear on the tape track for Dinosauros.

Haltli describes in the liner notes how he finds Nordheim’s scores very open for interpretation, particularly the original manuscripts. Together with Christian Eggen and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra he has recorded a haunting version of the Spur concerto. The trio Signals also features the phenomenal guitarist Raul Björkenheim and percussionist Hans-Kristian Kjos Sørensen.

The CD booklet contains three articles: Ole-Henrik Moe has written about Arne Nordheim in an international perspective as well as his first experiences with Nordheim’s music; Jon Faukstad has focused on accordion pioneer Mogens Ellegaard who collaborated with Nordheim from 1967; Frode Haltli has described his motivation behind this recording of Arne Nordheim’s complete works for the accordion.

The CD was nominated to Spellemannsprisen 2012, the ‘Norwegian Grammy’

Release details:

Simax Classics PSC 1328
Released 2012


Frode Haltli, accordion
The Norwegian Radio Orchestra, conductor Christian Eggen (Spur)
Raoul Björkenheim, electric guitar (Signals)
Hans-Kristian Kjos Sørensen, percussion (Signals)

Recorded at Store Studio, NRK, March-May 2011
Sound engineers: Arne Kristian Dypvik, Terje Hellem
Produced, mixed and mastered by Geoff Miles
Liner Notes by Ole-Henrik Moe, Jon Faukstad and Frode Haltli

1. Spur (1975) for solo accordion and orchestra 26:07
2.-7. Signals (1968) for accordion, electric guitar and percussion 08:35
8. Dinosauros (1971) for accordion and tape 09:42
9. Flashing (1986) for solo accordion 10:46
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Simax Classics (links to reviews)
View iTunes booklet