Fabra FBRCD-11, Bite the Dog II

Smaalenenes avis. Trond Erikson, 8 May 2014.
Sometimes you encounter music that you are never done with – it keeps on demanding more of your time. You are surprised by the twists and turns of the music, the composer’s use of structure and sounds, and you try to find the guiding thread that you sense may exist.
Well, sometimes – like here – you just have to admit that the music has a life of its own, with sounds that tell you one story one day, but a completely different story the next. Perhaps the music’s expression changes depending on the listener’s frame of mind?
Is this work exciting, interesting and confusing or is it downright predictable in spite of all of its variety?
I choose to believe the former, because I have now allowed the music to fill my room several times, and when you can still find new angles used by the composer, new techniques, and actually feel that yesterday’s experience of the work is different from today’s, then you are never actually done with the music – and that is the point of music, after all.
The virtuoso performance of the violinist Camilla Kjøll, whose tone is exceptional, is another reason why Mark Adderley’s “Bite the Dog II” is so enjoyable to listen to.
Originally Lars Erik ter Jung commissioned this piece as a work for himself on solo violin. He leads the Telemark Chamber Orchestra with a steady hand, guided by his intimate understanding of the piece. The combination of the three constituent elements of this recording – the musical work, soloist and orchestra – is such that you cannot just dismiss it as a nice piece of music, and then forget about it. At least, I am never done with “Bite the Dog II”, because it creates so many wonderful images when I experience it.

Klassisk musikkmagasin. Martin Andersson.

Mark Adderley is British, but he lives in Norway. Three of his works have been nominated for the Edvard prize. Concertos are one of his favourite formats, with the most recent one being the three quarter of an hour long Bite the Dog II for violin, an extended and orchestrated version of his unaccompanied Bite the Dog, written for ter Jung (as violinist). Camilla Kjøll is a dexterous performer, who copes exceedingly well with Adderley’s challenging solo sections. Bite the Dog II is in constant motion, but Adderley occasionally demonstrates a more restrained hand, for example in the dancelike third movement. With four main movements, framed by a prologue and an epilogue, Bite the Dog II is twice as long as the original piece. The Telemark Chamber Orchestra provides an outstanding accompaniment, and Fabra have produced a clear and vivid sound.
Other reviews:

FBRCD-12: Thommessen /Bibalo

FBRCD-11: Bite the Dog ll

FBRCD-10: Arvesylv

FBRCD-09: Crossing Patterns

FBRCD-07: Passione

FBRCD-06: Grieg Revisited

Currently in Norwegian only:

FBRCD-16: Chasing Strings

FBRCD-15: Anvik-Thoresen-Ravel

FBRCD-14: Tapestry

FBRCD-13: Portraits

FBRCD-08: Jumping Wide

FBRCD-05: Cirrus

FBRCD-04: Nostos

FBRCD-03: 19 March 2004, Oslo Cathedral

FBRCD-02: Oslo String Quartet Falling Upwards

FBRCD-01: Twitter Machine