The new record - pre-order here

The new record!   I recorded Grieg's opus 66, 19 Norwegian Folk Songs, and with soprano Laura Loge, Grieg's opus 33, songs to Vinje texts. The recording sessions took place mid-February in Seattle, and our release date is set for August 2017.  

The indiegogo part of our crowdfunding campaign is now over, but crowdfunding still continues here...and at lauraloge.com. Your contribution through pre-ordering or donating is a very important element in the production of the recording. Without you, how could we possibly do this? So - TUSEN TAKK! (A thousand thanks!)

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Pre-order CD
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Release date: August 2017.

Soprano Laura Loge & Pianist Sandra Mogensen perform Grieg Opus 33 for voice & piano and Grieg Opus 66 for solo piano.

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Pre-order digital download of entire album
20.00

Release date: August 2017.

Soprano Laura Loge & Pianist Sandra Mogensen perform Grieg Opus 33 for voice & piano and Grieg Opus 66 for solo piano.

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Pre-order of digital download, piano solo only (opus 66)
13.00

Release date: August 2017.

Pianist Sandra Mogensen performs Grieg Opus 66, Norwegian Folk Songs for solo piano.

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Pre-order of digital download of songs only (opus 33)
13.00

Release date: August 2017.

Soprano Laura Loge & Pianist Sandra Mogensen perform Grieg Opus 33 for voice & piano.

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An epic tour and a new record

I find myself on a day off, in the exotically wild-west town of Dillon, Montana, with one performance left in an epic month-long recital tour on the west coast of North America. Ten concerts, three days of recording, nearly 4,000 kilometres of road trips, as well as flights totalling over 15,000 kilometres; all in the name of Edvard Grieg!

Edvard Grieg comes to Dillon, Montana, pop. 4134

Edvard Grieg comes to Dillon, Montana, pop. 4134

Eight years ago, I heard for the first time a performance of Edvard Grieg's songs based on texts of the Norwegian poet, Vinje. That performance still stands out to me as a revelation. Of course I had known of some of Grieg's songs, but as performances in their original language (one of the two Norwegian languages: Nynorsk or "bokmål") are hard to come by in North America, I really had not grasped that Grieg is one of the most significant art song composers of the romantic age. From that point eight years ago, I have been driven to make it part of my mission to raise awareness of this glorious repertoire.

As luck would have it, I met a singer who is just as passionate about this repertoire as I am: Seattle-based soprano, Laura Loge. (I guess that makes us the "LogeMoge Duo"?) Fortunately, Laura is also a gifted and tireless organizer and administrator, and managed to set up this concert tour very efficiently. We have been enjoying our collaboration on a program featuring two of Grieg's lesser-known opuses: op. 33, the Vinje songs, and op. 66 for solo piano. This program is designed so that we alternate between the twelve songs of op. 33 and the nineteen folk song miniatures, bringing the listener an experience of the universal human story, told within the context of life in 19th century Norway, and told from two different yet intertwined perspectives.

We have been performing mainly at universities and venues focused on Nordic culture; tomorrow we are bringing the program to Laura's hometown of Dillon, population 4.134. There has been great excitement from our audiences everywhere we have been. Such rarely-heard music, presented in our own particular "mash-up" seems to have really struck a chord (ugh, sorry about that unintended pun) with listeners. The texts by Vinje are particularly relevant in our current world, and Grieg's music has the capacity to take the listener into a deeply reflective place. In every concert along the way, I have detected a moment when it feels like the entire audience becomes quiet, as if they as a whole become entrained into a communal experience. This has been such a gratifying experience for us as artists.

If you have not had a chance to hear any of our recitals so far, you can hear our recording, which will be released in the summer of 2017. Please consider pre-ordering this record, as it would help us greatly to get this music to a wider audience. We plan to tour this program in other parts of North America in the future, so you may also like to consider subscribing to sandramogensen.com for updates. 

Our indiegogo crowdfunding campaign is found here: http://igg.me/at/logemogeduo

 

 


 

148th anniversary

Today is Edvard and Nina Grieg's 148th wedding anniversary. They were married in Skt. Johannes Church in Copenhagen in 1867. Since I am in town, and since this marriage led to the creation of so many of the Grieg songs that have recently been my focus, I decided to make a little visit to mark the occasion. 

Candles and matches were offered for those who care to pray for someone, so I splurged on the 2DKK suggested donation and lit one in gratitude for these two musicians, and for the fruits of their often difficult partnership. Without Nina, would Edvard have reached the heights he did as song composer, on a par with Wolf and Schubert?

Bergen 2015

Back to Bergen, six months later. Again, the reason for my trip was Grieg's vocal repertoire, specifically to take part in two concurrent events organized by the International Grieg Society: a conference ("Edvard Grieg and Human Voice"), and a workshop of masterclasses with several experts in the repertoire, all of them Norwegian singers or pianists. Participants in these events came from at least twenty countries, world-wide. I had the opportunity to play in the workshop with two singers (one American, and the other Japanese), covering several songs with each of them, and receiving inspiring and informative coaching from three pianists on faculty at the Grieg Academy, and three well-known singers. 

I also managed to take in a few of the presentations of the conference, and played "live music" samples for the talks of two of my colleagues. As well, I gave a presentation, based on my exploration and analysis of one of Grieg's songs, with respect to the connection between spoken word and how the text was set by Grieg.

On the final evening of the workshops and conference, we (the workshop participants) gave a recital in Grieg's living room at Troldhaugen. On Grieg's piano! A thrilling, moving, and instructive experience, to say the least. I had the uncanny feeling that the piano already "knew" the music.

I then stayed on in beautiful Bergen for three days of rehearsal with soprano Hilde Haraldsen Sveen, who will be joining me for some concerts in Canada this fall. Very rich days of inspiring and rewarding work.

Mountain Music

As I was beginning to get organized regarding my upcoming concert planned for May 23rd, the earthquake in Nepal happened. Right away I knew that I wanted to turn my concert into an event that could at least in some small way benefit the Nepalese people who have suffered such incredible devastation.

I thought it fitting that music inspired by the gorgeous mountain landscapes of Norway could benefit people in another part of the world who also live among gorgeous mountain landscapes. Joining me will be my good friends Donna-Claire McLeod, oboist, and Jill Solomon, bassoonist. We are reuniting as 'Trio Roseau' for this concert, and I have arranged some of Grieg's music especially for this ensemble for this occasion.

Please consider purchasing tickets to the event, or making a donation.

$10 from each ticket will go to the Humanitarian Coalition's Earthquake Relief Fund. Tickets are available online here.


Mountain Music is sponsored by Community Partners, The Dressing Room, 20 Ontario St., Stratford, and Katharine Rajczak, and Community Participants, the Green Hair Spa, 123 Waterloo St, Stratford & Pazzo Taverna, 70 Ontario St, Stratford, Dan Kane Computer Solutions, Stratford, Judy Tye Arts Management, Stratford, Revel Caffe, 37 Market Place, Stratford, & Optical Design, 84 Wellington St, Stratford: