The Oslo Philharmonic made a powerful effort in order to create a classical christmas atmosphere last week, playing in total seven Christmas concerts in four days with Oslo Philharmonic Choir, trumpet player Tine Thing Helseth and tenor Bror Magnus Tødenes, all under the direction of conductor Cathrine Winnes. Herborg Kråkevik was the host, and put to use her considerable talents as a singer, actress and entertainer.
Herborg is having a very hectic winter: in November she drew record-breaking audience numbers for Hellemyrsfolket at Den National Scene in Bergen, has been the editor of Christmas magazine Juleroser, which she has breathed new life into after 70 years, and from January she will play the main role in The Merry Widow at Oslo Nye Teater. All while Julekongen, where she plays the queen, is shown on TV and in the cinemas.
When she feels the need to fire up her creativity in her daily work, classical music can work wonders:
− Classical music ignites the imagination. I mostly listen to classical music, whether it´s on the radio or on CD.
Herborg has often worked with classical musicians, mostly the Trondheim soloists, but also with the Vertavo Quartet, Nidaros String Quartet, and several others.
− I am very fond of chamber music and much of my song repertoire has been arranged for strings by talented arrangers.
Albinoni´s Adagio made her afraid of the dark.
Herborg grew up in Jondal by the Hardangerfjord, and during her childhood heard classical music mostly on the family record player.
− In my family classical music and literature were the most important sources of artistic experiences. We lived far away from people and the town where concerts were held, so my parents´record collection was of crucial importance.. I remember being so terrified by Albinoni´s Adagio – it made me afraid of the dark – while I would practice figure-skating on the floor to Strauss.
The first work Herborg deliberately sat down and listened to was Schubert's ”Unfinished Symphony”.
− It made such a strong impression on me, but when my parents came home and discovered the LP on the player, I denied having listened to it on purpose.
As an adult, her favourite composers have changed to Mahler and Tchaikovsky, Debussy and Ravel.
− Still, Bach has always been there. And he has stayed. Every time I hear a piece by Bach, it´s like coming home. I'm also very fond of Carl Nielsen´s symphonies and naturally Grieg – I don´t think I´ve heard the second movement of his piano concerto a single time without crying! On the Danish ”Always Classical” channel, they play Grieg almost every other hour, so, as the saying goes, it´s not bad being Norwegian in Denmark.