Premiere i Bergen, 2018 Bestilt av Einar Røttingen/Valen Trio
"Not to say that sound itself is relegated in favor of the theoretical.
Knut Vaage’s “Svev,” which translates to something like “levitate,” produced
an exact feeling of suspension. The Valen Trio’s instruments sounded like the
tightly-wound objects they are—an objectivity corroborated by percussive taps
on the instrument’s bodies. A kind of high-tension power line inhabited the
music, producing a vertigo I sometimes feel looking out of plane windows at
the ground below during take-off, while emphasizing the instruments’
physical properties, their delicate settings and position within the room. But it
was when the trio started playing conventionally again, when the impossible
texture of sound gave way to the old language of tonality, that the spell was
cast—the deconstructed violin, cello, and piano became themselves again in a
new light. Through the deconstruction of their constituent elements, their
bodies and their strings, Vaage illustrated the grammar of their construction.
(I don’t know whether that was his aim or not.) In this respect, the music
remained the important element, the language both deconstructed and built