Einar Røttingen
in English på norsk


The Grieg Academy




Norwegian Variations – Edvard Grieg Ballade op.24, Geirr Tveitt Sonate nr.29, Fartein Valen Sonate nr.2 op.36
International Piano (chosen as IP selection of the month March/April 2006):
“These three near-masterpieces show different faces of the Norwegian piano tradition, the program usefully coupling a well-known item as a bridge to two pieces that deserve similar centrality… - and the utter fluency and conviction of Røttingen’s performance here will assure listener’s who haven’t heard the handful of recordings of the Tveitt and Valen works that his handling of them is just as assured. Excellent recorded sound, too. Here’s a disc that should appeal to specialists and newcomers alike”.
“With ‘Norwegian Variations’ Einar Røttingen presents some of the best Norwegian piano music. Tveitt, Valen and Grieg is here taken seriously… Røttingen brings out melodic beauty and variation in sound production in addition to the Sonata’s monumental and contrapuntal forces (Tveitt)… The Ballade is a drama of great contradictions, and here Røttingen articulates the sudden shifts from the dancing wildness to the far-stretched melancholy and funeral march in the middle variation”.
Dagens Næringsliv:
“…The Bergen-pianist Einar Røttingen brushes the dust off Grieg, Valen and Tveitt. The works become shining original objects of sound...Here comes the young Røttingen in high tempo and makes Tveitt’s piece into something that glimmers. It’s unbelievable… Røttingen’s choice of high tempos is genius …Pianist Einar Røttingen brings forth a furious and threatening level (Grieg)…”
Vårt Land:
“…Tveitts music seldom calms down and the restless drive forward is emphasized when Einar Røttingen handles these powerful forces. The pianist keeps up with Tveitt’s striving towards the high altitudes…Røttingen alternates elegantly between the feverish intensity and the vulnerable longing which both are present in this music (Valen)…Røttingen reaches in to the inner expression that grips us. He presents music written by a human being clinging on to life, and does this in a believable way (Grieg)…”
Bergens Tidende:
“…The excellent pianist Einar Røttingen plays fast passages so that the keys almost get hot (Tveitt)…Another memorable experience is Grieg’s Ballade, which Røttingen makes emotional and with depth, at the same time playing the melodic line in the bass in a clear and resolved way...”
“…done with attentive precision and a fine sense of style…Røttingen’s selective sense for details and nuanced sound production serves the music well, and this becomes rightfully evident in the CDs finest interpretation, that of Fartein Valens Second Sonata. I have scarcely heard it better played…”
“… a glittering performance of Grieg’s great Ballade.”

Hika – Music for Violin and piano
A gem of a disc….. a sparkling selection… interpretative finesse.. utmost fragility with impeccably controlled support from pianist Einar Røttingen (Crumb)…shimmeringly beautiful (Takemitsu) … full of vitality (Messiaen)…..finely etched performance (Debusssy). A freshness of touch…. the empathy between the two players makes every phrase speak(Grieg). …..(Catherine Nelson, The Strad 2001)
….Here..is a performance of Crumb that is lyrical and expressive, as well as exciting and unusual….highly expressive and imaginative reading (Debussy)…. A fantastic culmination… This Grieg Sonata reading holds a whole world of musical experience, and it affects me like no other recording of this piece. Don’t miss this recording. (Fine, American Record Guild 2001)

Serres Chaudes - Melodies Francaises – Ernest Chausson, Gabriel Faure, Camille Saint-Saens
Magnificently French—A recording that takes us inside of what is French. First and foremost, it is the impressionistic side presented on this recording, and in so consistent and outstanding a manner that it leaves virtually no room for improvement. Bettina Smith's mezzo is authentic and warm in the most seductive way, and pianist Einar Røttingen shows how elegantly one can be seduced. He melds into the alluring sonorous richness in such a manner as to foil the efforts of any listener to remain unmoved . . . the recording fuses into tonal sculptures of which Chausson, Fauré, and Saint-Saëns had the most convincing compositional grasp. And recreated with these artists it becomes quite simply something great.
Hroar Klempe – Adresseavisen

Ernest Chausson, Gabriel Fauré, and Camille Saint-Saëns are the composers concealed behind the title "Serres Chaudes," a CD of French melodies recorded by mezzo-soprano Bettina Smith and pianist Einar Røttingen. It is an excellent recording—excellent because they have taken from the parts of the repertoire in which the sensuality of the French language is shown to better advantage, and excellent too because both achieve that slightly nasal melodiousness which is more inviting to listen to. Røttingen drapes a lovely blanket of sound around the shoulders of Bettina Smith's mezzo. It wonderfully matches the inflections in the music, especially the legato phrasing.
Ståle Wigshåland – Dagbladet
Musical settings of symbolist poems, trembling lips, love's sorrows, pale ennui. Quivering neuroses, deep melancholy, and extreme happiness. The world into which Bettina Smith and Einar Røttingen draw us on this recording is full of abrupt shifts of mood, with walled gardens, humid hothouses, and exotic plants. Smith settles into the characteristic French style of singing effortlessly and performs the songs with a dark, sensuous, mellifluous voice, very minimal vibrato, sure intonation, and wonderful text articulation. And whenever needed, she opens her voice completely without tipping over into the melodramatic. The songs are easily accessible, often with melodic chords that point toward French popular music of the years around the Second World War. In addition, there are fine piano parts which give Røttingen enough to work with.
Peter Larsen – Bergens Tidende"
Familiar composers—unfamiliar music. The upshot is exciting, owing to two brilliant musical artists. Bettina Smith's vocal interpretations are remarkably well-suited to these songs—and she gets the very most out of the excellent compositions by these composers. That she collaborates here with one of our major accompanists is a plus as well. A collaborative effort of this kind guarantees substance and a listening experience of highest quality. What is common to the cycles on this recording is that they are all late works of the three composers. This is as far from romances as one can get, and these songs have an underlying dramatic quality which the two artists communicate in superb fashion.
Trond Erikson – Smaalenene

It sounds more dramatic when mezzo-soprano Smith accompanied by pianist Røttingen performs songs from the French Golden Age. The composers are Ernest Chausson, Gabriel Fauré, and Camille Saint- Saëns, and some of the songs are very rare fare indeed. The recording is varied and intense. This is music you are never finished with.
Geir Hovensjø – Østlendingen
All the composers represent Symbolism, and what is modern and forward-looking. These are songs we seldom find in repertoires here. As such, the CD is a door opener to something which can easily remain forgotten. The quality of the recording is established by the performers, Smith and Røttingen. For many years, Røttingen has shown a curiosity for what he regards as new. This curiosity has contributed to the unfamiliar works which have found their way into his repertoire. Bettina Smith collaborates well with Røttingen. She has a searching attentiveness, and a voice which carries and lends characteristic vocal nuance to the songs of the three composers. This is a recording worth listening to.
Idar Karevold- Aftenposten

Valen Trio – trios by Ketil Hvoslef, Fartein Valen and Klaus Egge

Gramophone Nov 2013:
..The players’ ensemble and intonation are flawless and their understanding of each other and the repertoire highly impressive…..

Fanfare Jan/Feb 2014:
The Valen Trio…. play his (Valen’s) rhythmic, energetic music  with love and great attention to detail. Their excellent rendition of the composer’s work transports us back to the first part of the previous century when his kind of writing was revolutionary. …..The Valen Trio plays his (Egges’s) op. 14 Trio with the stylistic knowledge that comes from a serious study of the composer and knowledge of the culture in which he worked……The ambience will make the listener feel that he or she is sitting in an appropriately sized hall for chamber music while hearing the Valen Trio play this music. Since this CD takes the listener on a historic tour of Norwegian chamber music, it will probably be of greatest interest to lovers of trios and the music of Scandinavia.

Klassisk Musikkmagasin:
A glittering CD, with some of the finest chamber music by Norwegian composers in first rate performances and the highest level of recording sound… It (Klaus Egge’s Trio) is obviously one of the best piano trios from the 20th Century and could be a masterpiece… An absolutely outstanding CD and one of the best of its kind that I have heard in a very long time.

Stavanger Aftenblad:
…This release …sets a new standard for one of the most important works in Valen’s production, the trio op.5… Today the work seems soothingly fresh and expressive in Valen Trio’s interpretation; the melodic aspect has its own beauty, the expression is insistent, but can also be graceful… Yes, this is an outstanding release of Norwegian chamber music!

Bergens Tidende:
… Musicians have gradually appeared who understand how to do full justice to the works, as Valen Trio does on this record. Everything is in place. Here we find the strict linearity and the sharp dissonances we expect in Valen’s music, but also abundant musical energy, an unusual freedom and spontaneity in the interpretations that creates an almost romantic mood in the largo and a shivering, dramatic intensity in the fast movements.

Vårt Land:
….All the inner energy they manage to convey is impressive. Their ensemble playing is tightly knit, seamless and flexible, with a vitality and engagement in their shaping of the music that demands our attention.

…I like the mystique and intensity they present…. One can only praise those who take care of such rarely performed music – and spin a network of silver threads as fine as this.

… The repertoire is well balanced and the performances are solid…. Røttingen and co. have a good grip on this, it sounds collected and focused throughout.

…. well played…..