The Soundboard-with violin inspired ‘bass bars’ of Bull’s inspired, yet ultimately doomed piano design-on the wall of his bedroom 30 0913
Bergen. September 30th 2013
I spent the morning at Valestrand, Ole Bull’s first country house not far from here. I have not gathered my thoughts yet, but here is a taste.
Inspiration. The Music Room at Valestrand. The music rooms which Bull designed, are acoustic wonders- both akin to playing inside a violin. 30 09 13
Mantelpiece in the concert room. Note the bust of Svendsen, who made two beautiful versions of the Saeter Girl’s Sunday. 30-9-13
The End Gable of the House. 30th September 2013
Peter Sheppard Skaerved, imagining what Bull might have done-‘The Hazel Dell
Recorded in the Music Room Valestrand
A fund-raising concert for the statue of Leif Erickson. Note ‘Et Saeterbesog’ under the stairs at Valestrand
Ole Bull-Et Saeterbesog (improvisation on opening ‘hardanger’ material)
Reconstructing the ‘American Fantasy’
I have completed a reimagined version of Ole Bull’s lost ‘American Fantasy’ (which he first played in full in Bloomington, in 1856). I found that I ended up laying out pages like his material, and the one surving segmet- so here is my ‘Jordan is a Hard Road to Travel’, into which I have folded fragmentary 4 octave arpeggios from the pile of MSS at Lysøen, and a cadenza from the tantalisingly fragmentary ‘Niagara-Pastoral Fantasy’. A lot more to follow.
I have been researching the accounts of some of Bull’s rivals and colleagues touring in the USA (such as Lola Montez and Miska Hauser) and they all talk of the importance of fitting the material to the demands of the ‘saloon-threatre’ audiences-to avoid (actual) vegetables being thrown at the stage- hence my use of a mixture of virtuoso and ‘plain’ materials-which can be seen in what survives of Bull’s American material…