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Clavinatas Nos. 1–7 • Piano Sonata No. 1 • Downtoned Beats

  • Laura Mikkola, piano

Svein Hundsnes is one of Norway’s most important living composers. He has written a wide-ranging body of music encompassing several vivid styles, moving seamlessly from tonal and non-tonal music to include jazz, rock and even funk.

Hundsnes’ sequence of Clavinatas—one-movement free-standing pieces with a symmetrical form that often include toccata-like vitality—embody qualities that make his music so distinctive. Often syncopated, they possess short motifs, intensity and emotional ambiguity. Piano Sonata No. 1 and Downtoned Beats reflect his delight in drama and dance grooves.

This recording was made on a modern instrument: Steinway, Model D


Clavinata No. 1 (2015) * (00:04:08)
Clavinata No. 2 (2015) * (00:03:20)
Piano Sonata No. 1 (2018) (00:18:00 )
I. — * (00:05:40)
II. — * (00:07:04)
III. — * (00:04:46)
Clavinata No. 5 (2016) * (00:03:59)
Clavinata No. 4 (2016) * (00:04:53)
Clavinata No. 3 (2016) * (00:03:10)
Downtoned Beats (2015) (00:17:00 )
I. Cymbal Prelude and Distant Groove * (00:05:18)
II. Dark Bourrée and Intermezzo * (00:03:55)
III. Scherzo * (00:03:25)
IV. Danse Noire * (00:04:22)
Clavinata No. 7 (2018) * (00:05:00)
Clavinata No. 6 (2017) * (00:05:04)
* World Première Recording
Total Time: 01:04:04

The Artist(s)

Laura Mikkola Laura Mikkola has 64 piano concertos in her repertoire. She has worked with and given the first performances of pieces by numerous composers including David Matthews, Kaija Saariaho, Erkki-Sven Tüür, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jouko Tötterström, David Chaillou, Gabriel Yared, Magnus Lindberg and Thomas Adès. Her discography comprises 15 releases, and her album featuring Rautavaara’s Piano Concerto No. 1 was chosen as Editor’s Choice by both Gramophone magazine and Classic FM. Since 2003, she has been the artistic director of the Iitti Music Festival in Finland.

The Composer(s)

Svein Hundsnes The Norwegian composer Svein Hundsnes has an oeuvre encompassing several styles. His orchestral works include a Flute Concerto and Haugtussa for soprano and orchestra. The Trondheim Symphony Orchestra has premiered Symphony No. 1 and Sinfonietta Romantica and the Norwegian Youth Symphony Orchestra premiered Signale Orchestrale. Hundsnes received the national Norwegian state scholarship for composers 1990– 92, and subsequently taught music theory and composition at the University of Stavanger for two decades. His chamber works include String Quartet No. 1, String Quartet No. 2, His Majesty’s Sound Amusement for wind quintet, Rilke Lieder for baritone and chamber ensemble, Clarinet Quintet, Six Songs, First Suite for Accordion, and Second Suite for Accordion. Other works include the ballet Borobudur for electronics, Three Norwegian Peasant Dances for piano, Brass Quintet, Moonlight Maidens for female choir, Backstreet Symphony for symphonic band, Sevilla Suite, Suite for Clarinet and Piano, Transoboic Fusion for oboe and symphonic band, Cello Quartet, and Violin Quartet, premiered by members of the Tromsoe Symphony Orchestra. Svein Hundsnes has also written music dedicated to young musicians published by Norsk Musikforlag.


“Laura Mikkola is brilliant here, working with nuance and clarity and just the right amount of emotion for this beautiful and intense work.” – American Record Guide

“The new Hundsnes album by master pianist Laura Mikkola introduces a fascinating composer whose pieces integrate popular music elements exceptionally seamlessly with the richness of art music.” – The Finnish Broadcasting company (Yle)

“Beautifully and strongly played by Laura Mikkola” – Gramophone

“This is descriptive music, which Mikkola conveys most convincingly.” – Den Klassiske cd-bloggen