Ørjan Matre is nominated for the 2020 Nordic Council Music Prize for the orchestral work Lyriske stykker (2019).
Lyriske Stykker for symfoniorkester is a musical reflection of Grieg’s popular piano pieces. The work was premiered in November 2019 by the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Edward Gardner.
The work plays creatively on Grieg’s simple melodic lines, offering surprising and fresh twists. The orchestral sounds are rich and brilliant, while fragments of the old pieces burst through and insist on their timelessness. Yet this is by no means an orchestration of Grieg. Matre regards Grieg as a peripheral memory – something abstract yet near and dear. Respectful and approached with love.
Lyriske stykker is pleasing to the ear and is a beautiful universe that, by way of detours through Hollywood, Disney, and the contemporary, makes both modern orchestral music and the classical legacy relevant to more listeners. This is elegant and stylish music in which Matre clearly shines through, with fleeting visits from Grieg.
Throughout his career, Matre (born 1979) has dedicated himself to the symphony orchestra as a format. He has written eleven orchestral works in addition to choral and chamber music. Matre’s works have been performed at events including the ULTIMA Oslo Contemporary Music Festival, Nordic Music Days, Sound Scotland, Warsaw Autumn, Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, BBC Promenade Concerts, and Darmstadt Ferienkurse.