The Biblical story of David and Bathsheba has a lot of present-day relevance. In this story, individual emotions interact with political actions and their consequences. Fundamental ethical questions are thus being raised, on the macro- as well as the microlevel. And not least, the story illustrates how these two levels may be connected.
This is certainly also the case in Ståle Kleiberg's opera-oratorio "David and Bathsheba", where form and content embody the multi-layered complexity that makes up a great work of art. Yet the music is highly communicative, speaking to a broad audience in a direct and immediate way.
From the opening bars, Kleiberg's music establishes a very particular orchestral and harmonic colour, one effect of which is to ’place’ the events beyond our reach. It would be trivial to describe this distancing of the action as a mode of exoticism, but there is nonetheless a whiff of the East about the tone of the work, evocative of the time and a distant place. This is anything but a retreat into some oneiric fantasy world, removed from our contemporary reality. Rather the remoteness of the setting, together with Kleiberg's non-naturalistic approach to the drama, gives the work something of the character of myth. This enables it to speak to us as all myths speak to us, of deeper truths.
Best Opera Recording 56th GRAMMY Nominee
The present recording is a successor of 2L's Grammy-nominated release from 2009, Treble and Bass: Concertos by Ståle Kleiberg. Like the previous disc, the present one has been made in close cooperation with the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, this time conducted by Estonian maestro Tõnu Kaljuste.
|Ståle Kleiberg: David and Bathsheba
|Trondheim Symphony Orchestra
Tõnu Kaljuste, conductor
Anna Einarsson, mezzo soprano,
Johannes Weisser, baritone
Nils Harald Sødal, tenor
Fredrik Akselberg, tenor
Lars Johansson Brissman, bass
Trondheim Symphony Vocal Ensemble
Pure Audio Blu-ray
|Frikirken, Trondheim, Norway