In February 2019, Eldbjørg Hemsing released her third album as high-resolution (SA)CD on the acclaimed Swedish label BIS, featuring the works of Oscar and Grammy Award winning composer Tan Dun, recorded with the Oslo Philharmonic under the baton of composer himself.
Introducing the album Eldbjørg wrote: “Meeting Tan Dun for the first time when I was given the opportunity to première his ‘Love Concerto’ was a great honour. That first occasion – when I was chosen at the age of 20 to represent Norway at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai – opened up my musical horizons. I am very grateful and feel continuously privileged that our ongoing collaboration has allowed me a deep insight into Tan Dun’s repertoire, simultaneously enriching my perspective and understanding of the cultural links between the East and West. Progressing on this journey together and exploring both the connections and divides between our two cultures have resulted in the creation of two new works, Rhapsody and Fantasia and Fire Ritual. This latter concerto, which we premièred in Oslo together in the Autumn of 2018, is subtitled ‘A Musical Ritual for Victims of War’ and calls for universal peace and friendship beyond all cultural-historic and social divides. The central piece of the album is violin concerto ‘Fire Ritual – A music ritual for the Victims of War (2018)’, which Tan Dun wrote for Eldbjørg Hemsing. Fire Ritual unfolds and extends from a single note D (‘re’ on the solfège scale). Re is a prefix used with the meaning ‘again’: REnew, REstart, REsurrect… As a ritual and ceremonial rite, the work is centred on the note ‘re’, calling for the REturn of souls and the REbirth of all victims of war so that they may RElive another life, and love once more.”