Article in the paper issue of Tidens Krav, published on 29.11.12
Text and pictures: Eilif Odde and Trygve Strand
Beautiful: Great atmosphere throughout the whole concert with Alexander Rybak (from left), Mariann Aas Hansen, Tor Endresen, Elisabeth Andreassen and Rune Larsen.
Found by Tessa Lande and Venche M. Englihs translation by Hilde M. English revision by Lillian Llewellyn.
The new Christmas star
For 25 years, the “Silent Night, Holy Night” have toured Norway in the weeks before Christmas. With Alexander Rybak joining the team, it is quite possible they can stay on for another 25 years.
For the second time in three days, Kirkelandet church in Kristiansund was completely fully seated because of a touring pre-Christmas concert. On Sunday it was Hanne Krogh and her three tenors that was in action, yesterday we heard the more traditional “Silent Night, Holy Night,” that this year had grown from a quartet to a quintet.
Perhaps it is the 25th anniversary that is the reason why producer Tore Arne Ranghus have chosen to add Alexander Rybak in addition to Rune Larsen, Marian Aas Hansen, Elisabeth Andreassen and Tor Endresen. Anyway, the choice has been successful. Rybak gave an extra, more energetic dimension to the concert, with his evocative and refreshing violin. His variations around “Vi tenner våre lykter” (We light our lamps) was impressive and the clear concert highlight. From the tour start in Vår Frue’s Church in Trondheim, the reviewer from Adresseavisa (or VG) meant that Rybak did too much merrymaking out of “The Christmas Song.” From our lookout at the gallery yesterday it seemed that Rybak’s performance was quite all right. A concert tradition like this must endure a few youthful pranks if it is to survive.
Fresh debutant: Alexander Rybak is for the first time joining “Silent Night, Holy Night”. The debutant made a brilliant effort.
The atmosphere was set from the first note in Kirkelandet church yesterday. It is a long time since I can remember a concert with a more complete conduct.
With a couple of exceptions, it was not the most typical before Christmas songs we got served. But the content and performance matched the concert’s core idea, manifested through the work of Strømmestiftelsen to eradicate poverty. It is seldom that the roof lifts completely on a concert with Rune Larsen. But he spices up the performances with great stories, taken from a world where many people can recognize themselves. These stories he connects masterfully to the message of Christmas and the next musical performance. He can also be satisfied with his version of “Ikke en spurv til jorden” (Not a sparrow to the ground).
There is much experience in the team behind this Christmas concert. Elisabeth Andreassen and Tor Endresen represents much of this. They should probably have the right songs to get the maximum out of their voices, and it went smoothly yesterday. But “The Prayer” and the likes of that, they can hand over to others. Then “Gabriellas sång” worked far better (it is almost only Swedes who makes it seem real). While Endresen get approved for “You’ll never walk alone.” Mariann Aas Hansen is perhaps the one who sings best. Her “Silent Night, Holy Night” was simple and beautiful, without the chest breath as some other “stars” are tempted to do. The musicians Jon-Willy Rydningen and Olav Torget participated strongly to build the great atmosphere during yesterday’s concert.