Alexander Rybak and “Stille Natt Hellige Natt” in Finnsnes church, article in Folkebladet 23.11.18

A sparkling good Maria in “the Mother of all Christmas Concerts”

Text to the cover picture: SOLD OUT: Two full churches at Finnsnes last night at the Christmas concert with Maria Haukaas Mittet, Rune Larsen, Tor Endresen, Alexander Rybak and Lisa Børud. 

Source: Folkebladet. Published 23.11.18. Text by Reidar Ingebrigtsen. Photo: Trond Sandnes.Translated by TessaLa, revision by Anni Jowett.

30 YEARS ago, the producer Tore Arne Ranghus had an idea.In short, this idea was about organising church concerts in the pre-Christmas time.But to succeed one hundred percent with this he had to bring with him a bunch of well-known artists.The first gang of the “Stille Natt Heilige Natt” concert was Anita Skogan, Karoline Krüger, Nora Brockstedt and Karstein Isachsen. Since that time, more than 500,000 people have settled in front of a tour team with stage performers who have come and gone, where our own Maria Haukaas Mittet is in her fourth season of Ranghus’ team.

ON HOME GROUND: Maria Haukaas Mittet is raised at Lakselvnes near Kvannås in Senja. She is at her home ground and the concerts last night were the only ones in this part of the country. PHOTO: TROND SANDNES

When we first talk about Maria, which we almost must do, it would be totally wrong to claim that she blows all the others off the stage. The composition of the team is far too strong to do that, but she got to show what she is good at in this concert called the “mother of all Christmas concerts”.
Those who still have not realised what qualities Mittet has as a singer gets a new chance with her sparkling and beautiful interpretations of songs like “Nå tennes tusen julelys”, “Nordnorsk julesalme” and “Lys i mot mørketida”. Mittet is, in my opinion, her best when she is gives it all and using her North-Norwegian primal force, as Rune Larsen calls it.
But technically she handles everything from soft ballads to long, ascending pitches, in musical and some pop songs, ten floors storeys high. Comfortable on stage and beautiful as a goddess in her long black dress. Maria is our girl, and from our point of view, she made a home run on her home field. It’s just the way it is, plus it’s actually as true as it said.

RUNE LARSEN, the current boss in this concert concept, holds as the good man he is, a hand over to Maria Haukaas Mittet, giving her  plenty of space to shine on her own home ground. And he also tells a true story, which, believe it or, is a bit on the edge. Presented just as a host of cosy family programme can do it.

POWER: Alexander Rybak became known through the Melodi Grand Prix. He as usual played his violin with power and glowing enthusiasm. PHOTO: TROND SANDNES

There are a lot of things you can highlight from this concert if only you had time for it and with the deadline not so close. For example, Alexander Rybak’s excellent improvisations and variations over the hymn “Tenn lys” on his instrument the violin. Or Tor Endresen’s powerful interpretation of “O helga natt”, or Lisa Børud’s version of “En stjerne skinner i natt”, and so on. I could have gone on for the rest of the evening and night, but unfortunately there is no time.

Finally, if one should try to make some kind of summary of the concert “Stille Natt Hellige Natt” the most important is that it is especially varied and sometimes moves beyond the scope of the classic Christmas concert. But to explain it takes too long, so preferably attend the concert next year if Rune Larsen and Co find out that they will return to Finnsen’s church.

The Christmas concert “Stille Natt Hellige Natt” has been going on for 30 years. It was a success in Finnsnes Friday evening. They sold out two concerts in Finnsnes church. Watch and enjoy some excerpts in this video:

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