Review of Christmas concerts with Alexander Rybak in Grimstad and Arendal. Agderposten, 6.12.12

Article in the paper issue of “Agderposten”, published on December 6, 2012

Found by Venche M. English translation by Jorunn Ekre. English revision by Lillian Llewellyn.

The quintet Alexander Rybak, Marian Aas Hansen, Tor Endresen, Elisabeth Andreassen and Rune Larsen gathered 500 people in Grimstad church last night. Later in the evening they performed in Trefoldighetskirken in Arendal.

Text: Oddvar Paulsen
Photo: Anne Karin Andersen

Light a hope for Christmas

It’s unbelievable that you’d get goosebumps from hearing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” at a church and at the same time get in a Christmas mood. By hearing Tor Endresen’s interpretation of it during the Christmas concert in Grimstad it provided a great beginning of a beautiful and powerful experience.

“Silent Night, Holy Night” is probably Norway’s most famous travelling Christmas concert, and the mood was set already when Alexander Rybak started playing the violin during the performance of Glade Jul (Silent Night). For 25 years different artists have filled churches all over the country under the title “Silent Night, Holy Night” like last night at Grimstad church.

The Christmas mood arrives after such an experience, no doubt about it. It’s rare that so many powerful voices are gathered on the same church floor. There were many highlights. Tor Endresen is already mentioned and his interpretation of O Holy Night was almost in the same league as the legendary song from Liverpool.

The expectations were great to the quintet who performed both at Grimstad church and Trefoldighetskirken (the Trinity Church ) in Arendal last night. I should say not, when you have two winners of the Eurovision Song Contest, an artist well known from the Lollipop programs, a “musical” chameleon from Bergen and a showgirl.
The quintet delivered a moving concert. Yours truly has been a fan of Alexander Rybak since he won the Eurovision Song Contest, and yesterday he gave lots of proof of his musical accomplishments. His performance of ‘My Heart Always Wanders’ was sparkling.

Marian Aas Hansen, well known from shows like It’s Showtime and Showgirls, also has a beautiful voice. She got to show it both when she sang “His Eyes On The Sparrow” and “Silent Night”.

We know that Elisabeth Andreassen knows her lines, but a couple of times the audio quality didn’t help her.

Rune Larsen tied it great together and also got the “congregation” to join him in a sing-along even if the roof wasn’t exactly lifted off. But you don’t get in a real Christmas mood without a pre-Christmas mood. However there aren’t any better ways of getting in a Christmas mood.

For the 13th year in a row, the Christmas stars donate some of the proceeds to Strømmestiftelsen. Since they started collaborating with Strømmestiftelsen, according to the production company, almost five million Norwegian crowns , has been donated to the work among HIV positive children in Africa and homeless children in South America. The tour focuses this year too on children living a hard life on the streets with drugs, hunger, cold, loss, tears and loneliness-away from safe havens and cosy surroundings. About 500 people contributed with some hope at Grimstad church last night.


“Stille natt, Hellige Natt”


Participating: Rune Larsen, Marian Aas Hansen, Elisabeth Andreassen, Tor Endresen and Alexander Rybak

Musically responsible: Jon- Willy Rydningen on piano and Olav Torget on guitar.

Producer: Tor Arne Ranghus.

Place: Grimstad church ( also performed in Trefoldighetskirken in Arendal yesterday evening).

Audience: around 500.

Reviewed by: Oddvar Paulsen.

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