Music: London celebrates Norwegian beauty

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The Music of Delius

Wigmore Hall, London. 7.30pm. pounds 3-pounds 14. 0171-935 2141

Norwegian Classics

Royal Festival Hall, London. 7.30pm. pounds 7.50-pounds 15. 0171-960 4242

The music of Frederick Delius is nothing if not haunting. The blind and paralysed English composer is widely recognised as one of our greatest composers.

Violinist Tamsin Little and cellist Julian Lloyd Webber are among Britain's leading musicians to play the music of Delius in a special tribute at London's Wigmore Hall today.

The concert marks the life of Delius's assistant Eric Fenby who died recently aged 91. Their partnership began in the 1930s when Fenby saved the composer from creative inactivity.

Little has recorded violin and cello concertos by Delius, while Lloyd Webber collaborated with Fenby on the "Caprice", "Elegy" and the Cello Sonata.

Violist Philip Dukes and pianists Piers Lane, John Lenehan and Sophia Rahman are also taking part in the tribute, which includes the Third Violin Sonata, the Cello Sonata, the Second Violin Sonata and the quartet movement "Late Swallows".

At the Royal Festival Hall, Norwegian conductor Bjarte Engeset will display three centuries of his nation's musical heritage with the help of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

The programme will chart the progression of Norwegian music, beginning with "Visit To A Summer Farm" written by the 19th century violin virtuoso Ole Bull (1810-1880).

Unsurprisingly, Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) is well represented. Along with excerpts from Peer Gynt, Norwegian pianist Havad Gimse will perform the original version of Grieg's Piano Concerto in A minor.

Haral Saeverud (1897-1992) completes the triumvirate. In 1947 the composer, whose centenary is being celebrated this year, set himself the task of writing an alternative, de-Romanticised version of Peer Gynt.

Excerpts from Ibsen's play along with his best known work, The Ballad of Revolt, will also be performed.

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