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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » V » Valen, Fartein

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Fartein Valen (8/25/1887 - 12/14/1952)

The Norwegian composers Fartein Valen and Klaus Egge were great innovators in their day and their quartets are some of their finest work. The two composers were quite dissimilar in temperament, Egge being lively and outgoing, whereas Valen was quiet and cautious. Between the two world wars each was at the forefront of opposing stylistic movements; Egge with a nationalist style based on folk-music and Valen with a more European twelve-tone polyphony.

Valen studied composition first at the Conservatory in Oslo from 1906 to 1909 and then at the Musikhochschule in Berlin. Whilst in Berlin and subjected to a number of strong influences, Valen composed his first published works, among them his great Violin Sonata, Op. 3. The works composed in Berlin are in a mature, late-romantic vein and use quite a different musical language to his later works.



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