Grieg Unheard? Led by Reza, with a background from the Music Academy and the hiphop-scene, the foremost of male Norwegian opera soloists do Grieg their own way. Here are 13 Grieg songs like you have never heard them before.
Reza Aghamir have gathered the cream of the crop in Reza e iRagazzi - Reza and the boys. The different and unique qualities of each individual singer is at the centre of attention. "A beautiful contradiction in terms, really, forming a choir of soloists, certainly when it comes to opera soloists. But then Reza e iRagazzi is not a choir - more an opera band!" says Erik Gard Amundsen, director of Simax Classics.
"Kind of cool that I, a paki in Norwegian traditional costume, can boost Norwegian national pride with an overload of Grieg as we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian constitution" Reza states tongue in cheek. Reza and the boys love Grieg, an unrestrained love they want to share with the whole world - also those who don't think of themselves as interested in classical music. It is a continuation of what the band has done at the local Underwater pub for years: moonshining music outside the traditional framework: directly from their hearts and to the audience.
This is not Grieg like we are used to hearing it! With full reverence towards Grieg's work and NO reverence for convention, Reza e iRagazzi go all-out. They pick-and-choose favourites, arrange them if needed, and perform them with a passion that is really remarkable. Produced by Jørgen Træen, recorded at the Norwegian Opera and in Grieg's own living-room at Troldhaugen - mixed at Duper Studios. Cover design by Martin Kvamme.
Reza e iRagazzi
Reza has had quite journey in life; growing up in beautiful Iran, fleeing the country from Khommeini's regime and ending up in Norway. A rebel within the classical community, extremely gifted pianist admitted into the Norwegian Academy of Music - but kicked out again. He has gathered the best Norwegian male singers in an opera band: Carsten Stabell, Yngve Søberg, Marius Roth Christensen, Henrik Engelsviken, Hallvar Djupvik, Thor Inge Falch, Espen Langvik, Ole Jørgen Kristiansen, Rolf Magne Asser, Håvard Stensvold, Fredrik Otterstad, Kjetil Støa, Jens-Erik Aasbø.
Reza Aghamir, piano · Carsten Stabell, bass · Reza e iRagazzi · Marius Roth Christiensen, tenor · Hallvar Djupvik, tenor · Henrik Engelsviken, tenor · Yngve Søberg, baritone · Ole Jørgen Kristiansen, baritone · Espen Langvik, baritone · Jens-Erik Aasbø, baritone