Solo recitals - the world library of organ music

Of course I also play repertoire. How can one forget one's first love for organ music. It's always a joy to pour from the treasures of early music, Baroque, French romantic, 20th century repertoire, transcriptions etc.

My place of work the last years being Stavanger konserthus, I have often sought organ repertoire that "talks with" the symphonic tradition. Music by composers perhaps familiar to the orchestra's audience, but that may not be your typical organ composers.

This led to my transcriptions of Geirr Tveitt's Hardingtonar and Edvard Grieg's Ballad. Especially the colourful Tveitt pieces have been a success in my international recitals. They convey a "Nordic" sound and folk-music-inspired timbres quite unusual for the organ.

Other composers whom I love to play in transcription can be Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Mahler, Wagner. It's also fun to do concerts in more popular styles with themes from film, opera, musical, once in a while.

Honestly, as a basically creative musician I would expect to feel less personally involved when performing repertoire. Somehow this is the case - though in the moment of performing, as for probably everyone else, I feel completely integrated with the music without any experience of "centuries' distance".

So what is my style of playing? Sometimes people describe it as "light, airy, transparent". Probably this character is enhanced through my choice of programme. I love to intersect improvisations as bridges between pieces, to cleanse the ears and create a surprising context.

Improvisations or not, it all depends on the concept. My basic idea of playing repertoire is to share the vast world library of organ music. Then, I can come up with f.ex. this recital. And if you can read this programme, you can also read some of my musical personality.

Nils Henrik Asheim plays 700 years of European organ music (2023)
Robertsbridge Codex: Estampie nr.1 (ca 1360)
Adam Ileborgh: Frowe al myn hoffen (ca 1448)
Thomas Tallis: Alleluia per te Dei (ca 1540)
Girolamo Frescobaldi: Partita sopra l'aria della Romanesca (excerpt) (ca 1613)
Antónío Correa Braga: Batalha de 6.tom (ca 1695)
Nicolas de Grigny: Récit de tierce en taille (1699)
Dietrich Buxtehude: Prelude in e minor, BuxWV143 (ca 1700)
Johann Sebastian Bach: Dies sind die Heiligen zehn Gebot, BWV 678 (1739)
Charles-Marie Widor: Symphonie nr. 6, 1.mvt Allegro (1878)
Max Reger: Benedictus, op 59 (1901)
Olivier Messiaen: Le banquet céleste (1928)
Jehan Alain: Litanies (1937)
Sofia Gubaidulina: Hell und dunkel (1976)
Philip Glass: Dance no.4 (excerpt) (1979)

Below, a few examples of my playing: