"Halvorsen's Suite Mosaique, of five character pieces, is of considerable worth. Both players are put on equal footing. This is not merely a work for violin with piano accompaniment. Here, the piano is an equal partner. From the very first piece Intermezzo Orientale the composer develops his ideas in an original and pleasing way, considerable better than almost every other piece of this type which often have a melodic monotony to them. Not here though. Halvorsen's ideas are always interesting and ever changing. The two following movements, Entr'acte and Scherzino, are filled with gossamer melodies and pleasing tonal effects. The first is somewhat tender and thoughtful while the second teasing and playful. Next comes a folk song Chant de Veslemöy with its simple, yet heart-winning tune, an evening song of intimate character. The exuberant final work, Fete Nuptia1 Rustique, is full of humor and good spirits and makes an excellent conclusion. These pieces are to be highly recommended for recital. The composer has a melodic gift, knows how to write in an interesting and accomplished fashion. The music is everfresh and can be returned to again and again with pleasure."---The famous German music critic Eugen Segnitz in 1902, writing in Volume 14 of the respected periodical Music Weekly.
Johan Halvorsen (1864-1935) was born in Norwegian town of Drammen. As a boy, he was given violin lessons and his talent quickly became apparent. He took violin lessons in both Oslo and Stockholm before he entered the Leipzig Conservatory and where he studied violin with Adolph Brodsky. He continued his studies in Belgium with Cesar Thomson and then in St. Petersburg with Leopold Auer. All during this time he supported himself by concertizing throughout Europe, while at the same serving as concertmaster of a number of orchestras including, the Leipzig Gewandhaus and those in Aberdeen, Helsinki, Bergen and Stockholm. In 1899, he was appointed conductor of the orchestra at the newly-opened National Theatre in Oslo, a position he held for 30 years until his retirement in 1929. He wrote in most genres and followed the so-called national romantic tradition, pioneered by Edvard Grieg, with his own distinctive style. His writing for the violin is particularly fine. Today he is only remembered for a few works such as his orchestral march Bojarenes inntogsmarsj (Entry of the Boyars)and his Passacaglia and Sarabande, a duet for violin and viola based on themes by Handel.
As Herr Segnitz writes, this is an absolute first-rate candidate for the recital hall. Fresh-sounding, it is sure to make a strong impression. Long out of print, we are pleased to reintroduce it.