With Britten touring Scandinavia

In Norway

We gave a chamber concert at Hardanger, Norway. It was a great success and we were invited to a splendid dinner consisting of reindeer steaks. After dinner we were entertained by someone playing a Hardanger fiddle, which is somewhat like a violin, but has an extra set of strings that vibrate in sympathy with the notes being played on the top strings. I asked Ben if he would write for it and he said he might very well do so, but I don’t think he ever did.

In Copenhagen

Ben Britten was rather nervous about our opening opera at the Royal Theatre Copenhagen, because the King of Denmark, an amateur musical conductor was going to be in the audience. However, all went well and the King praised us all.

With Britten in Oslo

We had a lovely time in Oslo, the operas and concerts were well received, and interestingly, we were billeted with prominent music lovers. I was billeted with Sten Sorensen, the owner of a soap factory. Upon my departure he presented me with a huge box of baby soap for my newborn son. Soap was severely rationed in Britain at the time so I was delighted. Sten came over to visit with me the following year. It’s amazing how many friends one makes playing music.

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Published in: on October 8, 2006 at 10:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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