Composers / Arne Nordheim / Places catalog
"Festiviteten" is the name of the building erected as a house for the patrician Rasmus Linaae, completed in 1810. In 1872, the building was taken over by the Klubbselskabet (Club Society), which commissioned a brick-and-mortar addition to the existing wooden residential and office building; the new part contained a theatre and concert venue (the third theatre venue in Norway). The whole building received the name “Festiviteten”. After ten years, the building was bought by the municipality and used as the city hall (1883–1988). Nordheim’s parents moved into the gatehouse there in 1947, when his father became the building's caretaker. From 3 August 1956, Arne stood in for his father for some time, so he could use the piano in the city council’s committee room to finish his first string quartet.
In 1986, when the Oslo String Quartet performed the work, it was wittily dubbed the "Caretaker" Quartet. In the banquet hall, on 6 October 1989, for the seventy-fifth birthday of Larvik-born Thor Heyerdahl, Nordheim’s cantata Be not afeard for soprano, baritone and orchestra was performed. This work is based on the second part of the suite from the ballet The Tempest (Stormen, 1979).
Arne with brother Johan and their parents Erling and Emma, 1947. The Arne Nordheim Centre.
„Festiviteten” on Storgata 44, Larvik. Phot. Morten Bakkeli