Calmeyergaten Mission House
The Calmeyergaten Mission House was the venue for Protestant gatherings. Erected in 1891, in Neogothic style, it could accommodate over 5000 visitors. Religious meetings took place here, and the hall was also used for concerts. It was one of the few halls in Oslo with sufficient capacity to host Edvard Grieg's performances in the city during the 1890s. In 1905, in an extraordinary speech here, prime minister Christian Michelsen declared the dissolution of Norway’s personal union with Sweden. In the 1920s, a conflict was played out here between followers of liberal theology and defenders of orthodox theology. The building gradually lost its importance and was dismantled in 1972.
On 14 April 1949, the Oslo Symphony Orchestra, Radio Orchestra, soloists and combined municipal choirs performed here Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 in C minor (“Resurrection”). Arne Nordheim was present at the concert and later described it as a sort of spiritual epiphany: “The existential depth of this music became lodged in my soul and remained with me for years”. Nordheim immediately decided to become a composer. Mahler’s symphony contained everything he was thinking about. After that contact with Mahler's music, everything else seemed unimportant to him. “It was like a greeting from beyond the grave, like a funeral march, highly disconcerting, the pieces of something… something more than sound, some deep message, religious need, solemnity…”. In a show on Swedish Radio, he said that for many months after this experience he would become catatonic and crave nothing but to write Mahler’s symphony again.