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Thommessen Hegdal Hvoslef & Xenakis

Hegdal: Form
Hvoslef: Serenata per Archi
Thommessen: Corelli Machine
Xenakis: Aurora

Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Terje Tønnesen

Aurora - ACD5039

A Norwegian triumph from a great string orchestra which for many years had Iona Brown as artistic leader. This brilliantly selected quartet of innovative works recorded in 2004 should lift their international profile.

Hegdal's 'time sculpture' is perhaps the most disturbing, needing more than one hearing to come to terms with its Form and deliberate stylistic variation; juxtapositions which the composer sees as an expression of 'breadth, openness and freedom with underlying unpredictability'.

Hvoslef's Serenata explores 'latent energy' with intriguing use of pauses as a significant structural feature, a delightful piece of strikingly individual personality.

Thommessen's Corelli Machine embodies the composer's affectionate regard for that composer's sound, 'more about chords, sequences and rhythm than about melodies'. It should be as well known as Tippett's Fantasia Concertante on a theme of Corelli and the two would sit well together in a concert programme.

And one name that everyone knows, Xenakis, the oldest of them but as innovative to encounter thirty five years on as when Aurora was composed around 1970. There is so much simultaneous activity that we are advised to try to shift focus and hear 'all this teeming activity melting together into larger sound masses in slower motion'..

Superbly recorded and elegantly produced, my only complaint is that, with plenty of spare space in the cover and booklet, the players weren't named individually.

Peter Grahame Woolf