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Nørgård Choral Music

Libra, for solo tenor, guitar, two mixed choirs and two vibraphones
Rêves en pleine lumière
for mixed choir
Kredsløb (Cycle) for 12-part mixed choir

Adam Riis (tenor) & Stefan Östersjö (guitar) Danish National Vocal Ensemble/Fredrik Malmberg

Dacapo CD 6220622

Issued to celebrate Per Nørgård's 80th Birthday in July 2012, this CD offers three of the composer's most captivating vocal works featuring the Danish National Vocal Ensemble.

The texts, given in Danish and English, are "cosmic and prophetic" and set with such overlapping intricacy that they are mostly hard to follow, so that one takes it more as music, with "the human voice as a catalyst of new awareness in both the musical and universal sense" [Eva Hvidt].

The quirkiness is echoed by the illustration of this great choir in "natural" surroundings (which have contemporary echoes in the present winter 2012 UK floodings !).

The music is unique in its moods and techniques, which owe a great deal to overlapping extracts from Nørgård's infinity series. I would recommend starting with Cycle (1977). The 12-part choir includes some fabulous high sopranos who are hauntingly beautiful.

There is a lucid and dense 4-minute video narrated by the composer with musicians and the recording team, .which takes you right into the essence of the recording of Libra, and is worth hundreds of descriptive words.

Peter Grahame Woolf

See our earlier reviews of Nørgård's operas, Siddhartha & Will o the Wisps etc etc

photo P M Abrahamsen