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Per Nørgård: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 6

Per Nørgård: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 6


Nørgård:

Symphony No. 2

Symphony No. 6 'At the End of the Day'


“I feel each of my symphonies is a whole continentin itself,” the Danish composer PerNørgård(b. 1932) has said. His music stems from an insatiable urge to explore thepheno menaof the world and the possibilities of music, and his eight symphonies stand as milestones along the course of six decades. This recording with the Oslo Philharmonicconducted by JohnStorgårdspresents Per Nørgård’sSecondSymphony, in which the composer unfolds his famous ‘infinity principle’ euphorically and almost psychedelically, and his Sixth Symphony, in which the mature composer proves more exploratory andplayfulthan ever.

“exemplary performances from the Oslo Philharmonic in crystalline recordings that fasten on every sonic detail in the scores...what all these symphonies offer is unlike anything any other composer is writing today.” The Guardian, 15th June 2016 ****

“Cumulatively beautiful, structurally tangible and deliciously pure. The Oslo Philharmonic’s ability to collectively recede as if into a minimalist canvas, parts emerging thereafter with brightness and intent without distorting the contours, makes this performance. In music that’s deceptively tricky to pace, Storgårds delivers – again.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2016

“There’s something almost miraculous about the way Finnish conductor John Storgards has brought this music so finely and compellingly into focus…[in the Second] all is ghostly detached sounds, but then a melodically tight little figure in running notes starts to unfold, somehow transforming yet remaining essentially the same…yet the effect isn’t coldly cerebral: it feels natural, instinctual – as do the exultant brass and bells climaxes that grow out of it” BBC Music Magazine, September 2016 *****

Presto Discs of 2016

Finalist

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2016

Super Audio CD

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Dacapo - 6220645

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Langgaard: String Quartets Volume 3

Langgaard: String Quartets Volume 3


Langgaard, R:

String Quartet No. 5, BVN 189

String Quartet Movement Italian Scherzo BVN 408

String Quartet Number 1 BVN 68


Rued Langgaard's string quartets are passionate works from the eccentric composer's youth. This third and concluding release in the Gramophone Award-winning Nightingale String Quartet's acclaimed CD series presents the premiere recording of Langgaard's very first string quartet, which the composer began at the age of 21 in 1914. Like the subsequent quartets it is shot through with moving musical references to the fateful summer the year before, when the composer met the (hopeless) love of his life.

“Thei Langaard cycle is bringing this maverick composer the kind of broader recognition he always deserved, and their playing on this final volume lives up to the sky-high standards they have led us to expect.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2014

“Both works, and a tiny Italian Scherzo, are lovingly played by the young Nightingale Quartet, with the colouring and shaping of each phrase carefully considered. This disc completes the group's much admired three-disc series of all the quartets.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2015 *****

Presto Discs of 2014

Finalist

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - December 2014

Super Audio CD

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Dacapo - 6220577

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Per Nørgård: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 8

Per Nørgård: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 8


Nørgård:

Symphony No. 1 'Sinfonia austera'

Symphony No. 8


With this world premiere recording, the Vienna Philharmonic offers new perspectives on the most visionary voice of Nordic music and one of the greatest symphonists of our time, Danish composer Per Nørgård (b. 1932). Conducted on this occasion by Finnish Sakari Oramo, these performances of Nørgård’s Symphonies 1 and 8 – two milestones composed with almost six decades between them are the legendary orchestra’s first recording of new Nordic music.

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

“The premiere recording of Nørgård’s latest symphony is a rewarding listen, the Vienna Philharmonic bringing their perfection to his fascinating and attractive sound world.” Gramophone Magazine, August 2014

Presto Disc of the Week

16th June 2014

Presto Discs of 2014

Finalist

GGramophone Awards 2015

Winner - Contemporary

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - August 2014

Super Audio CD

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unknown

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Dacapo - 6220574

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Langgaard: String Quartets Volume 1

Langgaard: String Quartets Volume 1


Langgaard, R:

String Quartet No. 2, BVN 145

String Quartet No. 3, BVN 183

String Quartet No. 6, BVN 160

Variations for String Quartet 'Mig Hjertelig nu Laenges' ('O sacred head! Now wounded')


The string quartets of Danish music's eccentric outsider Rued Langgaard are passionate works of the composer's youth, representing both his nostalgically romantic side and his profoundly visionary modernity.

This recording series presents all 8 quartets in the award-winning young Nightingale String Quartet's distinctly dramatic interpretation based on the revised Rued Langgaard Edition.

“The string quartets are the product of his turbulent youth, so it is fitting that they should be played by Denmark's new star quartet, the Nightingale...They have an uncanny affinity with Langgaard's wildly moody music and conjure plenty of exquisite moments on this surprisingly rewarding recording.” The Observer, 1st April 2012

“That it makes the impact it does here is owing to the Nightingale Quartet, whose individual and collective virtuosity is always at the service of Langgard's vision.” International Record Review, May 2012

“This young Danish ensemble throws itself into the music with a vehemence and sense of purpose...Dacapo's re-recording of these works is more than welcome; and to call the second volume 'eagerly anticpiated' would be a massive understatement” Gramophone Magazine, June 2012

“it soon becomes clear that this composer doesn't think like anyone else. The ideas can be lively, beautiful, touching, at times more than a little weird...Crucially the Nightingale Quartet understand all these aspects: the provocative vitality, the fragile romantic sensitivity and the striking intellectual independence behind it all. It's all beautifully recorded too.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2012 *****

“such are the breadth and depth of Langgaard's action-packed 'modernist conservatism', and so persuasive are these readings...by the young Nightingale String Quartet, making their debut to boot, that this disc really does demand pecuniary issues be put aside.” MusicWeb International, April 2013

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - June 2012

BBC Music Magazine

Chamber Choice - June 2012

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2013

Chamber Finalist

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Dacapo - 6220575

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Langgaard: Music of the Spheres

Langgaard: Music of the Spheres


Langgaard, R:

Music of the Spheres, for soprano, chorus, orchestra and distant orchestra, BVN 128

Endens Tid (The End of Time), BVN 243

Fra Dybet (From the Deep), BVN 414


Inger Dam-Jensen (soprano), Hetna Regitze Bruun (mezzo-soprano), Johan Reuter (baritone) & Peter Lodahl (tenor)

Danish National Symphony Orchestra & Danish National Concert Choir, Thomas Dausgaard

Music of the Spheres is a symphonic work of great complexity, calling for a large orchestra, organ and choir, a supporting (distant) orchestra including a soprano voice, and a further piano on which the strings are played directly rather than via the keys.

For this new and important recording, Dausgaard couples Music of the Spheres with two later works by Langgaard - The Time of the End and From the Deep - bringing an overview to the composer’s music over a period of 35 years.

Thomas Dausgaard and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra will be performing the UK premiere of Music of the Spheres at this year’s Proms on 11th August.

“It's not great music, but it is startling for many of the effects it employs, using a huge orchestra with enormous restraint in a frieze-like construction juxtaposing mundane Romantic rhetoric with the textural and spatial ideas that attracted Ligeti's attention.” The Guardian, 5th August 2010 ***

“Langgaard worked with texture and colour, and the forms he used are static or repetitive rather than organic. Yet, for me, there’s a disquieting naivety about this piece. Thomas Dausgaard and his fine forces are undeniably ardent champions.” Sunday Times, 5th September 2010 ***

“Dausgaard draw[s] every subtlety from a score whose often hushed dynamic level does not preclude a wealth of textual and motivic detail” International Record Review, September 2010

“Amazing, sometimes banal but never dull.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2010 *****

“Dausgaard's interpretation, brought vividly to this year's Proms to much acclaim, accentuates the textural subtleties of the score in a vibrant recording that achieves amazing quietude...[From the Abyss] rounds out this superbly played and recorded disc splendidly. Highly recommended.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2010

Presto Disc of the Week

16th August 2010

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2011

Choral Finalist

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Dacapo - 6220535

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Schütz - Weinachtshistorie & Auferstehunghistorie

Schütz - Weinachtshistorie & Auferstehunghistorie


Schütz:

Weihnachts-Historie, SWV435

Auferstehungshistorie, SWV50


Jakob Bloch Jespersen (bass), Johan Linderoth (tenor), Adam Riis (tenor) & Else Torp (soprano)

Ars Nova Copenhagen, Concerto Copenhagen & Sirius Viols, Paul Hillier

The second volume of ARS NOVA Copenhagen & chief conductor Paul Hillier’s series showcasing the passions and oratorios of Heinrich Schütz features the Christmas Story and the Resurrection History, two masterly examples of the early vocal Baroque before the time of Bach, who admired Schütz.

ARS NOVA and a team of talented Danish soloists are accompanied by players of the acclaimed ensemble Concerto Copenhagen and the viola da gamba ensemble Sirius Viols, founded by and featuring Hille Perl, one of the world’s leading viola da gamba players.

“The performance is first-rate throughout. Natural, tractable voices create characterful images - in the Christmas Story, Else Torp an ethereal angel, Jakob Bloch Jespersen a sneering Herod. The major roles of Evangelist are well narrated, in both Historien, with a natural speech rhythm paced to match the changing moods. A disc to cherish.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2010 *****

“Ars Nova Copenhagen reaffirms its status as an outstanding vocal ensemble with luminous and pure choral singing. Its members also provide excellent solos...Hillier paces and shapes Schütz's music to perfection...Schütz recordings of such ardent beauty are much too rare, so this is not to be missed.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2010

“The splendid Ars Nova Copenhagen, directed by the sensitive Paul Hillier, provide here totally compelling recordings of Schutz's inspired settings of the Christmas Oratorio and the History of the Resurrection...the solo singing is very fine, especially the radiant-voiced soprano, Else Torp.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

GGramophone Awards 2010

Finalist - Baroque Vocal

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Dacapo - 8226058

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Ruders - Four Dances

Ruders - Four Dances


Ruders:

Four Dances in One Movement for chamber ensemble

Nightshade

Abysm


On this disc three of Ruders’s pivotal chamber works are in the hands of one of Europe's leading new music ensembles Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.

Four Dances in One Movement (1983) is an emotional sequence of four pure musical characters. Abysm (2000), which Ruders has written for BCMG, and Nightshade (1987) are two modern tone poems rooted in both dark and moving sound worlds.

BIRMINGHAM CONTEMPORARY MUSIC GROUP (BCMG) was formed in 1987 by musicians from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Simon Rattle, the Group’s Founding Patron. BCMG is one of Europe’s leading ensembles and has won many awards for its work in attracting new audiences for contemporary music.

OLIVER KNUSSEN is one of the most respected figures in British contemporary music. He is in international demand as an illuminating interpretation of twentieth century music, and he appears regularly with the major orchestras of the world. He was made a CBE in 1994 and is Conductor Laureate of the London Sinfonietta.

“There are few more fluent and adept composers at work these days than the Dane Poul Ruders... Four Dances in One Movement is a perfect example of his bright, biting and impulsive art, a play of brilliant skill, but never merely clever.” Sunday Times, 21st February 2010 ***

“This is a bracing, sensuous ear-opener...Ruders has always had a gift for texture and colour, a prerequisite for any composer, but he's a grand master...Oliver Knussen and his players are expert interpreters.” The Observer, 7th March 2010

BBC Music Magazine

Chamber Choice

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2011

Chamber Finalist

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Dacapo - 8226028

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Nielsen: Orchestral Music

Nielsen: Orchestral Music


Nielsen:

Maskarade Overture

Sir Oluf He Rides: Prelude

Snefrid (Suite for Orchestra)

Saul & David - Prelude Act 2

Rhapsody Overture: An Imaginary Trip to the Faroe Islands (FS123)

Pan & Syrinx, Op. 49 (FS87)

Amor og Digteren, Op. 54: Overture

Helios Overture, Op. 17 (FS32)

Maskarade: Dance of the Cockerels

Willemoes: Prelude to Act III


“…this disc is a good reminder of just how experimental Nielsen could be: prepared to try out not just different stylistic devices but even different kinds of persona. Thomas Dausgaard conducts all these works with tremendous gusto, balanced by a fine ear for unusual, suggestive textures, or the comedic vitality that erupts in Maskarade.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2007 *****

“This is outstanding, and unmissable for Nielsen collectors – and not only for the less familiar items, all of which have been recorded before (not badly, either). The Danish Radio Symphony must have played the Saul andDavid and Maskarade excerpts and the Helios Overture more times than they can count. But for Dausgaard they relish every detail, without ever sounding self-conscious. To call the balance in the 'Cockerels' Dance' felicitous would be an understatement; it is revelatory. Nor is affectionate an adequate word for Dausgaard's interpretations of all the music on this disc; there is love here, and a sense of crusading mission.
The praises of the Rhapsody Overture and Panand Syrinx could be sung just as extravagantly.
As could those over the theatre music excerpts, all of which lead to or from the world of Nielsen's symphonies. Given playing of such finesse and bite (one virtually takes idiomatic understanding for granted) they all feel like gems in their own right.
Here's a Nielsen disc that comes about as close to the ideal as one could hope to hear, and it eclipses almost all others in its field. Dacapo's recording quality is top-drawer, and there is an exemplary essay from Jørgen I Jensen.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Awards 2007

Finalist - Orchestral

GGramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - April 2007

CD Review

Critics Disc of the Year - December 2007

BBC Music Magazine

Orchestral Choice - April 2007

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Dacapo - 6220518

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Nielsen: The Symphonies & Concertos

Nielsen: The Symphonies & Concertos


Nielsen:

Symphonies Nos. 1-6 (complete)

Erin Morley (soprano) & Joshua Hopkins (baritone)

Violin Concerto, Op. 33 (FS61)

Nikolaj Znaider (violin)

Flute Concerto, FS119

Robert Langevin (flute)

Clarinet Concerto Op. 57 (FS129)

Anthony McGill (clarinet)


Raised in the Danish countryside as the son of a poor folk musician, Carl Nielsen's indomitable courage and infinite curiosity helped him develop into one of the greatest symphonists of the 20th century and eventually Denmark’s national composer. This 4 SACD box set collects the acclaimed live recording series of Nielsen’s complete symphonies and concertos by the New York Philhamonic, Music Director Alan Gilbert and soloists N ikolaj Znaider (violin), Robert Langevin (flute) and Anthony McGill (clarinet).

Carl Nielsen’s six symphonies and three solo concertos form the core of his orchestral music. Each relates to the classical tradition in its own very personal way, and at the same time the nine works show how Nielsen developed and increasingly moved away from the conventions. It is an incredibly long way from the robust upstart you encounter in the First Symphony to the atonal experiments in the Sixth Symphony and the Clarinet Concerto. Carl Nielsen constantly challenged himself and his audience. The late works complete the picture of an artistic development that was always ahead of his surroundings. To this we must add Nielsen’s profoundly original tonal idiom, at once quirky, straightforward and visionary, which makes it hard to place his music in the usual stylistic and historical categories.

“I think it’s really full-blooded, passionate, dramatic and ultimately human music. That’s what I’m going for, and that’s what the Philharmonic is good at,” says conductor Alan Gilbert. After living in Scandinavia for a number of years Gilbert knows the roots of the music. “Carl Nielsen’s music is based on classic traditions, but it’s just so Danish! Strong, beautiful and independent,” says Gilbert.

Presto Disc of the Week

8th June 2015

Presto Discs of 2015

Finalist

Super Audio CD

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Hybrid Multi-channel

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Dacapo Alan Gilbert Nielsen Project - 6200003

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