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Poul Ruders (b.1949)

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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

(CD)

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Ruders: Kafka's Trial

Ruders: Kafka's Trial


Johnny van Hal, Gisela Stille, Marianne Rørholm & Gert Henning Jensen

The Royal Danish Orchestra and Opera Choir, Thomas Søndergård

A wonderfully secure musical performance under Thomas Søndergård, and a relentlessly surreal production from Fransisco Negrin. (The Guardian)

“The enigmatic, nightmarish The Trial is, after Metamorphosis, probably Franz Kafka's most celebrated tale. Left in fragmentary form at his death, it has fascinated playwrights (such as Steven Berkoff), film-makers (among them Georg Pabst and Orson Welles) and opera composers (Gottfried von Einem and Gunther Schuller not least) for decades for both its state of incompletion – it has a beginning, an end but only part of the middle – and its surreal, uncomfortable storyline.
Is it moral fable, black satire, utter nonsense? Poul Ruders's opera to Paul Bentley's intelligent libretto, premiered in March 2005, is at least the seventh such treatment but where theirs differs from previous versions is in the attempt to link directly the creation of the story to events in Kafka's life.
As Bentley explains in the booklet, the young Czech writer may have been inspired to write TheTrial not through any political motive but rather because he had himself been subject to a 'tribunal' of sorts in Berlin, in which his fiancée – Felice Bauer – tired of his puppyish but equivocal devotions and an act of infidelity put him on trial in the lobby of his Berlin hotel. Alongside her in this kangaroo court was her friend, Greta Bloch, with whom he had been unfaithful but whom Felice had sent on purpose to meet him. From his letters, extracts of which form the basis of the long opening Prelude (featuring a troupe of mimedancers who act as postmen and comment silently on the action) and the series of 'counter-scenes' that run like a skein through the setting of the novel, it is clear Kafka was in love with both women. Was he set up? Whether or not, the episode clearly had a profound effect on him and has been the subject of much scholarly debate and at least one previous stage play, by Jan Hartman.
The two jailers aside, each character has a double life (not an unusual theatrical device, for sure, but rarely carried through in so thoroughgoing a fashion as here): Kafka alternates with his antihero, the tetchy, vacillating, powerless Joseph K – energetically sung by Johnny Van Hal – while Gisella Stille is superb as both the ambivalent fiancée Felice and Joseph K's brittle amour Miss Bürstner. Felice's accomplice Greta is sung with passion by Marianne Rørholm, doubling in two other roles from the book, Miss Montag and Leni. Ruders's setting is nervous and mostly fast-paced, the music incorporating tonal and modern expressionist elements, splashes of klezmer colouring (particularly for Kafka himself) but little that might be called comic. Yet the score abounds in moments where the orchestral accompaniment – deftly played by the Royal Danish Orchestra – seems to be mocking the hapless K/Kafka. In the end, Kafka's Trial is an unsettling rather than disturbing work, fascinating without being insightful, but undeniably entertaining.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Ruders's setting is nervous and mostly fast-paced, the music incorporating tonal and modern expressionist elements, splashes of klezmer colouring (particularly for Kafka himself) but little that might be called comic. Yet the score abounds in moments where the orchestral accompaniment - deftly played by the Royal Danish Orchestra - seems to be mocking the hapless K/Kafka. In the end, Kafka's Trial is... unsettling rather than disturbing work, fascinating without being insightful, but undeniably entertaining.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2006

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Dacapo - 8226042-43

(CD - 2 discs)

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Ruders: Selma Jezková

Ruders: Selma Jezková

An opera based on Lars von Trier's “Dancer in the Dark”


Ylva Kihlberg (Selma), Palle Knudsen (Bill), Hanne Fischer (Kathy), Guido Paevatalu (Norman/Guard 2), Gert Henning-Jensen (District Attorney/Guard 1) & Carl Philip Levin (Gene)

The Royal Danish Opera & The Royal Danish Orchestra, Michael Schønwandt

Poul Ruders' opera Selma Jezková (sung in English) is based on Lars von Trier's film Dancer in the Dark and follows the heart-wrenching story of Selma, a poor factory worker with failing eyesight who sacrifices her life to ensure that her son receives an eye operation.

The opera is a dark and compelling story of fate; a highly evocative and epic performance yet also intensely distilled with a duration of just 70 minutes. In this DVD production of the 2010 Copenhagen première performance, the forces of the Royal Danish Opera are directed by Kasper Holten and framed by Christian Lemmerz' grand Gothic set design.

Conductor Michael Schønwandt commands the podium and the demanding title role is sung by Ylva Kihlberg, to whom Poul Ruders has dedicated the role.

Region Code: 0

Sung in English

Subtitles in English, German and Danish

Duration: c. 73 min + c.47 min bonus material

Bonus material: Documentary ‘From cradle to the grave’ - the making of Selma Jezková

Sound formats: Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1

“Musically, the work is descended from Berg, in that its free tonality provides an expressive focus yet without the schematic framework becoming inflexible...The cast is dominated, as it needs to be, by Ylva Kihlberg's Selma: her dramatic soprano exudes fervency and commitment...Michael Schønwandt conducts with his customary flair...Indeed the whole production is a triumph of dramatic focus and concentration.” International Record Review, July 2011

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

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Dacapo - 2110410

(DVD Video)

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Ruders: Symphony No. 2 & Piano Concerto

Ruders: Symphony No. 2 & Piano Concerto


includes:

Ruders:

Symphony No. 2 'Symphony and Transformation'

Michael Schonwandt

Piano Concerto No. 1

Rolf Hind (piano)

Markus Stenz


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Dacapo - 8224125

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Conversations for Violin and Piano

Conversations for Violin and Piano


Koppel, H D:

Ternio Op. 53b

Nordentoft:

Two movements for violin and piano

Nørgård:

Fragment No. 5 for violin and piano

Diptychon, Op. 11 for violin and piano

Rosing-Schow:

Erigidis for violin and piano

Ruders:

Three Tiny Pieces for Great Friends

Bel Canto – for violin solo


Elisabeth Zeuthen Schneider (violin) & Ulrich Stærk (piano)

All the works on this disc were composed within the last fifty years and offer a fascinating capsule glimpse into Danish music.

They are here performed by two highly regarded Danish artists, Elisabeth Zeuthen Schneider and Ulrich Stærk.

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Dacapo - 8226519

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Distant still

Distant still

Trios for violin, horn and piano


Eichberg:

Horn Trio

Gudmundsen-Holmgreen:

Near still distant still

Ruders:

Horn Trio


The Danish Horn Trio

On this new Dacapo release, the acclaimed Danish Horn Trio brilliantly displays three of today's leading Danish composers' work with the horn trio phenomenon. All three composers on this CD clearly nod to the genre's legacy by Brahms and Ligeti, and all are profoundly inspired by the transparent soundscape of the three fundamentally different instruments – one bowed, one blown and one struck.

“Of the three works here for the horn trio combination made classic by the masterpieces of Brahms and Ligeti...none appears overawed by the possible comparisons. Taken together, they offer a fascinating cross-section of the diversity of temperament among Danish composers. Pride of place goes to the best-known figure of Poul Ruders...[Gudmundsen-Holmgreen's work] is music that derives maximum effect from minimal means” Gramophone Magazine, October 2011

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Dacapo - 8226549

(CD)

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Hymn To The Sun

Hymn To The Sun

Works for a cappella choir


Bruun:

Forårssang

Vandring i skoven

Holmboe:

Solhymne

Holten:

Psalm 23 - Herren er min hyrde

Jersild:

Il cantico delle creature

Koppel, H D:

Three Pieces for Mixed Choir with Texts from the Psalms of David, Op. 74

Nørgård:

Two Hans Christian Andersen Poems

Ruders:

Three Motets


Danish National Vocal Ensemble, Søren Kinch Hansen

Hymn to the Sun is the debut CD from the Danish National Vocal Ensemble.

Hymn to the Sun presents some of the most prominent Danish 20th- and 21st-century composers of choral music in works using a modern, variegated musical language that draws inspiration from many different genres and styles. More than anything else, this is music inspired by highly evocative texts: Poems by Hans Christian Andersen; the Psalms of the Bible, and ancient poetry worshipping the Sun.

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Dacapo - 8226051

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L’homme Armé - Works for solo cello

L’homme Armé - Works for solo cello


Abrahamsen:

Sonata for solo cello

Holmboe:

Sonata for solo cello, Op. 101

Nielsen:

Siciliano

Once Upon A Time

Nørgård:

Sonata Breve: Sonata for solo cello No. 3 ‘What – is the word!'

Pape, A:

Siciliano Sconfortevole

Rasmussen, K:

Silhouette to a poem by Naja Marie Aidt

Rosing-Schow:

Siciliana

Ruders:

Bravour studies for solo cello over ‘L'homme armé'


Morten Zeuthen (cello)

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Dacapo - 8226007

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Poul Ruders - Concertos

Poul Ruders - Concertos


Ruders:

Concerto in Pieces (1995)

Violin Concerto No. 1

Monodrama


Erik Heide (violin) & Mathias Reumert (percussion)

Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Thomas Søndergård

Poul Ruders is one of the biggest names in contemporary Scandinavian music. His orchestral works in particular have a brilliance and intensity that have made a great impression on audiences around the world.

Concerto in Pieces (1994-95) was played at the Last Night of the Proms in 1995 and is one of the most successful orchestral works of our time. It is based on a theme by Purcell and is a witty, explosively colourful successor to Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.

In the sunny Violin Concerto no. 1 (1981) the present day meets both Vivaldi and Schubert, while the percussion concerto Monodrama (1988) is a strong example of the primal Nordic power that fuels all of Ruders’ works.

Erik Heide is first violinist in the Danish National Chamber Orchestra. Mathias Reumert has received numerous awards and First Prizes in competitions such as the Percussive Arts Society International Convention 2004 in Nashville (USA) and the La Jolla Symphony Soloist Competition 2004 in San Diego (USA).

The Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1935, is one of Denmark’s five regional orchestras with a repertoire that ranges wide, from Baroque music to the very latest composition music. Thomas Søndergård was described as “a sensation” when he made his conducting debut with the Royal Danish Opera in 2005 on Ruders’ opera Kafka’s Trial.

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Dacapo - 8226034

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Poul Ruders: Violin Concerto No. 2 & Dramaphonia

Poul Ruders: Violin Concerto No. 2 & Dramaphonia


Ruders:

Violin Concerto No. 2

Rebecca Hirsch (violin)

Copenhagen Collegium Musicum, Michael Schonwandt

Dramaphonia for piano solo and chamber ensemble (No. 1 of Drama Trilogy)

Poul Rosenbaum (piano)

Lontano, Odaline de la Martinez


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Dacapo - DCCD9308

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