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Paul Hillier

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Bent Sørensen: Snowbells

Bent Sørensen: Snowbells

Works for choir


Sørensen, B:

“og solen går ned” (“and the sun sets”)

Sneeklokken (The snowbell)

Sneklokker (Snowbells)

Gråfødt (Greyborn)

Livet og døden (Life and death)

Motets (3)

Lacrimosa

Benedictus

Havet står så blankt og stille (The sea stands so still and shining)


Danish National Vocal Ensemble, Paul Hillier

Bent Sørensen's atmospheric vocal work Sneklokker (Snowbells) from 2010 arose as the audio accompaniment for the unique art installation ‘The White Forest’, in which an area in a summer-green forest was partly transformed into a snow-white winter forest. In this premiere recording by the Danish National Vocal Ensemble and conductor Paul Hillier the listener is guided through an almost unearthly landscape of human voices interwoven with the recorded sound of the bells of the village churches around the forest. The CD also offers a selection of sacred and secular choral works by Sørensen with texts by leading Danish poets, from both Romanticism and the present day.

“It reminds me of something I’ve never heard!”

Such was the spontaneous reaction of the Norwegian composer Arne Nordheim upon hearing a work by Bent Sørensen. And it is not easy to imagine a more strangely to-the-point description of the ambiguous, almost paradoxical expressive idiom of this unique composer, who is without doubt the leading Danish composer of his generation.

Sørensen’s music is not recycled; in no way does it rely on the yellowing pages of history for its musical nourishment. His musical language is undeniably of the present day, both aesthetically and technically. The music does, however, appear to be pervaded with memories, wisdom of experience and old dreams, of the inevitability of transitoriness and parting. It is a flickering, glittering world where things seem to disappear at the slightest touch.

The moment something becomes tangible and recognizable, it dissolves, becomes obscured, or disappears. But this ghost-like indistinctness is nevertheless the work of an experienced illusionist. Perhaps Sørensen’s most singular talent is his ability to give voice to this indistinctness, to render it distinct and clear. Often he places very simple musical material inside an ingenious musical “hall of mirrors” in which echoes, and echoes of echoes, spread like ripples in water; the quiet, smudged contours, which sound as though heard through falling rain or misted windows, are always drawn in minute, calligraphic detail.

“All-round excellence and a disc that’s unusually moving in one sitting – a perfect preface to the silence Sorensen seems so acutely aware of and, sometimes, hesitant to fill” Gramophone Magazine, May 2016

20% off Dacapo

Dacapo - 6220629

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Buxtehude and his Circle

Buxtehude and his Circle


Bruhns:

De profundis clamavi

Buxtehude:

Jesu, meine Freude BuxWV 60

Gott, hilf mir BuxWV 34

Förster, K:

Confitebor tibi Domine

Geist, C:

Dixit Dominus

Die mit Tranen saen

Tunder:

Dominus illuminatio mea


Dietrich Buxtehude was not only the greatest organ virtuoso of his time and a celebrated composer of both sacred and secular music; he was also a highly enterprising and innovative artist with a unique ability to form networks around himself. This CD, conceived by Theatre of Voices and Paul Hillier, gives a rare insight into the circle around Buxtehude – a musical circle of time, place, friendships, teacher-pupil relationships and even family membership; a network of excellent composers from Northern German musician families, all of whom worked in or migrated to Scandinavia in the course of the 1600s.

“Hillier’s lovely performance is on a par with the very finest that the Buxtehude discography has to offer” Gramophone Magazine, July 2016

“This is a most enjoyable disc in which every single piece receives a convincing interpretation” MusicWeb International, 10th August 2016

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Dacapo - 6220634

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The Golden Age of Danish Partsongs

The Golden Age of Danish Partsongs


Gade, N:

Kong Valdemars jagt 'Paa Sjølunds fagre sletter'

Die Wasserrose (No. 2 from Fünf Gesänge, Op. 13)

Im Herbst (No. 4 from Fünf Gesänge, Op. 13)

Im Wald (No. 5 from Fünf Gesänge, Op. 13)

Hartmann, J P E:

I varen knoppes en lind sa gron (from Religious and Popular Poems, Op. 86)

Jeg ved, jeg corder dig aldrig kaer (from Religious and Popular Poems, Op. 86)

Heise:

Natten var mild og kjær

Kuhlau:

Nu løvsalen skygger

O, den skønne, skønne maj (Majsång)

Laub, T:

Stille, hjerte, sol går ned

Nielsen:

Min Jesus, lad mit hjerte få

Sundt Blod. Jeg bærer med smil min byrde from FS 70

Underlige aftenlufte (Wondrous Evening Air)

Nørholm:

Mine danske kilder, Op. 128

Schultz, S:

Yndigt dufter Danmark

trad.:

Dronning Dagmars Dod

arr. Gade

Weyse:

Wandrers Nachtlied - Über alle Gipfeln ist Ruh

Barcarole (Natten er saa stille)

Lysets Engel gaar med Glans


Grammy-winning British conductor Paul Hillier meets the crown jewels of Danish choral music with his Copenhagen forces!

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

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Dacapo - 6220568

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Gudmundsen-Holmgreen: Mixed Company

Gudmundsen-Holmgreen: Mixed Company


Gudmundsen-Holmgreen:

Run for ten players

Turn II for four voices

Song for four voices

Play for fourteen instruments

Sound I for four voices

Sound II for four voices

Company for four voices and fourteen instruments


Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

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Dacapo - 8226114

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Ockeghem & Sørensen: Requiem

Ockeghem & Sørensen: Requiem


Ockeghem:

Missa Pro Defunctis

Sørensen, B:

Fragments of Requiem

I Responsorium: Memento mei Deus (Sørensen)

II Introitus (Ockeghem)

III Kyrie (Ockeghem)

IV Sequentia: a. Rex tremendae (plainchant) b. Recordare Jesu pie (Sørensen) c. Juste judex (plainchant)

d. Lacrimosa (Sørensen)

V Graduale (Ockeghem)

VI Tractus (Ockeghem)

VII Sanctus (Sørensen, Ockeghem, Monteverdi)

VIII Benedictus (Sørensen)

IX Agnus dei (plainchant)

X Offertorium (Ockeghem)

XI In paradisum (Sørensen)


The 500 years that separate Renaissance master Johannes Ockeghem and Danish composer Bent Sørensen seem to disappear in this extraordinary Requiem which is a totality integrated both dramatically and musically; a work that unites the stylistic contrasts in a mode of expression that seems at once timeless and entirely present.

The project has been initiated by conductor Paul Hillier and interpreted by his GRAMMY-winning ensemble Ars Nova Copenhagen. To watch a promotional video please visit http://youtu.be/_n95HwndReg

“Sorensen achieves a convincing transition between the two styles, using the plainchant as a kind of mediation...Sorensen specifies the positioning of the choir and individual voices: the outstanding performances and recording vividly bring out this spatial aspect of the music in both SACD and stereo” BBC Music Magazine, October 2012 *****

“Paul Hillier was the Hilliard's director when they recorded Ockeghem's Requiem and his view of the work has hardly changed, though the ensemble he now leads is very different. So, rather than reinvent the wheel, Hillier intersperses its movements...with pieces by the Danish composer Bent Sorensen...Those who know their polyphony, by the way, will enjoy Sorensen's splicing and looping together of Sanctus settings by Monteverdi and Ockeghem.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2012

BBC Music Magazine

Choral & Song Choice - October 2012

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

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Dacapo - 6220571

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A Bridge of Dreams

A Bridge of Dreams


Body:

Lullabies (5)

Boyd:

As I Crossed A Bridge Of Dreams

Edwards, Ross:

Sacred Kingfisher Psalms

Harrison, L:

Mass for Saint Cecilia’s Day

Sola, Liu:

The Seafarer

Paul Hillier (recitation)


Dacapo present scintillating vocal music from the Pacific Rim featuring composers and poets from China, Japan, California, New Zealand, Australia and one ancient Anglo-Saxon Seafarer.

This is unusual and lovely music sung by the Grammy Award winning vocal ensemble, Ars Nova Copenhagen, under their conductor Paul Hillier, and with early harp virtuoso Andrew Lawrence-King.

These are composers who have consciously looked beyond Western aesthetic traditions to create a musical language with a variety of different reference points. Some have found their sources close at hand in the aboriginal cultures of the land where they live, while others have looked towards the religions and music of Asia. The results are still concert music—not musical exotica—but the direction from which their ideas have arrived gives their music a sense of openness and receptivity.

“Anne Boyd's As I crossed a bridge of dreams (1975) gives its title to the CD and, with its rapt sostenuto, steals the show. Almost endlessly sustained, immaculately imagined, and - like everything else here - admirably performed.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2012

“This is an intriguing disc of barely known and often very beautiful music by composers from Australisia, the United States and China. It would be hard, I think, to imagine music more transparent than that of Lou Harrison's Mass for Saint Cecilia's Day...The music's transparency and long-breathed quality give every opportunity for the voices of Ars Nova to shine in a very particular way, really as chamber soloists.” International Record Review, February 2012

Super Audio CD

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Dacapo - 6220597

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Schütz: The Complete Narrative Works

Schütz: The Complete Narrative Works


Schütz:

St Luke Passion, SWV 480

St John Passion, SWV 481

St Matthew Passion, SWV 479

Weihnachts-Historie, SWV435

Auferstehungshistorie, SWV50

Die sieben Worte Jesu Christ am Kreuz, SWV 478


This box set presents the complete narrative works (Historiae) of Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672) in the acclaimed new recordings by Ars Nova Copenhagen conducted by Paul Hillier.

The engaging account of the six stories of Christmas, Passion and Resurrection in Schütz’ sublime Baroque settings is presented along with authoritative notes and the conductor’s own commentary on the works, which rank among the finest pieces of the 17th Century.

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Dacapo - 8204035

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Schütz: St Matthew Passion, SWV 479

Schütz: St Matthew Passion, SWV 479


Julian Podger (Evangelist) & Jakob Bloch Jespersen (Jesus)

Ars Nova Copenhagen, Paul Hillier

The Matthäus-passion marks the conclusion of Dacapo’s critically acclaimed Schütz series with Ars Nova Copenhagen and Paul Hillier.

Ars Nova were 2010 GRAMMY-WINNERS in the Best Small Ensemble Performance. Category

“The heaviest responsibility rests with the Evangelist, superbly done by Podger. Though he rises to moments of great dramatic oratory in places...most of his account is delivered in measured tone and pace...Ars Nova Copenhagen's impeccable intonation creates a vibrant sonority at moments of cadential repose. Jespersen's Christus is deeply felt” BBC Music Magazine, July 2011 ****

“Ars Nova Copenhagen and Paul Hillier make a good case here for what it, on the surface, pretty dry music. Aside from the very well-handled choral interjections (you wait for them, and boy, how they move you when they arrive!) the conductor initiates a steady build up of tension over this hour-long musical journey.” Classic FM Magazine, June 2011 ***

“Julian Podger matches the sparseness of Schutz's plainsong-like lines...with suitably restrained vocal production...What keeps the attention here is the way that all the solo singers - including those drawn from choir for the minor roles - inject just enough urgency and drama into their singing for us to feel the power of the unfolding story, but not so much as to disturb the work's underlying serenity and understatement...A hair-shirt Easter treat.” International Record Review, April 2011

“So plain is the story-telling that the Evangelist (the excellent Julian Podger) sings his familiar narration, deftly inflected, unaccompanied throughout; the touches of expressiveness from the choral interjections are all the more powerful, and the theological understanding is profound.” The Observer, 17th April 2011

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Dacapo - 8226094

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The Natural World of Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen

The Natural World of Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen


Gudmundsen-Holmgreen:

Examples

Again

Six simple Danish Songs

Konstateringer (Statements)

Three Stages

Four Madrigals from the Natural World


A pronounced fan of Gudmundsen-Holmgreen’s music, Paul Hillier leads his Ars Nova Copenhagen through this breathtaking choral disc with passion, insight and humour. Hillier has also contributed to the CD booklet with a written essay on his encounter with Pelle’s music.

“The works on this CD constitute a major contribution to the international repertoire of choral music, and any choir or vocal ensemble that has not (yet) engaged with this composer still has something to accomplish!” Paul Hillier on this recording

“The performances are absolutely faultless: Gundmundsen-Holmgreen must have been beside himself with pleasure at the result. Paul Hillier and his singers are in complete command of every element: pitch, tempo, structure - from the smallest detail to the vault of the programme as a whole, their technical mastery is astonishing...It left me slack-jawed with admiration.” International Record Review, March 2011

Super Audio CD

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Hybrid Multi-channel

20% off Dacapo

Dacapo - 6220583

(SACD)

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Buxtehude: Scandinavian Cantatas

Buxtehude: Scandinavian Cantatas


Buxtehude:

Praeludium in E Minor, BuxWV142

Pange lingua gloriosi BuxWV91

Herren var Gud BuxWV 40

Ecce nunc benedicite Domino BuxWV23

Att du, Jesu, vil mig höra, BuxWV 8

Accedite gentes BuxWV1

Passacaglia in D minor, BuxWV161

Missa brevis BuxWV 114

Domine salvum fac regem BuxWV18


This recording offers an unusual selection of Dietrich Buxtehude’s vocal music performed by 2010 Grammy® Award winning ensemble Theatre of Voices conducted by Paul Hillier. Among these rarely heard works with texts in Swedish and Latin, we find cantatas in the form of virtuoso concertos, as well as arias and chorale settings and Buxtehude’s only work in the stile antico, the Missa alla brevis.

A natural choice of recording venue for Hillier and his team was St. Mary’s Church in Elsinore where Buxtehude was employed as an organist in 1660-68. Bine Bryndorf is the guest organist and plays the authentic (restored) ‘Buxtehude organ’.

“Singing one-to-a-part, they produce splendidly full tone...These fine cantatas show that Buxtehude was much more than just a predecessor of Bach. The performances are both spirited and spiritual, and there's a bonus in two substantial pieces for organ.” Classic FM Magazine, February 2011 ****

“The Theatre of Voices convey a compelling atmosphere of drama, commitment and plangent sonorities in Buxtehude's setting of Pangue lingua gloriosi...and the introductory sonata to the psalm Ecce nunc benedicite is played with refined joyfulness.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2011

“The ability the Theatre of Voices personnel have of blending themselves into a cogent chamber choir...is possibly their most notable attribute...With immaculate clarity of line, with a perfect balance between instruments and voices and with superlative shaping of the individual lines, Hillier producers some thoroughly invigorating and totally absorbing accounts” International Record Review, December 2010

“[Theatre of Voices] breathe new life into this stimulating but neglected 17th-century repertoire, aided by the splendidly crisp TOV band. Soprano Else Torp, countertenor William Purefoy and bass Jakob Bloch Jespersen shine among the singers. Highly recommended.” The Observer, 24th October 2010

Super Audio CD

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Hybrid Multi-channel

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Dacapo - 6220534

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