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All World Premiere Recordings!
Four modern masters explore the musical possibilities of combining the Recorder and choir!
Featuring the virtuoso Danish National Vocal Ensemble under the direction of Stephen Layton.
Recorded in state-of-the-art Super Audio Sound!
The “idea” of combining the recorder with a choir is certainly nothing new; the recorder has joined the human voice in song for almost as long as the instrument has existed. The recorder is in a sense the closest instrument to the human voice, producing a pure sound without mechanisms, reeds or elaborate mouthpieces to alter the tone. However, until recently, few contemporary composers have explored the expressive potential that this combination can deliver.
A recurring theme of each of the four highly personal and distinctive works on this program is a contemplation of nature and humanity. Beginning with Latvian composer Ugis Praulins magical adaptation of Andersen’s beloved fairy tale, we traverse the darker realms of the human heart in Sunleif Rasmussen’s setting of Inger Christensen’s confessional response to Wallace Steven’s “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.” Young Danish composer Peter Bruun provides us a glimpse into Gerard Manley Hopkins secretive mysticism while Daniel Börtz, dean of Swedish composers, holds us rapt in adoration as his celestial angel-bird soars above the extraordinary virtuoso singing of the Danish National Vocal Ensemble.
Once again, Michala Petri has proven herself not only the unquestioned master of the recorder, but her visionary approach to programming and commitment to expanding her instrument’s repertoire into the 21st century make this an absolutely essential disc for fans of Michala, choral music, Nordic composers, and contemporary music with a HEART as well as with a “system.”
Ugis Praulins: The Nightingale
Tableaux I: Introduction: Emperor's Garden
Tableaux II: Nigtingale Theme
Tableaux III: Emperor and Gentleman-in-waiting
Tableaux IV: In the Quest
Tableaux V: There She Is
Tableaux VI: At the Palace
Tableaux VII: The Artificial Bird
Tableaux VIII: The Emperor and the Death
Daniel Bortz: Nemesis divina
Sunleif Rasmussen: I
Peter Bruun: 2 Scenes with Skylar
No. 1. The Sea and the Skylark
No. 2. The Caged Skylark
“Layton steers his peerlessly virtuoso musicians though this eclectic and innovative mix with his customary polish and dramatic energy. Also running through it all like a golden thread is Michala Petri's iridescent playing...This is an unequivocal treat for connoisseurs of fine choral singing and recorder lovers alike.”