Peter Dijkstra: The Swedish Radio Choir works at a great pace and demands the very highest quality, which makes it a great joy for me to work with this ensemble. All 32 singers not only have great solo capacities, they are also more than willing to make music together at a chamber music level. The a cappella tradition built up in the 1960s and 1970s by Eric Ericson, and nurtured later by many others, is still very tangible. Through this training over such a long period, a specific choral sound has been created (I like to call it the 'Nordic sound'), which, thanks to enormous exactness in the intonation, is highly transparent and sonorous.
There is also a tradition of collaboration with composers, who have had many opportunities to bring their ideas to fruition with the choir. One of the most important of these is Sven-David Sandström. When composing for choir Sandström (1942–) does not hold back in terms of expression or technical demands. This contributes towards a most emotional tonal language, to which the 'Nordic sound' of the Swedish Radio Choir is perfectly suited. Composer and choir have worked together for years, and Sandström has really become a house composer. Reason enough for Channel Classics’ first ‘Nordic Sound’ issue to feature his music.
“Sandstrøm has clearly upped the level of vocal expertise he demands of his choirs as the years have gone by. But these Swedish singers take it all in their stride, seeming to find no problem with his incredibly high tessitura for all voices, traditional, rich, romantic harmonies behaving in anything but a traditional way and non-musical vocalisations.”
“The title of this superb disc is the only banal thing about it: the music, performances and recording are all phenomenally good...The singing of the Swedish Radio Choir under its Peter Dijkstra will leave you slack-jawed in amazement: control of pitch, dynamic, rhythm, blend, you name it, is perfect, and it's all reproduced with crystalline clarity.”
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