Magazine article Gramophone

Sorenson: 'Snowbells-Works for Choir'

Magazine article Gramophone

Sorenson: 'Snowbells-Works for Choir'

Article excerpt

Sorenson

'Snowbells--Works for Choir' Sneeklokken (The Snowbell). Sneklokker (Snowbells), Grafodt (Greyborn). Livet og daden (Life and death). Three Motets. Lacrimosa. 'og solen gar ned' ('and the sun sets'). Benedictus. Havet stir sa blankt og stille (The sea stands so still and shining) Danish National Vocal Ensemble / Paul Hillier Dacapo (F)[SACD] Jt. 6 220629 (61' * DDD/DSD * T/t)

This is proving some year for Bent Sorensen. His remarkable new Triple Concerto was premiered by Trio Con Brio and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra in January and this Dacapo release comes hot on the heels of its recording of his extraordinary 'concerto for orchestra, choir, actors and audience' Sounds Like You. Sorensen doesn't identify himself as a 'choral' composer even though he's best known outside Denmark for his complementary movements to Ockeghem's unfinished Requiem (7/12). But he's at work on a full Passion setting, and these pieces from 1985-2014 (some of which may turn up in said Passion) present an embracing overview of his distinctive way with unaccompanied voices.

It is, to my mind, a particularly fruitful medium for Sorensen, the thinking person's neo-Romantic. Rarely does he ask voices to do anything other than sing long notes or shapely phrases (strangely refreshing these days). A constant tension pulls his music between the magnetic poles of warm, Romantic tonality and rich, Schoenbergian atonality with Renaissance polyphony often forming a structural underlay. Much of the music on this disc feels soaked in tears, with the occasional shot of searing Baltic pain. …

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