Magazine article Gramophone

'As Dreams': Janson Nocturne Lachenmann Consolation II

Magazine article Gramophone

'As Dreams': Janson Nocturne Lachenmann Consolation II

Article excerpt

'As Dreams' [G] Janson Nocturne Lachenmann Consolation II (Wessobrunner Gebet) Norgard Drommesange (Dream Songs). Singe die Garten, mein Herz Saariaho Nuits, adieux. Uberzeugung Xenakis Nuits The Norwegian Soloists' Choir; Oslo Slnfonletta / Grete Pedersen BIS (F) [SACD] BIS2139 (61' * DDD * T/t)

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I have an abiding memory of attending a Norwegian Soloists' Choir concert that journeyed through a tricky smorgasbord of Messiaen, Brahms and Xenakis, during which the singers tuned the start of each piece silently, using just their brains and the final chord of whatever piece went before. That programme, like this one, included Xenakis's Nuit. For more proof of just how technically astonishing this ensemble can be, go to 3'58" in that piece and hear voices emerge from a pitchless cackle into an upward glissando that alights elegantly upon a perfectly tuned minor second. Is there anything this choir can't do?

It would appear not. But while the more difficult pieces here (six out of the seven tracks) bring the most imposing singing from the choir, the song-like purity of Per Norgard's Dremmesange shows just how attractive and unaffected the ensemble's 'plain' delivery can be too (for more of that, hear its staggering folk-song disc 'White Night'-9/11). …

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