Magazine article Gramophone

'First Drop'

Magazine article Gramophone

'First Drop'

Article excerpt

'First Drop' [G]

L Andriessen Un beau baiser Gordon He saw a skull G Jackson L'homme arme D Lang when we were children Ortiz Five Motets Reich Clapping Music (arr Hillier). Know what is above you Riley Mexico City Blues Skempton More sweet than my refrain. Rise up my love Volans Walking Song Ars Nova Copenhagen / Paul Hillier Canteloupe (F) CA21127 (71' * DDD * T/t)

'First Drop' aims to capture that special alchemy that takes place between ensemble and composer when a new work is commissioned and performed. Of course, not every synthesis guarantees success, but it's difficult to resist the notion that everything Denmark's leading vocal ensemble touch turns into sonorous gold. Recorded by Ars Nova Copenhagen over a period of 10 years under their inspirational director, Paul Hillier, 'First Drop' exudes all the freshness and vitality of a spring shower on a sunny day.

While much of what is heard falls under the rather amorphous description 'post-minimal', the range of styles is remarkably varied, from the giddy tonal glissandos heard in Michael Gordon's He saw a skull to Pablo Ortiz's twitchy neo-medieval Five Motets. In between there are contributions from first-generation minimalists, including a touchingly lyrical song by Louis Andriessen. …

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