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Per Norgard: Divine Circus

Album Summary

>Norgård, Per : The Divine Circus (Der gottliche Tivoli), opera
Performers Conductor Ensemble
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Notes & Reviews:

'Der gottliche Tivoli' (The Divine Circus) is Per Norgard's marvellous portrayal of the Swizz schizophrenic artist Adolf Wolfli (1864-1930). It stands as a key-work in contemporary Nordic music drama and present in two atcs Wolfli's two periods in life. The rough upbringing in Switzerland in the late 19th century and confinement in an insane asylum, where Wolfli in over more than 30 years produced an endless number of incredible artworks. The encounter with Wolfli's life and art became a significant turningpoint in Norgard's music, which lead to a series of great works all dealing with chaos and catastrophe. Among those is 'Der gottliche Tivoli', which is here presented on disc for the first time in a live performance from Stadttheater Bern in 2008.

"In 1979, [Norgard's] musical style was turned on its head after he encountered the work of Adolf Wolfli, an early 20th century Swiss artist who was severely psychotic and spent his adult life in an asylum. Norgard wrote, "I experienced the encounter with Wolfli's chaotic art as a mental dive into a dark, different world -- eerie, unpredictable, but fascinating and above all highly specific." That serves as an apt description of the 1982 opera he wrote about Wolfli's life, The Divine CircusThe singers, who are rarely called on to produce what could be called conventionally beautiful sounds, throw themselves into their roles with commitment and abandon; these are hell-for-leather performances that sound like they are holding absolutely nothing back. The sound of Dacapo's SACD is clean and realistically atmospheric. Intriguing but inscrutable, The Divine Circus should be of interest to Norgard's fans and opera lovers with a taste for extreme adventure." - All Music Guide

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Stadttheater Bern (09/19/2008).


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Works Details

>Per Norgård (Composer) (1932 - ) : The Divine Circus (Der göttliche Tivoli), opera
  • Performers: Daniel Scheidegger (Percussion); Hans-Kristian Sorensen (Percussion); Adrian Schild (Percussion); Oliver Schär (Percussion); Matthias Kuhn (Cello); Genova Dessislava (Synthesizer); Franz Rüfli (Percussion); Ferdinand Heiniger (Percussion)
  • Conductor: Dorian Keilhack
  • Running Time: 10 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1982