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The Natural World of Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen

> Eksempler (Examples) - No. 1. Ikke blot hende (Not Only She)
> Eksempler (Examples) - No. 2. Morgen (Morning)
> Eksempler (Examples) - No. 3. Born kender overmagt (Children Encounter Superiority)
> Eksempler (Examples) - No. 4. Barn rodkindet (Child Red-cheeked)
> Eksempler (Examples) - No. 5. Gammel mand i meditation (Old Man Meditating)
> Eksempler (Examples) - No. 6. Pa traeet er der et blad (On the Tree Is a Leaf)
> Igen (Again) - No. 1. Sol gar op, sol gar ned (Sun Goes Up, Sun Goes Down) I
> Igen (Again) - No. 2. Tid til … (Time to …)
> Igen (Again) - No. 3. Sol har op, sol gar ned (Sun Goes Up, Sun Goes Down) II
> 6 Enkle Danske Sange (6 Simple Danish Songs) - No. 1. Forarsnat (I Spring Night)
> 6 Enkle Danske Sange (6 Simple Danish Songs) - No. 2. Sovende pige (Sleeping Girl)
> 6 Enkle Danske Sange (6 Simple Danish Songs) - No. 3. Min nye kjole (My New Dress)
> 6 Enkle Danske Sange (6 Simple Danish Songs) - No. 4. Barn rodkindet (Child Red-cheeked)
> 6 Enkle Danske Sange (6 Simple Danish Songs) - No. 5. Digt med ikke (Poem With Not)
> 6 Enkle Danske Sange (6 Simple Danish Songs) - No. 6. Det pa billeder (Something in Pictures)
> Konstateringer (Statements) - No. 1. Episk tekst: I. —
> Konstateringer (Statements) - No. 1. Episk tekst: II. —
> Konstateringer (Statements) - No. 1. Episk tekst: III. —
> Konstateringer (Statements) - No. 1. Episk tekst: IV. —
> Konstateringer (Statements) - No. 1. Episk tekst: V. —
> Konstateringer (Statements) - No. 1. Episk tekst: VI. —
> Konstateringer (Statements) - No. 2. Konstateringer (Statements): I. —
> Konstateringer (Statements) - No. 2. Konstateringer (Statements): II. —
> 3 Stages - No. 1. I gademe (In the Streets)
> 3 Stages - No. 2. I skovene (In the Woods)
> 3 Stages - No. 3. Gader, skove, som bolgerne (Streets, Woods, Like as the Waves)
> 4 Madrigaler fra Naturens Verden (4 Madrigasl from the Natural Wold) - No. 1. Flagermus' ulralyd (Bat's Ultrasound)
> 4 Madrigaler fra Naturens Verden (4 Madrigasl from the Natural Wold) - No. 2. Elefanters oktav (The Octave of Elephants)
> 4 Madrigaler fra Naturens Verden (4 Madrigasl from the Natural Wold) - No. 3. Kohejre (Cattle Egret)
> 4 Madrigaler fra Naturens Verden (4 Madrigasl from the Natural Wold) - No. 4. Komet (Comet)

Album Summary

>Gudmundsen-Holmgree, Pelle : Eksempler (Examples), for vocal ensemble
>Gudmundsen-Holmgree, Pelle : Igen (Again), choral songs from Ecclesiastes, for vocal ensemble
>Gudmundsen-Holmgree, Pelle : Six Simple Danish Songs, for mixed chorus
>Gudmundsen-Holmgree, Pelle : Konstateringer (Statements), for equal voices
>Gudmundsen-Holmgree, Pelle : Tre stadier (Three Stages), for vocal ensemble
>Gudmundsen-Holmgree, Pelle : Four Madrigals from the Natural World, for vocal ensemble
Conductor Ensemble
  • >
Composer

Notes & Reviews:

On The Natural World of Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, Ars Nova Copenhagen and conductor Paul Hillier - who enjoys a longstanding friendship with the composer - present six of Holmgreen's most important choral works, four of which in world première recordings. Their interpretation reveals Holmgreen as an absolutely unique artistic personality who has made an important contribution to the international repertoire of choral music, while succeeding in giving expression to the world in his very own way. "Gudmundsen-Holmgreen is an important figure in European music and needs to be heard and reckoned with accordingly. The works on this CD constitute a major contribution to the international repertoire of choral music, and any choir or vocal ensemble that has not (yet) engaged with this composer still has something to accomplish!" Paul Hillier 2010

"The performances are absolutely faultless: Gundmundsen-Holmgreen must have been beside himself with pleasure at the result. Paul Hillier and his singers are in complete command of every element: pitch, tempo, structure - from the smallest detail to the vault of the programme as a whole, their technical mastery is astonishing...It left me slack-jawed with admiration." -International Record Review

"The singing by Ars Nova Copenhagen, led by Paul Hillier, long an advocate of the composer's music, is nothing short of breathtaking. Technically the singers are superb; the music is often wildly eccentric in its demands, but the performances are absolutely secure, and the sounds, even at their strangest, are never less than lovely. The sopranos deserve special commendation for their purity, focus, and intonation when they are called on (frequently) to linger on sustained notes stratospherically high above the staff for far longer than is reasonable to expect from mere mortals. The group performs with a nuanced musicality that animates the simpler works and makes sense of the more complex. The sound of Dacapo's hybrid SACD is immaculate, detailed, natural, and warmly present. Highly recommended; Gudmundsen-Holmgreen's astonishing music commands the attention of anyone interested in contemporary choral music." -All Music Guide

Allmusic.com
It's easy to hear why the performances garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Choral Performance in 2010. The singing by Ars Nova Copenhagen, led by Paul Hillier... is nothing short of breathtaking. Technically the singers are superb; the music is often wildly eccentric in its demands, but the performances are absolutely secure, and the sounds, even at their strangest, are never less than lovely. The sopranos deserve special commendation for their purity, focus, and intonation... The sound of Dacapo's hybrid SACD is immaculate, detailed, natural, and warmly present. Highly recommended; Gudmundsen-Holmgreen's astonishing music commands the attention of anyone interested in contemporary choral music.

MusicWeb International
A slow burner this, so I'd implore you to persevere. Just get a feel for the composer's unusual - and eclectic - idiom, and then listen again with the texts. It really is a very rewarding anthology and, as always, the liner-notes and general presentation are as good as I've come to expect from Dacapo.

If you're after something different, don't hesitate.

American Record Guide
The hyperactivity is cut back in three songs inspired by the Book of Ecclesiastes (with a high soprano tipping her cap to Allegri's 'Miserere' every now and then); and in the Danish set, which is the most melodic thing here. The singers sound thrilled to be denizens of this Natural World and they have been recorded in lush SACD sound that flatters the composer's every intention. I won't claim to have been engaged by all the minimalism on display; but, at its best, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen's music is a clever exercise in Danish Modern that could bring color and verve to a listening room.



Reviews

Sublime Choral Works
When it comes to choral music, my preferences run to the chilly abstraction and harrowing intensity of Ligeti and Penderecki, yet when in the mood for a more meditative listening experience, I find myself increasingly drawn to the musical simplicity and emotional clarity of Denmarks Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen. This Dacapo release presents a half-dozen of the composers choral works, four of which are world-premiere recordings. These mostly short pieces are notable for their economy of expression and plangent lyricism, and are given exquisite readings by the Ars Nova Copenhagen under Paul Hilliers direction. The music flirts with minimalism, but is surprisingly nuanced and unpredictable, and unfolds with gentle and irresistible authority.
Submitted on 03/03/11 by Dean Brierly 
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Works Details

>Gudmundsen-Holmgree, Pelle : Eksempler (Examples), for vocal ensemble
  • Conductor: Paul Hillier
  • Notes: Stavnsholt Kirche (03/12/2008-03/14/2008)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1970

>Gudmundsen-Holmgree, Pelle : Igen (Again), choral songs from Ecclesiastes, for vocal ensemble
  • Conductor: Paul Hillier
  • Running Time: 17 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 2006

>Gudmundsen-Holmgree, Pelle : Six Simple Danish Songs, for mixed chorus
  • Conductor: Paul Hillier
  • Notes: Garnisons Kirke (11/29/2009-12/01/2009)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 2002

>Gudmundsen-Holmgree, Pelle : Konstateringer (Statements), for equal voices
  • Conductor: Paul Hillier
  • Notes: Stavnsholt Kirche (03/12/2008-03/14/2008)
  • Running Time: 4 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1969

>Gudmundsen-Holmgree, Pelle : Tre stadier (Three Stages), for vocal ensemble
  • Conductor: Paul Hillier
  • Notes: Garnisons Kirke (11/29/2009-12/01/2009)
  • Running Time: 13 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2003

>Gudmundsen-Holmgree, Pelle : Four Madrigals from the Natural World, for vocal ensemble
  • Conductor: Paul Hillier
  • Notes: Garnisons Kirke (11/29/2009-12/01/2009)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 2001