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Anders Hillborg (b.1954) - music for orchestra and for soprano(s) & orchestra: Sirens; Cold Heat; Beast Sampler; O dessa ogon / Hannah Holgersson, soprano

Album Summary

>Hillborg, Anders : Beast Sampler, for orchestra
>Hillborg, Anders : O Dessa Ögon, for soprano & strings
>Hillborg, Anders : Cold Heat, for orchestra
>Hillborg, Anders : Sirens, for 2 sopranos, chorus & orchestra
Performers Conductors Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Composed between 2010 and 2014, as commissions from orchestras such as the Berliner Philharmoniker, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony, the works recorded here testify to the widespread international interest in the music of the Swedish composer Anders Hillborg. Two purely orchestral works, Beast Sampler and Cold Heat, frame the brief and emotionally concentrated song O dessa ögon for soprano and strings, and demonstrate Hillborg's expert handling of the forces of the large symphony orchestra, often described by him as a 'sound animal'. They also illustrate one of his trademark compositional techniques, namely his use of a number of particular 'sonic objects' such as string glissandi, flutter-tongued flute counterpoint and dense textures of rapid and overlapping ascending scales. These, and many others, recur throughout his production in ever-changing contexts and new combinations. Sirens, the closing and culminating work on this disc, is also Hillborg's largest work to date in terms of both scoring and duration, and its emotional depth is unmatched in his output. Inspired by the dangerous yet alluring sirens in Homer's Odyssey, Hillborg has constructed a score and libretto in which the sirens - two soprano soloists and a large mixed choir - with increasing desperation attempt to manipulate Ulysses. Performing this colourful programme is the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, one of Hillborg's faithful musical companions, joined by the sopranos Ida Falk Winland and Hannah Holgersson and two of Sweden's foremost choirs, the Eric Ericson Chamber Choir and the Swedish Radio Choir. As on a previous disc of Hillborg's music, the acclaimed Eleven Gates (BIS-1406), the performances are led by three different conductors: the eminent trio of Sakari Oramo, David Zinman and Esa-Pekka Salonen, dedicatees of the works they conduct here.

The Guardian, January 2016
[This music] is unpacked with great care by Esa-Pekka Salonen, with Ida Falk Winland and Holgersson as the entwining soprano soloists. All the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic performances, under Sakari Oramo for Beast Sampler and O Dessa +gon and David Zinman for Cold Heat, are first-rate; there seems to be no doubt that orchestras enjoy playing Hillborg's music.

Gramophone Magazine, February 2016
Rich, sonorous playing from Oramo's orchestra under all three conductors, and singing full of purity, accuracy and fresh air above it; both soloists are agile, strong and able to tell a story. But that all comes from what Hillborg writes for them. Sirens should be heard.

Gramophone Magazine, January 2016
These lively performances make a useful collection.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: The Stockholm Concert Hall, Sweden (11/2013); The Stockholm Concert Hall, Sweden (11/2014).



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Works Details

>Hillborg, Anders : Beast Sampler, for orchestra
  • Conductor: Sakari Oramo
  • Ensemble: Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 9 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2014

>Hillborg, Anders : O Dessa Ögon, for soprano & strings
  • Performer: Hannah Holgersson (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Sakari Oramo
  • Ensemble: Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 4 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2011

>Hillborg, Anders : Cold Heat, for orchestra
  • Conductor: David Zinman
  • Ensemble: Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 14 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2010

>Hillborg, Anders : Sirens, for 2 sopranos, chorus & orchestra
  • Performers: Hannah Holgersson (Soprano); Ida Winland
  • Conductor: Esa-Pekka Salonen
  • Running Time: 33 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2011