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As Dreams - Works by Aldred Janson, Helmut Lachenmann, Per Norgard, Jaija Saariaho, Iannis Xenakis / Grete Pedersen, Det Norske Solistkor; Oslo Sinfonietta

Album Summary

>Norgård, Per : Dream Songs (Drommesange), for women's voices & percussion ad lib
>Lachenmann, Helmut : Consolation II, for 16 voices
>Janson, Alfred : Nocturne
>Saariaho, Kaija : Überzeugung, for 3 female voices, crotale, violin & cello
>Norgård, Per : Singe die Gärten, mein Herz, for chorus & 8 instruments (or piano)
>Xenakis, Iannis : Nuits, for 12 voices
>Saariaho, Kaija : Nuits, adieux, for vocal quartet & chorus
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Although different in many respects – compositional approach, geographical origin, language – the works that make up this adventurous program from the Norwegian Soloists’ Choir and its artistic director Grete Pedersen are all, to quote Shakespeare, ‘such stuff as dreams are made on’. In various ways they refer to night and dreams, to the distant past or to an uncertain future. With composers from Denmark, Norway, Finland, Germany and Greece, and texts ranging from fragments of ancient Assyrian and Sumerian (in Xenakis’s Nuits) and the 8th-century Wessobrunner Prayer (Lachenmann) to poems by Balzac (Saariaho), Nietzsche (Janson) and Rilke (Nørgård), the concept of ‘here and now’ becomes blurred and, indeed, dreamlike. The choir and Grete Pedersen released their first disc for BIS in 2007 – an all-Grieg programme awarded a Diapason d’or and with interpretations described in Le Monde de la Musique as ‘so beautiful as to make you lose your breath’. The five titles that have followed since then range from the folk-inspired ‘White Night’ (‘some of the most striking and moving singing put down on disc for years’, Gramophone) and most recently a program combining works by the Norwegian composer Knut Nystedt (1915 – 2014) with motets by Bach (BIS-2184). Meeting the different challenges posed by such varied repertoire with flawless and always idiomatic performances, the Norwegian Soloists’ Choir is a wonderful instrument in the hands of Grete Pedersen. On the present disc musicians from Oslo Sinfonietta join the team in the accompanied works, which include Nørgård’s Singe die Gärten for eight-part choir and 8 instruments and Janson’s Nocturne for double choir, 2 cellos, harp and 2 percussionists.

Gramophone Magazine, December 2016
There is delicacy, sensitivity, richness and detail in each performance here (no prizes for guessing the disc's theme) and excellent sound that gets to the many corners of each score. Add to that extraordinary imagination in the singing, individually and collectively.

MusicWeb International, 16th November 2016
A stunning achievement by all concerned. Difficult, challenging music, performed with brilliance and dedication.

The Classical Reviewer, January 2017
There is much beauty here, often clothed in the most adventurous harmonies and vocal ideas. The Norwegian Soloists' Choir under their Music Director, Grete Pedersen achieve the most wonderful results, taking choral singing to a new level.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Ris Kirke, Norway (06/2014); Sofienberg Kirke, Norway (06/2014); Ris Kirke, Norway (06/2015); Sofienberg Kirke, Norway (06/2015).



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Works Details

>Norgård, Per : Dream Songs (Drommesange), for women's voices & percussion ad lib
  • Performers: Anders Hansen (Percussion); Daniel Paulsen (Percussion); Kjell Samkopf (Percussion)
  • Conductor: Grete Pedersen
  • Ensemble: Det Norske Solistkor
  • Running Time: 13 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1981

>Lachenmann, Helmut : Consolation II, for 16 voices
  • Conductor: Grete Pedersen
  • Ensemble: Oslo Sinfonietta
  • Running Time: 6 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1968

>Janson, Alfred : Nocturne
  • Performers: Ellen Bodtker (Harp); Kjersti Rydsaa (Cello); Kjell Samkopf (Percussion); Ingvild Sandnes (Cello)
  • Conductor: Grete Pedersen
  • Running Time: 9 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Saariaho, Kaija : Überzeugung, for 3 female voices, crotale, violin & cello
  • Performers: Annar Folleso (Violin); Kjell Samkopf (Percussion); Ingvild Sandnes (Cello)
  • Conductor: Grete Pedersen
  • Running Time: 1 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2001

>Norgård, Per : Singe die Gärten, mein Herz, for chorus & 8 instruments (or piano)
  • Performers: Ellen Bodtker (Harp); Hans Braein (Clarinet); Lotte Gordon (Flute); Anders Hansen (Percussion); Daniel Paulsen (Percussion); Kjell Samkopf (Percussion); Ingvild Sandnes (Cello); Asgeir Softeland (Horn); Yoko Toda (Piano)
  • Conductor: Grete Pedersen
  • Running Time: 11 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1974-1975

>Xenakis, Iannis : Nuits, for 12 voices
  • Conductor: Grete Pedersen
  • Running Time: 8 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1967

>Saariaho, Kaija : Nuits, adieux, for vocal quartet & chorus
  • Conductor: Grete Pedersen
  • Running Time: 10 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1996