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  2L -
  2L-075-SABD (2 discs)
  Himmelkvad - Nordic Voices
  Lasse Thoresen: Vocal Sextet Op. 42, Himmelkvad Op. 19

Nordic Voices
Berit Opheim Versto
Track listing:
  Classical - Vocal
Recording type:
Recording info:
  2.0 LPCM 24bit/192kHz
5.0 DTS HD MA 24bit/192kHz
  SA-CD + BD

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Reviews: 1
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Site review by Polly Nomial March 5, 2012
Performance:   Sonics:  
A marvellous disc of Norwegian folk-inspired music performed with extraordinary virtuosity by Nordic Voices under Berit Opheim Versto.

The vocal sextet (Op. 42) is a collection of four pieces "Solbon", "Likferdssaelmin", "Himmelske Fader" & "Tvetrall". In a detailed note, Lasse Thorsen sets out the background to each work but in brief Solbon (Sun prayer) takes a 5-note melody to construct a 10-minute work that symbolises the light by "the overtones that reside in every singer's voice emerge into the daylight, one by one, and in radiant bunches"; Likferdssaelmin (Funeral hymn) is quite brilliant in its expressive range (from whispers to full throated singing) and as noted the jolly melody seems determined to undermine the more doleful text; Himmelske Fader (Heavenly Father) opens like Solbon, with mysterious sounds from the lower voices and is written as a vehicle for Ragnar Vigdal to emote a stylised Eastern prayer; Tvetrall (Dual tune) is a sophisticated "battle" between men and women who sing the tunes at different pitches and tempi!

After Likferdssaelmin, the first three parts of Helligkvad (Op. 19) are sung by Berit Opheim Versto (the works dedicatee). All are folk-inspired with a great deal of micro-tonality but absolutely captivating. As the note from Thoresen makes clear "Berit's performance was spellbinding: the hall of 1500 people was filled to the brim with a silence that is almost tangible" and even on disc, the same holds true here. We are returned to Op.42's Himmelske Fader, Helligkvad is then completed before Tvetrall concludes the disc.

Throughout the singing of all concerned is incredible - involving and incredibly wide-ranging for different timbres, sounds and types of pitch employed. The music sounds tremendously difficult yet Nordic Voices carry it off with apparent ease and appropriate devotional feeling to the score.

The 2L sound is, as usual, incredibly precise - defining each location with clarity but resolving every last nuance that is uttered from the performers lips. Arguably it could have been better served with a bit more space between the artists and listener but this is not a criticism merely a personal preference.


Copyright © 2012 John Broggio and

Works: 2  

Lasse Thoresen - Himmelkvad, Op. 19
Lasse Thoresen - Vocal Sextet, Op. 42