Daphne in Brilliant Blue
Darker than Black

Nordic Sounds 2 : Sandstrom, Wikander, Jersild, Alfven, Hillborg – Swedish Radio Choir, Peter Dijkstra (2012)
DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz | Time – 01:11:04 minutes | 3 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: nativeDSDmusic | Booklet, Front Cover |  © Channel Classics Records B.V.
Recorded: Musikaliska, Stockholm, June 2011

In the mid-nineteenth century, Europeappeared to be on the verge of a GoldenAge of choral music. There was an astonishingresurgence everywhere of music for men’s andwomen’s voices and for mixed choirs. From asearly as 1810, singing clubs, choral societies andLiedertafel (song-tables) shot up like mushroomsin Berlin, Leipzig, Frankfurt, Cologne andVienna. The best-known was the Liedertafelstarted up in 1808 by Mendelssohn’s teacherCarl Friedrich Zelter, who was leader of thechoral tradition that flourished in the nineteenthcentury has lost none of its strength. Accordingto statistics, no less than ten percent of its ninemillion inhabitants sing in a choir. Värmland,the western province of Sweden, even has areputation for its astronomical number of fivehundred choirs! A large part of the repertoireconsists of old Swedish folk songs, a culturalheritage that came to enjoy renewed and stronginterest in the nineteenth century. Composershave since arranged them for choir, often in anaccessible, neo-Romantic folk-song style and instrophic form. But songs were also adapted in acontemporary style and for all sorts of ensembles.One of the most familiar names in this respect is that of Hugo Alfvén, the foremost Swedish composer of the twentieth century. He becameknown for his furtherance of Swedish choral music and folk songs in Europe, and for his five post-Romantic symphonies and the Swedishrhapsody Midsommarvaka (1904). On the present recording, traditional Swedish folk songs are combined with contemporary choral music.Most of the pieces are Swedish, but Denmark (Jörgen Jersild) and Finland (Jaakko Mäntyjärvi) are also represented.

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Nordic Sounds : Music of Sven-David Sandstrom – Swedish Radio Choir, Peter Dijkstra (2010)
DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz | Time – 01:10:12 minutes | 2,51 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: nativeDSDmusic | Booklet, Front Cover |  © Channel Classics Records B.V.
Recorded: Studio Swedish Radio, Stockholm, December 2009

Sven-David Sandström (1942–) has acknowledged that it was thanks to Ingmar Månsson he began composing for choir. A member of Månsson’s Hägersten Motet Choir outside Stockholm for some twenty years, Sandström was given ample opportunities to have his works performed and was able to study the choral instrument and repertoire from the inside.Starting out in a complex modernist tradition; Sandström’s major works from the 1970s were orchestral compositions, including his breakthrough piece, Through and through(1972), which received great acclaim when performed in Amsterdam in 1974. The work that made him the most recognized Swedish composer was Requiem, Mute the Bereaved Memories Speak(1979), a work of almost two hours in length for soloists, two choirs, large orchestra, and tape, setting the poems of Tobias Berggren. The Requiem deals with humankind’s ability to forget its crimes, especially the murder of children during the Holocaust. Requiem is multifaceted; it contains black romanticism, violent outbursts, sublime sections, grotesque scenes, and banalities that give the work an enormous expressivity.When composing for choir Sandström does not hold back in terms of expression or technical demands. As choral director James Kallembach put it: “Choral singers will showcase a range of expressions when perusing a typical Sandström score for the first time. From uncomfortable giggling to disbelief to downright indignation, most singers cannot help but react to some of the higher-pitched passages.” Indeed, many works are incredibly technically difficult even for professional choirs. But there is more to Sandström’s mode of writing for choir. Kallembach identified eight characteristics of Sandström’s choral writing that make his musical language highly emblematic.

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