Please click on each of the links for information.
A second exciting and very miscellaneous batch received from the Norwegian audiophile Label.
There is a great disc of French music for band, given by the crack Staff Band of the Norwegian Military Forces [R].
Berlioz's great Symphony, with Saint-Saens, Dukas, Tomasi (a great surprise) and Milhaud - not his most original, but at Op 205, maybe he can be forgiven...
Many of the discs require Blu-Ray players; but some of the releases are double-for-price-of-one, one of the pair also for any CD player and sounding excellent, if not the full surround effects they have developed. A good example for keen audiofiles is a string orchestra disc of mainly Tchaikovsky and Nielsen. The Tchaikovsky Serenade is as sumptuous as you'll ever hear - "best recordings" lists areat risk of tumbling...
(I have a Sony Home-Cinema, but experience of 2L is pushing me towards aquiring a set of surround speaker stands to hear it all at its best.)
Einarsson; Weisser; Sodal; Akselberg; Brissman
Ståle Kleiberg's Opera-Oratorio (2008) combines immediacy of expression with originality and sure craftsmanship.
It tells of the flawed David's abuse of political power, the seduction of Bathsheba and betrayal of Uriah. The booklet is comprehensive, with full English text and generous session photos.
Look up 2 L's latest catalogue listings, and be persuaded that this new batch - too many to listen through systematically just now - is as worth exploring as those reviewed below... Don't be left out !
Peter Grahame Woolf (December 2012).
Lyndberg Lyn 2L-075-SABD
This report arises from learning a little belatedly that my favourite Norwegian contemporary composer Lasse Thoresen had won the Nordic Music Prize for his op. 42 vocal sextets written for Nordic Voices.
I have received an advance copy of its recording (lavishly produced in a boxed set of both DVD & bluray versions) together with a selection of releases by 2L which represent ultimate developments in recording technology and presentation (take this report in conjunction with my Musical Pointers Recording of the Year 2011 - Virtual Haydn).
Thoresen's Vocal Sextet Op. 42 collection is released this month on 2L-075-SABD and full details are given at http://www.2l.no/pages/album/075.html.
There is a great deal of wonderful music to absorb, some of it strange (track 1 features "overtone singing").
Thoresen wonders whether writing music "that only a few singers in the world can perform" is "an effective career move", but he hopes the future may be on his side... He should be reassured; the problem is only one of international distribution.
Our UK BBC Singers are up for anything, however complex, and several of the music academies are teaching cutting edge contemporary techniques, whether for instrumentalists or for singing students (q.v. Trinity College in London, whose Head of Vocal Studies is Linda Hirst...). A lot must depend on Norway/UK contacts...
Thoresen (whilst waiting for a plane at Riga airport !) writes a full chronological account of the DVD's genesis but regrettably has it printed in small type on blue paper, making the text all but disappear for elderly deteriorating eyes.
That apart, the production is sumptuous and the whole thing is a joy to handle; it even reflects the 2L logo onto my ceiling!!
I would strongly recommend all our readers to access and study http://www.2l.no/
Peter Grahame Woolf
Note: please treat the links as intrinsic parts of this report and of others in Musical Pointers.
Also received "Kind" - see review in Musicweb
NB 2L's double discs are sold as two-for-the-price-of-one.
Several earlier releases from 2L have been received; the most recommendable for our readers will be a solo and duo violin disc by Stig Nilsson & his son Anders, Solo+ [2L47SACD], with a cover picture of the Aurora Borealis; of particular interest because of our championship of the Swedish Duo Gelland, which has inspired and commissioned a huge violin duo repertoire. PGW