The Golden Age of Danish Partsongs
06 May 2014
Paul Hillier’s idea is that the ‘Golden Age’ - a term used in Denmark to refer to the cultural richness of the first half of the 19th century - could equally well apply to the succeeding generations of song-composers, such as Carl Nielsen and Thomas Laub (long-standing friends who fiercely debated the appropriate style for such songs) and on into the late 20th-century in the work of Svend Schultz and Ib Nørholm. Under Hillier’s direction, Ars Nova Copenhagen perform a cappella, with meticulously shaded dynamics, articulation and colour. Apart from offering rather short measure at 53 minutes (they take a pragmatic view of how many verses to include for each song), their beautifully recorded and helpfully documented programme makes a valuable document for newcomers to and aficionados of this repertoire alike.