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Dacapo - The National Music Anthology of Denmark

Format:  SACD

Catalogue Number:  6.220571

Barcode:  747313157167

Release month:  Feb 2012

Period:  Early Music, Early Music, 21st Century


Sørensen/Ockeghem: Requiem

01 April 2012  David's Review Corner
David Denton

The modern Danish composer, Bent Sorensen, ‘completes’ the 15th century Requiem by Johannes Ockegham to create a new and extended score. At the time of the original score, the Requiem Mass, as we hear it today, was much shorter and did not include the Dies Irae that became an essential part during the days of Mozart. The idea to ‘flesh out’ Ockegham’s great score with the requiem movements Sorensen had composed between 1985 and 2005 came from Paul Hillier, conductor of Ars Nova Copenhagen. How does it all marry together? Well, at an aural glance it is very smooth, Sorensen setting the scene with an opening Responsorium before the service begins with Ockeghem’s Introitus. On closer examination the harmonies are often very different, particularly when, with a final jolt, you reach In paradisum, though by using plainchant intermingled with his own music Sorensen has brought a further ‘authentic’ additive. The transitions are made as smooth as you could achieve by having the same and very distinctive quality from Ars Nova, a group whose intonation and balance is exemplary. I would want the unadorned Ockeghem—one of my favourite works of the Early Music era — but as a completely ‘new’ score, this is an interesting experiment, beautifully recorded and presented with excellent programme notes.

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