Ib Nørholm: Tavole per Orfeo
01 July 2012
American Record Guide
program of works for soprano and guitar by Ib Norholm shows humor, grace,
passion, and excellent craft. Per Palsson's guitar playing is precise and
colorful, and Else Torp's voice is beautiful and controlled. Stilleliv (Still Life), from 1968, is a set
of five songs for soprano, guitar, and percussion with texts by Poul Borum.
They are crystalline and witty, especially the fourth song, which begins with
the voice sotto voce and ends with an instrumental
dialog between the guitar and the percussion.Blomster fra den Danske Poesis
Flora (Flowers from the Flora
of Danish Poetry) is a collection of eight folk-like songs based on well-known
Danish poems by various poets. It was originally written in 1966 for piano and
voice, and Per Palsson arranged them for guitar and voice for this performance.
They are clever and good natured, and extremely well constructed.
Tavole per Orfeo (Tablets for
Orpheus) is a chamber drama from 1967-69, a dialog between Eurydice and
Orpheus; the wordless part of Orpheus is performed by the guitarist. Norholm
writes an angular vocal line, but it sounds neither artificial nor abstract in
this context. The third song, ‘Eurydice Mocking the Rocks Dancing to Orpheus's
Song', is especially interesting: it begins with strange percussive sounds,
performed by the soprano (with percussion instruments), then mocking vocal
declamations that go perfectly with the title of song.
Heavenly Death, from 1987, is from a text by Walt Whitman. A
"nocturne for soprano and guitar", it is a beautiful, dark, rhapsodic musing on
© 2012 American Record