Niels Rosing-Schow: Alliages
05 May 2015
Although his music has been little heard in the UK, Niels Rosing Schow (b1954) is a leading voice in Danish new music. This disc of his chamber output features works from the past six years, the exception being Ritus I (1991), in which flute and percussion outline then explore the properties of a raga in ever more combative terms. Of the remaining items, Nanu draws upon Greenlandic folklore in its tensile interplay, with the two Alliage pieces (seemingly written in reverse order) are abstract if by no means inscrutable studies in an alloylike fusion of contrasting timbres, and in which the highly arresting sonority of the accordion is uppermost in each case.
Perhaps the two most engrossing pieces are Lines, essentially a sonatina for the guitar whose three movements each posit a literary premise without disclosing any more concrete details than are conveyed by its title, and Three Simple Songs. The latter comprises settings for voice and guitar of deceptively unassuming texts whose deeper implications are elegantly touched upon here. The most recent work, …aus atmen…, was conceived as a test piece for the Carl Nielsen International Flute Competition and can stand with classics of its repertoire by such as Debussy and Varèse as music transcending its pragmatic origin. Committed performances, as one might expect from this crop of the leading Danish musicians, and unexceptionally fine sound enhance the attractions of a release that certainly makes a representative introduction to another composer of note within the Danish (as indeed Scandinavian) musical firmament.