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Nostalgia and loneliness in the city: New album with orchestral works by Bent Sørensen

© Nicolas Koch Futtrup

Nostalgia and loneliness in the city: New album with orchestral works by Bent Sørensen

On 12 August the album The Island in the City will be released, presenting Bent Sørensen's Second Symphony and the triple concerto L'Isola della Città recorded byTrio con Brio Copenhagen, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Jukka-Pekka Saraste.

New release
11 July 2022

Bent Sørensen’s quietly spoken universe incorporates loneliness, nostalgia and a feeling of loss and leave taking. In his orchestral works, every sound  is considered with the greatest care and refinement.

In 2017, he received the great american Grawemeyer Award for the triple concerto L'Isola della Città, which is composed for Trio con Brio Copenhagen. Now the world premiere recording of the concerto and of Sørensen's Second Symphony will be released on a new album recorded byTrio con Brio Copenhagen, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Jukka-Pekka Saraste.

An island in the roaring ocean of sound

‘When I wrote L’Isola della Città, I lived in the centre of Copenhagen, in an apartment which was the only one in the street to have  a balcony, and when I went out onto the balcony it was like standing on an island’, says Bent Sørensen. ‘The noise and racket from the street formed a counterpoint to my own situation, especially at night. And perhaps, too, this musicunfolds at night, as most of  my music does, because it was written at night’.

L'Isola della Città is composed for piano trio and symphony orchestra. The title is both an allegory for Sørensen's experience of being a human being in the middle of the chaotic city, but also for the relationship between the piano trio and the orchestra. In the triple concert, the trio is fused together to one solist and is forming an island, which is almost being absorbed and overwhelmed by the roaring sound of the orchestra.

L’Isola della Città has a purity that makes it one of Sørensen’s most immediate and gripping orchestral works. It was written for Trio con Brio Copenhagen, who had given the first performance of Sørensen’s piano trio Phantasmagoria in 2007. Bent Sørensen prefers to compose his pieces for musicians he knows, and Trio con Brio Copenhagen’s incredibly close interplay is a part of the character of L’Isola della Città.

An autobiographical composer

The new album also presents the worldpremiere recording of Sørensen's dramatic Second Symphony, a 'classical' symphony in four movements. The symphony was composed between 2016 and 2019, a joint commission from the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, the Oslo Philharmonic and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. It was first performed in 2020 by the Danish 
National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jukka-Pekka Saraste.

The work dives into the resonance of music’s history: the imagination showers itself in melodies, sounds and structures while at the same time, from a rational perspective, it can be seen both from outside and from a distance.

‘I see myself as being, to a high degree, an autobiographical composer. My life and my music are woven together’, says Bent  Sørensen. ‘In the last movement of the symphony there is a glimpse of a past – my past. It is a quotation from my fourth string quartet, Schreie und Melancholie, and I recognize that I was influenced by the fact that my mother passed away while I was
working on the symphony. That may be the “farewell” which I have written in notes’.

Here you can watch an album trailer with Trio con Brio Copenhagen talking about the triple concerto and the unique collaboriation with Bent Sørensen. 

  • Bent Sørensen

    The Island in the City