Upcoming album sheds new light on Per Nørgård’s musical journey
On Friday 21 May, the album Singing Secrets is being released. It presents chamber and vocal music by Per Nørgård, including the world premiere recording of his Quintet, Opus 1.
Per Nørgård (b. 1932), as one of the greatest composers of northern Europe, has harvested great praise as well as various international awards. His comprehensive catalogue spans more than half a century and includes a great many experiments in musical genres.
Now the Singing Secrets album is to be released, the contents of which demonstrate the sheer range of Nørgård’s compositions within both chamber and vocal music, illustrating some of the distinctive steps of his musical journey.
The melodious and singable nature of Nørgård’s music
Singing Secrets is a thoughtful and profoundly lyrical album album that sheds new light on Dacapo’s Nørgård catalogue, with the singable and melodious quality as a recurrent theme of the seven chamber and vocal works featured on the album.
The album contains five first recordings, including Nørgård’s Quintet, Op. 1. which begins with a long, singing flute solo. The quintet is an early work from Nørgård’s period of study under Vagn Holmboe in the early 1950s, when Nørgård is working on motivic metamorphosis – but in his own highly distinctive way. The quintet proves to be a foundation for his later development, as the result points forward towards a couple of his symphonies and even later works.
A personal portrait
The release is recorded by six high-profile European musicians: the mezzo-soprano Signe Asmussen, the violinist Helge Slaatto, the cellist John Ehde, the flautist Irena Kavčič, the viola player Anette Slatto and the pianist Erik Kaltoft.
The six musicians have a close and deeply personal knowledge of Per Nørgård’s music and on the album they develop a yet broader portrait of the otherwise well described composer.