The Percussion Universe of Axel Borup-Jørgensen
Axel Borup-Jørgensen was a meticulous modernist who followed his own distinctive path. His works exude intense nature mysticism, at one moment tracing the skeletal outlines of barren trees, and blinding sunbursts, or a storm at sea in the next.
The five works presented here - including three world premiere recordings - span the most important period of the composer’s artistic development, from Music for percussion + viola Opus 18 of 1956 to his cathartic Periphrasis Opus 156, (first version, 1977) and all feature the full array of percussion instruments found in 20th century music; skin, metal and wood, everything from small bells to a gong one metre in diameter are employed, to bring Borup-Jørgensen’s exquisitely crafted universe of sounds to life.
Standing at the center of this universe is Gert Mortensen, percussion professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, one of the world’s leading scholars and performers of music for percussion. Mortensen has performed throughout Europe, Africa, North and South America and Asia combining elements of avant garde performance art and ethno-musicology to create a compelling concert experience. Mortensen’s artistry is perfectly matched by ensemble partners representing some of Denmark’s greatest musicians, including the incomparable Michala Petri (recorder), Tim Frederiksen (viola), The Percurama Percussion Ensemble, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet and his regular duo partner, Prof. Qiao Jia Jia (Duo Crossfire). Producer, the Danish “wizzard of sound” Preben Iwan.
September 11, 2014
Fanfare Magazine (US)- Produced and engineered by Preben Iwan, The Percussion Universe of Axel Borup-Jørgensen is among the handful of very best percussion recordings that I have heard.
Ronald E. Grames
September 4, 2014
Gramophone, UK - this release is another triumph for Gert Mortensen and the formidable roster of musicians with whom he has collaborated on this project, -so resulting is memorable listening experience.