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“Each of these pieces is really good music-expressive, interesting, inventive, beautiful!” ARG

July 6, 2007

Keaton, American Record Guide

This issue brought two recordings by Sjogran and Hannibal, one of the works of Giuliani and this one of four contemporary Danish composers. The Giuliani was quite fine, but this is a revelation. Of these composers, only Holmboe was known to me, but Palle Mikkelborg's Everything Matters is a multimedia work for guitar, violin, tape, and dancer. The music has the haunting spirituality of Tavener's work-I'd love to see the choreography. It is set in nine movements, alternating between an ethereal atonality and mundane waltzes. The mood is mostly quiet and contemplative. It is very moving.
Herman Koppel's Duo is a three-movement sonata-like structure with echoes of Bartok and Walton. Jorgen Jersild's 10 Impromptus is a delightful set of brief vignettes, most shorter than a minute. This is magical music - fairies dancing, elves singing. It has been a while since I heard new music with such affecting simplicity, such comforting purity.
Vagn Holmboe is, after Nielsen, Denmark's best known composer. The Duo Concertante has some folk influences and also recalls Bartok but is gentler.
The players have collaborated for three decades. Each is a fine player with an excellent technique and tasteful elegance. They clearly love these works. You will, too. - KEATON