BACH-coverfron-sRGB.jpg

Gramophone: (UK)Concertos from a founder of the ”Nordic jazz sound”.

September 30, 2013

Richard Whitehouse,



Gramophone: (UK)
Concertos from a founder of the ”Nordic jazz sound”.
No one could accuse Palle Mikkelborg of doing things by halves and, while the trumpeter admits to this being his largest-scale project for some time, the temporal dimension speak for itself. The title, taken from that of a book by Mark Epstein, indicates the work`s scope: a 45-minute concerto (for harp and violin in 2004 but with the latter part revised for recorder eight years later) comprising 12 continuous movements, each with its own descriptive title and (in the booklet) an additional sentence which sets the scene, yet such hardly necessary given this music`s quiet though not insubstantial eloquence as it wends its course through memories and evocations of a past which may never have existed – but should have done. Helen Davies contributes some limpid passagework, often with an unobtrusive Celtic element, while Michala Petri is at her most fluidly imaginative as the recorder interweaves with harp and strings in a constant flow of dexterous polyphony.
The principal work is followed by “Afterthoughts”, Mikkelborg`s recasting of the former`s salient ideas (in collaboration with Thomas Li) for trumpet and strings that allows ample rein to his brand of understated virtuosity. The South Jutland Symphony strings are unfailingly sensitive in their response, while the sonic warmth and stylish presentation maintain the high standards set by OUR Recordings imprint. This is not the music that confronts the big issues of life head on but its leisurely unfolding conjures a quiet profundity that is its own justification – soothing and stimulating in equal measure.
Richard Whitehouse, Gramophone October 2013,

Concertos from a founder of the ”Nordic jazz sound”.
No one could accuse Palle Mikkelborg of doing things by halves and, while the trumpeter admits to this being his largest-scale project for some time, the temporal dimension speak for itself. The title, taken from that of a book by Mark Epstein, indicates the work`s scope: a 45-minute concerto (for harp and violin in 2004 but with the latter part revised for recorder eight years later) comprising 12 continuous movements, each with its own descriptive title and (in the booklet) an additional sentence which sets the scene, yet such hardly necessary given this music`s quiet though not insubstantial eloquence as it wends its course through memories and evocations of a past which may never have existed – but should have done. Helen Davies contributes some limpid passagework, often with an unobtrusive Celtic element, while Michala Petri is at her most fluidly imaginative as the recorder interweaves with harp and strings in a constant flow of dexterous polyphony.
The principal work is followed by “Afterthoughts”, Mikkelborg`s recasting of the former`s salient ideas (in collaboration with Thomas Li) for trumpet and strings that allows ample rein to his brand of understated virtuosity. The South Jutland Symphony strings are unfailingly sensitive in their response, while the sonic warmth and stylish presentation maintain the high standards set by OUR Recordings imprint. This is not the music that confronts the big issues of life head on but its leisurely unfolding conjures a quiet profundity that is its own justification – soothing and stimulating in equal measure.
Richard Whitehouse, Gramophone October 2013,