Composed between 2010 and 2014, as commissions from orchestras such as the Berliner Philharmoniker, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony, the works recorded here testify to the widespread international interest in the music of the Swedish composer Anders Hillborg. Two purely orchestral works, Beast Sampler and Cold Heat, frame the brief and emotionally concentrated song O dessa ögon for soprano and strings, and demonstrate Hillborg's expert handling of the forces of the large symphony orchestra, often described by him as a 'sound animal'. They also illustrate one of his trademark compositional techniques, namely his use of a number of particular 'sonic objects' such as string glissandi, flutter-tongued flute counterpoint and dense textures of rapid and overlapping ascending scales. These, and many others, recur throughout his production in ever-changing contexts and new combinations. Sirens, the closing and culminating work on this disc, is also Hillborg’s largest work to date in terms of both scoring and duration, and its emotional depth is unmatched in his output. Inspired by the dangerous yet alluring sirens in Homer's Odyssey, Hillborg has constructed a score and libretto in which the sirens – two soprano soloists and a large mixed choir – with increasing desperation attempt to manipulate Ulysses. Performing this colourful programme is the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, one of Hillborg's faithful musical companions, joined by the sopranos Ida Falk Winland and Hannah Holgersson and two of Sweden's foremost choirs, the Eric Ericson Chamber Choir and the Swedish Radio Choir. As on a previous disc of Hillborg's music, the acclaimed Eleven Gates (BIS-1406), the performances are led by three different conductors: the eminent trio of Sakari Oramo, David Zinman and Esa-Pekka Salonen, dedicatees of the works they conduct here.
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