“The performances are all sublime, the arrangements equally so, the recording everything you would expect from this source…” musicweb-international.com, 11/2013
“A superb release.” International Record Review 12/2013
In Christian symbolism, the rose is closely associated with the Mystery of the Nativity, and therefore with both Jesus Christ and Mary. The idea of the perfect flower, springing forth from a thorny stem, has – like the Nativity itself – captured the imagination of poets and musicians throughout the ages and from all stations of life. With this original and wide-ranging Christmas collection, Grete Pedersen – the artistic director of the Norwegian Soloists’ Choir – has created what might be compared to a rosary, combining 12th-century hymns by Hildegard of Bingen with a carol by the Danish 20th-century composer Per Nørgård, as well as traditional Christmas psalms, in many cases sung to Norwegian folk tunes following age-old usages. Grete Pedersen and the choir have reached a wide international audience through four previous discs on BIS, ranging from collections of Grieg, or of Brahms and Schubert, to the folk-inspired White Night and, most recently, Refractions: the unexpected combination of three 20th-century giants – Berg, Webern and Messiaen – with their Norwegian contemporary Fartein Valen. On the present disc, the team is once again joined by the singer Berit Opheim and the violinist Gjermund Larsen – both with a background in folk music – as well as by Rolf Lislevand, internationally acclaimed lutenist, and the highly respected jazz bassist Bjørn Kjellemyr.
Extra material for download