Nordsending was the name given by southern Norwegian people of the late Medieval and Early Modern period to magical attacks from the sorcerous sub-Arctic and Arctic. It was the ‘broadcast from the north’. Other peoples had other names for it, but they all understood it similarly: the invisible medium through which splinters of iron, stone arrowheads and little mice were shot into the bodies of the healthy by Northern witches.
With this programme of string trios – and one duo – by four Nordic composers, Trio Aristos has devised a nordsending of their own: thoroughly contemporary, but equally magical. The members of Trio Aristos have in various constellations worked with each of the composers – most extensively with Per Nørgård, the grand old man of Danish music, who is represented here with three works composed in the years around 1990, including the duo Tjampuan for violin and cello.
His younger colleagues all contribute one work each to the disc, written between 2009 and 2014. Kaija Saariaho found inspiration for her four-movement trio in different cloud formations, while Bent Sørensen added to a series of works inspired by Venice when he composed Gondole: its five movements are impressions of gondolas waltzing, mourning and falling in love. Gondole was commissioned by Trio Aristos, and so was Rift, by the Norwegian composer Henrik Hellstenius, who recomposed the piece for these performers from his earlier series Imprints.
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