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Cat. No. CHAN 10320 Price: £0 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10320 - Holten: Wisdom and Folly and other Choral Works
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Available From: 15 June 2005
All three texts for Wisdom and Folly (1993) come from the Old Testament.The first, from the Book of Proverbs, describes different animals and their strange habits. The whole thing has an air of the grotesque, and it is hard to understand what it all really means. The second is one of the loveliest passages from the Song of Songs, set as a long soprano solo describing sensual love. The third is from the Lamentations, describing the terrible evils of war and devastation. The Psalm 104 (2002) and Ego flos Campi (2001) are rather straightforward madragalian settings of the biblical texts. The Latin piece features truly polyphonic music whereas the psalm is more homophonic and dramatic. Ebbe Skammelsøn tells the story of one of the most famous characters of Danish folklore, whose brother steals his girlfriend while he is away serving his king. As befits the ethos of the time, Ebbe’s revenge is bloody and cruel. Bo Holten’s work is based on the tune and plot of the mediaeval Danish folksong and treats the material in an almost operatic way, thus creating what could be called a dramatic scene for several soloists and choir. The texts for First Snow (1996) are by the Icelandic /Canadian poet Stephan G. Stephansson. The first movement depicts the first snowfall, and how the snow then melts, and the water evaporates and drifts upwards, where it again turns into snow. The second movement depicts an immutable granite mountain, with soloists who in a more fragmented style describe the fleeting energies of weather and flora unable to overwhelm the soaring peak. The text for Triumf att finnas till (Triumph to exist) (1995) was written by the Nietzsche-influenced poet Edith Södergran. In music that is almost Delian Holten has captured the poet’s ecstatic description of standing alone under the sun, being part of the cosmos, and feeling eternity flowing through the veins.

…a most rewarding and beautifully engineered recital overall
International Record Review

The grandiose (and technically challenging) setting of Edith Södergran’s ‘Triumf att finnas till’ provides a fitting conclusion to this accomplished, varied and magnificently sung collection.


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