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Michala Petri, recorder
Lapland Chamber Orchestra
Nordic Sound
Tribute to Axel Borup-Jørgensen
3 times 5 stars review (Max.)
Dominy Clements October 2015, Music Web International
15 October 2015

Axel Borup-Jørgensen was one of Denmark’s most significant 20th century composers, with an extensive and influential catalogue of works including music for orchestra, chamber pieces and numerous songs. Not long after his death, producer and co-founder of Our Recordings Lars Hannibal met with the composer’s daughter, recorder player Elisabet Selin, to talk about how to preserve and promote her father’s music. This recording is one of a number of projects and a particularly important one for Michala Petri, a longtime family friend and like a “second daughter” to Axel. Other recordings of Borup-Jørgensen’s music released by Our Recordings are of his Recorder Music with Elisabet Selin on Our Recordings 8.226910 and The Percussion Universe of Axel Borup Jørgensen with Gert Mortensen on Our Recordings SACD 6.220608.

Bent Sørensen’s music “is characterized by his focus on minute details of sound and texture”, and in its soft sound levels his piece Whispering encourages us to do the same. Written as a homage to Axel Borup-Jørgensen, the title relates to Axel’s quiet manner of speech. The longer periods in which the recorder’s interplay with the upper strings creates an air of expectation means that the rare appearance of harmony and lower notes are all the more telling. Landscapes are referred to, but this is landscape in a moment in which as much is hidden as can be seen. The final ‘sotto-voce’ three and half minutes or so are truly magical.

Pelle Gudmunson-Holmgreen is the senior member of the living composers in this programme, and one who went through the influences of Sibelius and Nielsen in his early years before breaking out via Darmstadt serialism. This, too, was a long time ago, though while the Music for 13 strings. For Axel “Boje” is by no means serialist there is a strong pull against tonality and the delivery of plenty of angst-ridden explosiveness. The angular nature of the music leads to a highly theatrical character in the work. Its episodic nature results in clear ‘scenes’, and the whole has the strength to carry a potent narrative the listeners can fill in for themselves. ‘Boje’ is the nickname given to Axel by his family, but this I suspect is a work that responds more to its dedicatee’s force of creativity, “as an admirer of his art” rather than as a realistic character reference. There are moments of humour and some moments of more tender reflection towards the end, but this is more of a monument than a mirror – and striking in its power to make us remember it as something vast and symphonically seething despite its strings-only instrumentation.

Sunleif Rasmussen’s Winter Echoes adds recorder solo to eight string players from the Lapland Chamber Orchestra, in a journey from dark to light through changes in solo instrument from bass recorder to sopranino. The first section or movement is a spiky and energetic toccata, the driving rhythmic ostinato of which eventually gives way to a slower paced leggiero over which the recorder’s high notes slide and speak with preening aloofness. The resolution is slower still, the recorder eventually abandoned to its own devices by the silent strings.

From winter to a Nordic Summer Scherzo by Mogens Christensen, who takes some notes from piano pieces by Borup-Jørgensen, integrating them into a piece that is inspired by Swedish culture and that country’s ‘midnight sun’, both of which held Axel’s affection. With some multiphonic effects from the recorder and a feel of narrative development, this is an impressively theatrical and wide-ranging work that nods to Sibelius along the way. The composer sought to “create a dialogue between noisy sounds and small fragments of melodies”, and while there can be no argument about this there is also a great deal of fun to be had along the way.

Thomas Clausen’s background in jazz sees him inhabiting a more recognisably tonal world in his Concertino for recorder and strings. Baroque models are referred to, sonata and rondo forms are used, and connections with Bach, Mozart and Grieg emerge. The second Largo movement is a lovely aria for the recorder, and the third provides dramatic contrast in its turbulent accents and restless cadences. This was originally planned as a three-movement work, but Michala Petri easily persuaded Clausen to add a final fast movement which turned out as ‘a private tribute to Mozart’, the composer’s “all time hero.”

The last word in this programme is given to Axel Borup-Jørgensen in his Sommasvit op. 24 for string orchestra. From 1957 this is considered an early work, the title being Swedish for ‘Sommen Suite’, referring to a large lake area in the province of Småland with which the composer was familiar as a child. In five movements the work describes the arc of a day, from a suspenseful Morgon to a stormy Natt, with a calm concluding Epilog with which to round everything off. Everything here is suggestive rather than explicit, and the imagination is allowed to roam around an intimate inner landscape rather than specific descriptive depictions. The mood is dark, lonely and impassive, and even the driving rain of the nocturnal storm strikes against stone and slaps against wood rather than threatening any kind of human presence. With the final brief movement we are left haunted by this seemingly untouched and indifferent region.

Superbly recorded in detailed and colourful SACD sonics, this is a release which oozes affection for Axel Borup-Jørgensen and is a wonderful snapshot of Nordic contemporary music in the five world premiere pieces composed in his honour. Topped by Michala Petri’s virtuosity, no fan of modern music and the crisp transparency of this ‘northern sound’ should hesitate in adding it to their collection. Dominy Clements October 2015
 

Dominy Clements October 2015, Music Web International

Michala Petri, recorder
Danish National Vocal Ensemble
Let The Angels Sing
European Christmas Carols and Songs in New Arrangements for Recorder and Choir
Absolutely exquisite program of carols and songs
Fanfare, October 2015, Ronald E. Grames
Fanfare Magazine, USA
This program of familiar Christmas music has everything going for it. The Danish National Vocal Ensemble is the elite vocal group of the three superb choirs of the Danish Radio. Conductor and arranger Michael Bojesen is an important name in Danish music: director for most of the Danish Radio ensembles, and a noted composer and educator. And recorder virtuoso Michala Petri is, of course, a legend in her own time. The result is an absolutely exquisite program of carols and songs from around the world, dating from the 13th to the 18th centuries, treated with the utmost respect in arrangements that are at once traditional and refreshingly new. Most offer accompaniment by recorder in various ranges, although a couple, for contrast, are for the 20-voice chorus a cappella, and a particularly nice arrangement of It Came Upon the Midnight Clear features the 11 men of the chorus. All are sung in English, regardless of country of origin, though the In Dulci Jubilo arrangement alternates between English and Latin in a translation of Heinrich Suso’s 14th-century mixture of German and Latin, and others such as Unto Us is Born a Son and Blessed Be That Maid Mary retain their few lines of Latin.
Everything about this release is perfect: the purity and precision of the choral singing, the traditional but never hackneyed selections, the total lack of arranger-perpetrated bombast and cleverness that can afflict such enterprises, the charming addition of the recorder in descant, the extraordinarily open and natural sound, and the attractive presentation. I have no doubt that I will be revisiting this SACD when the season is more appropriate—I’m writing this as warm fall breezes blow through my listening room—and am only sorry that this notice will not appear in the journal itself until after this year’s Christmas has passed. Those who follow Fanfare online will see it in plenty of time.
If I have any reservation at all, it is regarding the rather cool refinement of the readings themselves. That is a strange thing to complain of, but for some, seasonal music demands a more expansive warmth of expression to which these performances do not aspire. These are not home-by-the-fireside caroling performances; they are walking-in-the-snow-covered-fields-at-night performances. The still, crisp air is bracing, the moonlit drifted snow sparkling, and the shimmering icy halos of Michala Petri’s recorder lovely indeed. And is that a star I see in the east?
Just so the reader knows. Fanfare, October 2015,  Ronald E. Grames
Fanfare, October 2015, Ronald E. Grames

Michala Petri, recorder
Lapland Chamber Orchestra
Nordic Sound
Tribute to Axel Borup-Jørgensen
Excellent SACD sound. FOUR STARS
Classic Music UK
15 October 2015
A tribute to late producer and label-founder Axel Borup-Jørgensen, this collection of six contrasted works (five premieres) ranges from the quirky (Mogens Christensen) to haunting (Bent Sørensen) to piercingly intense (Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen). Thomas Clausen’s Hindemith-like concertino is a slighter work but Borup-Jørgensen’s own concise Sommen Suite is a welcome (and appropriate) bonus. Excellent SACD sound. [FOUR STARS]
Classic Music UK

Michala Petri, recorder
Henrik Vagn Christensen, conductor
Danish Faorese Recorder Concertos
Three very different recorder concertos show Michala Petri as subtle performer, with exquisite lyricism as well as stunning virtuosity
Remy Franck, Pizzicato, Luxemburg
7 October 2015
Pizzicato (Luxemburg)
Zeitgenössische Blockflöten-Konzerte
4 Notes
07/10/2015

Thomas Koppel: Moonchild's Dream; Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen: Chacun son son; Sunleif Rasmussen: Territorial Songs; Michala Petri, Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, Henrik Vagn Christensen; 1 SACD Our Recordings 6.220609; 6/14 (57'01) – Rezension von Remy Franck
Michala Petri beginnt ihr Programm mit ‘Moonchild’s Dream’, dem Soundtrack eines Videofilms über die Hoffnungen und Träume eines jungen Mädchens in einem Armenviertel Kopenhagens. Die Musik ist, losgelöst vom Bild, ungemein suggestiv und eher eine Folge von meist lyrischen Naturbildern als von Sozialproblematik. Michala Petri hat hörbar viel Freude an dieser spielerisch phantasievollen Musik, in der ihre Blockflöte auf dem Seile tanzt, und heftige Paukenschläge manchmal für Kontraste zu einer imaginären schönen Welt schaffen.
Weniger schön, abstrakter und zum Teil harsch präsentiert sich das viertelstündige Konzert von Pelle Gudmundsen-Holgreen, während Sunleif Rasmussens ‘Territorial Songs’ sich mit Vögeln befasst, die ihren Gesang auch zum Markieren ihres Gebiets benutzen. Dieser wie wild zwitschernde Vogelgesang fordert Michala Petri zu phänomenaler Virtuosität heraus, wobei diese nie Selbstzweck oder Show wird, dazu ist die Musikerin zu integer!
Gute Orchesterleistungen und eine tadellose Aufnahmetechnik bekräftigen den guten Eindruck, den diese CD insgesamt macht.
Three very different recorder concertos show Michala Petri as subtle performer, with exquisite lyricism as well as stunning virtuosity
Remy Franck, Pizzicato, Luxemburg

Michala Petri, recorder
Henrik Vagn Christensen, conductor
Danish Faorese Recorder Concertos
Petri continues to show why she remains a leading inspirer of new repertoire for the instrument.
Alison Melville, The Whole Note, Canada,August 2015
2015-10-03
August brought me two CDs of modern recorder concertos from Denmark, released on the Danish label OUR Recordings, and what a pleasant smörgåsbord they are (sorry, couldn’t resist that one). Danish and Faroese Recorder Concertos also features Petri as recorder soloist but this time with the excellent Aalborg Symphony Orchestra under Henrik Vagn Christensen. A novel by Italo Calvino was the inspiration for Rasmussen’s four-movement Territorial Songs, and his inventive, multi-faceted use of orchestral colour and depth of melodic expression is impressive. Chacun son son by Gudmundsen-Holmgreen begins with the whimsical combination of bass recorder, bass clarinet, clarinet and bassoon, and the various sections of the orchestra are pitted against one another, as one might expect given the piece’s title. The recorder is well incorporated into the woodwind section here, rather than being cast in a more typical soloist’s role, and the instrument, particularly the bass recorder, balances well with the others, something unlikely in an unplugged live performance. Thomas Koppel’s Moonchild’s Dream is the third contribution to the program and its lovely yet unmistakable film vibe is no surprise, considering that it was originally commissioned for a video. As always in this repertoire, Petri continues to show why she remains a leading inspirer of new repertoire for the instrument. I just wish that the excellent solo clarinetist from the Aalborg Orchestra had been credited, as the violinist was.
Alison Melville, The Whole Note, Canada,August 2015

Michala Petri, recorder
Lapland Chamber Orchestra
Nordic Sound
Tribute to Axel Borup-Jørgensen
10/10/10
Heinz Braun, 01.10.2015, Klassik heute
1 October 2015
English Translation of Klassik Heute Review
The works of this CD where all premiered in November 2014 as part of a concert given at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, north of Copenhagen, in honor of the great Danish composer Axel Borup-Jørgensen, who died in 2012. Besides Borup-Jørgensen's own, early string orchestra work Sommasvit (1957), five premieres of works specially commissioned for this concert (and recorded on this CD) by former friends and musical colleagues. This recording reflects a special quality of Scandinavian contemporary music, in my opinion: namely, its refreshingly un-ideological stylistic individuality and the courage to provide stand-alone musical solutions to the challenges of contemporary music.
 
In Whispering for recorder and string orchestra, Bent Sørensen succeeds in creating a delicate and atmospheric work of sometimes captivating beauty. No less convincing and consistent is Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen Music for 13 strings. In this piece, his compelling and uncompromising musical language most closely recalls Borup-Jørgensen himself, in particular the repeated use of the tritone interval, unreal glissandos and tremolos punctuate the excited unison passages. Sunleif Rasmussen Winter Echoes for recorder and 13 solo strings is particularly memorable, especially in the meandering, ceaselessly propulsive Toccata episodes. Mogens Christensen has been very familiar with the recorder for many  years and here, in his brilliantly colorful-chirping Nordic Summer Scherzo, he brings his material back to Borup-Jørgensen. It may be surprising to see the composer and famous Danish jazz pianist Thomas Clausen on this CD, represented by his neoclassically-inspired, Concertino. Very much in the tradition of Holmboe, Clausen‘s Concertino is a beautiful, playful work sure to win many friends with its touching, "singing" Largo (convinced with unmistakable echoes of Bach's Air) and the bubbling, virtuoso finale. A marvelous work concludes the CD: Borup-Jørgensen‘s Sommasvit (Sommen-Suite), Op 24 for string orchestra, written when the composer was 33-years-old in remembrance of his stays on Swedish the island of the same name in the Småland region. In five concise movements that describe the progresses from morning to evening, the composer achieves a fascinating multi-layered sound panorama that ranges from delicate, subtle subdivisions on darkly elegiac passages to troubled dramatic churnings, finally fading away in a melancholy epilogue.
 
One can hardly imagine more competent and more committed performers for this music than soloist Michala Petri and the fabulous strings of Lapland Chamber Orchestra under the confident, colorful and illuminating guidance of Clemens Schuldt. Also the engineering, artwork and editorial quality of the booklet are on the highest level. A homage very much worth hearing, that impresses  with the sheer quality of the music, stylistic diversity and integrity of the design. Heinz Braun (01.10.2015)
Wertung: 10 / 10 / 10
 
 
Die Werke dieser CD wurden im November 2014 im Rahmen eines Konzerts zu Ehren des 2012 verstorbenen bedeutenden dänischen Komponisten Axel Borup-Jørgensen im Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, nördlich von Kopenhagen aufgeführt. Neben Borup-Jørgensens eigenem, frühen Streichorchesterwerk Sommasvit von 1957 erklangen fünf Uraufführungen, die speziell für dieses Konzert (und die in der Folge produzierte CD) von ehemaligen Freunden und musikalischen Weggefährten geschrieben wurden. In dieser Aufnahme spiegelt sich meines Erachtens eine besondere Qualität der skandinavischen Gegenwartsmusik: ihre erfrischend un-ideologische stilistische Individualität, die Mut zu eigenständigen musikalischen Lösungen hat.
Bent Sørensen gelingt mit Whispering für Blockflöte und Streichorchester ein zartes und atmosphärisches Werk von zuweilen berückender Schönheit. Nicht weniger überzeugend und stimmig wirkt Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreens Music for 13 Strings. In seiner zwingenden und kompromisslosen Klangsprache erinnert dieses Werk noch am ehesten an Borup-Jørgensen selbst: Eine immer wieder vom Tritonus-Intervall geprägte Musik, in der fahle, unwirkliche Glissandi und Tremoli aufgeregten Unisono-Passagen gegenüberstehen. Sunleif Rasmussens Winter Echoes für Blockflöte und 13 Solostreicher bleiben vor allem mit ihren mäandernden, unaufhörlich vorwärtstreibenden Toccata-Episoden in Erinnerung. Der mit der Blockflöte seit vielen Jahren bestens vertraute Mogens Christensen greift in seinem koloristisch-zwitschernden Nordic Summer Scherzo in seinem Material auf Borup-Jørgensen zurück. Es mag überraschen, unter den Komponisten der CD auch den bekannten dänischen Jazz-Pianisten Thomas Clausen zu finden, dem mit seinem neoklassizistisch angehauchten, in der Tradition Holmboes stehenden Concertino ein wunderschönes, spielerisches Werk gelungen ist, das mit seinem rührend „singenden“ Largo (mit unüberhörbaren Anklängen an Bachs Air) und dem virtuos-sprudelnden Finalsatz überzeugt. Ein wunderbares Werk beschließt die CD: Borup-Jørgensens Sommasvit (Sommen–Suite) op. 24 für Streichorchester, das der damals Dreiunddreißigjährige in Erinnerung an seine Aufenthalte in der gleichnamigen Landschaft im schwedischen Småland geschrieben hatte. In fünf konzisen Sätzen, die den Tageslauf vom Morgen bis zum Abend beschreiben, entfaltet sich eine faszinierend vielschichtiges Klangpanorama, das von zarten, feinsten Verästelungen über düster-elegische Passagen bis hin zu dramatisch aufgewühlten Steigerungen reicht und in einem melancholischen Epilog ausklingt.
Man kann sich für diese Musik kaum kompetentere und engagiertere Interpreten vorstellen als die Solistin Michala Petri und die fabelhaften Streicher des Lapland Chamber Orchestra unter der souverän alle Farben ausleuchtenden Leitung von Clemens Schuldt. Auch Tontechnik, Artwork und editorische Güte des Booklets bewegen sich auf höchstem Niveau. Eine überaus hörenswerte Hommage, die durch die schiere Qualität der Musik, stilistische Vielfalt und Seriosität der Ausführung besticht. Heinz Braun, 01.10.2015
Heinz Braun, 01.10.2015, Klassik heute

Michala Petri, recorder
Lapland Chamber Orchestra
Nordic Sound
Tribute to Axel Borup-Jørgensen
and what a pleasant smörgåsbord they are
Alison Melville, 28 September 2015, The Whole Note, Canada
28.September 2015
August brought me two CDs of modern recorder concertos from Denmark, released on the Danish label OUR Recordings, and what a pleasant smörgåsbord they are (sorry, couldn’t resist that one).

Nordic Sound is a special tribute to Axel Borup-Jørgensen (1924-2012), one of Denmark’s most influential modern-era composers, and four of the six works on the program are for recorder and strings. Inspired by the Danish landscape, Bent Sørensen creates a mystical and spacious atmosphere in Whispering, and the elegant pointillism and rhythmic complexity of the Faroese composer Sunleif Rasmussen’s Winter Echoes elicits wonderful and virtuosic playing from all parties. Mogens Christensen requests a panoply of flutters, pips, chirps and multiphonics from Michala Petri in his Nordic Summer Scherzo, all of which makes for a tour-de-force of bird imitation, and Thomas Clausen’s four-movement Concertino provides a tasteful shift to the neo-Baroque. Two pieces for strings, by Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen and Borup-Jørgensen himself, are beautifully played by the members of the Lapland Chamber Orchestra under Clemens Schuldt. Alison Melville, 28 September 2015 
Alison Melville, 28 September 2015, The Whole Note, Canada

Michala Petri, recorder
Lapland Chamber Orchestra
Nordic Sound
Tribute to Axel Borup-Jørgensen
Nordic Sound. Tribute to Axel Borup-Jørgensen.
Anu Jormalainen, Lapin Kansa Finland
26 September 2015
 
Lapin kamariorkesteri. Kapellimestarina Clemens Schuldt. Michala Petri, nokkahuilu. OUR Recordings, 2015.
Musiikin tunneilla traumatisoituneet saattavat kavahtaa Lapin kamariorkesterin alkusyksystä ilmestyneen levyn soolosoitinta. Juuri ennakkoasenteisten kannattaisi kuitenkin kuunnellaNordic Sound huolella, sillä sen keskiössä hurmaa maailmankuulu tanskalainen nokkahuilutaiteilija Michala Petri. Arvostetun ECHO Classic Awardin vuoden parhaasta konserttolevystä hiljattain voittanut Lapin kamariorkesterikin on tottunut vakuuttamaan kuulijansa; varsinkin nykymusiikin ja ensiesitysten saralla. Tällä kertaa Petrin ohella äänessä ovat orkesterin jouset, jotka kantaesittivät ohjelmiston jo viime marraskuussa Tanskassa, Louisiana Museum of Modern Artissa säveltäjä Axel Borup-Jørgensenin (1924–2012) muistokonsertissa.
Tanskalaisen modernismin kärkinimiin kuuluneella Borup-Jørgensenilla oli syvä suhde nokkahuilumusiikkiin. Viiden tanskalaissäveltäjän tilausteokset – joko nokkahuilulle ja jousille tai pelkälle jousiorkesterille – on tehty säveltäjämestarin elämäntyön hengessä. Näistä lähtökohdista syntyy levyn tumma, mutta lohdullinen pohjasävel. Albumi on äänitetty Korundissa nuoren saksalaisen kapellimestaritähti Clemens Schuldtin johdolla.
Kunnianosoituksen nivoo yhteen niin Petrin virtuoosisuus kuin skandinaavinen äänimaisema-arkkitehtoninen sävelkieli. Aloitusteos, Bent Sørensenin utuinen Whispering (2014), nousee hiljaisuuden sävelsumusta majakan lailla ja vangitsee eteeris-minimalistisilla harmonioilla. Kontrastin tarjoaa Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreenin kompleksisempi Music for 13 Strings(2014), jonka vimmaista rytmiikkaa ryydittävät muusikoiden jalkojen polkaisut.
Kamariorkesterille aiemmista projekteista tuttu färsaarelaissäveltäjä Sunleif Rasmussen on luonut karunkomean talven ihmemaan teoksellaan Winter Echoes (2014).
Mogens Christensenin nyanssirikkaasta Nordic Summer Scherzosta (2014) kuultaa lintujen liverrys. Nokkahuilu taipuu Petrin taiturimaisessa käsittelyssä helmipöllön puputuksesta elektroefekteihin.
Iskevien hetkien jälkeen levyn kaunein laguuni, jazzmuusikko
Thomas Clausenin
barokkivaikutteinen Concertino for recorder & strings (2014), ja eritoten sen melankolinen Largo, tuntuu suoraan sieluun valutetulta hunajalta.
Sopusuhtaisen kokonaisuuden sinetöi Borup-Jørgensenin oma sävellys Sommasvit op. 24 (1957), joka pyörittää kuulijan läpi smålantilaisen päivänkierron.
Anu Jormalainen 26.9.2015
Anu Jormalainen, Lapin Kansa Finland

Marcus Creed, Conductor
L'amour et la foi
Vocal Music by Olivier Messiaen (1908 - 1992)
Marcus Creed Presides Over Idiomatic Performances with Authority
Philip Reed, Choir and Organ
2015-09-24
4 stars

This recording offers three of Messiaen's bestknown choral works: O sacrum convivium! (1937), Trois petites liturgies de la Présence Divine (1943) and Cinq rechants (1948). The last of these, with its mixture of languages (French and a Sanskrit-like language devised by Messiaen himsef), was composed for 12 solo voices and presents many challenges to its performers: sound, rhythm and technique are all extended by the composer's demands, which include modifying vowels sounds to produce percussive effects.

The Danish National Vocal Ensemble delivers a committed reading of this difficult work. No less committed are their colleagues of the Danish National Concert Choir and Chamber Orchestra who join them in the other substantial piece on the CD, the Trois petites liturgies, which receives a persuasive account, Marcus Creed presides over these idiomatic performances with authority.
Philip Reed, Choir and Organ

Michala Petri, recorder
Henrik Vagn Christensen, conductor
Danish Faorese Recorder Concertos
Disc Complement Petri's Understated Virtuosity
Richard Whitehouse. Gramophone
October Issue
These latest releases from OUR Recordings, the label Michala Petri founded a decade ago, reaffirm the breadth of the contemporary recorder repertoire. "Nordic Sound" came together as a memorial tribute to Danish Composer Axel Borup-Jørgensen, represented here by his suite for strings inspired by Swedish lake-land Sommen and typical in its obligue combining of abrasive energy with austere expectancy.

Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen's Music for 13 Strings is appreciably more integrated as an overall entity, its trenchant contrapuntal writing redolent of Danish music from the 1950s. That the other pieces feature recorder is about their only connection. As it title suggests, Bent Sørensen's Whispering is a resourceful study in "sound overheard", while Mogens Christensen's Nordic Summer Scherzo has the descant instrument in a wealth of deft and capricious exchanges, most distinctive is Winter Echoes by Sunleif Rasmussen, with recorder and strings as one in a somber evocation of exquisite poise.

The other disc focuses on Danish and Faroese recorder concertos, this latter country again represented by Rasmussen – his Territorial Songs inspired by competing bird colonies in a sequence of five movements whose expressive central "anti-cadenca" is framed by musical landscapes of mesmeric stillness and, in turn, by bell-permeated studies of surging impetus. Vastly different is Moonchilds Dream, Thomas Koppels's concerto, whose four movements outline a trajectory of hopes envisaged though ultimately denied in music that ranges from overt brutality to radiant pathos. In between is Chacun Son Son, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen's typically ingenious sequence of canonic exchanges in which various recorders are deployed according to the orchestral context – thus resulting in music that is ominous and sardonic by turns.

Both discs complement Petri's tellingly understated virtuosity with committed playing from the Lapland Chamber Orchestra and Aalborg Symphony orchestras respectively. Spacious sound and copious notes further enhance recordings that are provocative and diverting in equal measure.
Richard Whitehouse. Gramophone

Michala Petri, recorder
Lapland Chamber Orchestra
Nordic Sound
Tribute to Axel Borup-Jørgensen
Disc Complement Petri's Understated Virtuosity
Richard Whitehouse. Gramophone
October Issue
These latest releases from OUR Recordings, the label Michala Petri founded a decade ago, reaffirm the breadth of the contemporary recorder repertoire. "Nordic Sound" came together as a memorial tribute to Danish Composer Axel Borup-Jørgensen, represented here by his suite for strings inspired by Swedish lake-land Sommen and typical in its obligue combining of abrasive energy with austere expectancy.

Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen's Music for 13 Strings is appreciably more integrated as an overall entity, its trenchant contrapuntal writing redolent of Danish music from the 1950s. That the other pieces feature recorder is about their only connection. As it title suggests, Bent Sørensen's Whispering is a resourceful study in "sound overheard", while Mogens Christensen's Nordic Summer Scherzo has the descant instrument in a wealth of deft and capricious exchanges, most distinctive is Winter Echoes by Sunleif Rasmussen, with recorder and strings as one in a somber evocation of exquisite poise.

The other disc focuses on Danish and Faroese recorder concertos, this latter country again represented by Rasmussen – his Territorial Songs inspired by competing bird colonies in a sequence of five movements whose expressive central "anti-cadenca" is framed by musical landscapes of mesmeric stillness and, in turn, by bell-permeated studies of surging impetus. Vastly different is Moonchilds Dream, Thomas Koppels's concerto, whose four movements outline a trajectory of hopes envisaged though ultimately denied in music that ranges from overt brutality to radiant pathos. In between is Chacun Son Son, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen's typically ingenious sequence of canonic exchanges in which various recorders are deployed according to the orchestral context – thus resulting in music that is ominous and sardonic by turns.

Both discs complement Petri's tellingly understated virtuosity with committed playing from the Lapland Chamber Orchestra and Aalborg Symphony orchestras respectively. Spacious sound and copious notes further enhance recordings that are provocative and diverting in equal measure.
Richard Whitehouse. Gramophone

Michala Petri, recorder
Lapland Chamber Orchestra
Nordic Sound
Tribute to Axel Borup-Jørgensen
Komplext och jovialt för blockflöjt
Mats Liljeroos, Hufvudstadsbladet, Helsinke, Finlan
16.September 2015
Komplext och jovialt för blockflöjt
Danska Michala Petri gör utmärkta premiärinspelningar av en handfull verk för blokflöjt och orkester.
Michala petri, blokflöjt
Nordic Sound. Verk för blokflöjt och stråker. Lapplands kammarorkester under Clemens Schuldt. (OUR Recordings)
Danska och färiska konserter för blokflöjt och orkester. Aalborgs symfoniorkester under Henrik Vagn Christensen.
Danskarna har av hävd struntat i de gängse modernistiska normerna och skapat den musik de känt för, fräscht stilmixande och med äktdanskt gemyt, vilket givetvis inte betyder att allt är fröna ängar och fradgande ölstop. Komplexitet och jovialitet kan ingå nog så spännande symbioser och så sker även i landets modernist par excellence, Bent Sørensen (f.1958) detaljerade partitur, där texturerna med åren luckrats upp rejält. Så till eksempel i Whispering för blokflöjt och stråkar, där inledningens täta klanger så småningom övergår i öppnare lanskap.
Stycket inleder skivan Nordic Sound, tillägnad en af Danmarks centrala 1900-talstonsättare, Axel Borup-Jørgensen. Sunleif Rasmussen (f.1961) Winter Echoes, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreens (f.1932) Music for 13 strings och Mogens Christensens (f.1955) Nordic Summer Scherzo rör sig alla I det fascinerande Gränslandet mellem det moderna og mer traditionella, medan drivne jazzpianisten Thomas Clausen (f. 1948) nybarocka Concertino – liksom ovannämnda stycken skrivet 2014 för blokflöjt och stråkar – på ett skojigt sätt skiller sig ur mängden.
Modernistpionjären Borup-Jørgensens (1924-2012) Sommasvit  för stråkar (1957) – titeln syftar på den småländska  insjön – är ett fint tidligt eksempel på den särpräglade estetiska uttryk. Lapplands kammerorkester har tidligare företagit lyckade danska exkursioner med sin chefdirigent John Storgårds  och gör nu ett ypperligt jobb under unge tysken Clemens Schuldt.
Human Modernism
Den gemensamma nämnaren för de här aktuella inspelningarna är blokflöjtvirtuosen Michala Petri, som i sina talrika skivinspelningar rörst sig från tidlig barock till nyasta nytt. Man kunde rentav påstå at danmark tack vare henne bivet någat av et blokflöjtsparadis där var och varannan skrivit för Petri, som uruppfört över 150 verk.
Man kan ävan på skivan med den danska och färiska blokflöjtkonserter – likaså utgiven på Petris och Lars Hannibals bolag OUR Recordings – beundra den dejliga danska diversiteten alltifrån Savage Rose – grundaren Thomas Koppels (1944-2016) ogenerat filmmusikkromantiska Moonchilds Dream (1991) till Sunleif Rasmussens kontrastrika, fågelsångsinspirerade Territorial Songs (2009). Skivans mest egensinniga verk är Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreens Chacun Son Son (2014), som åskådligt demonstrerar hans humana modernism.
Michala Petri har fört det moderna blojkflöjtspelet til nya sfärer med multifoner, sång i röret och ett teknisk raffinemang som söker sin like. Hon får här utmärkt stöd av Aalborgsymfonikerna och Henrik Vagn Christensen och ljudbilden är på bägge skivorna varmt och naturligt resonerande.
Mats Liljeroos, 16.september 2015
Mats Liljeroos, Hufvudstadsbladet, Helsinke, Finlan

Marcus Creed, Conductor
L'amour et la foi
Vocal Music by Olivier Messiaen (1908 - 1992)
5 Star review
Frits van der Waa, Volkskrant
16 September 2015
Een haarscherpe uitvoering onder leiding van Marcus Creed
 
De zangers van het Deens Nationaal Vocaal Ensemble, het Nationaal Concertkoor en het Nationaal Kamerorkest leveren bevlogen en haarscherpe uitvoeringen onder leiding van Marcus Creed

Er is weinig 20ste-eeuwse muziek waaruit zo'n blijmoedigheid spreekt als uit die van Olivier Messiaen. Het werk van de Franse componist is één grote lofzang op de schepping. In de tinkelende pianonootjes in Trois petites liturgies de la présence divine hoor je Messiaens geliefde vogeltjes kwinkeleren, als afwisseling met de engelachtige, in fondanten klanken gevatte vrouwenstemmen.

Daar blijft het niet bij in dit werk uit 1943: klokgelui, spreekkoren, ketsende akkoorden en de elektronische oouueeii-geluiden van de ondes Martenot maken de loftuitingen hier en daar flink luidruchtig.

Het motet O sacrum convivium fungeert als rustpunt, waarna Messiaen het in Cinq rechants over een nog speelsere boeg gooit. Bij teksten als mayoma kalimolimo denk je gauw aan fritessaus of priklimonade, maar het gaat toch echt over de liefde. De zangers van het Deens Nationaal Vocaal Ensemble, het Nationaal Concertkoor en het Nationaal Kamerorkest leveren bevlogen en haarscherpe uitvoeringen onder leiding van Marcus Creed.
Frits van der Waa, Volkskrant

Michala Petri, recorder
Henrik Vagn Christensen, conductor
Danish Faorese Recorder Concertos
Michala Petri har fört det moderna blojkflöjtspelet til nya sfärer
Mats Liljeroos, Hufvudstadsbladet, Helsinke, Finlan
16.September 2015
Komplext och jovialt för blockflöjt
Danska Michala Petri gör utmärkta premiärinspelningar av en handfull verk för blokflöjt och orkester.
Michala petri, blokflöjt
Nordic Sound. Verk för blokflöjt och stråker. Lapplands kammarorkester under Clemens Schuldt. (OUR Recordings)
Danska och färiska konserter för blokflöjt och orkester. Aalborgs symfoniorkester under Henrik Vagn Christensen.
Danskarna har av hävd struntat i de gängse modernistiska normerna och skapat den musik de känt för, fräscht stilmixande och med äktdanskt gemyt, vilket givetvis inte betyder att allt är fröna ängar och fradgande ölstop. Komplexitet och jovialitet kan ingå nog så spännande symbioser och så sker även i landets modernist par excellence, Bent Sørensen (f.1958) detaljerade partitur, där texturerna med åren luckrats upp rejält. Så till eksempel i Whispering för blokflöjt och stråkar, där inledningens täta klanger så småningom övergår i öppnare lanskap.
Stycket inleder skivan Nordic Sound, tillägnad en af Danmarks centrala 1900-talstonsättare, Axel Borup-Jørgensen. Sunleif Rasmussen (f.1961) Winter Echoes, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreens (f.1932) Music for 13 strings och Mogens Christensens (f.1955) Nordic Summer Scherzo rör sig alla I det fascinerande Gränslandet mellem det moderna og mer traditionella, medan drivne jazzpianisten Thomas Clausen (f. 1948) nybarocka Concertino – liksom ovannämnda stycken skrivet 2014 för blokflöjt och stråkar – på ett skojigt sätt skiller sig ur mängden.
Modernistpionjären Borup-Jørgensens (1924-2012) Sommasvit  för stråkar (1957) – titeln syftar på den småländska  insjön – är ett fint tidligt eksempel på den särpräglade estetiska uttryk. Lapplands kammerorkester har tidligare företagit lyckade danska exkursioner med sin chefdirigent John Storgårds  och gör nu ett ypperligt jobb under unge tysken Clemens Schuldt.
Human Modernism
Den gemensamma nämnaren för de här aktuella inspelningarna är blokflöjtvirtuosen Michala Petri, som i sina talrika skivinspelningar rörst sig från tidlig barock till nyasta nytt. Man kunde rentav påstå at danmark tack vare henne bivet någat av et blokflöjtsparadis där var och varannan skrivit för Petri, som uruppfört över 150 verk.
Man kan ävan på skivan med den danska och färiska blokflöjtkonserter – likaså utgiven på Petris och Lars Hannibals bolag OUR Recordings – beundra den dejliga danska diversiteten alltifrån Savage Rose – grundaren Thomas Koppels (1944-2016) ogenerat filmmusikkromantiska Moonchilds Dream (1991) till Sunleif Rasmussens kontrastrika, fågelsångsinspirerade Territorial Songs (2009). Skivans mest egensinniga verk är Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreens Chacun Son Son (2014), som åskådligt demonstrerar hans humana modernism.
Michala Petri har fört det moderna blojkflöjtspelet til nya sfärer med multifoner, sång i röret och ett teknisk raffinemang som söker sin like. Hon får här utmärkt stöd av Aalborgsymfonikerna och Henrik Vagn Christensen och ljudbilden är på bägge skivorna varmt och naturligt resonerande.
Mats Liljeroos, 16.september 2015
Mats Liljeroos, Hufvudstadsbladet, Helsinke, Finlan

Michala Petri, recorder
Lapland Chamber Orchestra
Nordic Sound
Tribute to Axel Borup-Jørgensen
NORDIC SOUND: TRIBUTE TO AXEL BORUP-JØRGENSEN
New CD`s,- Editorial- Klassisk
14.September 2015
Som fejring af, at komponisten Axel Borup-Jørgensen ville være fyldt 90 sidste år, tog hans datter initiativ til en mindekoncert, hvor fem komponister med relation til Borup-Jørgensen blev spurgt om at skrive nye værker til lejligheden. Han fordybede sig i blokfløjtens muligheder, vel især fordi det var datteren Elisabeth Selins instrument, og det er hendes mentor, Michala Petri, der er solist på de fire værker for blokfløjte og strygere. Bent Sørensens ‘Whispering’ er inspireret af Borup-Jørgensens talestemme, som i de senere år nærmede sig det lydløse. Mogens Christensens ‘Nordic Summer Scherzo’ skæver til et klaverstykke af Borup-Jørgensen og dennes elskede Sverige, hvis natur han søgte at spejle i sin musik. Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen kendte komponisten siden slutningen af 1950’erne, hvor Borup-Jørgensen var foran de unge løver, og sender en næsten Stravinskijsk hilsen i sin ‘Musik for 13 strygere’ med brugen af tritonusintervallet, som var en yndet byggesten hos den ældre kollega og ven. Thomas Clausens mere afklarede ‘Concertino’ tager model i Vivaldis åndedrag og livlighed. Mere knortet er Sunleif Rasmussens ‘Winter Echoes’, hvor Petri må kæmpe sig vej igennem solostrygernes barske landskab gennem et intimiderende mørke og ender mutters alene i en sørgelig-smuk ensomhed. 14.09.2015


New CD`s,- Editorial- Klassisk

Michala Petri, recorder
Lapland Chamber Orchestra
Nordic Sound
Tribute to Axel Borup-Jørgensen
4 stars in Tanskalaiset muistelevat ykymusiikkinestoriaan
Samuli Tiikkaja, HELSINGIN SANOMAT
9 September 2015
 
Mistä johtuu, että tanskalaisten säveltäjien musiikki soi melkein koko levyn ajan jylhänä ja ankarana? Ehkä siitä, että koko levy on kunnianosoitus tanskalaissäveltäjä Axel Borup-Jørgensenille (1924–2012), ja sen teokset on sävelletty hänen muistolleen.
Borup-Jørgensen oli nokkahuiluentusiasti, joten muistoteosten säveltäjille annettiin ohjeeksi säveltää joko nokkahuilulle ja jousille tai pelkästään jousille.
Bent Sørensenin Whispering-teoksessa käyvät ilmi nokkahuilun ja jousiorkesterin rikkaat yhteistyömahdollisuudet ja roolien monipuolisuus.
Vielä laveampi vaikutelma syntyy Mogens Christensenin Nordic Summer Scherzosta, joka on suoranainen nokkahuilun virtuoosisien soittotekniikoiden kavalkadi. Nokkahuilusolisti Michala Petri soittaa glissandot, multifonit ja muut erikoiskeinot varmasti, ja niiden ansiosta kokonaisuus kuulostaa energiseltä.
Tällä viikolla Helsingissä vierailevan Sunleif Rasmussenin Winter Echoes on aiheiltaan voimallinen jo siksi, että se on teosmääritelmänsä mukaan kirjoitettu nokkahuilulle ja 13 soolojouselle – jousisoittajat siis eivät soita niinkään homogeenisena jousistona kuin solistiyksilöinä.
Aivan omaa maataan tässä säveltäjäjoukossa on jazzmuusikko Thomas Clausen, jonka Concertino on uusbarokkinen sarja nokkahuilulle ja jousille. Sinänsä se kyllä tuo ilakoivalla päätösrondollaan valonpilkahduksen levyn muuten vähän jäyhään kokonaisuuteen.
Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen sävelsi muistoteoksensa Music for 13 Stringspelkille jousille, ja sen ankarat aiheet sopivat hyvin yhteen muistelun kohteen eli Axel Borup-Jørgensenin Sommasvit-jousiorkesteriteoksen (1957) kanssa, joskin tämä on sanonnassaan säästeliäämpi ja hillitympi.
Saksalaisen Clemens Schuldtin johdolla Lapin kamariorkesterin jouset paneutuvat tanskalaiseen modernismiin taitavasti, ja Rovaniemen Korundissa tehdyssä äänityksessä on sopiva sekoitus massaa ja ilmavuutta.
Samuli Tiikkaja, HELSINGIN SANOMAT

Michala Petri, recorder
Henrik Vagn Christensen, conductor
Danish Faorese Recorder Concertos
Petri is an honest, fabulously talented musician
Raymond Tuttle, Fanfare Magazine
September 2015
A group of three "Danish & Faroese Recorder Concertos" (as the cover proclaims) might be of only peripheral interest, at first glance, unless one hails from Denmark or the Faroe Islands. However, Michala Petri is a horse of a different color, and her presence on any project practically ensures a worthwhile musical experience. That expectation is not frustrated here.

If you've been following her career, at least on disc, you will know that Petri already recorded Thomas Koppel's Moonchild's Dream about 20 years ago for RCA Victor. (Her partners were conductor Okko Kamu and the English Chamber Orchestra.) That was its premiere recording. She recorded it a second time, a decade ago, for Dacapo, joined by the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Bo Holten. Thus, Petri seems to be recording this work every ten years, and perhaps the 2026 iteration is already being planned! And why not, because Koppel composed it specifically for Petri. It's a terrific work, and Petri owns it, in more ways than one. This de facto concerto is not programmatic, although it "focuses on the hopes and fears and dreams of a little girl living in the South Harbor area of Copenhagen, one of the poorest neighborhood in the city."

The Danish Broadcasting Corporation commissioned it as a long-form music video, and indeed, Koppel's music sounds, in the best way, like a film score in search of a film. Like many film composers, he makes modern music palatable to even non-specialist listeners by using it to convey mood, emotion, and atmosphere. At the same time, the music is not simple-minded. The listener, like Petri herself, can return to it many times and find something new to enjoy. This is a gentle, wistful, and even hopeful masterwork, and it deserves to be widely known.

I have not heard the Dacapo disc (which includes two other works that Koppel composed for Petri), but I know the RCA Victor release, and I can say that Petri's ideas about Moonchild's Dream have not changed in any fundamental way in the last twenty years, nor are Kamu and the English Chamber Orchestra notably superior to Christensen and the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra. This time around, I'd say that Petri plays the music a little bit more intimately, and the music's textures are made to seem a little more refined. She no longer has to convince that this is a fine work; over the course of twenty years we have found that out for ourselves. The excellent engineering, which can be appreciated even without an SACD player, probably helps to put it across as well.

The other two works, also written for Petri, are receiving their premiere recordings here. Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen's name will not be new to those who are interested in modern classical music, however. Initially a serialist, this composer moved into new territory in 1960s with neo-Dadaist works that "single-mindedly set out to rid music of its affects and affectations." One might add, "and to free listeners from their expectations." Chacun Son Son (literally, "to each  their own sound") is less a recorder concerto and, according to the composer, "more a ritual" in which the recorder "is completely integrated into the woodwind section as primus inter pares (first among equals), as the first voice in a long-breathed canon." Chacun Son Son sounds like a musical representation of a mobile by Alexander Calder. . .a mobile that is blown into motion by increasingly brisk winds before it breaks into pieces. Gudmundsen-Holmgreen's music, even though it can seem more like meta-music, smiles mischievously, and it is difficult not to smile back at it. Petri is a good sport about a solo part that really isn't a solo part, and all of the musicians play out their roles with skill and mild-mannered objectivity.

Sunleif Rasmussen was born in 1961 on the Faroe Islands. Coming from such a tiny and remote place, he can hardly help being keenly aware of the natural world, and this awareness seems to color his music. The title Territorial Songs is an allusion to birdsong, which birds use not only to attract a mate, but also to establish their personal territory. In this work, the composer "extends this idea of 'territorial space' to the orchestra, letting some sections play independent of the conductor, marking their own territory in the orchestral landscape." Thus, the music functions on both descriptive and absolute levels. The recorder certainly can sound like birdsong, and at many times it does in this work, but Rasmussen has more up his sleeve than imitation. In this work he has created a sound-world whose interest derives, in large part, from unexpected instrumental sonorities and juxtapositions. There's nothing cliched about it. Petri and her partners are finely attuned to its shapes and shades.

Early in her career, Petri's youth and physical beauty opened doors for her, and for her recorder. In the world of classical music, as elsewhere, young artists sometimes are forgotten as the novelty fades and new pretty young things appear. Petri no longer records for Philips or RCA Victor, it's true, but now she is more free to follow her artistic inclinations than ever before, and that gives her a loveliness that no skin cream or shampoo could ever hope to lend! Petri is an honest, fabulously talented musician who is doing as much for her instrument, if not more, than any recorder virtuoso has ever done.
Raymond Tuttle, Fanfare Magazine

Michala Petri, recorder
Lapland Chamber Orchestra
Nordic Sound
Tribute to Axel Borup-Jørgensen
"Petri is an untouchable talent..."
Raymond Tuttle, Fanfare Magazine
September 2015
Elsewhere in this issue (look under "Koppel") I review a disc of "Danish and Faroese Recorder Concertos" written for, and played by, Michala Petri, the ongoing wonder of the recorder world. Much as I like that disc, I like this one even better, because the music is an order of magnitude more gritty. The two composers common to both discs are Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen and Sunleif Rasmussen, and here, both of them have created provocative, unusual works that should hold up to repeated listening very nicely.

The subtitle of the present release is "Tribute to Axel Borup-Jørgensen." Why, you might ask, are we "tributing" him? The answer is that, when he died in 2012, Denmark lost an elder statesman among composers—he was born in 1924—and the recorder lost a great advocate. Michala Petri was like a "second daughter" to him, and his actual daughter, Elisabet Selin, was the only private student that Petri ever had taken on. The new works were premiered at a concert in 2014, and the concert was transmitted all over Europe. This recording, however, is a studio affair from late 2014 and early 2015.  Borup-Jørgensen's work, which can be translated "Sommen Suite" (Sommen is the name of an oddly-shaped lake in the southern part of Sweden), was composed in 1957, and it is the only work to have been recorded previously (on the Dacapo label). One might expect it to be pastoral in nature, but it is surprisingly tense.

This is not strictly a recorder disc. Sommasvit is scored for string orchestra only, and Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen's Music for 13 Strings is just that. In the other works, Petri's recorder is sometimes prominent, and sometimes less so. I mention this only because those who are looking for a straight-up collection of music for recorder and orchestra—and with Petri's name on the cover, why wouldn't they expect one? — will want to be aware of this before pulling out their wallets.

I like all of the works on this disc, but I like best the ones that adhere most closely to my understanding of Scandinavia: despite the presence of some rather nice people and socialized medicine, it can be a brutal place. Having been there for extended periods in the winter, and having wandered, nearly lost, along many a rural hiking trail in Sweden, I am speaking from experience. Those cold days in which the sun dies just a few hours after having been fatuously reborn, take their toll. Music for 13 Strings is an impressively dread-full summit between Bartók and Penderecki, marked by lonely sonorities and intensively percussive effects, including snap pizzicati that sound like ice cracking on a lake. Sunleif Rasmussen's Winter Echoes opens with what sounds like a hunting scene from a horror film yet to be created by Danish auteur Lars von Trier, and scored by a terminally frazzled Bernard Herrmann. Bent Sørensen's Whispering whispers in frozen landscape; a broken little melody at its end for the recorder could not be more pathetic. In contrast, Thomas Clausen's neoclassical Concertino is the very model of mental health and Nordic body culture: 20 more minutes of calisthenics and everyone into the sauna! Its Largo is cool and lovely, and its closing Rondo a bracing showpiece for Petri and her little recorder. Clausen is better known as a jazz musician, and this work might surprise his fans from that realm. The Nordic Summer Scherzo by Mogens Christensen is a veritable phantasmagoria of whistling and twittering for both the recorder and strings. It takes the listener to a strange but not unpleasant place.

As I have remarked on many occasions, Petri is an untouchable talent, but more than that, she is inquisitive, intelligent artist who has made it her responsibility to expand her instrument's repertory. The Lapland Chamber Orchestra is a precision-driven ensemble whose members are not fazed by the various technical and emotional demands made by these works.

I'm putting this in my "Want List" pile for the end of the year. I hope you give it your consideration.
Raymond Tuttle, Fanfare Magazine

Michala Petri, recorder
Lapland Chamber Orchestra
Nordic Sound
Tribute to Axel Borup-Jørgensen
Complex and Challenging New Compositions
Kate Wakeling, BBC Music Magazine
August 2015
While the mainstay of the recorder's repertoire sits within the medieval-Baroque periods, recent years have seen a growing body of new music composed for that instrument, recognizing and celebrating its distinct timbre and ready agility. These 3 well-recorded discs, all af Scandinavian origin, mark the recorder's continuing appeal, offering complex and challenging new compositions alongside more broadly accessible works.

Nordic Sound presents five world premieres for recorder and string orchestra alone, with the outstanding recorder virtuoso Michala Petri as soloist. The work were each commissioned in tribute to Danish composer Axel Borup-Jørgensen (1924-2012), whose own transfixing Sommasvit (1957) for string orchestra closes the disc.

Standout pieces include Sunleif Rasmussen's Winter Echoes, which unleashes ferocious trills and flutters from the recorder in a pleasing subversion of the instrument's dulcet reputation, and Bent Sørensen's Whispering for recorder and strings, its title said to be inspired by Axel's soft and fragile way of speaking, and which forms a delicate and moving tribute.

Performance 4 stars - recording 4 stars.
Kate Wakeling, BBC Music Magazine

Michala Petri, recorder
Henrik Vagn Christensen, conductor
Danish Faorese Recorder Concertos
10/10/10
Heinz Braun, Klassik Heute
August 2015
Michala Petris Aufnahmeserie mit zeitgenössischen Konzerten für Blockflöte und Orchester gehört zu den wichtigsten und ambitioniertesten Projekten in der Geschichte des Instruments. Der wohl kaum zu überbietende Standard, den die bislang erschienenen Produktionen bezüglich musikalischer, tontechnischer und auch editorischer Qualität gesetzt haben, bestätigt sich auch in der neuesten Folge mit Werken aus Dänemark und von den Färöer-Inseln.

Dass Michala Petri hier zum dritten Mal Thomas Koppels anrührendes und meisterhaft orchestriertes, modernes Sterntaler-Märchen Moonchild's Dream eingespielt hat, lässt auf eine ganz besondere Beziehung zu diesem Werk schließen. Die vorliegende Aufnahme gerät denn auch zur musikalisch schlüssigsten, fast ist man geneigt zu sagen perfektesten Aufnahme des Stücks. Petris kristallines Spiel verzaubert den Hörer von Beginn an. Gänzlich andere Wege beschreitet Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen in seinem 2014 fertiggestellten Chacun SonSon: Die Blockflöte agiert hier eher als „primus inter pares" der Bläsersektion des Orchesters denn als Soloinstrument – Musik von kraftvoller, zuweilen fast anarchischer Urgewalt , die mit harschen Blechbläserklängen, wilden Pauken-Glissandi und Schlagzeugsalven um sich selbst zu kreisen scheint. Mit den Territorial Songs des färöischen Komponisten Sunleif Rasmussen stellt Michala Petri ein außerordentlich attraktives, farbenreiches Konzert vor, das (dank des reichen Perkussionseinsatzes) rhythmischen Drive mit hoher Klangsinnlichkeit zu verbinden weiß. Die exzellent begleitenden Aalborger Sinfoniker unter Henrik Vagn Christensen setzen genau die richtigen musikalischen Akzente. Das umfangreiche, luxuriös ausgestattete farbige Booklet mit ausgezeichneten Hintergrundinformationen von Joshua Cheek bestätigt einmal mehr, dass Petri und ihr Label OUR Recordings in einer Klasse für sich spielen.

Wertung: 10 / 10 / 10
Heinz Braun, Klassik Heute
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E-mail: hannibal@michalapetri.com
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