“Song” – Uranienborg Vokalensemble/ Elisabeth Holte, dir. [TrackList follows] – 2L Pure Audio Blu-ray + SACD

“Song” – Uranienborg Vokalensemble/ Elisabeth Holte, dir. – 2L Pure Audio Blu-ray DTS HD MA (192kHz/24-bit) 5.1 + multichannel SACD MCH 5.1 DSD 2L-096 (2 discs), 49:00 ea. [Distr. by Naxos] *****:

This unusual album has as its premise songs that describe the “shifts of the human condition and man’s relationship with nature, God, and his fellow man” (notes), using Nordic music as the vehicle. A wide variety of composers  are represented, including members of the ensemble themselves, and personally I detected no lack of quality when this is the case! The selections are each exquisite little jewels of the highest order, and on the whole the album is intensely spiritual while being considered partially religious in nature. This is a distinction that makes me a little uncomfortable generally speaking, but what else can you say when items of Christian provenance are put side by side with paeans to nature? Neither acts as a foil to the other however, the whole harmoniously existing in a state of complete integrated bliss, with the Uranienborg Vokalensemble, now in its 12th year under the sturdy direction of Elisabeth Holte, providing steady and beautifully balanced readings of almost devotional quality of the highest emotive content. The surround sound in both formats is nearly perfect. Truly a feast for the ears!

TrackList:

Tveitt / Berge: Ve no velkomne med aera
Berge: No stig vär song;Velsignede morgen
Bäck: Vären
Janson: Tre dikt av Ebba Lindqvist
Holton: Vokalise;Alt har sin tid
Dyrud: Snart kysser hun sin venn i rosenhagen
Gullichsen: The Lord is my light and my salvation
Mäntyjärvi: Ave Maria d’Aosta
Nielsen: Min Jesus, lat mitt hjarta fa
Norwegian Folk Tune: En smuk Aftensang

—Steven Ritter

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