UR  – Music by EVA HOLM FOOSNÆS,  ODD JOHAN OVEROYE,  ØYVIND JOHAN EIKSUND,  MARTIN EIKESET KOREN – Eva Holm Foosnæs (cond.)/ Orchestra/Ensemble Kammerkoret Aurum – 2L -129 multichannel 5.1 SACD, 44:46 (01/06/17) ****:

Another interesting release from 2L in Norway. 

The recordings consist exclusively of commissioned works, written by composers in affiliation with the musical community in Trondheim. The composers have different backgrounds and tonal language, providing this disc with a complex and complementary repertoire. Composers featured include Odd Johan Overoye, Oyvind Johan Eiksund, Martin Eikeset Koren, Geir Dohlie Gjerdsjo, and Eva Holm.

While the styles have tonal variations, the individual pieces all work very well together, and from piece to piece there is nothing jarring. These are all vocal works, with the last work Brieflabben, adding some percussion.

The recording, as is always the case with 2L, is spectacular and demo worthy. The voices are well-placed in space, and the entire 5.1 sound field offers voices, not just ambiance from the rear. The location of singers is well established in the recording, even though the recording was in a large church space in Norway.

When I listened to the stereo version the ‘live’ sound of the recording was bled away, leaving a well done stereo recording, but without the emotional involvement I found in the surround version. This disc doesn’t get the usual 2L treatment. It’s ‘just’ an SACD that like all the rest now also has a CD layer. No Blu-ray audio option, no downloadable files, although downloads are available for purchase, I hope it’s not the beginning of a trend, as I think listeners responded positively to these multi- format discs.

2L has a knack of offering little known composers recorded superbly. This disc is no exception. Although none of these works are in English, there are extensive program notes. Don’t let these Norwegian works deter you. This is fine music, well-played and expertly recorded.

—Mel Martin