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Hillborg:Sirens [Hannah Holgersson; Ida Falk Winland; Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra,Sakari Oramo; David Zinman; Esa-Pekka Salonen] [BIS: BIS2114] Hybrid SACD, SACD

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Hillborg: Cold Heat & Beast Sampler Amazon Music Unlimited
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Audio CD, Hybrid SACD, SACD, 31 Dec 2015
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Product details

  • Conductor: Sakari Oramo, David Zinman, Esa-Pekka Salonen
  • Composer: Anders Hillborg
  • Audio CD (31 Dec. 2015)
  • Please Note: Requires SACD-compatible hardware
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD, SACD
  • Label: Bis
  • ASIN: B015P76JC0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 127,160 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Digital Booklet: Hillborg: Cold Heat & Beast Sampler
Digital Booklet: Hillborg: Cold Heat & Beast Sampler
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Product description

Product Description

The works recorded here testify to the widespread international interest in the music of the Swedish composer Anders Hillborg. Two purely orchestral works, Beast Sampler and Cold Heat, frame the brief and emotionally concentrated song O dessa ögon for soprano and strings, and demonstrate Hillborg's expert handling of the forces of the large symphony orchestra, often described by him as a 'sound animal'. Sirens, the closing and culminating work on this disc, is also Hillborg's largest work to date in terms of both scoring and duration, and its emotional depth is unmatched in his output. Inspired by the dangerous yet alluring sirens in Homer's Odyssey, Hillborg has constructed a score and libretto in which the sirens two soprano soloists and a large mixed choir with increasing desperation attempt to manipulate Ulysses. Performing this colourful programme is the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, joined by the sopranos Ida Falk Winland and Hannah Holgersson and two of Sweden's foremost choirs, the Eric Ericson Chamber Choir and the Swedish Radio Choir. The performances are led by three different conductors: the eminent trio of Sakari Oramo, David Zinman and Esa-Pekka Salonen, dedicatees of the works they conduct here.


Born in 1954, Anders Hillborg should now be of an age when composers have usually decided on the kind of music that they want to write. But the hugely productive composer remains hard to pin down, and the stylistic diversity in his output is illustrated perfectly by the first two works on this disc, which features pieces composed between 2010 and 2014. Beast Sampler is an anything-goes mix of ideas, many adopted from the electronic studio and combined into a vividly coloured orchestral collage. The sheer unlikeliness of the juxtapositions of glissandos and dense-packed clusters, microtones and snatches of brass chorale, often seem the work's only raison d'etre. In total contrast, O Dessa Ögon for soprano and strings is a perfectly restrained, exquisite miniature, a setting of a poem by Gunnar Ekelöf in which the solo voice (Hannah Holgersson) climbs ever higher over comfortingly tonal strings, in a way that recalls John Tavener. Cold Heat is a return to the flashy orchestral Hillborg. It's a large-scale hybrid between a scherzo and a chorale that begins by commuting between the two musical types and then combining them, but which seems to run out of steam and ideas well before the end, though it is a very efficient piece of orchestral showmanship. But Sirens, easily the most substantial work on the disc, is much more impressive and more serious. It is a half-hour-long setting in English for two sopranos, chorus and orchestra, portraying sections from Homer's Odyssey. As in O Dessa Ögon, the surefootedness and restraint of the music suggest that having a text to set gives Hillborg the focus his unruly imagination needs. It's much less frantic, too, so that the sheer refinement of the ideas get the space they need; Sirens creates a dreamlike atmosphere, wonderfully paced, as if Odysseus's encounter was purely a product of his imagination. The score is unpacked with great care by Esa-Pekka Salonen, with Ida Falk Winland and Holgersson as the entwining soprano soloists. All the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic performances, under Sakari Oramo for Beast Sampler and O Dessa Ögon and David Zinman for Cold Heat, are first-rate; there seems to be no doubt that orchestras enjoy playing Hillborg's music. **** --Guardian, 27/1/16

Rich, sonorous playing from Oramo's orchestra under all three conductors, and singing full of purity, accuracy and fresh air above it. Sirens should be heard. --Gramophone, Feb'16

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1 March 2016
Format: Audio CD|Verified Purchase
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