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Ten Years

Nobili
Release Date: 02/12/2013 
Label:  Smekkleysa   Catalog #: 77   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Bára GrímsdóttirHrodmar I SigurbjörnssonHildigunnur RúnarsdóttirAtli Heimir Sveinsson,   ... 
Performer:  Gudrídur Thóra GísladóttirLovisa ArnadóttirArny Ingvarsdottir
Conductor:  Jón Stephánsson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Graduale Nobili
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 55 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



TEN YEARS GRADUALE NOBILI Jón Stephánsson, cond; Graduale nobili SMEKKLEYSA SMK77 (54:57 Text and Translation)


One can hardly assert that the music of Iceland, of any period, is much known. I suppose it would be hard even to name an Icelandic composer other than Jón Leifs and, perhaps, recently in these pages, Hafli?i Hallgrímsson and, say, one other (apart from Björk). Yet, there is much of musical interest on that island, not least in its choral music.

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The music on this disc is mostly recently composed, as near as I can tell (there is no information about it other than the name of the composer and author of the words), often by Icelandic composers to older Icelandic texts. To this, the settings of poems from Lorca by the Finnish composer, Einojuhani Rautavaara, fall outside, as does the hilarious arrangement by conductor Jón Stephánsson of Rimsky-Korsakov’s bumblebee. Five of the texts set are Marian songs, six if one also counts the Magnificat by Tryggvi M. Baldvinsson, together with the Lorca suite, the major piece on the recording. Rautavaara’s Lorca settings come from 1973 and require exact tuning to make their variety of choral effect, something not at all a problem for this choir. Baldvinsson’s Magnificat, which seems to be from a larger setting of the Vespers, is largely homophonic and is a quiet meditation upon those words.


Most of the music can best be described as “approachable modern” and, in the voices of this choir, is impeccably done. It is also refreshingly off the beaten track and well worth knowing about. The clarity of the ensemble’s sound is a real pleasure to listen to, and they show no fear of Rautavaara’s often challenging demands. Though of 24 singers, the whole sound is light, yet they can call upon an impressive range of volume. This disc is a compilation of 10 years of work by this Icelandic women’s choir, Graduale nobili, most of whom are professional musicians and have been associated with the musically active Langholts Church in Reykjavik. I have had to guess at the name of the production company and have inferred it from the disc number. It might, however, be under Fermata.


FANFARE: Alan Swanson
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Works on This Recording

1.
Eg vil lofa eina _á (I will Praise Her and Laud), for mixed choir by Bára Grímsdóttir
Conductor:  Jón Stephánsson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Graduale Nobili
Written: 1997 
Length: 3 Minutes 16 Secs. 
2.
Vökuró (Awake in Peace), for chorus by Hrodmar I Sigurbjörnsson
Conductor:  Jón Stephánsson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Graduale Nobili
Length: 2 Minutes 58 Secs. 
3.
Maríuljod (A Poem of Mary), for chorus by Hildigunnur Rúnarsdóttir
Conductor:  Jón Stephánsson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Graduale Nobili
Length: 3 Minutes 28 Secs. 
4.
Haustvísur til Máríu (Autumn Verses to the Virgin Mary), for chorus by Atli Heimir Sveinsson
Conductor:  Jón Stephánsson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Graduale Nobili
Period: Contemporary 
Length: 3 Minutes 16 Secs. 
5.
Maríukvædi (A Mary poem), for chorus by Atli Heimir Sveinsson
Conductor:  Jón Stephánsson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Graduale Nobili
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
6.
Salutatio Mariae, for chorus by Jón Nordal
Conductor:  Jón Stephánsson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Graduale Nobili
Length: 3 Minutes 13 Secs. 
7.
Haec est sancta solemnitas, for chorus by Thorkell Sigurbjörnsson
Conductor:  Jón Stephánsson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Graduale Nobili
Length: 3 Minutes 17 Secs. 
8.
Tale of Tsar Saltan: Suite, Op. 57 - Flight of the bumblebee by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Conductor:  Jón Stephánsson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Graduale Nobili
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903; Russia 
Length: 1 Minutes 37 Secs. 
9.
Barnagæla (Nursery Rhyme), for chorus by Hjálmar H. Ragnarsson
Conductor:  Jón Stephánsson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Graduale Nobili
Period: Contemporary 
Length: 2 Minutes 42 Secs. 
10.
Vocalisa, for chorus by Hildigunnur Rúnarsdóttir
Conductor:  Jón Stephánsson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Graduale Nobili
Length: 5 Minutes 0 Secs. 
11.
Raudi riddarinn (The Red Knight), for chorus by Hreidar Ingi _orsteinsson
Conductor:  Jón Stephánsson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Graduale Nobili
Length: 1 Minutes 50 Secs. 
12.
Vesper: Magnificat by Tryggvi M. Baldvinsson
Conductor:  Jón Stephánsson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Graduale Nobili
Period: Contemporary 
Length: 8 Minutes 50 Secs. 
13.
Sálmur 100 (Psalm 100), for chorus & organ by Tryggvi M. Baldvinsson
Conductor:  Jón Stephánsson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Graduale Nobili
Period: Contemporary 
Length: 5 Minutes 43 Secs. 
14.
Lorca Suite by Einojuhani Rautavaara
Performer:  Gudrídur Thóra Gísladóttir (Voice), Lovisa Arnadóttir (Voice), Arny Ingvarsdottir (Voice)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1973; Finland 
Length: 6 Minutes 17 Secs. 

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