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Holten: Wisdom And Folly, Etc / Holten, Sorensen, Et Al

Release Date: 07/26/2005 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 10320   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Bo Holten
Performer:  Lars PedersenKlaudia KidonAnnette SimonsenJesper Juul Sorensen,   ... 
Conductor:  Bo Holten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish National ChorusDanish National Radio Symphony OrchestraDanish National Orchestra strings,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Bo Holton (b. 1948) is Danish and writes in a moderately advanced but easy-on-the-ears tonal idiom. Unfortunately, he starts his notes with the complaint that his sort of tonal music is not politically correct in the world of Danish new music, especially music for orchestra, hence his concentration on vocal music. This seems both foolish and, on the face of it?since virtually all of these recordings are the product of the Danish Radio?a little peculiar that he should be viewed as being at odds with ?official? taste. Anyway, the music is quite lovely for the most part.

Read more /> Probably the most interesting music is the dramatic ballad Ebbe Skammelsøn for 12 vocal soloists, choir, and trombone. The music, an extended fantasy on the original ballad, is a wonderful 14 minutes of a kind of updated medieval story telling that will be familiar to fans of Orff. Orff seems to be a strong influence throughout. While the music is never strophic, as Orff so often is, it is still very concerned with the sort of rhythmic life that permeated the Bavarian?s music, early and late. Counterpoint is not ignored, but it is never the focus. The most obviously modern music, Tallis Variations, pits a somewhat dissonant ensemble of nine strings against a much more period-sounding wordless choir, all performing music based on a segment of the Lamentations by Tallis. Throughout, there can be nothing but praise for the virtuosity with which Holton handles his varied vocal forces; finally, it is the quality of his melodic invention that saves the music from being bland.

The performances have terrific clarity that is only partially attributable to the recording. Holton leads his own vocal ensemble. That experience in choral conducting is everywhere evident in his writing for voices. Everything sounds, I suspect, exactly as the composer hears it. Moreover, the soloists, who I assume are drawn from the choirs, are all blessed with beautiful voices. Definitely recommended for lovers of virtuoso choral music.

FANFARE: John Story
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Works on This Recording

Wisdom and Folly by Bo Holten
Performer:  Lars Pedersen (Tenor), Klaudia Kidon (Soprano), Annette Simonsen (Alto),
Jesper Juul Sorensen (Trombone), Susse Lillesoe (Soprano), Torsten Borbye Nielsen (Bass)
Conductor:  Bo Holten
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish National Chorus,  Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Danish National Orchestra strings  ... 
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1993; Copenhagen, Denmark 
Ebbe Skammelson by Bo Holten
Conductor:  Bo Holten
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2001; Copenhagen, Denmark 
First Snow by Bo Holten
Conductor:  Bo Holten
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1996; Denmark 
Tallis Variations by Bo Holten
Conductor:  Bo Holten
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1976; Copenhagen, Denmark 
Triumf att finnas till by Bo Holten
Conductor:  Bo Holten
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1995; Copenhagen, Denmark 
Psalm 104 by Bo Holten
Conductor:  Bo Holten
Period: 20th Century 
Written: ?1993; Copenhagen, Denmark 

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