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Hallgrimsson: Passia / Askelsson, Nessinger, Cortes, Et Al

Release Date: 03/23/2004 
Label:  Ondine   Catalog #: 1027   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Haflidi Hallgrimsson
Performer:  Mary NessingerGardar Thór Cortes
Conductor:  Hordur Askelsson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallgrimskirkja Motet ChoirHallgrímskirkja Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 1 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Haflidi Hallgrímsson's dark and dramatic Passia is based on texts by 20th century Icelandic poets, as well as on the Passiusalmar (Hymns of Passion) by 17th-century priest Hallgrimur Pettursson. The music vividly relates the grim last hours in the life of Christ as Hallgrímsson employs a mostly modernist language, with stark dissonances and riveting timbral and dynamic contrasts, especially in the explosive first and second movements. Throughout it's easy to discern the influence of Penderecki both in the powerful orchestral effects and in the choral writing, however Hallgrímsson succeeds in weaving this into his own unique style. Amid all this turbulence there are many moments of serenity, as in the
Read more ethereally beautiful choral passage at the center of Movement 4, and especially in the work's closing bars, where the female voices intone alternating C and G major chords, sounding like a celestial choir welcoming the weary soul to its final peace. Passia owes much of its success to the work of soloists Mary Nessinger and Gardar Thór Cortes, who offer impassioned singing, as well as to the excellence of the Hallgrímskirkja Motet Choir and Chamber Orchestra under conductor Hórdur Áskelsson's inspired direction. Ondine's recording captures the spacious acoustic in vivid, high-impact sound. [9/27/2004]

--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Passia, Op. 28 by Haflidi Hallgrimsson
Performer:  Mary Nessinger (Mezzo Soprano), Gardar Thór Cortes (Tenor)
Conductor:  Hordur Askelsson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallgrimskirkja Motet Choir,  Hallgrímskirkja Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2001; Iceland 

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