PER NØRGÅRD (b.1932): Strings for String Trio, Tjampuan for Violin and Cello, Pastorale from Babette’s Feast for String Trio, KAIJA SAARIAHO (b.1952): Cloud Trio for String Trio, BENT SØRENSEN (b.1958): Gondole for String Trio, HENRIK HELLSTENIUS (b.1963): Rift for String Trio.

Catalogue Number: 03S064

Label: BIS

Reference: 2269

Format: CD

Price: $19.98

Description: Sørensen's suite of pieces was inspired by images of Venice; not the sunlit picture-postcard Venice for tourists, apparently, but a rather darker vision of the city. Insubstantial, dreamlike textures suggesting ghosts haunt one movement; one has two episodes of Renaissance-style music, again hinting at the city's history; the last movement suggests a limping barcarolle, its detuned intervals symbolising decay. Saariaho's piece draws its imagery from the forms and movements of clouds, combining surprisingly tonal harmony (though this is subject to timbral malleability in places) with an organic flexibility of form. The Hellstenius consists of disconnected, sharp fragments and gestures, clear and abrupt as shards of broken glass. The disc is anchored by two works by Nørgård from 1992, Strings, which follows the basic scheme of a four-movement classical structure, and the duo Tjampuan which explores the overlapping and mingling of two streams of similar material. Strings makes use of Nørgård's familiar geometrical structures, and both works feature extensive hocketing between instruments, and the composer's hard-edged extended tonality. The melancholy, tonal Pastorale is a lyrical adjunct to a film score on which the composer was working in 1988. Trio Aristos.

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