PELLE GUNDMUNDSEN-HOLMGREEN (b.1932): Examples, Again, 6 Simple Danish Songs, Statements, 3 Stages, 4 Madrigals from the Natural World.
Catalogue Number: 02M082
Description: A proponent of the so-called 'new simplicity' in Danish music, Gudmundsen-Holmgreen's works are far from 'simple' in its most obvious sense. What they share is a freedom from abstruse and opaque compositional doctrines, and a sense of accessibility that might well extend from the 'classical'-music neophyte to the most 'advanced' musical sophisticate - 'simple' to approach, in other words. His limited choral output exemplifies this approach. The Examples and Statements from the end of the '60s, following the composer's rejection of serial doctrines, are indeed brief, simple demonstrations of the possibilities of vocal textures based on word setting and harmony - not always consonant, and not always conventional. His more recent output just puts these principles into practice; the music is frequently based on apparently conventional tonality, as in the Danish Songs, which are straightforwardly melodic and tuneful; but elsewhere, most notably 'three stages', this tonality is subverted by the most ingenious and innovative accretions of vocal techniques, from coarse, vulgar street cries to ingenious subtle dissonances which strikingly suggest (but never include) electronic manipulation of the voices. The radiant Again of 2006, to Biblical texts, is a study in unorthodox choral textures of unearthly beauty, without the extended vocalizations (and bird- and animal-imitations!) of Stages or Madrigals, but no less individual and enchanting. Danish-English texts. Ars Nova Copenhagen; Paul Hiller. SACD hybrid.