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Sov, Sov, Liten Gut [2:01] Jaakko MÄNTYJÄRVI(b.
Die Stimme des Kindes [4:45] Traditional
Bansull [2:06] Per NORGÅRD(b. 1932)
Wie ein Kind I [3:38] Traditional
Bia, Bia Lite Ban [3:43] Per NORGÅRD
Wie ein Kind II - Frühlings-Lied [7:35] Traditional
Bia, Bia Lite Ban [2:23] Marcus PAUS(b. 1979)
The Stolen Child [10:58] Traditional
Bansull fra Telemark [2:28] Per NORGÅRD
Wie ein Kind III - Trauermarsch Mit Einem Unglücksfall [2:05]
Bysjan, Bysjan Lite Bån [2:29]
Ensemble 96/Kjetil Almenning
Nidaros String Quartet
rec. January 2010, Uranienborg Church, Norway.
Disc 1: Hybrid SACD, MCH 5.0 DSD, Stereo DSD; Disc 2: Pure Audio
Blu-ray: DTS HD MA 192kHz/24 bit 5.0, LPCM 192kHz/24 bit STEREO.
mShuttle: FLAC 96kHz + MP3. Region: ABC - worldwide. 2L 2L076SABD
This set is a recording of Scandinavian music for chamber choir,
all dealing with children (“Kind” means “child”
in Norwegian). One track, The Stolen Child, is for chamber
choir and string quartet. The recording intersperses traditional
folk-songs from Norway with more-or-less contemporary compositions
by three Nordic composers.
But first, an overview of what the set contains. There are two
discs: the first a CD, which is a hybrid SACD. The second is
much more complex. It is a Blu-Ray audio disc, which features
pretty much every format you’d ever want to listen to.
Standard playback offers 5.0 and stereo in 24-bit, 192 kHz format.
But if your Blu-Ray player is connected to a network, you can
access audio files on the disc in FLAC 24-bit 96 kHz and 192
kHz formats, 320 kbps MP3, and WAV. So, you can listen to the
CD in standard or SACD format; you can listen to the Blu-Ray
disc in stereo and surround sound; and you can either rip the
CD, or copy the files from the Blu-Ray disc, if you so desire,
in high-resolution FLAC files, compressed MP3 files, or standard
stereo WAV files.
Frankly, all this can get a bit confusing for most listeners
who simply want the music. I had no trouble accessing the files
from my Blu-Ray player, but there may be many people who cannot
do this, and if 2L really wanted to provide easy access to these
files, they should probably have included a DVD containing just
But on to the music. This is a brief, yet profound disc of choral
music, which combines, in counterpoint, alternating folk-songs
and modern choral works. The music is, at times, joyous, and,
at others haunting. Marcus Paus’s The Stolen Child,
the only work with the string quartet, and the longest work
on the disc, is perhaps the most impressive. In just over ten
minutes, it presents a sound-world that is astounding and moving,
with hints of medieval Norwegian music. The folk-songs, some
of which are different versions of the same songs from different
regions of Norway, have that timeless character of fine, traditional
folk-music. Jaakko Mäntyjärvi’s Die Stimme
des Kindes is a heartbreakingly sweet work. And the three
songs by Per Norgård are oddly interesting works.
What stands out most about this recording, however, is the recording
itself. In surround-sound, the choir envelops the listener fully
in a sphere of sound. Closing my eyes, I could feel myself to
be among the choir as they sang. The sound is especially impressive
for The Stolen Child, the Paus work for choir and string
This disc is brief; just over 44 minutes. Would that it were
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