Magnificat (2014)

Gjeilo, Arnesen, Kernis

Nidarosdomens jentekor, TrondheimSolistene

Anita Brevik

The Magnificat is the Virgin Mary’s song of praise to God after one of the Bible’s greatest wonders: the angel Gabriel visiting her with the message that she is to be the mother of God’s son. In his setting Kim André Arnesen expresses the feelings Mary must have felt: wonder, devotion, gratitude, joy, humility, hope, and compassion.

God’s selection of an unknown woman living in poverty to be the mother of His son is a bottom-up view of the world if ever there was one – and Arnesen sees the Magnificat as offering support and hope for all people struggling against adversity or in need of strength. Musica Celestis portrays the ceaseless praising of God by angels in heaven.

Aaron Jay Kernis builds his work around a fairly simple melody which he remolds in a series of variations. The intensely beautiful and mostly barren Hardangervidda mountain plateau inspired Ola Gjeilo to write Tundra, while his Song of the Universal expresses unabashed optimism, exuberance, and poet Walt Whitman’s unwavering confidence in our deeper humanity – all through the prism of a big, warm, beating heart.

Magnificat is one of 2L's Best-Selling albums of the entire catalog! Along with the album Quiet Winter Night.

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Nidarosdomens jentekor

Nidaros Cathedral Girls’ Choir was founded in 1992 and is based at Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, Norway. The choir consists of the Girls’ Group (ages 10-13) and the Youth Group (ages 14-19), a total of 75 singers under the leadership of conductor and artistic director Anita Brevik. The choir has come to be recognized as one of the finest youth choral ensembles in Norway, and is noted for its sublime artistry and innovative programming. The choir is characterized by its high artistic standards as well as its considerable musical versatility, and has commissioned and premiered many works.
Nidaros Cathedral Girls’ Choir has always maintained the highest artistic ambitions with a particular commitment to commissioning new music for upper voices. The choir collaborates regularly with professional musicians and artists, and enjoys a close relationship with the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra and The Trondheim Soloists. The choir has also collaborated with internationally renowned conductors including Andrew Parrott, Bob Chilcott, Stephen Layton, Edward Higginbottom, Grete Pedersen and Anton Armstrong. In 2002 they sang at the wedding of HRH Princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn, and have performed for the King and Queen of Norway on several occasions. The choir has twice appeared in Christmas productions for American television in collaboration with St. Olaf Choir, USA. The programmes were recorded in Nidaros Cathedral and broadcast on PBS and NRK in 2005 and 2013. The 2013 production “Christmas in Norway with The St. Olaf Choir and the Nidarosdomens Jentekor” received two Emmy Awards.
In 2011 the choir held two concerts at the World Symposium on Choral Music at Puerto Madryn, Argentina, as one of 20 leading ensembles selected from all around the world. The choir performs regularly outside Trondheim, both in Norway and abroad. In 2010 the choir received the Trondheim kommunes kulturpris, an award for their contribution to the cultural life of the city, and in January 2018 they were recipients of the Liv Ullmann Award. Their album MAGNIFICAT was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Surround Sound Album. LUX is the choir’s fifth recording.
photo: from booklet LUX (2L)


The Trondheim Soloists (Trondheimsolistene) from Norway is one of the most exciting young ensembles performing on the international stage.

February 2011. A group of classical musicians from Norway is back at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, sharing the red carpet with the greatest names in musical entertainment. They’re not from a powerhouse orchestra in Oslo or Bergen, but from a picturesque town hemmed in by mountains and a fjord. They’re the Trondheim Soloists, accepting their fifth Grammy nomination in three years.

It’s the latest in a long list of accolades. The ensemble’s spirit, diligence and innovation are paying off again – this pure, lithe, unpredictable and idiosyncratic group fast building a reputation for quality and originality.

It started in 1988. The ensemble for training young string players soon became known for its energy and warmth. On its first foreign tour, London audiences wouldn’t stop clapping. The Trondheim Soloists turned professional, but the spirit of apprenticeship stayed: student musicians became part of its constitution.

Major collaborations followed. Anne-Sophie Mutter sought-out the ensemble’s energy and verve. Leif Ove Andsnes tapped into its smoothness and sensitivity. Folk and rock artists discovered its versatility and openness.

Trondheim, though, always shines through. They call it ‘the city with a heart’. And that’s precisely what you hear in the unmistakable Trondheim sound.


Anita Brevik

Anita Brevik (b. 1964) is artistic director and conductor of Nidaros Cathedral Girls’ Choir and has been involved in the choir’s work since the start in 1992. Her careful and systematic training with the girls’ voices has yielded outstanding results, and the choir’s warm and homogenous sound has become its trademark. Anita believes that the choir should provide a basis for both musical and personal growth; during a crucial period of their lives, the girls learn order, discipline, patience and the importance of being well prepared. And that each voice, each individual personality, is a unique part of the whole that constitutes the choir. In 2018 Anita Brevik received the King’s Medal of Merit for her work with Nidaros Cathedral Girls’ Choir.

photo: from booklet LUX (2L)

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Magnificat (2014)

Gjeilo, Arnesen, Kernis

Nidarosdomens jentekor, TrondheimSolistene

    NativeDSD - 2019 Album of the Year - Classical Vocal & Audience Award

Contemporary choral music composed by composers who are all not only alive but surprisingly young? Contemporary music which is not only rich in melody but deceptively simple? This is a superb album by Nidarosdomens Jentekor girls choir, the Trondheim Solistene Chamber Orchestra, and vocal and instrumental soloists all under the direction of Anita Brevik. My reaction to this music is the same I felt the very first time I heard Maurice Durufle’s magnicent Requiem more than 50 years ago. Listening to the Magnicat by Kim Andre Arnesen, Musica Celestis by Aaron Jay Kernis, and Tundra and Song of the Universal by Ola Gjelio with the mixture of girls choir and adult sopranos is totally uplifting. 2L’s recording is magnificent.”

Bill Dodd, NativeDSD Senior Reviewer[read full review]

    Positive Feedback

I am listening to the Double DSD version of Magnificat while I am writing these notes to you. The second track, "Ecce enim," is simply floating in the air…three-dimensionally…transforming my desktop space into a sound field like unto a church space…which is where it was recorded…an echoing realm of angels and humans singing glory, glory. Right here. Right now. I don't quite know how Morten Lindberg and friends have done it, though their technical notes in the booklet are, as usual, wonderfully thorough…but this recording in Double DSD is a contemplative experience of the very highest order, stunning both spirit and soul with a sweetness and pleasure that reminds me why I love the possibilities of the audio arts so passionately. 2L's Magnificat is a true garden of delight for lovers of great music, one that I will return to again and again in the future, I know. Truly transformational art: I can pay no higher tribute to a recording than this. It has my very highest recommendation.

David W. Robinson[read full review]

    Audiophile Audition -

As indicated, the music is first rate and the sound exceptionally resonant and deep, actually as good as you are going to hear on a SACD [DSD download]. Do something for your spirit and get this.

Steven Ritter[read full review]

Magnificat (2014)

Gjeilo, Arnesen, Kernis

Nidarosdomens jentekor, TrondheimSolistene

Amplifiers: Millennia Media
Digital Converters: Syphnx 2 and Horus, Merging Technologies
Editing Software: Pyramix, Merging Technologies
Financial Support: Arts Council Norway and Torstein Erbos Gavefond
Mastering Engineer: Pyramix, Merging Technologies
Microphones: DPA Microphones
Producer: Morten Lindberg
Recording Engineer: Morten Lindberg
Recording Location: Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, Normay in May 2013, January 2014, and May 2014
Recording Software: Pyramix, Merging Technologies
Recording Technician: Beatrice Johannessen
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DXD

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2L106: Magnificat
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Arnesen - MAGNIFICAT 1. Magnificat anima mea
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Arnesen - MAGNIFICAT 2. Ecce enim
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Arnesen - MAGNIFICAT 3. Quia fecit
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Arnesen - MAGNIFICAT 4. Et misericordia
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Arnesen - MAGNIFICAT 5. Fecit potentiam
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Arnesen - MAGNIFICAT 6. Suscepit Israel
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Arnesen - MAGNIFICAT 7. Gloria Patri
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Kernis - Musica Celestis
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Gjeilo - Tundra
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Gjeilo - Song of the Universal
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