The Nightingale (2011)

Bruun, Rasmussen, Bortz, Praulins

Michala Petri, The Danish National Vocal Ensemble

Stephen Layton

The Nightingale: 4 World premieres! Four modern masters explore the musical possibilities of combining the Recorder and choir! Stephen Layton conducts Danish National Vocal Ensemble and recorder virtuoso Michala Petri.

* ECHO Award Winner
* 2 Grammy Award nominations

The idea of combining the recorder with a choir is certainly nothing new; the recorder has joined the human voice in song for almost as long as the instrument has existed. The recorder is in a sense the closest instrument to the human voice, producing a pure sound without mechanisms, reeds or elaborate mouthpieces to alter the tone. However, until recently, few contemporary composers have explored the expressive potential that this combination can deliver.

A recurring theme of each of the four highly personal and distinctive works on this program is a contemplation of nature and humanity. Beginning with Latvian composer Ugis Praulins magical adaptation of Andersen’s beloved fairy tale, we traverse the darker realms of the human heart in Sunleif Rasmussen’s setting of Inger Christensen’s confessional response to Wallace Steven’s “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.” Young Danish composer Peter Bruun provides us a glimpse into Gerard Manley Hopkins secretive mysticism while Daniel Börtz, dean of Swedish composers, holds us rapt in adoration as his celestial angel-bird soars above the extraordinary virtuoso singing of the Danish National Vocal Ensemble.

Once again, Michala Petri has proven herself not only the unquestioned master of the recorder, but her visionary approach to programming and commitment to expanding her instrument’s repertoire into the 21st century make this an absolutely essential disc for fans of Michala, choral music, Nordic composers, and contemporary music with a Heart as well as with a system.

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Michala Petri

Michala Petri has performed more than 4000 concerts in the worlds leading festivals and Concert Halls,and has broken down the boundaries of her instrument, the recorder. 

Her repertoire spans works from the Baroque, Classicism, Romanticism and extends into contemporary and improvised music. It is precisely this versatility that lies behind her special appeal as an artist. 

Her collaboration in the 90s on two cds with Keith Jarrett, gave her a latent interest in the art of improvisation, which is partly required in Baroque music, though within the narrow borders of the rules of that time. The collaboration was initiated by Keith Jarrett, who heard Michala play in concert at New Yorks Lincoln Centre and suggested that they at some point played something together - which let to two albums of Bach Sonatas and Handel Sonatas. Recently she has taken up playing fully improvised concerts, amongst others with Benjamin Koppel and Carsten Dahl. 

She has received the Leonie Sonning Music Prize, Europa Musicale Soloist Prize, three times the German ECHO KLASSIK Award, amongst others. She has recorded more than 70 cds, several having been Grammy-nominated. 

Artists with whom she has collaborated include Keith Jarrett, Sir Neville Marriner, James Galway, Gidon Kremer, Heinz Holliger, Henryk Szeryng, Pinchas Zukermann, Maurice Andre, Joshua Bell, Mahan Esfahani and Claudio Abbado. Among composers having composed for her are Sir Malcolm Arnold, Gordon Jacob, Per Nørgaard, Vagn Holmboe, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, Olav Anton Thommessen, Sunleif Rasmussen, Bent Sørensen, Steven Stucky, Joan Albert Amargos, Chen Yi, Bright Cheng, Ander and Thomas Koppel and Daniel Børtz. 

photo: Søren Solkær, from booklet

The Danish National Vocal Ensemble

The Danish National Vocal Ensemble is the elite choir of the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR). The ensemble is internationally known for its pure, transparent Nordic sound. Each of the 18 singers is a professional soloist with a strong personal mode of expression. Since 2014, the principal conductor of the ensemble has been Marcus Creed. 

The Danish National Vocal Ensemble presents the whole spectrum of choral music – from Medieval and Renaissance music through Romantic classics to brand new works by young composing talents. Several Nordic composers have written works speci?cally for the Danish National Vocal Ensemble, including Per Nørgård and Svend-David Sandström. 

Each season the Danish National Vocal Ensemble appears in a number of a cappella concerts as well as with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. The choir also appears with period instrument ensembles like Concerto Copenhagen and symphony orchestras from Nordic or other European countries.

The Danish National Vocal Ensemble has recorded a long succession of acclaimed albums. In 2012, they received 2 Grammy nominations and the prestigious German ECHO Award for the CD The Nightingale, recorded with recorder virtuoso Michala Petri. Other prizewinning recordings include Messiaen’s choral works which won the Diapason d’Or de l’Annee in 2016 and the Danish Radio P2 Prize 2016. 

photo: from booklet 'The Secret Mass'

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The Nightingale (2011)

Bruun, Rasmussen, Bortz, Praulins

Michala Petri, The Danish National Vocal Ensemble

    Choral Journal

“One can only hope that the music will be more widely performed”

The Nightingale (2011)

Bruun, Rasmussen, Bortz, Praulins

Michala Petri, The Danish National Vocal Ensemble

Digital Converters: DAD AX24
Editing Software: Pyramix
Microphones: DPA 4006TL (3), DPA 4011TL (2), U89 Neumann (4), Sennheiser MKH40 (1)
Monitoring System: B&W 802 Diamond Speakers

We are pleased to announce the availability of OUR Recordings releases in DSD 64, DSD 128 and DSD 256, as well as the original DXD recorded release.  These higher resolution DSD bitrates were produced from the original DXD recording using a Pyramix Digital Audio Workstation by NativeDSD Mastering Engineer Tom Caulfield.

The sonic advantage to these new Stereo DSD 64, DSD 128 and DSD 256 releases, as with all higher DSD bit rate releases, is the wider audio frequency passband prior to the onset of modulation noise.This results in allowing the listener’s DAC to use gentler and more phase linear filters for playback of the music.

Producer: Preben Iwan
Recording Engineer: Preben Iwan & Mikkel Nymand
Recording location: Christianskirken, Copenhagen, Denmark, August 8-12 2011
Speakers: DXD

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6220605: The Nightingale
00:59:14   Select quality & channels above
Introduction Emperors Garden
00:03:10   Select quality & channels above
Nightingale Theme
00:01:47   Select quality & channels above
Emperor and Gentleman-in-waiting
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In the Quest
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There she is
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At the Palace
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The Artificial Bird
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The Emperor and The Death
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Nemesis divina
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The Sea and the Skylark
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The Caged Skylark
00:03:42   Select quality & channels above

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