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Our world is wounded. All around us we see the cracks. And yet the world is beautiful and blessed in so many ways. This extraordinary work begins from the Beatitudes and responds with new poetry that sheds light on who among us might be in need of blessing. These texts, ancient and new, are woven into a colorful tapestry of music inspired by a variety of traditions, highlighting the universality of the human experience. Tuvayhun creates an opportunity for performers and listeners alike to inspire and be inspired, to be blessed, and be a blessing.
In “Tuvayhun: Beatitudes for a Wounded World” we seek to address this fragility, and the part we are called to play in healing it. “Tuvayhun” in Aramaic is the first word in each of the Beatitudes, “Blessed…” In the Sermon on the Mount from the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus likely spoke this exact word as he pointed out those who were especially blessed in the eyes of God; but his was not a predictable list. He did not say, “Blessed are the big donors” or “Blessed are the Church leadership” or “Blessed are those who pray the loudest.” Instead, he shocked his listeners by blessing not those who have joy, but those who mourn; not the righteous, but those who are poor in spirit; not the powerful, but the peacemakers, and the meek. He blessed the sinners, the broken, the marginalized.
The music of Tuvayhun takes us on a journey through deep emotions and deeply human situations. The music moves in and out, occupying the liminal space between ancient and modern, sacred and profane. We move from semi-liturgical chant to lively folk dance, from rich orchestral layers to stark solos, from the familiar to the exotic, and back again. The music illuminates the many different peoples and experiences the texts evoke, and serves in sonic form as a reminder of the universal and enduring message of the Beatitudes.
Nidaros Cathedral Girls’ Choir (Nidarosdomens Jentekor)
Anita Brevik – Conductor
Trondheim Soloists (TrondheimSolistene)
Ola Lindseth – Orchestra Leader
Kirsti Huke – Vocal
Mohammed Al-Majzoub – Vocal
Hans Fredrik Jacobsen – Flutes
Hans-Kristian Kjos Sørensen – Cimbalom
Ruth Potter – Harp
Espen Aalberg – Percussion
Carl Haakon Waadeland – Percussion
Total time: 01:19:41
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Anita Brevik, Nidaros Cathedral Girls’ Choir (Nidarosdomens jentekor), Ola Lindseth, Trondheim Soloists (TrondheimSolistene)
|Original Recording Format|
|Release Date||August 26, 2022|
Classical Music Blog
Kim André Arnesen (b. 1980) is the man behind “Tuvayhun” – an all-evening choral work that deals with a wounded earth – in every respect. And the idea of including different sounds and tones from parts of the world is good.
“Tuvayhun” is big – in many ways. It is 80 minutes long, is thoroughly worked out, and has a number of good and important textual contributions that Charles Anthony Silvestri has penned. And it is largely the religious aspect that characterizes the work.
Now “Tuvayhun” could become a political work – a work that could take a firm hold of both the world’s leaders, religion and people’s addictive “give-a-little-the-blow attitude“. This could have ruffled the soul of the listener a little, but instead the undersigned finds it a little too beautiful – a little too mournful – a little too polished and with perhaps a little too much weight placed on the inspiration from folk tunes around. Yes, even the recognizable opening theme from “Welcome To The Era” is registered in “Rakel’s Song“. Nevertheless – we can immediately hear that this is Arnesen’s world of music – music that many embrace – but this work is not directly innovative.
Having said that, a bunch of flowers go to the actors. Nidaros Cathedral’s Girls’ Choir is perfect in the soundscape created by the composer. The Trondheim Soloists are solid fellow players and the work’s soloists do absolutely nothing to shame the finished result.
It is Anita Brevik who leads it all and, as usual, the sound produced by Morten Lindberg & Co. is of the highest order (it is conceivable that a new Grammy nomination awaits).
Every time a new recording from the company 2L appears, it’s something like a holiday at home. Why? Because I know that it is quality that is served – whatever the genre. The masterpiece “Tuvayhun” is certainly no exception.
No matter how much we disagree, I think most people agree that we live on and are part of a wounded globe. It has been a very long time since our dear globe has been as fragile as it is today. At the same time, we can also agree that the same globe is a wonderful place – a place that we must take care of in many ways, both for ourselves, but not least for those who come after us.
Phrasing? Possibly so, but no less true and important for that reason. Can music be involved in this process? Simply put and as Gard Nilssen says to boredom: Music is the healing force of the universe.
Composer Kim André Arnesen’s (41) composition can certainly help ensure a good contribution in this respect. He has written exceptionally beautiful and magnificent music to texts by Charles Anthony Silvestri, which the Grammy winners in Nidaros Cathedral’s Girls’ Choir together with the brilliant Trondheim Soloists interpret in a way that makes the sensory apparatus and emotions respond in a heartfelt way.
When such soloists as Kirsti Huke and Mohammed Al-Majzoub on vocals, Hans Fredrik Jacobsen on flutes, Hans-Kristian Kjos Sørensen on cimbalon, Ruth Potter on harp and Carl Haakon Waadeland and Espen Aalberg on percussion are there and give it all a lovely spice just right where needed, this has become nothing less than a masterpiece of almost 80 minutes.
Nidaros Cathedral’s Girls’ Choir and sound maestro Morten Lindberg has previously won a Grammy for the recording “Lux”. A new candidate has definitely appeared here. “Tuvayhun” sounds big and great in every way.
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