Poul Ruders: Rudersdal Chamber Players

Rudersdal Chamber Players

(2 press reviews)
Original Recording Format: DXD
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This album from Our Recordings features “Important chamber music works by Poul Ruders” played by the Rudersdal Chamber Players. With his characteristic wit and quirkiness, Grammy-nominated Danish composer Poul Ruders has summed up his mission as a composer as being “To entertain, to enrich, and to disturb, not necessarily in that order.

This program features works spanning 30 years, beginning with the elliptical Throne (1989) for clarinet and piano and two major chamber works, the Clarinet Quintet and Piano Quartet, dating from 2014 and 2016 respectively.

The Rudersdal Chamber Players tell us “We want to dedicate this recording to our late friend Hjarne Fessel, who passed away a few months before we started recording. Hjarne was a friend and collaborator of the composer, the ensemble, the producer and the label, and had a key role in initiating this recording.”

Rudersdal Chamber Players
Jonas Frolund – Clarinet
Christine Pryn – Violin
Isabelle Bania – Violin
Mina Fred – Viola
John Ehde – Cello
Manuel Esperilla – Piano


Please note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Clarinet Quintet (2014): I. Avanti all Breve
Clarinet Quintet (2014): II. Adagio Sognante
Clarinet Quintet (2014): III. Animato
Throne (1988)
Piano Quartet (2016): Awakening
Piano Quartet (2016): Innocent
Piano Quartet (2016): Sprightly
Piano Quartet (2016): Translucent

Total time: 00:58:06

Additional information





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Analog to Digital Converters

Horus, Merging Technologies at DXD (352.8 kHz)


We want to dedicate this recording to our late friend Hjarne Fessel, who passed away a few months before we started recording. Hjarne was a friend and collaborator of the composer, the ensemble, the producer and the label, and had a key role in initiating this recording.

Executive Producers

Hjarne Fessel and Lars Hannibal


Monitored on B&W 802D Nautilus Diamond speakers

Mastering Engineer

Preben Iwan


2x DPA 4006-TL, 2x Neumann U89, 2x DPA 4015-TL, 2x DPA 4011 & Royer SF24


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Original Recording Format


Horus, Merging Technologies


Mette Due (Clarinet Quartet) & Preben Iwan (Throne & Piano Quartet)

Recording Engineers

Mette Due (Clarinet Quartet) & Preben Iwan (Throne & Piano Quartet)

Release DateSeptember 2, 2022

Press reviews

Positive Feedback

I’ve very much enjoyed these chamber music pieces written over a period straddling three decades, the clarinet and piano piece “Throne” from 1988 through the “Clarinet Quintet” (2014) and the “Piano Quartet” (2016).

Ruders is a self-taught composer. His language is largely tonal, but definitely modern, reveling in contrasts and sharp atonal outbursts. No, I’m not being entirely contradictory here in this statement, but to understand you’ll need to listen. In sum, I’ve enjoyed this album immensely and will now seeking more of Ruders’ recorded compositions. Highly recommended.

Politiken 5 out of 5

Playing the clarinet is lush. The musical gesture is playful, but also thoughtful. The music can dance. But it can also become dreamy soft.

Would Johannes Brahms have composed like this if he had lived today? No, self-consequently not exactly like that. Anyway, the Danish composer Poul Ruders’ chamber music works on a new album from the Rudersdal Chamber Players are just as safely written as Brahms’ chamber music works from the 1800s. That’s a bit of a praise. But they actually are.

Poul Ruders can write for an orchestra, but in his intimate chamber music works, three of which can be experienced on this new album, it is for the first time the excellent composition craftsmanship that strikes one. This is the sound of today, one thinks immediately. It was only at the second listening that I realized how unbelievably uncomfortable the low-measure of the slow rate of Ruders’ clarinet quintet is. Whisper! What are we actually looking into here? Something strange electric clay something really bad?

It is the clarinet, Brahms’ favorite instrument in his late chamber music works, that is in focus. In Ruder’s long work “Throne” takes the leading role, and the composer won’t say which throne it is. This long, mysterious piece for clarinet and piano is a silent ‘Game of Thrones‘, where the listener has to poem themselves out of a hand-full cue. Elevation, Unity, Diamonds, Crown … that’s all we have to look for.

But that’s enough too! Ruders, the horror master among Danish composers, unfolds in these works for few instruments like the dreamer – and at the same time the craftsman who really knows how to write for the various instruments, as heard in his quartet of piano and strings.

Something is waking up. Some people are dreaming. Something gestures, and like in the other works on the album, the music ends up calming down. Is this beautiful? Or disturbing? At first it just sounds like solid chamber music. An update on what the grand master of the field, good old Brahms, could accomplish. But what did Johannes see, to now return to the title of Poul Ruders’ scary and effective apocalypse work from the 1980s? He saw pale riders, death and judgment day.

Listen to it again – and feel the shudder. This is an album you need to listen to multiple times. You will be rewarded for it. Also because the musicians in the Rudersdal ensemble with the outstanding young clarinetist Jonas Frølund up front play really well.


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