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Ira Byelick
American Record Guide, July 2012

This program of works for soprano and guitar by Ib Norholm shows humor, grace, passion, and excellent craft. Per Palsson’s guitar playing is precise and colorful, and Else Torp’s voice is beautiful and controlled. Stilleliv (Still Life), from 1968, is a set of five songs for soprano, guitar, and percussion with texts by Poul Borum. They are crystalline and witty…Blomster fra den Danske Poesis Flora (Flowers from the Flora of Danish Poetry) is…clever and good natured, and extremely well constructed. © 2012 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide online



Lynn René Bayley
Fanfare, July 2012

Ib Nørholm is…an excellent composer with a very individual style combining tonal and atonal techniques into extremely interesting structures and often-singable melodies.

I must also say that half of the delight in listening to this disc is Else Torp’s singing. Not only does she possess a clear, pure voice and excellent diction, but she knows how to caress a line and, when called for, there is a fair amount of good humor in her delivery. Nørholm’s style, at least insofar as Still Life goes, is to use the guitar as an important voice, creating snaky countermelodies and rhythms. His music almost always seems to be rhythmless; that is not to say that it doesn’t have any rhythm, but one cannot count beats as one listens. If you try, you’re bound to get lost; but the point is, you don’t have to try. Just being involved in the listening experience is good enough.

Whispers of Heavenly Death…is one of the most interesting pieces on the CD. Here, the music mirrors the rhythm of the words perfectly…

This is a fine, interesting recording of music by a composer I was not previously familiar with…I certainly enjoyed the listening experience. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review



Fabrice Fitch
Gramophone, May 2012

…the composer could hardly wish for more elegant interpreters. Inevitably, Else Torp takes centre stage. In the more modernist pieces her straight tone allows for admirable clarity, while the tonal ones admit of judicious vibrato. Only in the music theatre piece could one have done with more abandon, with Euridice’s venom having still more bite. Ably seconded by her accompanists (with guitarist Per Pålsson enjoying his solo movements in the Orpheus cycle), she delivers polished, assured performances. © 2012 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



David Denton
David's Review Corner, March 2012

Even before Ib Norholm had left secondary school he had composed several works, including an opera based on a story by Hans Christian Andersen.  He went on to attend the Royal Danish Academy and there followed a career as an organist, music critic and progressive composer. For many years his sizeable catalogue of works looked towards serialism as the only way that Danish music would enter the 21st century. Then in the mid-1960’s he changed direction to a highly personalised style that returned to tonality and lyricism, and from therein he became one of the most prolific and highly regarded composers in northern Europe. In the year 2001 he resigned his position as professor at the Royal Danish Academy, though his output of new works remained undiminished. The present disc concentrates on vocal music written in the second-half of the 1960’s, the earliest, the Flowers from the Flora of Danish Poetry, written for soprano and piano, but here recorded in the composer’s arrangement with guitar accompaniment. Norholm was here working in the most simple and pleasing style of tonality that reminds one of American music in the 1930’s, but in the year following he shows a continuing fascination in the possibilities of atonality with Tavole per Orfeo (Tablets for Orpheus). Three songs reflect Eurydice’s view of the famous story complete with the singer’s percussion accompaniment, and are interspersed with three guitar solos played by Orpheus reflecting on the scene. The following year the five songs for soprano, guitar and percussion, Stilleliv (Still Life), finds an increasingly ‘modern’ language that takes us to the abstract sounds of the 1987 Whisper’s of Heavenly Death. In Else Torp we have that pure and almost innocent voice that seems ideal for the music, and she is well partnered by Per Palsson’s admirable guitar playing. © 2012 David’s Review Corner






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9:08:45 PM, 13 July 2014
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