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Christopher Nickol
Gramophone, May 2015

The clarity of La Cour’s choral textures is well conveyed by Trinitatis Kantori, and their conductor Søren Christian Vestergaard directs performances of dignity and restraint. The legato phrasing, combined with the warmth of the adult voices, makes for comfortable listening.

This disc offers a fascinating glimpse into the modern Danish choral and organ culture, and listeners may find it a refreshing change from the usual catalogue of British, French and American composers. La Cour’s skills as a composer, plus the committed performances of choir and organist, give us a very enjoyable disc. © 2015 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



David Denton
David's Review Corner, January 2015

Though the works of the Danish composer, Niels la Cour, has become part of the modern repertoire for choirs in his homeland, internationally he is still little known. Born in 1944, he was originally trained to be an organist, but time spent in Rome pointed him towards the sacred choral traditions of Gregorian chant and the flourishing of the Renaissance era. His return to Denmark took him increasingly into the field of education running in parallel with composition. The present disc offers works for solo organ and choral works—with and without accompaniment—written over the period 1973 and almost to the present day. The opening track, Blessed are they that dwell in thy house mixes the era of Palestrina with modern harmonies, that formula repeated in the other five tracks of choral music. His organ works are more overtly modern, while still retaining the fundamentals of tonality. Others find influences of Messiaen in the Three Intermezzi, but I find scant evidence of that until we come to the nine sections of the Vesper Organi, an extended score lasting more than thirty minutes. There is Messiaen’s bird song here, but it is a very personal document with a hint of Minimalism, and shows his knowledge and command of the instrument in the many unusual sonorities he creates. A modern work that organists around the world must surely take up. The singing of the choir from Trinitatis Church in Copenhagen is of great beauty; the church’s organ, originally built in 1956, a fine instrument, and the recorded sound is excellent. In total the disc has my unqualified recommendation. © 2015 David’s Review Corner





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