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Rebecca Franks
BBC Music Magazine, December 2016

Hans Abrahamsen’s music is having a moment in the spotlight, and this is another excellent contribution from the Ensemble MidtVest. 1970s wind quintets open the programme, followed by loving arrangements of Schumann’s Anderszenen and Ravel’s Le tombeau Le Couperin. © 2016 BBC Music Magazine




Richard Whitehouse
Classicalsource.com, August 2016

That Hans Abrahamsen has again established himself among the most significant composers of his generation can only be to the good of contemporary music. …these four works blend seamlessly as an overall sequence, moreover, says much for his strength of persona.

The performances by Ensemble MidtVest could scarcely be improved on for clarity of ensemble and that expressive acuity as defines each of these works, while the cool yet never clinical sound and Jens Cornelius’s detailed booklet notes are further enhancements. © 2016 Classicalsource.com Read complete review



David Mellor
Gramophone, August 2016

…all the score’s curious mixture of bite and nostalgia is absolutely and deliciously conveyed. © 2016 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Leslie Wright
MusicWeb International, July 2016

…the best movement is the famous Träumerei where the oboe is omitted altogether and the clarinet leads the others. It is really quite beautiful and here one hardly misses the piano. Ensemble MidtVest performs well, as they also do in the original works.

…this disc is valuable for providing excellent accounts of Abrahamsen’s wind quintets—all 18 minutes of them—and it gives the listener a taste of the composer’s ability as an arranger. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, April 2016

Hans Abrahamsen’s search for musical purity in an increasingly complex world, where vogues quickly come and go, brought a halt to his compositions in 1989. Reasons for that creative block can be understood from this unusual release, the two works that open the disc dating from the 1970’s when he was moving from his teenage years into maturity. They were both written for wind quintet, Abrahamsen having entered the Royal Danish Academy to study the French horn and later becoming a member of a wind quintet. Both works are short in length, Landskaber (Landscapes), shaped in three musical pictures, lasting just a little over seven minutes, while the Second Wind Quintet, completed six years later in 1978, show a concise approach to music that has been handed down from the Second Viennese School, the four movements lasting around eleven minutes. His further link with that school comes in his use of atonality in the lineage of Berg and Webern. If he was searching in those early years for a completely new musical voice, the remainder of the disc shows that, after his ten year sabbatical, he has now found a simplicity in the arrangement for wind quintet of Schumann’s Kinderszenen, and Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin, the latter in itself a return to the Baroque world, and a work that I commend to wind ensembles. To put the seal on Abrahamsen’s search for purity, these arrangements are made in the most straightforward use, and strict adherence to the notes in the piano scores. The performers are the very talented Danish group, Ensemble MidtVest, who fit quite comfortably into the composer’s two very differing musical worlds. The recording is just a little too close to the performers for my taste, and is best played at a low volume setting. © 2016 David’s Review Corner





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