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Kate Wakeling
BBC Music Magazine, March 2017

At the heart of the disc is Mignon (2013-14), a captivating concerto for piano and strings. The score is at once dreamy yet precise, neo-Romantic yet crisply modern, complex yet rich in space and silence. There is an almost unbearable, icy tenderness to the music and the intricate score is performed with great clarity and beauty by pianist Katrine Gislinge and the Lapland Chamber Orchestra. © 2017 BBC Music Magazine

David Denton
David's Review Corner, January 2017

Born in Denmark in 1958, Bent Sorensen is one of the most enigmatic composers of our time, his mix of silence, sparsity, and beauty characterising his works to date. The disc opens with its most extensive score, Mignon – Papillons, a trio of loosely interrelated pieces for piano and various permutations of strings. To describe it as tonal or atonal would be misleading, the ‘music’ often expressed in tonal clusters, the harmonic language at times looking for an expressive comeliness arriving next to purely brutal passages. These mood swings may well be a road down which music will travel, and where Sorensen’s silences become as important as sound. Further than that I would hesitate to add to my personal cold and dissociated reaction to the score. It was completed in 2014, the same year as Serenissima for solo violin, its central section of hard-edged impact, surrounded by passages of peace. He had already written another short work for the instrument, The Lady of Shalott, and it is here the disc comes close to melodic invention, the conductor and outstanding violinist, John Storgårds, being the soloist in both. Maybe the wailing of Sinful Songs for small mixed ensemble, and completed in 1998, would be an entry point to the uninitiated, for here you will find the continuity that I miss in the sound-world of Standchen, a score for wind and strings. We end with a work that “speaks of our inevitable collective decline” in The Weeping White Room, it is a decline to be dreaded. The disc must have presented a massive challenge to members of the Lapland Chamber Orchestra, but it has that feel of musicians who totally believe in the music and are anxious to communicate that to their audience. The recording quality is outstanding. © 2017 David’s Review Corner

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