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Stuart Sillitoe
MusicWeb International, November 2019

Throughout this recording the Ensemble MidtVest are excellent. I have come to associate them with more romantic Nordic music but here they show that they are equally adept and at home in the more modern. This is a performance that makes me long to hear more of Per Nørgård’s wonderful music, performed by the same musicians. I hope it is not too long before Dacapo oblige. The performance is backed up by wonderful recorded sound and an equally committed, informative booklet essay, making this a most valuable addition to my collection. © 2019 MusicWeb International Read complete review




Andrew Mellor
Gramophone, October 2019

Different facets—or rather, perhaps, a broad portrait—of this Danish composer’s beguiling music, performed with passion and complete affinity with his sound world by Ensemble MidtVest. © 2019 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



David Denton
David's Review Corner, August 2019

Now aged eighty-seven, Per Norgard is the most frequently performed Danish composer of his generation, Dacapo adding four further works to their discography.

With over four hundred scores in his comprehensive portfolio in every genre, the disc offers works for chamber ensemble written at various points of his life. Opening in 1970 with Whirl’s World, scored for wind quintet, and coming from a period when he was fascinated in the theory of creating new notes that in reality do not exist, the result seemingly a form of atonality, more fascinating than likeable being my personal response. It would be easy to visualise ghostly apparitions where tonality does eventually inject a tangible quality. Three years later, Norgard used the same idea in his Trio No. 2 for clarinet, cello and piano, titled Spell. Here I find it engrossing in its intent, most of the sounds creating beauty, the use of three very differing instruments taking the ideas into a new sound world. Move forward fifteen years to 1987, and he received a commission to write music for a film, Babette’s Feast. The story is too complex to relate here, and it would be largely superfluous as only about one-tenth of Norgard’s music was eventually used. It was intended to create pictures indicated by the titles given to each of eight scenes. Here Norgard edges more towards tonality to create the delicate moments that dominate the story, the scoring being for conventional string trio and piano. Finally a world premiere recording of Trio breve, three movements completed in 2012 that take us back to where this disc began, experimenting in creating notes, here using violin, cello and piano. At times the keyboard, as here recorded, comes akin to a ‘prepared piano’. The performers are drawn from the Danish-based Ensemble MidtVest, an entity with a wide spectrum of interests, including a particular penchant for music of our time. © 2019 David’s Review Corner



Records International, August 2019

Another stimulating selection from the many whirling worlds of Per Nørgård. 1973’s Spell is probably the closest Nørgård ever got to minimalism. The piece builds up in patterns, from single notes to little repeating or almost-repeating cells. Of course, being Nørgård, the music departs from the comfortable tonal harmony of much traditional minimalism in unpredictable ways. © 2019 Records International Read complete review



The Northern Echo, August 2019

Beautifully scored and captivating contemporary works that come highly recommended. © 2019 The Northern Echo



Lynn René Bayley
The Art Music Lounge, July 2019

The superb Danish composer Per Nørgård, known primarily for his eight symphonies but also for his mind-expanding opera Siddharta, is presented here in four chamber works, one of which is a suite from the music he wrote for Gabriel Axel’s 1987 film Babette’s Feast. The performances are presented by the Ensemble MidtVest, founded in 2002. Two of the remaining three works date from the early 1970s (Spell and Whirl’s World) while the Trio Breve dates from 2012.

With the Trio Breve we again get prime Nørgård, the music taut and brilliantly written, and the musicians of Ensemble MidtVest play it with great feeling and understanding. © 2019 The Art Music Lounge Read complete review





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