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Kraig Lamper
American Record Guide, March 2009

Open Space, the contemporary music series of Dacapo, is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. This program, a series of Danish compositions performed by the French Ensemble Alternance, is filled with new techniques, rhythmic movements, innovative connections, and delicate lines, yet manages to stay away from presenting a mere jumble of motives and techniques. Morten Olsen’s Mirages is six one-minute pieces that offer a glimpse, like an ocean in the desert, of a real musical idea, presented in the 12-minute VII. Christian Christensen’s Fall From The Perfect Ground is four movements where melodies are composed of different actions: a violent down-bow, a flute growl, a yelp from a bass clarinet. The work is still engaging and manages to grab your attention, especially in the highly rhythmic II, which propels itself forward with plucks, pad hits, and squawks (the bass clarinet, in my mind, was made specifically for contemporary music). Klaus Jorgensen’s Moonlit and Niels Rosing-Schow’s Deux Sonnets De Borges both employ a soprano voice with the ensemble. Jorgensen’s piece, the more demanding of the two, becomes successively hysterical in character, whereas Rosing-Schow’s is more restrained in its dramatics.

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