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Raymond Tuttle
Fanfare, November 2018

Kim André Arnesen is a young Norwegian composer who quickly is becoming an international figure. Though not necessarily easy to sing, his music is harmonically and rhythmically uncomplicated, and there are identifiable melodies. Tempos are slow, and, without exception (on this CD, anyway), Arnesen creates an atmosphere of rapt spirituality, of peace, and of angelic exaltation. That’s not to say that Arnesen “talks down” to his performers or to their audiences. Nothing is cheap or facile, and while the music goes straight to the heart, the head is not unsatisfied. © 2018 Fanfare Read complete review

KDFC Radio, July 2018

Scandinavia is producing more than its fair share of great choral composers these days, expounding an ethereal contemporary style that is sometimes called “sacred crossover”. Add the name of Norwegian Kim Andre Arnesen to the list. We’ll highlight his album Infinity this week on KDFC. © 2018 KDFC Radio

Brian Morton
Choir & Organ, July 2018

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Raymond Tuttle
Fanfare, July 2018

Making or Breaking was composed for Kantorei and conductor Joel Rinsema, and their premiere recording of this short work is one of the main highlights of this disc. Despite its name, Kantorei is an American amateur ensemble, based in Denver. …This is an impressive ensemble, always precise and always well-blended. © 2018 Fanfare Read complete review

Philip Greenfield
American Record Guide, July 2018

Maestro Rinsema’s Kantorei sound gorgeous here. This is, without question, the most affecting performance of ‘Even When He Is Silent’—the composer’s most popular work. Several of these songs are recorded here for the first time, so this would be a good opportunity to sample Mr Arnesen’s music. © 2018 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

David Vernier, April 2018

Arnesen’s melodic facility appears perhaps most strongly in his Flight Song, which he wrote for Anton Armstrong’s 25th year as St. Olaf Choir conductor—a lovely melody you might have heard someplace before, but not quite. Throughout the program you notice how Arnesen often manages to create engaging pieces of five, six, or seven minutes seemingly without a whole lot of material—again, somewhat in the mold of Lauridsen, but less prone to direct repetition, so the music is more open, more expansive—and we’re just carried along by the dynamic flow of harmony and the beauty of these voices. What finer advocates for his music could a composer have than these excellent singers of Kantorei? © 2018 Read complete review

Roger Knox
The WholeNote, April 2018

Kantorei, a greatly admired ensemble with international tours, workshops and major commissions to its credit, is an elite choir based in Denver, Colorado and led by artistic director Joel Rinsema. This recording of compositions from the past eight years by Norwegian composer Kim André Arnesen (b.1980) places it in the front ranks. Rich, clear tone, balance and expressiveness characterize recordings of these religious and meditative pieces, four of which are commissions by Kantorei and Rinsema. Some Arnesen works show the influence of composers like Morten Lauridsen and Eric Whitacre, with long-sustained tones, division of the chorus’ sections and high clusters of soprano voices that produce radiant effects.

In its mastery of textures and vocal registers, Arnesen’s compositional craft is remarkable. The choice of works and the disc’s overall smooth sound also suggest its potential for meditation; in any case I found myself taking long, even breaths. This serene and attractive disc is recommended for both secular and religious listeners. © 2018 The WholeNote Read complete review

Stuart Sillitoe
MusicWeb International, March 2018

Kantorei and Joel Rinsema give excellent performances of this music, especially in those works composed specifically for them. © 2018 MusicWeb International Read complete review, March 2018

Easier to sing and more readily accessible in their emotional evocations, the dozen choral works of Norwegian composer Kim André Arnesen on a new Naxos CD were all written between 2010 and 2016, but all offer a form of spiritual connection similar to that of Schnittke and Pärt. © 2018 Read complete review

Lisa Flynn
WFMT (Chicago), March 2018

Kim André Arnesen is one of Norway’s most frequently performed contemporary composers. International recognition of his music includes a performance of the beautifully evocative Cradle Hymn at the White House for Barack Obama in 2016. Arnesen’s association with Denver’s Kantorei resulted in their commissioning the warmly expressive The gift I’ll leave you and the eloquent Making or Breaking. Even When He Is Silent sets a text written by a prisoner on a concentration camp wall, and Arnesen’s own summing-up of Flight Song is that “music making is the song of new life, fragile as the fall of a feather.” © 2018 WFMT (Chicago)

David Denton
David's Review Corner, December 2017

Described on the disc sleeve as ‘one of Norway’s most frequently performed contemporary composers’, this has been my introduction to Kim Andre Arnesen. Born in 1980, he has spent his formative years and education in Trondheim, his compositions covering a wide range of genres, though it is his choral music that has gained him international recognition. He has, in particular, made a lasting impression in the United States where the present disc was made with the Colorado-based choral ensemble, Kantorei, and their recently appointed conductor, Joel Rinsema. All of the works date from the past seven years, with seven of the twelve tracks receiving their first recorded performance. They are purely tonal and in a popular modern choral style, very much within the realms of amateur groups, and with a strong emphasis on giving easy-listening pleasure to the listener. Slanted towards religion in its various guises, the words of the opening track, Even when he is silent, written on the wall of a concentration camp found at the end of the Second World War. There are equally well-known words from William Blake for The Lamb and the sacred text for Pie Jesu. Like most present day choral composers, Arnesen has a penchant for high floating sopranos, here well served by the members of Kantorei. Recorded in a Denver church, the resonance is not kind to the piano played by Alicia Rigsby, but creates a warm and smooth acoustic for the singers. Such releases have a ready market nowadays, and this new release is among the best I have heard. © 2017 David’s Review Corner

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