Mp3 Blog #55: Bent Sørensen

Bent Sørersen:

“Shadowland” (1988-89)
Fluente e luminoso con molta trasparenza
Lontano . . . quasi un funerale
Maniaco con delicatezza
Sostenuto, molto calmo
For chamber ensemble
Performed by the Esbjerg Ensemble
Currently out of print

“Birds and Bells” (1995)
For trombone soloist and chamber ensemble
Performed by Christian Lindberg with the Oslo Sinfonetta
Available on this compact disc from ECM

Funeral Procession (1989)
Performed by the Oslo Sinfonetta
Available on this compact disc from ECM

* * * * *

With late February/early March soon approaching, so grows the anticipation for the annual Montréal contemporary music festival. This year the mammoth 13 day third edition of Montréal/Nouvelles Musiques promises to offer some particularly exciting music events.

In all the excitement and preparation (I’m doing programming and sound support for three concerts) I’ve been reflecting upon the highlights of last year’s MusiMars Festival. Although I’ve previously posted some Sørensen, this post comes from these reflections and is meant to be another segment in a continuing series where I post great pieces that I’ve heard in concert (see also Luigi Nono, Feldman and Guston, ”Acrostic Wordplay”, and ”Voi(Rex)”).

In my opinion Denys Bouliane leading the McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble in “Shadowlands” and the SMCQ’s performance of “Birds and Bells” were some of the highlights from last year’s MusiMars festival (and the Montréal contemporary music concert season in general). “Shadowland” is a quiet enigmatic work which gradually reveals different perspectives upon itself as the four movements unfold. “Birds and Bells” almost resembles an anti-trombone concerto where the soloist plays much delicately and higher than one would imagine a trombonist capable of while navigating in and out of an ensemble that slowly evolves through a brittle windy and almost rural landscape.

Although I haven’t heard “Funeral Procession” in concert I’m including here it as a bonus track because it is possibly my favorite Sørensen piece.

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