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  2L -
  Islandsmoen: Requiem
  Sigurd Islandsmoen: Requiem

The Norwegian Soloists' Choir
Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra
Terje Boye Hansen (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Vocal
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 1

Reviews: 3

Site review by Castor November 3, 2006
Performance:   Sonics:  
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Review by threerandot January 12, 2007 (5 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Sigurd Islandsmoen's Requiem is a work that has finally resurfaced decades after it's 1943 premiere. Islandsmoen was a Norwegian composer who used folk tunes throughout this choral piece which sets it apart from other Requiems. It does not use modern harmonies or tonality, but seems to rely on musical styles of the Classical and Romantic periods. You won't find any terror of death here, but a simple pastoral quality which suggests calm, tranquility and maybe even a feeling of nostalgia.

This recording has a warm, open, natural sound and it is the Def Norske Solistkor that are the stars of this performance. Their voices are admirably caught and are at their most inspiring in the Sanctus of track 12 and 13, as well as in the Agnus Dei. The balance between the Front and Rear speakers creates the wonderfully open and warm feeling in this disc. I wish that the soloists could have been just a little bit better. The orchestra is not forward at all and seems to be much further back than I would care for.

As for the music, this is not the most involving of Requiems and I don't see myself playing it a great deal. The piece seems to lack innovation and relies more on setting a tone and mood. One thing is for sure, it has plenty of atmosphere and will certainly be a great piece for just relaxing. Standout track include the beautiful opening Canto Funebre, the Recordare with it's haunting melody, the Confutatis, Sanctus, the Benedictus / Sanctus and the closing Agnus Dei.

This may not be the greatest Requiem that has ever been written, but 2L should be commended for bringing it before the public in this SACD recording. Only time will tell if it can keep itself from being buried again for several decades.

This review only applies to the MCH track.

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Review by Edvin October 31, 2006 (1 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I used to think that I was quite well informed when it came to composers in our northern region, but I have never encountered the name Islandsmoen. He lived between 1881-1964 and apparently he was a deeply religous man writing several large scale works with texts from pious origins. Writing a Requiem was rather strange since the Nordic countries were christian, but the Roman Catholic mass appealed to him.

The music was composed in 1935-36 and is held in a very old fashioned way. What we hear is a mix of Fauré, Verdi and Gounoud with a splash of Norwegian alps. It all starts out with a melody that is distinctively Norwegian. Folk tunes are an important part of this work. The piece is based on the large scale oratorious by Mendelssohn and Liszt. The fugue writing is quite original and always sounds lovely - mainly because of the heroes and heroines of this sacd: Det Norske Solistkor, the choir.

The Kyrie follows a slightly operatic Dies Irae that would not shake the earth, and it, the chorus, has some very original writing. This is no hidden masterpiece and I must honestly confess that after about half an hour my interest was lost.

The performance is good with a reliable group of soloists and an expert choir. The sound is magnificent. The Choir is placed at the back but thanks to excellent taste and musical ears it rather enhanced my experience.

Lovely music, give it a chance.

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