“I feel each of my symphonies is a whole continent in itself,” the Danish composer Per Nørgård (b. 1932) has said. His music stems from an insatiable urge to explore the phe no mena of the world and the possibilities of music, and his eight symphonies stand as milestones along the course of six decades. This recording with the Oslo Philharmonic conducted by John Storgårds presents Per Nørgård’s Second Symphony, in which the composer unfolds his famous ‘infinity principle’ euphorically and almost psychedelically, and his Sixth Symphony, in which the mature composer proves more exploratory and playful than ever.
Denmark’s four leading composers – Poul Ruders, Per Nørgård, Bent Sørensen and Hans Abrahamsen - have allowed the experimental trio Alpha to take their music behind the looking glass and let their works re-emerge in the trio’s very own sound world. Played and recorded entirely by heart, Alpha’s close encounter with the musical essences of seven different works seems to reveal the form and richness of each composer’s imagination in a new magical reflection.
In the early months of 1827 Franz Schubert was not in good health, and his financial situation was desolate. At this time the composer was living in the Vienna house of his friend Franz von Schober, who placed a small library at his disposal. Here, in the month of February, Schubert discovered in the pages of an almanac for 1823 the cycle of poems Die Winterreise by Wilhelm Müller. Fascinated by these texts - especially as he had already successfully set the same author's cycle Die schöne Müllerin - he quickly began writing music for them. However, the almanac did not print the complete Winterreise as we know it today, just the first twelve poems. It was only in the autumn of 1827 that Schubert found the whole cycle of twenty-four poems in Müller's Gedichte aus den hinterlassenen Papieren eines reisenden Waldhornisten (Poems from the posthumous papers of a travelling horn player), published in 1824. He immediately set these poems too, calling this the 'continuation of Winterreise'. The gloomy climate of the lieder corresponds exactly to Schubert's mood of the period. : Sibylle Kamphues